Established in 2022 for Africa as a result of extended wings from the Forty Under 40 Ghana, which is now turning seven years old, the Forty Under 40 Africa Awards is an appreciation scheme for young people aged below forty who are making impact in diverse spheres in the continent.
It identifies, honors, and celebrates a cross-section of Africa’s most vibrant and influential minds with accomplishments in a vast range of industries.
It celebrates committed individuals in business growth, professional excellence, and community service who have scaled professional ranks while still young.
To grace the Award’s Second Edition happening this year, Xodus Communications Limited-Ghana, the organizers of the awards, shortlisted a whopping 126 nominees, handpicked from 24 African countries, for the coveted prize. Kenya has 27 nominees for the award.
The event is reserved for March 25, 2023, at The Leonardo Hotel in Sandton City, South Africa, which is Africa’s tallest building. It will be hosted by the Black-White Attorneys –South Africa and Turfloop City –South Africa.
Speaking to The Scholar Media Africa in an exclusive interview, Mr. Richard Abbey Jnr, the Founder and Events Director of the Forty Under 40 Africa Awards scheme, noted that vibrancy has been evident in professional quarters in Africa, and many young Africans are giving their best professionally, thus deserve being awarded.
The Scholar Media Group Africa is a Kenyan-based media house registered in Kenya in 2017.
It amplifies Africa’s success stories from diverse quarters such as Health, Education, Agribusiness, Climate Change, Gender Empowerment, and Technology, among other evergreen narratives, all in a positive approach. Apart from running its news website, the company is also the publisher of The Scholar magazine, a bi-weekly publication, and The Scholar News Digest, a bi-weekly newsletter.
This year, in view of the positive and life-changing stories the media company has published over the years, its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Elijah Nyaanga, a seasoned journalist and transformational leader, was nominated in two of the Forty Under 40 Africa categories: Media (Digital and Social) and Journalism (Radio/TV/Newspaper).
Mr. Nyaanga is also Kenya’s representative to the Turkey-Africa Trade and Investment Council (TATIC).
Nomination and judging
The nominees are citizens of any of Africa’s 55 countries, living within the continent or in the diaspora, and aged 40 or below at the time of the event.
A third party nominates the person for the award, yet the number of nominations does not matter or advantage those with more nominations.
To be considered a nominee, one must be an Entrepreneur, Shareholder, Founder, or Co-Founder of a company.
A Jury and an Awarding Board supervise the Award.
Kris Senanu, the Managing Director of Telkom Kenya (representing Eastern Africa), is the head of the jury.
Rotimi Olawale, Executive Director of Youth Hub Africa, is the representative of Western Africa, while Ruth Mawia, Chief Executive Officer of Koola Waters, represents Eastern Africa.
Ashley Mupfawa, the Creative Director of Goodwall Changemakers, represents the Southern Africa region, while Erick Inghatt Matsanza, Founder of Spice Without Borders, represents Eastern Africa, as Farouk Khailann, the Chief Executive Officer of Premium Africa Holdings represents the people of Western Africa and Nemfor Alfred, the CEO of FIAFA Cameroun, represents Central Africa.
The judging process involves a thorough sieving of nominees against a backdrop of different levels of professionalism, leadership, influence and community impact, past awards, and academic qualifications, among others.
The winners are announced at the culmination of the event.
This year’s nominees were drawn from all corners of the continent, with countries like South Africa, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Sudan, Morocco, Benin, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Algeria, Botswana, Tunisia, Eswatini, Lesotho, The Gambia, among others, being represented.
“Last year, we awarded about 50 winners from different categories, and to us, it made a significant impact.
Most of the awardees received further endorsements from their home countries, others did trustable Public Relations campaigns, and others received funding for their organizations after showcasing what they offer,” Mr. Abbey told The Scholar.
He added that from the awards, some nominees and winners got promotions in their home countries and companies, and others added their client base, a reason why more people should work hard to snatch the awards in different categories of their profession.
“We are impressed with the pace at which women are rising on the continent. In 2023 the nominee ratio of women to men is 58, which is about 46% as against 68 men representing 54%,” the Founder appreciated in a recent press release.
Mr. Abbey says that the whole process makes the continent feel what the awardees really are and appreciate their efforts.
