South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya shine in Forty Under 40 Africa awards

To the winners, this coveted prize symbolizes a continental endorsement on their areas of profession and leadership. It speaks of how Africa trusts their brands, positioning them to penetrate into more countries.

A section of the Forty Under 40 Africa awards winners pose for a photo after being awarded. The event was on March 25, 2023 at The Leonardo Hotel, South Africa. PHOTO/Xodus Communications.
A section of the Forty Under 40 Africa awards winners pose for a photo after being awarded. The event was on March 25, 2023 at The Leonardo Hotel, South Africa. PHOTO/Xodus Communications.

This is a win for Scholar Media Africa, a symbol of the efforts, impactful and truthful stories we have done, and the voice of reason we are trying to inculcate through positive storytelling

Elijah Nyaanga, Founder and CEO, Scholar Media Group Africa.
  • The awards ceremony was done in South Africa.
  • Innovation, top-notch leadership, resilience and transformation are key to winning.
  • Kenya scooped eight awards.

Africa continues to produce top-cream thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, founders and leaders, among other professionals, who are constantly shaping the continent and making it a go-to for all developmental projects.

To spur them on, these top minds were recently awarded for their efforts in their areas of profession and for their exemplary leadership and transformational companies, initiatives and works.

The recognition and awarding ceremony was held in a continental event held at The Leonardo Hotel in Sandton City, South Africa, Africa’s tallest building, on March 25, 2023.

The spectacular event was organized by Xodus Communications Limited-Ghana and hosted by the Black-White Attorneys –South Africa and Turfloop City South Africa.

Delegates arriving at The Leonardo Hotel in Sandton City, South Africa for the event. PHOTO/Xodus Communications.
Nominees arriving in Sandton City, South Africa for the event. PHOTO/Xodus Communications.

Forty Under 40 Africa Awards is a continental recognition that 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 young and committed individuals who have scaled professional ranks in business growth, professional excellence, innovation, top-notch leadership and community service.

The Head of Jury for the Forty Under 40 Africa is Kris Senanu from Kenya and the awards Founder is Richard Abbey Jnr from Ghana. They also gave their keynote speeches.

The event started on March 22, 2023, with a tour to Cape Town, Johannesburg and several other tourist sites for a few days in South Africa, before maxing out with the awards ceremony on March 25.

The nominees touring Cape Town ahead of the awarding ceremony. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.
The nominees touring Cape Town ahead of the awarding ceremony. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.

Nominees and categories

A whopping 126 nominees were handpicked from 24 African countries for the coveted prize. Kenya had 27 nominees for the award.

Out of the 24 countries on the list, 15 produced the winners.

South Africa, which was the host, led with 11 trophies, Nigeria had 10, Kenya scooped 8, Tanzania and Zimbabwe tied at 4 trophies each, Ghana was number five, with 3 trophies, followed by Uganda with 2.

Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritius, South Sudan, Cameroon and Rwanda had 1 trophy each.

Mr. Richard Abbey from Ghana, Founder and Events Director Xodus Communications, which runs the Forty Under 40 Africa Awards. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.
Mr. Richard Abbey from Ghana, Founder and Events Director Xodus Communications, which runs the Forty Under 40 Africa Awards, addresses the participants during the awarding ceremony. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.

Some of the forty categories under which the nominees were competing are: Social Enterprise, Science, Agriculture, Education, Journalism (Radio/TV/ Newspaper), Climate Sustainability, Press and Publishing, Agribusiness, Architecture, Beauty and Lifestyle, Community Development and myriad others.

Winners from Kenya

Out of the forty winners and ten honorary awardees during the event, Kenya scooped eight awards.

Delegates follow proceedings during the event. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.
Delegates follow proceedings during the event. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.

Typically, Kenya’s win is a recognition of what young innovative Kenyans are doing in Kenya’s key areas of development, production and innovation.

Kenya’s winners were awarded in some of the key areas running economies, such as agriculture, education, science, journalism and climate sustainability.

