Forbes recently released its 30 under 30 list and we’ve decided to highlight 11 of these models who also happen to have some African roots. While many of them have never identified as African, we cannot invalidate wherever they may actually be from.
We look forward to catching more visionaries of African heritage on the list next year.
29 year old Robert Kabera is a Rwandan native who after settling in the US after becoming a refugee because of the genocide attended Stanford and went on to establish alternative credit rating agency Credimarks, with the objective of helping to extend credit into traditionally underserved markets.
Awol Erizku was born in Ethiopia but raised in South Bronx and educated at Yale. With shows in London, Brussels, Los Angeles and Miami, the 29 year old who also shot Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement has left his mark on the world of art and style already.
Iyin Aboyeji is the 26 year old founder of payment processor, Flutterwave. The app which is easing Pan-African trade wasn’t Aboyeji’s first venture into tech as he was also one of the founders of Andela which went on to receive $24 million funding from Mark Zuckerberg.
Originally from Ethiopia, 29 year old Tsion Gurmu draws inspiration from her family’s struggle as asylum seekers as she engages in pro bono work through the African Services Committee and fights for black LGBT refugees fleeing anti-homosexuality legislation in their home countries.
Eritrean national, Saron Tesfalul serves as one of the vice presidents at Bain Capital after working her way through the ranks with sound consumer, retail and dining sector deals in Asia.
27 year old Adelanwa Adesanya through his company, Moving Analytics (co-founded by Shuo Qiao) which was founded in 2013 is working in collaboration with Stanford to ensure cardiac patients do not have to be readmitted by providing cardiac rehab through smartphones.
Ethiopian immigrant, Lilly Workneh currently edits the Huffington Post’s Black Voices, an enterprise to elevate marginalized voices on a mainstream media platform.
23 year old Olaye is a native Nigerian who currently leads product development at Walker and Company, a tech company creating beauty products for people of color.
Uganda’s Madina Nalwanga is part of a handful of teenagers who features on any of the lists. Most popularly known for her role in Queen of Katwe, Nalwanga has received awards for her acting debut, including an NAACP Image Award and a Women Film Critics Circle Award.
Arguably the most popular individual of African heritage on this list is son of Ghanaian immigrants, Kofi Siriboe who has seen his star shine for roles in Queen Sugar, Girls Trip and runway appearances for the likes of True Religion.
21 year old WondaGurl was born to Nigerian parents but has lived in Canada all her life. She’s been credited with production plaudits on tracks from the likes of Drake, Lil Uzi, Travis Scott and Jay Z.
Ebele Ifedigbo, Social Entrepreneurship
Ebele Ifedigbo originally from Nigeria is helping transition underground cannabis sellers to legal markets. Through the Hood Incubator, Ebele is ensuring that POC who have been impacted by the war on drugs can profit off shifting drug laws. In the past, he founded a Black youth leadership organization called Ambassadors for Africa.