Climate change activist Vanessa Nakate has been listed among this year’s next 100 most influential people in the world by the TIME magazine.
According to editors of the TIME magazine, the profiles of all the listed 100 were written by TIME100 alumni and Nakate’s submission was made by Sweden’s Greta Thunberg, 18, who is the TIME’s 2019 Person of the year.
Thunberg hailed Nakate for her disproportionate impact on the fight against climate change on the African continent and the Global South.
“In this moment of intersecting crises, Nakate continues to teach a most critical lesson. She reminds us that while we may all be in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat,” Thunberg said.
TIME magazine noted that what struck most for them while compiling this year’s list was individuals and emerging leaders who are shaping the future amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, deepening inequality, systematic injustices and existential questions about truth, democracy and the plant itself.
Nakate graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration from Makerere University Business School (2019) and this is where she started her climate activism.
In an interview with the Nile Post last year, Nakate said that upon finishing her course, she tried to do something that would impact lives of people and this is how she learnt about climate change.
“When I finished my course in 2018 before graduation, I wanted to use that period to do something that can cause change in the lives of the people in my country and therefore I carried out research looking for problems faced by people. I found out a number of them but I was struck by climate change because it is taught in schools of course but it is not taught as a reality of today,” she said.
When asked if this is something that she had ever thought of doing after school, Nakate said no, it was never her dream.
In January 2020, Associated Press (AP) cropped Nakate out of a photo with fellow activists Thunberg, Loukina Tille, Luisa Neubauer and Isabelle Axelsson, sparking off an outrage on social media.