At the end of 2017, Forbes released its 2018 30 under 30 list of fiery youths making all sorts of noise in different sectors. No less than 10 Africans made the cut and here are some of them.
Vice President, Bain Capital
Specializes in consumer retail area, working on big deals for Bain Capital's $9.4 billion North America private equity fund. Had previously been a consultant with Bain & Co.
The model-actor stars in Ava DuVernay's critically acclaimed "Queen Sugar" as Ralph Angel Bordelon, a formerly incarcerated young father. Siriboe also had a recurring role on MTV's "Awkward" and made a scene-stealing turn in "Girls Trip. " The son of Ghanaian immigrants, Siriboe has posed for brands including True Religion and Barneys New York.
Born in Ethiopia and raised in the South Bronx, Erizku earned an MFA at Yale. Best-known for shooting the artful Instagram photo of Beyoncé announcing she was pregnant with twins in early 2017, he had already made a mark on the art world map in a series of exhibitions challenging the dominant white aesthetic. He produced one of his best-known pieces while he was an undergrad at Cooper-Union: "Girl With a Bamboo Earring," a photo of his sister that recalls the classic portrait by Vermeer. Based in Los Angeles, he's had solo shows in New York, London, Brussels, L.A. and Miami and his films and photos have screened at MoMA in New York.
CEO, Credimarks, Inc.
Robert is native of Rwanda, where he and his family lived through the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. He and his family spent 6 years in refugee camps. He was 11 when they were re-settled in Memphis, Tennessee. After Stanford, Robert founded alternative credit rating agency Credimarks, with the objective of helping to extend credit into traditionally underserved markets -- poor people. Robert has helped over 50 energy companies in 9 countries provide cleantech to 6,000 people living off the electricity grid.
Ebony Oshunrinde, better known as WondaGurl, notched her first credit producing "Crown" for Jay-Z at just 16, before going on to help craft songs for Drake, Rihanna and Big Sean. She snagged a Casio keyboard at 8 and taught herself how to make music before winning the 2012 Battle of The Beat Makers competition in Toronto, Canada, at 15.
Product development engineer, Walker and Company
Olaye is lead product development engineer at Walker and Company, the tech company creating beauty products for people of color, including men's grooming brand Bevel and haircare line FORM. She leads R&D and is known for strong technical abilities and marketing talent.
Legal Fellow, African Services Committee
Inspired by her family's experience as asylum seekers from Ethiopia, Tsion Gurmu launched an initiative at the African Services Committee to provide pro bono legal help and social support for black LGBT refugees fleeing anti-homosexuality legislation in their home countries. The NYU law grad especially focuses on refugees affected by HIV/AIDS.
Senior editor, Black Voices, HuffPost
An immigrant from Ethiopia, Workneh is the Senior Editor for Huffington Post's Black Voices, an initiative that seeks to elevate marginalized voices on a mainstream media platform. She manages both its editorial and social content, tripling reach in her tenure. One of the best parts of running a leading website dedicated to black culture? Interviewing Oprah.
Cofounder, The Hood Incubator
Founded in Oakland in response to moves to legalize cannabis across the country, The Hood Incubator helps transition underground cannabis sellers to legal markets. They believe that it is an integral time to mobilize low-income people and people of color, who have disproportionately been impacted by the war on drugs, to ensure that they receive the maximum positive economic benefits of shifting drug policies.
Born in Kampala, Uganda, Nalwanga was discovered by a casting director in a community dance class before landing her lead role in Disney's "Queen of Katwe." Nalwaga received numerous accolades for her acting debut, including an NAACP Image Award, a Women Film Critics Circle Award and Critics Choice Award nominations.
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji cofounded two successful startups in Africa before launching Flutterwave in 2017. With $15.7 million in funding, the payments company is empowering Pan-African merchants to execute business on global scale, processing $1.2 billion in transactions so far. Aboyeji’s previous startup Andela, gained attention when the venture received $24 million in funding from Mark Zuckerberg.
Images and list source: Forbes