Forbes Africa recently released its fifth edition of its 30 under 30 list, honoring some of the continent’s most accomplished young artists, entrepreneurs and tech stars. This year’s list comprises the names of 120 young African game-changers, all under the age of 30, in each of the four sectors – Business, Technology, Creative’s and Sport, an increase from 90 people from the previous year. The list was announced at the annual Forbes Africa Under 30 Meet up that took place at the Houghton Hotel in Johannesburg. Spotlighted below, are female African Creatives who made the list and yes! Are changing the game in the creative space, Say Hello to Forbes Africa’s latest 30 Under 30 Female #Creatives.
Kapasa Musonda, 29, Zambia:Fashion Designer
From a three-year-old armed with a sewing machine, to taking on the world with couture and elegance, Musonda continues to put African print on the map. In 2011, Kapasa Musonda returned to a non-existent fashion industry in her home country, Zambia, after living in the US for six years. She had just obtained her Associate of Arts Advanced Study degree with a Magna Cum Laude, but had nowhere to use it. This birthed her business and fashion house, Mangishi Doll, a Zambian ‘Afro-Eclectic’ clothing brand inspired by bold prints and an artistic expression of design and style.
Along the way, Musonda has made enough money to hire two permanent tailors and train five women in advanced fashion design. In 2017, her garments were retailing at a boutique in Los Angeles and that caught the eyes of many US celebrities. Among them was iconic actor Angela Bassett, who wore her garments to the American Black Film Festival Honours in Hollywood. It was not long before the BET Awards 2018 invited her for an exclusive fashion event where she presented a 24-piece collection.
Kim Jayde, 28, Zimbabwe: TV Presenter, Model and MC
It’s not every day that one gets to meet the world’s biggest names such as Charlize Theron, Naomi Campbell, Major Lazer, Ciara, Paris Hilton, Tyler Perry and Trevor Noah. But Harare-born Kim Jayde has.
Since she moved to South Africa, she has been landing major gigs, making her undoubtedly one of Zimbabwe’s ‘it girls’ at the moment. You may have seen her on your screens on MTV Base Africa as a presenter, but she has also worked with brands like Revlon, Coca-Cola, Ackermans, Accessorize (London) and more.
Among the many awards was the Media Personality of The Year at the 2018 Zimbabwe Achievers Awards. She was also listed as one of the 40 Under 30 class of Emerging Zimbabwe Leaders by Gumiguru and not to mention took home her first international award for Woman in Media at the fifth annual Zimbabwe International Women’s Awards. Asides that, Jayde still uses her degree in social work contributing to the Home of Hope For Girls; something she has always been passionate about.
Aisha Baker, 29, South Africa: Businesswoman, Influencer and Style Icon
There are a few names that have become synonymous with South Africa’s authority in the digital beauty industry and Aisha Baker is one of them.
Baker founded BakedOnlinein 2009 when the blogging trend was fledgling in South Africa and at the age of 20, she began monetizing it. For one year, Baker worked a nine-to-five job at an embroidery factory to fund her business and would shoot content for her blog on weekends. Ten years later, her brand has since stayed relevant and picked up some awards along the way.
She graced the cover of the 2018 influencer issue of Cosmopolitan South Africa. She has worked with brands such as Estée Lauder, Mercedes-Benz, Cotton, Mac, Woolworths and Microsoft to name a few. Most recently, she was awarded the E! Africa Social Media Award at their Pop of Culture awards.
Karun, 24, Kenya: Musician
Taking on the world solo as one of Kenya’s rising new wave artists is alternative R&B pop artist, Karun from the pop trio Kenyan group Camp Mulla
Born Karungari Mungai, Karun started her music career at 14 and went on to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in the US. Since then, she has had the opportunity to perform at live festivals and shows across the globe such as the SXSW 2015 (Austin TX) as part of the collective Cosmic Homies. Karun also performed at the Madaraka Festival (Seattle), Blankets & Wine in Kenya and most recently, the Africa Nouveau Festival, Kenya’s most forward-thinking electric three-day music festival.
She has been covered by publications such as The Fader and OkayAfrica and local Kenyan publications such as The Daily Nation and has been nominated for a BET Award in the US in 2012. The young artist is currently working on a full-length project, and is in the process of planning a pan-African and northern hemisphere tour.
