FORBES AFRICA’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2023

In Johannesburg, South Africa, as of April 10, 2023, the notion of being “self-made” is gaining renewed significance and respect within a society where individuals benefiting from nepotism are all too common and uninspiring. These young achievers are establishing solutions-oriented businesses and brands entirely from the ground up.

In the ninth annual installment of the FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list, the latest group of multi-talented entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders are showcasing how they intend to foster human potential, tackle challenges, and shape Africa’s future on their own terms.

This year, with over a thousand applicants, the finalists were meticulously selected through a rigorous evaluation process led by Under 30 curator Chanel Retief, supported by an impartial panel of external judges and subject-matter experts, including Delphine Govender, Sello Maake kaNcube, Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, and Temba Bavuma, as well as former FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 awardee Bright Jaja. The audit partner, SNG Grant Thornton, also played a role in the screening process.

In a post-pandemic Africa, everything is evolving all over again, everything is work-in-progress. That was evident in the pool of talent we received… because here is a young batch of people completely cognizant of the changes the continent is going through and who are coming up with ideas and solutions problems. There are also problems that have been around for long, and they are now trying to tackle them quickly. I think the speed with which they are trying to execute some of these ideas is what we need to highlight. They are also building their own brand and changing the image of the continent,” says Renuka Methil, Managing Editor of FORBES AFRICA.

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The 2023 FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list:

  • Alessandrio Bergman, 29, South Africa – Founder, SYNC Model Management – Industry: Fashion and Marketing
  • Asisat Oshoala, 28, Nigeria – Striker for Spanish Liga F club FC Barcelona and the Nigeria women’s national team – Industry: Professional Footballer
  • Blessing Joel Abeng, 28, Nigeria – Co-founder and Director of Communications, Ingressive For Good – Industry: Branding and Communications
  • Cheslin Denman, 29, South Africa – Managing Director and Co-Founder, Trustlink Africa Hub – Industry: Fintech
  • Cody Gordon, 26, South Africa – Co-founder and CEO, CG Technology Group (be frank, Constructive Candor and It’sOk) – Industry: Mental Health Technology
  • Dr Olivier Uwishema, 29, Rwanda – Founder, Oli Health Magazine Organization (OHMO) – Industry: Medicine/Research
  • Dr Wedu Tose Somolekae, 29, Botswana – Founder, Medi-Glow Aesthetics – – Industry: Aesthetic medicine
  • Dricus ‘Still Knocks’ du Plessis, 29, South Africa – Professional mixed martial artist in Middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – Industry: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • Emmanuel Whajah, 29, Ghana – Creative Director, Videographer and owner of Emzy Production Films – Industry: Film and entertainment
  • Germain Ndu-Okeke, 24, Nigeria – Co-founder and Chief Operation Officer, Weevil Company – Industry: Technology
  • Hansel Ndu Okeke, 28, Nigeria – Co-founder and CEO, Weevil Company – Industry: Technology
  • Isaack Damian Buhiye, 28, Tanzania – CEO, Firm 23 Limited – Industry: Digital Enterprise Solutions
  • Jacques Jordaan, 27, South Africa – Co-founder and Director, Specno – Industry: Entrepreneur/Technology
  • Jessica Mshama, 27, Tanzania – Founder and CEO, Nakua Na Taifa Langu, Director of Assumpter Digital Schools – Industry: Entrepreneur/Social Impact
  • Joel Embiid, 29, Cameroon – Center for Philadelphia 76ers National Basketball Association – Industry: Professional Basketball Player
  • Khethokuhle ‘Kay Yarms’ Ngonyama, 29, South Africa – Beauty Influencer – Industry: Content creation
  • Koaile Monaheng, 29, Lesotho – Associate Director and Shareholder, Khantša Energy – Industry: Renewable Energy
  • Lethabo ‘Focalistic’ Sebetso, 26, South Africa – Rapper – Industry: Music and Entertainment
  • Mhlengi Mluleki Ngcobo, 28, South Africa – Founder and CEO, CoffeeMM – Industry: Agriculture
  • Mohammed Kudus, 22, Ghana – Attacking midfielder for Eredivisie club Ajax and the Ghana national team – Industry: Professional Football
  • Mutethia Mbaabu, 29, Kenya – Co-founder and CEO, MarketForce – Industry: E-Commerce
  • Nompumelelo ‘Mpoomy’ Ledwaba, 29, South Africa – Entrepreneur/Digital Creator – Industry: Digital Marketing
  • Oluwabusayo Victoria Abiri, 29, Nigeria – Founder and CEO, Koko By Khloe – Industry: Beauty and Skincare
  • Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe / ‘Ayra Starr’, 20, Benin/Nigeria – Singer – Industry: Music and Entertainment
  • Rosalia Nghitalesheni Joseph, 28, Namibia – Regional Coordinator, Women in Vector Control (WIVC), Central and Southern Africa – Industry: Medical entomologist/public researcher
  • Sharva Hassamal, 29, Mauritius – Founder, Portage Labs – Industry: Information Technology
  • Talifhani Tshitwamulomoni, 29, South Africa – Chief Operation Officer, Green Development Foundation – Industry: Sustainability
  • Temilade Openiyi / ‘Tems’, 27, Nigeria – Singer-songwriter – Industry: Music and Entertainment
  • Thembi Kgatlana, 26, South Africa – A Forward for NWSL club Racing Louisville FC and the South Africa women’s national team – Industry: Professional Football
  • Yvette Ishimwe, 25, Rwanda – Founder and CEO, Iriba Water Group – Industry: Water Solutions

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