“With nearly half of the continent participating, it means that the awardees get the endorsement of the better part of the continent.
There is also an intrinsic value of the trophy; even though there is no financial token attached, it’s a sign that the continent trusts and endorses you as competent in that category,” he explained.
Ms. Maryben Omollo is a Kenyan multi-award winner who, among other awards, scooped a Forty Under 40 Award under the Women Empowerment category in the 2022 Awards Edition in Ghana.
“It has its benefits if you know how to position yourself for and utilize the award,” she told The Scholar.
Reminiscing its benefits, the entrepreneur and mental health advocate explains, “I am now an international speaker and I’ve traveled to different award ceremonies to deliver speeches. It’s more of self-investment and investing in yourself; it is easy but also hard and painful, but it’s worth it in the end.”
Sosthen Simiyu is the Executive Director of Youth Governance in Action, based in Kenya, and also the Forty Under 40 Africa Kenyan nominees co-ordinator.
“This is a new dawn and this award has given the youths space to showcase themselves and rise to higher levels. Being a nominee is a win in itself,” he says, urging the African youths to continue working hard.
He says that the award has changed the lives of many, opening more doors for the winners to travel around the continent and also expand in their businesses and careers.
It is equally a competitive avenue for networking and indoctrinating young African minds into the entrepreneurial and professional quarters, encouraging continental inter-trading engagements, partnerships, and enthusiasm, according to the Founder, Mr. Abbey.
“One of the major challenges is that at times, some people want to hide their information and are unwilling to make enough entries,” he says.
While this makes it hard for the steering team to determine their eligibility for the awards, Mr. Abbey urges them that “…this is a credible organization with a compliance certification,” reiterating their keen eye on the nominees’ information and data privacy.
“So far it has not become the best ever, but there are young Africans who have been doing well,” he said.
He also says that, at times, the nominees’ data might be misleading, causing confusion on which category they belong. The re-categorization process done thereafter to cater for them proves time-consuming.
Currently, the event sees the nominees have a tour and familiarization with the host country’s areas of interest before culminating with the award ceremony.
“We will tour Cape Town and Johannesburg, visit several tourist sites, and then finalize with the event on March 25, 2023.
While striving to make the awards better and more competitive, Edition Three of the Awards will be open for submissions in October 2023, with the awards ceremony happening in 2024.
To those who crave making it to the next nomination list, “There’s no magic to the list. As a leader, know people and actively engage them to get the votes, which account for 20%. Be productive, proactive, and stand out. There is no way you will sit there and wait to get to the list. The jury is seeking outstanding people,” Simiyu advises.
Forty Under 40 Africa Categories and Nominees 2023
Agriculture and Agro Processing
Femi Ilesanmi Eniola (Osky Integrated Nigeria Limited) Nigeria
Wangari Kuria (farmer on fire ltd) Kenya
Abdallah Nyakisilia (Jubaili Agrotec ltd) Tanzania
Sandiswa Mgolozeli (Epitomely Interior Doctors) South Africa
Authorship and Creative Writing
Masindi Netshakhuma (Renof Productions) South Africa
Mago Hasfa Taylor (Book Drive – Read to Learn Foundation) Uganda