Boitumelo ‘Boity’ Thulo, 29, South Africa: TV Host, Entrepreneur and Musician
Boitumelo ‘Boity’ Thulo wanted to pursue a career in criminology and psychology, but instead, has become one of the most recognized stars in South Africa’s entertainment industry. Her career started almost 10 years ago when she was cast in a lead role in an advert for an international restaurant chain, and Thulo has since dabbled in various parts of the entertainment industry including TV hosting, acting, and music.
Today, she also wears the entrepreneurial hat after founding Boity Toning Support, a weight loss supplement and last year, she recorded her debut single Wuz Dat featuring Nasty C, also a former FORBES AFRICA 30 under 30 list-maker. The song was nominated for best collaboration at the SA Hip Hop awards. Thulo stays right on script as she further pursues acting, music, as well as developing more health products and nutritional supplements.
Helen Chukwu, 25, Nigeria : Fashion Designer, Founder and CEO: Helen Couture
Helen Chukwu is cut from a different cloth and it is no surprise that her designs have featured on Vogue Arabia. She started dressing up dolls as a child, and now dresses up brides for a living. At the age of 18, she became the founder and CEO of her design house, Helen Couture, which currently has operations in Nigeria, London and Dubai.
One of her memorable highlights was a private showcase in London and having her dress worn by Katie Cleary, America’s Next Top Model Cycle 1 contestant, at the 2013 Oscar Party. She is currently in the process of stocking her products in two stores each in the US, France and Italy. She and her team have started drawing up plans to raise capital and build a 10,000 garment-production-per-day garment manufacturing factory in Nigeria by 2021.
Upile Chisala, 24, Malawi : Author and Poet
Upile Chisala started writing at the age of four. By the time she started primary school, there were piles of paper with little stories scattered around her house, in Zomba, Malawi, which was already chock-a-block with books. But it took her years to embrace her talent. After moving to the US, she studied sociology and graduated in 2015 but struggled to find a steady job. She turned to poetry for comfort and self-published her first book at the age of 21. It was her first collection of poetry called Soft Magic. She continued her studies and enrolled for an MSc in African studies at the University of Oxford. She revisited her writing and published a book called Nectar in 2017. This brought the opportunity to travel and do readings, but it was when she traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, that her talent was reaffirmed. Next, she received an email from two Folio Literary Management agents in New York City. In no time, Chisala signed a three-book deal with Andrews McMeel Publishing worth ‘hundreds of thousands US dollars’. Since then, she founded Khala Series, a monthly mentorship program for writers in Johannesburg. All profits from this series are donated.
Thando Thabethe, 29, South Africa: Actress, TV Presenter, and Radio DJ
Thando Thabethe is a jack of all trades. She’s a prominent name in South Africa’s entertainment industry and has come to take it all. Her acting career rose to prominence in early 2014 after her role on the South African soapie, Generations: The Legacy. Her radio career dates back to the early days of 2008, having presented on the radio station of the University of Johannesburg. But today, both her radio and acting careers have blossomed.
She currently has her own weekday radio show called The Thabooty Drive.As for her acting, she moved from the small screen to the big screen, starring in the 2016 film Mrs Right Guy, the 2018 film Housekeepers and most recently, the lead role in 2019’s box office hit Love Lives Here.
This year, she was nominated for best TV host and best talk show for Thando Bares All, which aired on TLC, and she walked away with the award for Best Talk show. Some of her achievements include being nominated for a SAFTA as the Best TV Presenter and for the Liberty Radio Awards as Best Drive Time presenter and for Best Drive Time Show.
Sho Madjozi, 27, South Africa: Musician
Sho Majozi won the hearts of South Africans in the early days of 2017. She introduced herself to the world as a Tsonga rapper with hits like Gqi, Huku, Kona, Wakanda. Played at festivals such as Afropunk, opened for artists like Travis Scott and Jidenna, and not to mention one of her highlight performances at the Global Citizen Festival in South Africa late last year.
After living in Tanzania, Senegal, and the US, Madjozi is fluent in Kiswahili, French and almost every South African language, making her pretty much a true global citizen. Apart for her talented vocals, she also has a sense of style to match. Her inspiration comes from the traditional Tsonga culture. She has also teamed up with local designers to bring her first line of merchandise to fans, awakening her entrepreneurial spirit. Her goal is to bring her culture to the world, which she continues to do so, staying true to her roots.
