Members of this year’s list of under 30s have one thing in common: A NEW COVID-INDUCED AGENDA FOR SOCIAL CHANGE. So what would a historic pandemic year throw up? ground-breaking entrepreneurs and thinkers. Our 2021 class of under 30s are just that: INFLUENTIAL CREATIVES, IMAGINATIVE BUSINESS OWNERS, INNOVATIVE TECHIES, AND GIFTED SPORTS STARS. Celebrating seven years of the FORBES AFRICA 30 UNDER 30 LIST, these achievers prove that now more than ever, they are crucial to the AFRICAN GROWTH STORY.
THE UNDER 30 TEAM
Words: Karen Mwendera, Chanel Retief, Simone Umraw
Art Director: Lucy Nkosi
Photographer: Motlabana Monnakgotla Retouching: Newkatz Studio
Styling: Keabetswe Mafora; Outfits supplied by: Spero Villioti, Viviers Studio, Sisi the Collection, GertJohan Coetzee, Port of LNG, Amen Concepts, Europa Art
Studio: Light Station Studio, Johannesburg |
Hair & Makeup: SnehhOnline Beauty
FORBES AFRICA finds out how some of the members of the CLASS of 2021 reacted when they found out that they made the most coveted list in Africa!
EXTERNAL JUDGES: THE CATEGORY EXPERTS WHOSE ROLE WAS TO SURVEY ALL THE FINALISTS OF THE 2021 30 UNDER 30 LIST, RANK THEM AND PROVIDE COMMENTARY ON EACH CANDIDATE.
BUSINESS: Nigerian businesswoman Uche Pedro, the founder, and CEO of BellaNaija, a media-tech brand known for its entertainment and lifestyle content. She has been in the business game for over 15 years, collecting numerous local and international accolades along the way including making the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA 50 Most Powerful Women list in 2020.
TECHNOLOGY: Olugbenga Agboola, the cofounder and CEO of Flutterwave, an African fintech firm building digital payments infrastructure. He has contributed to the development of fintech solutions at several tech companies and financial institutions such as PayPal, Standard Bank, among others. Flutterwave recently raised $170 million, giving it ‘unicorn’ status with a value of over $1 billion
CREATIVES: Dr John Kani, a South African actor, author, director, and playwright known for his roles in Marvel movies Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther as well as The Lion King. In addition, Kani is also the Founder of the Market Theatre LaboratoryAcademy, chair of the Apartheid Museum South Africa, patron and Ambassador of the Market Theatre, and Trustee for the WWFNedbank Green Trust.
SPORTS: Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, a Zimbabwean-born professional rugby player who plays for Old Glory DC in Major League Rugby and previously for the South African national team and the Sharks in Super Rugby. With 117 caps, he is the most capped prop in South African history and the third most-capped Springbok of all time. He is also a 2019 Rugby World Cup winner. He owns a security company in South Africa and The Beast Foundation.
AUDIT PARTNER: FORBES AFRICA partnered again with SNG Grant Thornton to vet the business and financial statements of the candidates. This involved understanding the landscape, the profitability, growth and most of all, the scalability of each business.