Hillary Clinton pays glowing tribute to rights activist Mugisha in Time100

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Hillary Clinton pays glowing tribute to rights activist Mugisha in Time100
Frank Mugisha | Courtesy-Reuters/Abubaker Lubowa

Former US Secretary of State says she is honoured to work alongside Frank Mugisha as he defends the human rights of gay Ugandans and people around the world.

ICON | Ugandan rights activist Frank Mugisha received a glowing tribute on the Times 100 list with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying she was "honoured" to work alongside him.

Mr Mugisha was on Thursday named among the most influential people of 2024 by American news magazine, Time.

"Honoured to be included in the 2024 #TIME100 list," Mr Mugisha posted on X (formerly Twitter) alongside the souvenir cover of the hugely influential Time magazine.

"Grateful for the recognition and inspired to continue making a positive impact," he added.

The Ugandan is listed in the icons category with 16 others, including American popstar Kylie Minogue, Nigerian Afrobeat star Burna Boy and DR Congo's human rights defender Julienne Lusenge.

Announcing the 2024 list, the magazine said "TIME100 is an unparalleled way for us to tell essential stories about the people and ideas that shape and improve the world".

Time100 2024 is categorised into pioneers, leaders, titans, artists, innovators, and icons.

The Time says to capture what sets the honorees apart, the magazine reaches out to people who watched them rise, knew them when, understand firsthand the opportunities they seized and the obstacles they overcame.

Mr Mugisha is a fellow at the US's Columbia University’s Institute of Global Politics. He is also the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, an NGO whose registration the government rejected.

For Mr Mugisha, it was the 2017 US Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton paying the tributes.

Ms Clinton said Mugisha has worked the face of "death threats and intimidation, of lost jobs and lost friends" as one of the few out gay people in Uganda.

"Frank has never backed down from fighting for LGBTIQ+ rights," she wrote.

The former US First Lady said she was honoured to work alongside Mr Mugisha at Columbia University’s Institute of Global Politics, as he defends the human rights of gay Ugandans and people around the world.

"Progress toward a more just future is possible, but it is not inevitable," the former US Senator said.

"Only through the undaunted work of leaders like Frank — whose courage has earned him the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination — will true equality be achieved."

First published in 1999 as the result of a debate among American academics, politicians, and journalists, the Time100 is now a highly publicised annual event.

In an explanatory note on how it picks the Time100, the American magazine in 2016 said list is a step back to measure the forces that move the world.

"One way or another they each embody a breakthrough: they broke the rules, broke the record, broke the silence, broke the boundaries to reveal what we’re capable of," the magazine said.

"They are seekers, with a fearless willingness to be surprised by what they find."

Appearing on the list is often seen as an honour, and Time makes it clear that entrants are recognised for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions.

The final list of influential individuals is exclusively chosen by Time editors, with nominations coming from the Time 100 alumni and the magazine's international writing staff.

Only the winner of the Reader's Poll, conducted days before the official list is revealed, is chosen by the general public.

The corresponding commemorative gala is held annually in Manhattan, US.

In 2019, Time began publishing the Time 100 Next list to raise the spotlight on 100 rising stars who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and more.

National Unity Platform principal Robert Kyagulanyi made the 2019 Time100 Next list.

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