Gilbert Angana, the CEO of Accent Leadership Group Ltd. was awarded under the category of Capacity Building

A section of the Forty Under 40 Africa awards winners pose for a photo after being awarded. The event was on March 25, 2023 at The Leonardo Hotel, South Africa. PHOTO/Xodus Communications.
Some of the Forty Under 40 Africa winners pose for a photo during the event in South Africa. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.

Dr. Steve Mutiso from Aga Khan University Hospital was prized under Surgery category.

Wangari Kuria, the Founder of Farmer on Fire Ltd bagged the Agriculture award. Farmer on Fire is an Agri-Digital Marketing Company that creates visibility to businesses through content creation.

Linda Odhiambo, Founder and Director, Lindtech College Nairobi won under Education category.

“I am truly honored to receive this award for innovation on behalf of Lindtech College. It is a privilege to be recognized for our commitment to driving innovation and excellence in education towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals,” she said in an interview with Scholar Media Africa after the event.

Certificate and medal for Linda Odhiambo, besides the trophy. PHOTO/Courtesy.
Certificate and medal for Linda Odhiambo, besides the trophy. PHOTO/Courtesy.

“At Lindtech College, we are driven by a passion for innovation and a commitment to excellence in education. Our goal is to provide our students with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to succeed in their careers and make a positive impact on society with our goal being poverty eradication, quality education, decent work, economic growth, industry, innovation, and infrastructure,” she added.

She thanked the organizers of the Forty Under 40 event for recognizing their commitment to innovation and excellence in education.

Joan Musumba, a children’s rights and climate ambassador and the Managing Director of Little Big Talents, brought home an award on Climate Sustainability.

“I started this journey not knowing so much but I knew I wanted to make a change, a great impact in the world. It has been a journey, a long one. Winning this award in the category of environmental and climate sustainability has just catapulted us to the African platform. I now commit not to work just for Kenya but Africa as a whole,” she commented about the win.

Elijah Nyaanga, the Founder and CEO of Scholar Media Group Africa (SMEGA), was awarded for his innovation, leadership, and profoundness in impacting and transforming Africa under the journalism category (Newspaper/Radio/TV). Scholar Media Africa is the publisher of The Scholar Newspaper and also runs the company website, and Scholar Education Program (SEP).

Mr. Elijah Nyaanga, Founder and CEO of Scholar Media Africa, won the Journalism award. POSTER/Forty Under 40 Africa.

“It has come home! Emerging the best in the entire continent from the midst of thousands is not a joke. I thank my friends who believed and supported me all through. Together we make Africa a better place to be.

This is a win for Scholar Media Africa, a symbol of the efforts, impactful and truthful stories we have done, and the voice of reason we are trying to inculcate through positive storytelling. When God says yes, no one can say no,” he commented about the victory.

Mr. Nyaanga, commonly known as Amb. Scholarman Snr is also Kenya’s representative to the Turkey – Africa Trade & Investment Council (TATIC) as well as the country’s delegate to the Global Chamber of Business Leaders (GCBL).

Dr. Nchafatso Obonyo, Graduate Research Fellow at Critical Care Research Group-The University of Queensland and Clinical researcher Clinical researcher Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), was prized under the category of Science.

Dr. Nchafatso Obonyo holding his trophy. PHOTO/Courtesy.
Dr. Nchafatso Obonyo holding his award. PHOTO/Courtesy.

The Social Enterprise category was won by Isaac Mwangi, who runs Voluntours Adventures and Anyoraa Camp Maasai Mara.

Before the Kenyan finalists traveled to South Africa for the Forty Under 40 Africa Awards, on March 20, they held a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary of Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage, Peninah Malonza, and John Ololtuaa, Principal Secretary, State Department For Tourism, in Nairobi, who flagged them off and blessed them to go and win.

They would represent Kenya as its ambassadors in South Africa during the event.

