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African Gems to Celebrate in US Black History Month

Black History Month is an event celebrated annually every February in the United States and Canada, October in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands and also celebrated in other parts of the world as a way of remembering prominent black people and events in the history of Africans overseas and the diaspora.

In this article, we’ll be discussing on Africans from the sub-Saharan continent who have made positive impacts in the United States and the world at large.

Dikembe Mutombo – NBA Global Ambassador (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Known as one of the greatest NBA players to never win a championship, Mutombo was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and migrated to the United States in 1987 on an academic scholarship to study medicine at Georgetown University with plans to go back to his homeland to help his people back home. But fate changed after he joined his school’s basketball team, which led him to become an NBA player. Mutombo has won the league’s defensive player of the year award four times and played in eight All-Star games. During his time in the NBA league, Mutombo was known for his focus on international service and aid. In 1997, Mutombo established the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation with a mission to improve health, education and the quality of life of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. One of the foundation’s largest projects was the construction of a hospital in Kinshasa. The building was named after his mother, who died of a stroke illness the same year he founded the organization. In 2009, Mutombo became NBA’s first global ambassador and till today continues his role as an ambassador through his foundation and works with other organizations to further his mission to help the poor around the world.

Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye – World Leading Surgeon (Nigeria)

Doctor Oluyinka Olutoye is a Nigerian-born American doctor who co-led a team of 21 doctors that performed surgery to remove a large tumor called “sacrococcygeal teratoma”, which grows on the tailbone of a fetus, then returned the 23-week-old fetus to the mother’s womb and received worldwide recognition. For the surgery, both the mother and fetus were given general anesthesia. The surgeons then removed the part of the fetus’ body where the tumor was attached and cleared much of the mass as possible before returning the fetus to the womb. The team continued to monitor the mother over the course of her pregnancy to ensure that no further problems occurred until she delivered at 36 weeks. Dr. Olutoye and his team were recognized for this feat and received acclaim both in the US and Internationally. After his achievements, Dr. Olutoye now leads one of the largest children’s hospital surgery departments in the world.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk – Interstellar Pioneer (South Africa)

Elon Musk is a South African-born American inventor and businessman who co-founded PayPal, Space X, and Tesla Motors. Musk came across his fortunes in his late 20s when he sold his company, Zip2, to Compaq Computers which earned him millions. In May 2012, Musk made headlines when his space company “Space X” launched a rocket sending the first commercial vehicle to the International Space Station. He purchased of Solar City in 2016 and his known for his stance on saving the planet from global warming through his electric cars from Tesla and also plans on setting up a colony on Mars. 


Other notable mention

President Barack Obama is photographed during a presidential portrait sitting for an official photo in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Barack Hussein Obama II (Kenya)

Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to hold the position of commander-in-chief. He served as president for two terms, first in 2008 and 2012. Obama’s father was from Kenya and his mother from Kansas. Born and raised in Hawaii, he graduated from Columbia University and studied law at Harvard Law School, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. After serving in the Senate house in Illinois, he was elected to represent Illinois as a senator representing Illinois at the U.S House of senates. He won the Nobel peace prize after resuming office as President.



Africans in diaspora are continuously having great impact in the world. With the above Africans mentioned above we hope you have a better understanding on the Africans gems making a difference in the world, as we celebrate Black History month.

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