Sindiswa Sowambi, South Africa
Banking and finance
Hany Omar Soliman (PayTabs) Egypt
Alhaji Salamu Amadu (Afro Arab Microfinance) Ghana
Collins Kathuli (Kyanda Africa) Kenya
Kwanele Boltina (Riley Auctions Africa) South Africa
Beauty and Lifestyle
Kennedy Katebalirwe (Hairbyzziwa Company Limited) Uganda
Lungile Mhlongo (Numa medical aesthetics) South Africa
Annita Neshiri (Girl Talk Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe
Kaboneka Paul Charles (Palm Foundation) Uganda
Mercy Adongo (Miss Eco Tourism Uganda) Uganda
Kenneth Anetor (A New Thing International Foundation) Nigeria
Edwin Taka (Sawa Youth Watch) Uganda
Frieda Manana (Phanda Zansi Modelling Agency FM) South Africa
Tejan Kamara (Goodwill Humanitarian Foundation) Sierra Leone
Amusa Tajudeen Lasisi (Adeoye Power & Digital Solutions) Nigeria
Tadzie Madzima (IGNITE Youth Organisation) Zimbabwe
Timothy Opobo (AfriChild Centre) Uganda
Paula Moira Omphile Otukile- (Mulher Forte African Literature) Botswana
Michael Mbulelo Ncube-(Global Girl Child Foundation) Zimbabwe
Consultancy & Professional Services
Muhumuza Brian (Bryan Morel Publications) Uganda
Gilbert Atuto Angana (Accent Leadership Group Ltd) Kenya
Naike Andrew Moshi (Women in Management Africa (WIMA) Tanzania
Robert Belle (Smip Consultancy) Kenya
Damaris Kemunto Nyabuti (Dharkemmy Corporate Communications Limited) Kenya
Joseph Opeyemi Owolabi (Rubicola Consulting) Nigeria
Sebastian Odunga (Kepler Rwanda) Kenya
Asanda Sigigaba (LEAP Science and Maths School) South Africa
James Malope (LEAP Science and Maths School) South Africa
Linda Atieno Odhiambo (Lindtech College) Kenya
Esther Mumbua Muinde (Kenya Connect) Kenya
Energy/Oil and Gas
Atong Amos (Tripple A Services & Petroleum Limited) South Sudan
Environmental & Climate Sustainability
Lalita Devi Purbhoo Junggee (Eco Hustle Co Ltd) Mauritius
Alasana Kassama (ABK Enterprise) Gambia
Samuel Gedamu Tesfa-Mariam (Green Solutions Africa) Ethiopia
Joan Ahono Musumba (Little Big Talents) Kenya
Lesley Bopape (Lesedi Lehumo Investments Pty Ltd) South Africa
Kubasu Monette Janet (Jumon agency Kenya) Kenya
Lilian Madyara (Style Consultants) Zimbabwe
Craig Chimtengo (Mr Rocca London) Zimbabwe
Abbasi Kaijuka (Kai’s Divo Collection) Uganda
Kyomuhendo Shamim (Sham cares foundation) Uganda
Toumiat Lakhdar-Oran Fashion Week-Algeria
Dr. Jesca Mhoja Nkwabi (KOM Group of Companies) Tanzania
Governance and Government Agencies
Tando Luyaba (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) South Africa
Sosthen Eugine Simiyu (Youth Governance in Action) Kenya
Yershen Pillay (Chemical Industries Education & Training Authorities of South Africa (CHIETA) South Africa
Antony Samba Buluma (Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association) Kenya
Fabrice Vavemi (Popular Action Party, Lena Bilingual Academy, Lena Holdings) Cameroon
Isaac Kigozi (Office of The President on Diaspora Affairs) Uganda
Rabiu Onaolapo Olowo (Lagos State Government) Nigeria
Benson Ochiel Ngiela (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) Kenya
Yvonne Mothibi (Madibeng Local Municipality) South Africa
Anthonia Opeyemi Alebiosu (Federal Inland Revenue Service) Nigeria
Dr. Lilian Kerubo (DIfABA) Kenya
Health and Wellness
Sarah Mulindwa (Sarah Mulindwa) Uganda
Dr. Steve Mutiso (Aga Khan University Hospital) Uganda
Nicodimus Tinashe Mucherera (Pharm Drive) Zimbabwe
Jeremy Naidoo (Jehu Industries (Pty) Ltd) South Africa
Sebabatso Tsaoane (Black Woman Arise Women’s Health Foundation) South Africa
Human Resource and Development
Vumile Msweli (Hesed Consulting) South Africa
Andisa Liba (Float Pay and Pan African Chamber of Commerce) South Africa
Priscilla Wellington Asante (Customer Service Africa) Ghana