Kenyan finalists of the Forty Under 40 Africa Awards pose for a photo with Tourism CS Peninah Malonza (center) and PS, John Ololtuaa, PS State Department For Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage (second right), after a meeting ahead of the awarding ceremony in South Africa. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Winners from Tanzania

In Tanzania, four of the nominees lined up for the win took it home.

Catherine Mongella, the Executive Director of Earth Guardians won under the category of Youth Empowerment.

Dr. Naike Moshi, the Chief Executive Officer of CV People Tanzania, was awarded for her Professional Services. CV People Tanzania is a professional organization helping corporate entities get it right in their hiring by offering critical sourcing services, recruitment, hiring, and developing onboarding strategies. 

She is also the Founder of Women in Management Africa (WIMA), an NGO registered in Tanzania focusing on improving gender balance and diversity on boards and in leadership roles in tandem with sustainable business practices and UN Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 10.

Dr. Jesca Mhoja Nkwabi of Kom Group Of Companies, Tanzania, was awarded under the Family Business category for her leadership, innovation and insightfulness.

She is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and an education, research, and business consultant. She serves as the CEO of KOM group of companies and is also the Director of KOM Food Products. Currently, KOM Group has investments in oil processing, cotton ginning, agriculture ,steel, plastic and pipe manufacturing, food, and beverages.

Dr. Jesca Mhoja Nkwabi, CEO of Kom Group Of Companies, Tanzania, celebrating her win. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.

Deogratius Mosha, a digital transformation and innovation leader running Mainstream Media Limited, Tanzania, was the awardee under Technology and Innovation category.

Guests

High-profile guests from across Africa and beyond gave their input, shared their expertise, approaches and success journeys, gracing the event. 

Nakedi Malahlela II, the President of Black White Houer Law Practices, gave the welcome speech, welcoming the visitors to South Africa and Sandston City for the event.

Kris Senanu (second left) and Richard Abbey (second right), having a lens moment with some of the delegates. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.
Kris Senanu (second left) and Richard Abbey (second right), having a lens moment with some of the Forty Under 40 Africa champions. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.

The other guests of honor were: Dr. Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun of Africa United Hospitality Group; Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, the Minister of Women, Youth and Persons With Disabilities; Paul Amoru, Uganda High Commissioner to South Africa; NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman Africa Energy Chamber;

Dr. P.V. Lutchmun, Mauritius High Commissioner to South Africa; Nancy Ngumba, Kenya High Commissioner to South Africa; John Zulu, Director of Sport, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Art, Republic of Zambia; Amb. Simon Duku Micheal, who gave their solidarity messages, adding color to the continental event.

The Head of Jury for the Forty Under 40 Africa is Kris Senanu and the awards Founder is Richard Abbey Jnr from Ghana. They also gave their keynote speeches.

Ugandan winners

In Uganda, Kennedy Katebalirwe, commonly known as Hair by Zziwa, won a honorary award in the Hair and Lifestyle category.

Mr. Kris Senanu, the Managing Director of Telkom Kenya and the head of Jury and representative of Eastern Africa. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.
Mr. Kris Senanu, the Managing Director of Telkom Kenya and the head of Jury, and representative of Eastern Africa, speaking during the awarding ceremony. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.

“For me, 11 years ago, when I made the hard decision to abandon my bachelor’s degree in computer science, I never expected I would grow, a simple hair salon to a position of manufacturing and education!” he shared about his journey.

“During that struggle, I distracted myself by starting up a factory that manufactures Zziwa Hair Care products and also opened up a vocational school to equip the youth with practical skills. We’re responsible for the best talents on the market,” he appreciated.

Abbasi Kaijuka, Founder of Kai’s Divo Collection in Uganda, took home an award on Fashion.

