KATHMANDU: Time magazine has included Balendra (Balen) Shah, the Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, in its prestigious list of 100 emerging leaders from around the world.
The American magazine, renowned for its influential annual lists, has selected Mayor Shah for the 2023 roster of emerging leaders poised to excel in their respective fields.
Time magazine’s annual tradition includes categorizing the 100 most influential individuals worldwide across six diverse categories, encompassing politicians, scientists, influential corporate CEOs, and artists.
Since 2019, they have extended this tradition to acknowledge emerging leaders, highlighting promising talents shaping the world’s future.
Mayor Shah’s inclusion in this list stems from his unexpected victory in Kathmandu’s mayoral election in May 2022.
Notably, his trademark square, black-and-gold sunglasses became a symbol of his growing popularity, selling out rapidly in Nepal’s capital, it said.
At just 33 years old and armed with a master’s degree in structural engineering, Mayor Shah embarked on an independent campaign, leveraging social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram to channel voter discontent with the existing political landscape, it noted.
This catalyzed the “Balen effect,” leading to the victory of as many as 385 independent candidates over established politicians in last spring’s local elections, according to the magazine.