Kofi Anim-Danso (Location Accra) Ghana
Vusani Matsebula (LetsGoZanzibar) Eswatini
Journalism (Radio / TV / Newspaper)
Jeremiah FisayoBambi (Africanews, Euronews) Nigeria
Elijah Nyakundi Nyaanga (Scholar Media Group Africa Ltd) Kenya
Nyasha Michelle (BBC) Zimbabwe
Tafadzwa Zimoyo-BraveHearts Zimbabwe
Nabiry Juma Jumanne (Sheria Kiganjani Company Limited) Tanzania
Inemesit Dike (The Legal Concierge) Nigeria
Logistics and Supplies
Antonio Shabir Wadee (King of Africa Logistics) South Africa
Richmond Kwame Frimpong (Dawa Industrial Zone) Ghana
Michelle Janine Austin (Keegor group of companies) South Africa
Media (Digital and Social)
Élodie Ramsamy (Mediatiz Ltd) Mauritius
Allegro Dinkwanyane (Orgella Group) South Africa
Olawunmi Akalusi (RíséApp Nigeria Ltd) Nigeria
Tiwalola Olanubi (DottsMediaHouse Limited) Nigeria
Elijah Nyakundi Nyaanga (Scholar Media Group Africa Ltd) Kenya
Ashley Nyasha Muremba (Womens Voice Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe
Music & Entertainment
Gilmore Qhawe Khumalo (Paper Bag Africa) Zimbabwe
Musa Umaru (Great Moses Music Academy) Nigeria
Marketing & Communications
Kevin Kumbirai Mwenye (Kevin Mwenye Media and PR) Zimbabwe
Printing / Press and Publishing
Phanuel Matase Ramabu (PMR Media and Advertising) South Africa
Philanthropy and Charity
Humphrey Nabimanya (Reach A Hand Uganda) Uganda
Charles Tumwebaze (Together Alive Health Initiative) Uganda
Dr. Mathew Godwin Mario (Myles Leadership University) Benin
Dr Fola David (Foladavid Care Foundation) Nigeria
Zainab Ikaz Kassim (Child Aid & Sponsorship Awareness Foundation) Nigeria
Lindile Nontobeko Ngwenya (Refugees Children’s Project) South Africa
Tinevimbo Terry-Anne Matambanadzo (As I Am Foundation) Zimbabwe
Velveeta Viban (I’m Human Organization) Cameroon
Rachel Wanyoike (Solidaridad Eastern and Central Africa Expertise Centre) Cameroon
Nhyira Bayeh (Amanda foundation) Ghana
Theresa Farai Nyava (Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe Trust) Zimbabwe
Blessing Olugbuyi (Caritas Development and Health Initiative) Nigeria
Lucy Pearl Khofi (Women’ Health Ekklesia & Imfundo Enhle Education Trust) South Africa
Oluwatimileyin Edwin (CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative) Nigeria
Real Estate Development / Construction
Samson Blaque (Garnet Bricks Global Investment Limited) Nigeria
Thembisa Winston Kunene (Libertalia Group) South Africa
Science, Technology and Innovation
Aymen Gatri (Teligencia) Tunisia
Deogratius Mosha (Mainstream Media Limited) Tanzania
Dr Nchafatso G Obonyo (Critical Care Research Group)- The University of Queensland and Kenya Medical Association) Kenya
Amine Zariat (Tibu Africa) Morocco
Mmabatho Langa (Mmabatho Langa physiotherapy) South Africa
Mukansanga Salima Rhadia – Rwanda
Dr Koketjo Tsebe (Unisa) South Africa
Catherine Kakolo Mongella (Earth Guardians) Tanzania
Jamila Mayanja (Smart Girls Uganda) Uganda
Isaac Macharia Mwangi (Voluntours Adventures and Anyoraa Camp Maasai Mara) Kenya
Linda Chepkwony (RiftValley Organics Africa) Kenya
Oluwole A. Olusola (African Future Leaders initiative) Nigeria
Chika Ibobo (Junior Chamber International) Nigeria
Nana Adjoa Sifa Amponsah (Guzakuza) Ghana
Theatre and Arts
Joy Mwangi- (Ada Animation) Kenya
Olu Adebamowo (Osacomms Solutions) Nigeria
Stephen Shenboyejo (Steve the Director) Nigeria
Gladman Madawaenda (Mwana waGidza) Zimbabwe
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Hassana Ameley Sampah (Overflow Production) Ghana
Telecom and Mobile / Software Development
Norchen Mezni (E-Tafakna)- Tunisia
Arnold Chiimambo (Zodsat) – Zimbabwe
Mamush Yisihak Wana (Joy4laborers) Ethiopia
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