All other winners

Femi Ilesanmi Eniola Osky Integrated Nigeria Limited, Nigeria (Agro-Processing); Sandiswa Mgolozeli Epitomely Interior Doctors, South Africa (Architecture); Kenneth Anetor, A New Thing International Foundation, Nigeria Honorary (Drug Abuse Control), Masindi Netshakhuma Renof Productions, South Africa (Authorship And Creative Writing); Hany Omar Soliman Paytabs, Egypt Fintech (Finance);

Alhaji Salamu Amadu Afro Arab Microfinance, Ghana (Banking); Dr. Anthonia Opeyemi Alebiosu Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria, Honorary (Taxation); Toumiat Lakhdar Oran Fashion Week, Algeria, Honorary (Events); Lungile Mhlongo, Numa Medical Aesthetics, South Africa (Beauty And Lifestyle); Amine Zariat Tibu Africa, Morocco, Honorary (Training);

Some of the winners posing for a photo with their friends and family. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.

Nana Adjoa Sifa Amponsah Guzakuza, Ghana, Honorary (Agribusiness); Tadzie Madzima, Ignite Youth Organisation, Zimbabwe (Community Development); Joseph Opeyemi Owolabi Rubicola Consulting, Nigeria (Consultancy); Oluwatimileyin Edwin, Crimsonbow Sickle Cell Initiative Nigeria, Honorary (Sickle Cell Support); Rabiu Onaolapo Olowo, Lagos State Government, Nigeria Governance And Government Agencies (Finance);

Yershen Pillay Chemical Industries Education & Training Authorities Of South Africa (CHIETA) South Africa Governance And Government Agencies (Education); Vumile Msweli Hesed Consulting, South Africa Human Resource And Development; Kofi Anim-Danso Location Accra, Ghana (Hospitality); Lalita Devi Purbhoo Junggee Eco Hustle Co Ltd, Mauritius (Environment Sustainability): Nyasha Michelle BBC, Zimbabwe, Journalism (Broadcasting);

Inemesit Dike The Legal Concierge, Nigeria (Law); Antonio Shabir Wadee King Of Africa Logistics, South Africa (Logistics And Supplies); Tiwalola Olanubi Dottsmediahouse Limited, Nigeria Media (Digital And Social); Michelle Janine Austin Keegor Group Of Companies, South Africa (Manufacturing); Gilmore Qhawe Khumalo Paper Bag Africa, Zimbabwe (Music & Entertainment); Phanuel Matase Ramabu Pmr Media And Advertising, South Africa (Printing/ Press And Publishing);

At Lion Park Soweto. The delegates toured different places in South Africa before having the awards ceremony on the final day. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.
At Lion Park Soweto. The nominees toured different places in South Africa before having the awards ceremony on the final day. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.

Velveeta Viban I’m Human Organization, Cameroon Philanthropy And Charity (Women Empowerment); Thembisa Winston Kunene Libertalia Group, South Africa Real Estate Development / Construction; Mukansanga Salima Rhadia Rwanda (Sports); Stephen Shenboyejo Steve The Director, Nigeria (Theatre And Arts); Arnold Chimambo Zodsat, Zimbabwe (Telecom And Mobile);

RELATED STORY: Nominees cling to hope as Forty Under 40 Africa Awards event draws nigh

Zainab Ikaz Kassim Child Aid & Sponsorship Awareness Foundation, Nigeria Philanthropy And Charity (Child Support); Jeremy Naidoo Jehu Industries (Pty) Ltd), South Africa (Health And Wellness); Norchen Mezni E-Tafakna, Tunisia (Software Development); Atong Amos, Tripple A Services & Petroleum Limited, South Sudan (Energy/Oil And Gas) and Antonio Shabir Wadee, King Of Africa Logistics, South Africa under the category of First Among Equals.

Nominees enjoying the Cape Town tour. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.
Nominees enjoying the Cape Town tour. PHOTO/Xodus Comms.
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Mr. Makau holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, Media & Communication from Moi University, Kenya. He is a Columnist and Editor with Scholar Media Africa, with a keen interest in Education, Health, Climate Change, and Literature. His contact: b.makau@scholarmedia.africa.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great achievements here. Congratulations to all winners and nominees. We’re most proud of our own founder @Elijah Nyaanga. Well deserved an award. Go greater 💪🏿💪🏿🥳

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