“Who run the world? Girls!” – Beyonce
Forbes 30 Under 30 Africa unveils a list of 9 everyday women executing extraordinary feats
Not too long ago when somebody said to me “I wish we could go back and start 2020 all over again.”
We ushered in 2020 with so much exuberance that if anyone had foretold the nations what was to come, maybe we wouldn’t have been so excited.
The year just began, and funny enough, it has decided to be a challenging one for all humanity.
In the past few days, I have been indoors – like almost everyone else, because of COVID-19– managing to keep my routines on track, when I stumbled – I actually did stumble – on Forbes 30 Under 30 Africa list.
I knew to expect it soon, but I was not out looking for it when it popped on my search field, and I was like “Oh. Hey, there you are”.
The most coveted award list for young people in Africa is out and what a breath of fresh air it is.
For the 6th time, Forbes 30 Under 30 is shining a light on Africa’s Under 30 Champions who have excelled in their diverse fields.
In a continent made up of developing states; where the most rigorous contingencies exist, we still thrive amidst all odds.
“A city set on a hill that can not be hidden” is how we define Africa’s young talents. And the world is just awakening to our light(our enormous possibilities).
Above all that, nothing trumps the pride of watching women shine bright.
From the 30 young Africans who made Forbes list, we present to you Africa’s outstanding 30 under 30 African women of 2020.
Wait. Before you attack the dish before you, I should let you know that alexilore did some digging up on the personalities of these outstanding women; just so you can get a homey feel of these boss ladies – who they are outside the ‘boardroom’.
Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa, 24, Uganda
“I am determined to not only exist but to thrive and to help others thrive” – Kaliisa for Tony Elumelu Foundation
With several innovative and entrepreneurial awards to her credit, including recognition by the Tony Elumelu Foundation, this young entrepreneur is fondly referred to as ‘Mama Cancer’ because of the colossal moves she has taken in helping women fight cancer.
Kaliisa lost her mother to cervical cancer at only 13 and a few years down the line, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy.
These events, enough to crush her spirits, only strengthened her resolve to help women fight cancer.
In 2017 she found a way to offer mobile cancer screening; a technology which incorporated the use of artificial intelligence to detect cervical and breast cancer. This led to the birth of her organization, Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab.
“She called me from school, and when I reached the Uganda Cancer Institute, my mother told me ‘my daughter, study hard and become a doctor and look for a way to extend services to women like your mother, who lacked key screening services in our villages’.
When questioned about the motivation behind her career path, she said it was her mother’s last words on her dying bed that have been her driving force ever since.
And clearly, she is not packing up anytime soon.
DJ Cuppy, 27, Nigeria
Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola. Her name is certainly a mouthful, and her personality is just the same. This ever bubbling Nigerian DJ has always expressed her desire to live outside the shadow of her billionaire father Otedola. And slowly but surely, she is doing it; carving a niche for herself in entertainment. When she is not holding down a gig in whatever part of the world, she is in her studio creating music.
If you follow her IG, you would see that she is currently in the middle of a burgeoning career.
Being privileged to come from a household of wealth is every excuse to recline, but Cuppy has refused to rest her oars.
She continues to find ways to impact her world not just with her creative juices, but with her big heart.
2015 she unveiled The Cuppy Foundation for women and children and is currently the ambassador for Save the Children.
Ogutu Okudu, 28, Kenya
The woman on a mission to disrupt the energy sector, using her company WEX Africa(Women in Energy and Extractives Africa).
“The energy agenda being no different; under-utilized, overpriced, more than half a billion Africans living in darkness and exploited natural resources with little to no impactful gain to individual countries, people and communities”.
Drawn to gender inequality of women in the energy and extractive sector, it has been her mission to bridge the gap, by speaking up for women in the presence of big players in the industry.
When asked her plans for 2020, she revealed she has a lot mapped out. Including adding ‘Author’ to her already impressive BIO.
Tracy Batta, 29, Nigeria
She is the SHEO redefining healthy living through smoothies. She and her business partner Omowunmi Akande launched her brand Smoothie Express out of her kitchen. And by 2016 she was already considering launching their first store in the heart of Victoria Island Lagos.
It was not all smooth though; she had a bad deal involving space before eventually moving into her kitchen.
Olajumoke Oduwole, 29, Nigeria
She is the SHERO behind KJK Communication Limited, a tech company that provides skilled programmers to small businesses that require them.
She found the gaping hole and decided to fill it.
A tech expert herself – conversant with 16 programming languages, she looks forward to being the next Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs.
She is the beneficiary of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 women, a global initiative that fosters economic growth for women entrepreneurs.
Maryam Gwadabe, 29, Nigeria
Maryam is not only thriving in a male-dominated industry -tech- she is teaching others to do same. A teacher at heart, she uses her passion for tech to teach her people in the north.
With just a capital of 150,000 thousand nairas, she launched her business, Blue Sapphire Hub around 2013, in her living room. Since then, she has trained over 5000 youths and supported over 20 tech-driven and non-tech driven startups.
Speaking on what drives her, she says,
“Nothing is more fulfilling than impacting the lives of women, and seeing the returns”.
Right now, she plans on taking Blue Sapphire Hub to other African countries: Niger, Chad, Gambia, Cameroon.
Director Kit, 29, South Africa
This young entrepreneur came into the limelight in 2014 after her directorial work Rands and Naira by Nigerian artist Emmy Geee, won the Best Music Video of the Year Award at the 2014 Nigerian Entertainment Awards at the age of 24.
And fast forward to a few years she is still being recognized locally and internationally for her outstanding directorial work.
Hadeel Osman, 29, Sudan
Is a creative Director, stylist, and founder of DAVU Studio, which was birthed in Sudan. Speaking on the inspiration behind DAVU, she says,
“I wanted to contribute to the arts and culture scene of my country which has fallen under the radar locally, in the commercial sphere, and regionally across the continent”.
DAVU Studios has collaborated closely with clients in Dubai, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and a host of others by extending services such as creative direction, concept development, branding and styling.
Asisast Oshoala, 25, Nigeria
We can only imagine the odds this young lady had to defeat to get where she is today.
And we are excited that her dreams paid off. Recently, she won the Confederation of African Football’s Women’s Player of the Year Award for the fourth time.
Speaking on her motivation, she says, “It keeps me going, but of course, there is still work to do. I want to create my history and not just equal someone else’s record. I am going to give my best to create mine”.
Scilla Owusu, 23, Ghana
Came to the limelight after her screenwriting success; a six-part series titled ‘A Lesson Learnt’. Which bagged her an award in 2016 by Screen Nation Film and Television Awards.
This launched her passion for the entertainment arts and into the world of music video production.
She is credited with the production of music videos of A-list artiste such as Davido, Burna Boy, Sarkodie, Mr Eazi, Patoranking Wande Coal and Maleek Berry, to name a few.
She also has an organization – Youngtrepereneurs- aimed at grooming young Ghanaian creatives to her name.
Are you aspiring to be on Forbes 30 Under 30 list? Then, let these women inspire you.
View the full list here.
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