She was nominated for a BET Awards for Best New International Act, and recently bagged the Newcomer Of The Year and female artist of the year at the South African Music Awards.
Sarah Owusu, 28, Ghana: Artist and Painter
It all started in the summer of 2012 when living in London, and Sarah Owusu was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy which left the left side of her face paralyzed. After gaining the courage to paint, she went to a cheap pound store and bought two blank canvases, cheap paint and brushes. Her passion for art grew as she noticed the lack of black female artists in the industry.
One of the biggest highlights for the self-taught artist was last year when she was invited to present two of her paintings of the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, at the Africa Business Summit in London Business School.
Abisola Akintunde, 28, Nigeria : Founder and Creative Director: MakeupbyAshabee and Beelashes
They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but for Abisola Akintunde, beauty is also in the brush stroke and makeup palette. For three weeks, she worked for a dental clinic before deciding to venture into makeup full-time. In 2012, she worked with M-Net Africa Magic doing make-up on a TV set while trying to set up her two businesses, Makeupbyashabee and Beelashes. Soon enough, she started receiving bookings outside of her job at M-Net and had to quit and focus full-time on her entrepreneurial journey. Akintunde took the bold step, bought her own car and set up her own studio and the rest has been a transformation for the better.
Since inception, MakeupbyAshabee has made up over 200 brides across Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, South Africa and Kenya. While with Beelashes, she says she sells over 5,000 units of beauty lashes per quarter. Akintunde has hired a staff of 20 and has trained over 50 interns between 2017 and now. As part of her philanthropic efforts, she has partnered with the Archbishop Vining Anglican Church in Lagos to train young women in the art of makeup.
She has also partnered with AfribeautyHub to empower young women in Ibadan in Oyo State, Nigeria, on makeup. By doing this, she plans to bring something new to the table as micro-blading is an eyebrow embroidery procedure categorized under permanent makeup lasting for up to two years.
Yaa Bonsu, 28, Kenya Fashion stylist and Creative
In 2017, Yaa Bonsu met international model Naomi Campbell who told her to believe in herself, and then signed a copy of her Vogue magazine. Bonsu took her advice and has been climbing the international ladder in fashion since. Today, she spends her days with runway models, designers and in the thick of fashion shoots for some of those glossy magazines.
In 2016, she relocated to Dubai where her career in the fashion industry took off. She connected with industry powerhouses such as Naomi Campbell, Zeynab El-Helw and Shashi Menon. She has had the opportunity to style an advertorial for the luxury brand Fendi, SS19, in April 2019. The same year, she produced a fashion editorial for Revolution magazine that featured high-end jewelry – Dior, de GRISOGONO, Bvlgari and Piaget, an achievement she says she is most proud of.
She has set her goals on becoming an internationally-renowned fashion powerhouse joining the leagues of icons Victoria Beckham, Edward Enninful and Vanessa Kingori.
Paola Audrey Ndengue, 29, Cote d’Ivoire: Host and Producer and Co-founder: FASHIZBLACK
Paola Audrey Ndengue is an entrepreneur and a creative with a higher calling. Her mission has been to promote the French-speaking African creative scene to the world. While studying in France, she became a fashion blogger and has since gained 10 years’ experience in digital media. She is currently the co-founder and creative director of FASHIZBLACK, a magazine focused on black and African fashion, designers, beauty and lifestyle.
And her most recent venture is PANNELLE & Co, a PR creative marketing and content agency in 2013. She has worked with several international clients and artists such as Kiff No Beat (Côte d’Ivoire), Stanley Enow (Cameroon), Boddhi Satva (Central African Republic) and Canabasse (Senegal). Both businesses she is involved in led to her being recognized as a finalist at the CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders Awards for the Young Business Leader of The Year in West Africa 2014.
Her growth since has been phenomenal and she has featured in numerous publications including Teen Vogue, CNN Africa and Forbes Afrique. She is currently working on Maybelline’s first pan-African campaign, including several celebrities and influencers from Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria. She was recently appointed the marketing manager of the first MTV Shuga Côte d’Ivoire, an international show educating young viewers about HIV/AIDS, an opportunity that will enlarge Ndengue’s reach.
Culled from ForbesAfrica.com