The 200 young South Africans you NEED to know

While youth month is but a recent memory, the excitement about the future generation must outlive the month of June. Join me in applauding the young people in 2 lists that I believe everyone needs to know.

The 1st list is the Mail & Guardian list of 200 young South Africans. As a strong continental voice, Mail & Guardian have formed a reputation for being a tell-it-like-it-is publication. Therefore, one can safely say the youth specified in their list are worth their stuff.There were no less than 70 females represented on the list of 200. This is noteworthy as the fair representation of genders is part of the forward minded Africa worth knowing.

The list covers 11 categories, ranging from the arts to entrepreneurship, and everything-in-between. Most lists are compiled with a rating scale to chose thee no.1. If you don’t believe this statement, then ask Dj Khaled how it feels to have an album being no.1 out of the Billboard 200…

The Editor-in-Chief, Khadija Patel related to some of the basic attributes of the young people who made the list. “We have chosen these 200 young South Africans for their feats of brilliance as individuals, yes, but we have also chosen these wonderfully talented, resourceful, caring people because they remind us that all is not lost. They remind us that the pursuit of a better world is never in vain. Mostly, these young people remind us that we are not so alone in the world.”

To single out a Tahir Sema (Twitter: @TahirSema), listed in the politics & government category. I engaged with Tahir Sema during the Africities summit. And my opinion is solid in that he’s a young lion with influence in the local governance space that he occupies. Through this list, I got to learn about others whom I have not met personally and how they’re impacting their Africa.

While the M&G 200 list is about South Africans, others on the list have continental roots. The 2nd list of African youth (in the continental sense) is the Forbes list. The sifting process involved more than 250 entries from 23 African countries.The compiler of the list and Forbes contributor, Mfonobong Nsehe, characterizes the compilation as such: A list of 30 incredible young entrepreneurs, all under the age of 35, who are making the most dramatic impact on business in Africa. 

Morale of the story? The youth IS making waves. There is no difference between the #M&G200 crests or the Forbes troughs. It’s all part of one movement.

So, spare a moment and know the 200 (and 30).


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