CNN’s Biggest African Stars: A Shitty List

By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo

If you are a music fan and your favourite African act did not appear in CNN’s listing for ‘Biggest African Stars’, do not fret, because, it is shitty!

Do not also be deluded by the fact that the list was put together by an internationally recognized media house. They are not perfect as they get it wrong sometimes – and this time, they messed it up!

Here is CNN’s List;


A List Without Criteria


Any listing that comes with no form of criterion or criteria is not a quality list and only causes confusion among those listed and unlisted as well as followers for both listed and unlisted.

To be brusque, CNN’s list is shoddy, sub-standard and disrespectful. It is worthless!

How can a person (s) sit, think, analysis and produce a list of the ‘Biggest Stars in Africa’, without attaching the reasoning that went into such a compilation?

What is ‘big’? Is it about relevance, the level of activity, awards, influence or impact? What classifies an artiste as ‘big?

It is simply not okay to just get up and put up a list just for the sake of it.

No Timelines

Cassper Nyovest

Any list that has no timelines or duration for which the criteria was set, is once again, a shitty list!

CNN’s list had no timeline, so the bewilderment hinges on whether it is for all time, 10 years, 5 years, or just for 2019. It makes no sense.

Very Deceptive

Shatta Wale

Such listings, especially when they are splattered on such international platforms like CNN could be deceptive. It could easily influence business dealings with corporate firms believing that indeed, the artistes listed are the biggest on the continent.

It could inform a brand to associate with an artiste listed when in actual fact, the other artiste not listed is actually bigger.

Such a list can also be misleading for some of the artistes listed. They may be walking around feeling all buoyant that, yeah, they are on CNN’s list of the biggest acts in Africa when in reality, they are not.

Don’t get carried away!

‘Holes’ in the List


Whoever would compile any list of the Biggest Stars in Africa and not add Nigerian superstar, Davido, is delusional.

There’s no way in Africa that Diamond Platinumz (no disrespect to him) has been or is bigger than Davido, in all aspects of artistry. It terms of appeal, awards, clout, influence and impact, Diamond can’t hold a torch to Davido.

How is South Africa’s Busiswa Gqulu bigger than Ghana’s Shatta Wale or Stonebwoy? How?

According to CNN, Zambian rapper, Slapdee, makes the list ahead of Ghana’s Sarkodie and South Africa’s Cassper Nyovest? Such travesty!

If CNN wants to do a listing of African acts that make donations to their communities, they can easily do that, but clearly, the fact that one makes some donations to his/her community does not make him/her a ‘big’ act in Africa.

South African singer, Sho Madjozi is good and has such a bright future but there’s no way in this world that makes her bigger than Nigeria’s Femi Kuti. No freaking way!

Trash It

Yes, go ahead and throw it in that bin. It is worthless!

Next time, don’t fall for any listing, regardless of the platform it emanates from. Seek quality and prod when necessary.

This one from CNN doesn’t cut it. Ignore it!


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