9 Germans of African descent who changed the world

In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting 10 influential Germans of African descent who impacted the world or are making a difference in their communities. Who would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

Steffi Jones

Steffi Jones is inducted into Germany’s Hall of Fame. © dpa / picture alliance

Stephanie Jones is a German football manager best known for managing the German women’s national team. She also played for the women’s national team between 1993 and 2007, helping Germany win the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, as well as three European Championships. In 2019, Jones was among the first female soccer players to be inducted into Germany’s Hall of Fame in Dortmund.

Haddaway

© dpa / picture alliance

We all know the 1993 song “What is Love”by Haddaway. But not everyone knows that this hit single was created by Trinidadian-born German musician and vocalist Nestor Alexander Haddaway, who moved to Cologne in 1987. Today, he splits his time between Cologne and Kitzbühl, Austria.

Isaac Bonga

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Isaac Bonga is an NBA basketball player from Germany who currently plays for the Washington Wizards. Before becoming an NBA player, Bonga had a successful basketball career in Germany, where he played with Skyliners Frankfurt of the Basketball Bundesliga. Bonga also represents the senior German national team in international competitions.

Aminata Toure

© dpa / picture alliance

Aminata Toure is a German politician with Malian roots who recently became the deputy speaker of Schleswig-Holstein’s state parliament. The 27-year-old hopes to use her position to bring more political attention to climate and refugee policies while also empowering others.

“I hope to empower young people, women, people of color to get involved and to use their voice,” she says in a video about her life. “You can make a difference.”

Dennis Schröder

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Dennis Schröder is a German professional basketball player for NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. He previously spent five seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. In 2019, the 26-year-old was chosen as the NBA’s Player of the Week. Prior to moving to the US, Schröder played for the SG Braunschweig and Phantoms Braunschweig in Germany, both representing his hometown.

Charles Huber

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Charles Huber is a German politician and former actor known for his lead role in the TV series Der Alte. Today, he serves as a member of the German Bundestag for the Christian Democratic Union and is one of the first two Bundestag members of African ancestry. He is the founder of the  organization Afrika Direkt and the author of A Bavarian in Senegal: My Life between two Worlds.

Cassandra Steen

Cassandra Steen is a German-American singer, songwriter and actress. Working with Universal Urban Records, Steen has three hit singles, including “Stadt”, which was the fourth-largest single of 2009 in Germany.

The Boateng brothers

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Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jérôme Boateng are brothers that are both professional German soccer players. During the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup Games, the brothers made headlines for playing in competing teams. While Jérôme played for the German national team, his brother Kevin-Prince played for Ghana. Today, Jérôme is a defender for Bayern Munich while Kevin-Prince plays for Beşiktaş on loan from Fiorentina.

Nelson Müller

© dpa / picture alliance

Nelson Müller is a successful chef, author and singer who is best known for running two restaurants in Essen. The TV personality also runs a cookery school and a catering business. One of his restaurants has earned a Michelin star!

Who would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

By Nicole Glass, German Embassy

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