Tomi Adeyemi, Tyler, The Creator: 8 Africans make it to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for 2020

Nigerian author Tomi Adeyemi is one of the Africans on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for 2020
  • December 3, 2019, Forbes released its ninth annual “30 Under 30” list.
  • Spread across 20 categories like finance, tech, law and art, it features 600 young entrepreneurs who are innovating their respective industries.
  • Below are some of the Africans who made the list.

The 2020 “30 Under 30” list is quite diverse. 48 percent of the featured people are either immigrants or first-generation citizens.

Some of these individuals have ties to Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Here are some of the Africans on this year’s list:

  • Tomi Adeyemi (Media)

She is a Nigerian-American creative writing coach and author of the critically acclaimed West African-inspired Youth Adult fantasy novel titled ‘The Children of Blood and Bone.’

The book reached №1 on the New York Times bestseller list and is currently being developed as a movie by Lucasfilm. She recently released her second novel: ‘Children of Virtue and Vengeance.’

  • Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Media)

This author is the son of Ghanaian immigrants. He has a story collection "Friday Black" which the New York Times called "an unbelievable debut, one that announces a new and necessary American voice."

He won 2019's PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and was under consideration for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in fiction.

  • Tyler, The Creator (Music)

Tyler Gregory Okonma is the son of a Nigerian father with Igbo ancestry and an American mother. He is a rapper-singer-songwriter-producer turned fashion designer/founder of Golf Wang and music festival Camp Flog Gnaw.

Forbes describes him as “one of the most fascinating music multi-hyphenates on the planet.”

  • Ugwem Eneyo (Energy)

As a Cofounders of Shyft Power Solutions, this Nigerian native is listed alongside Cole Stites-Clayton.

She has raised over $1 million for her company which “aims to combine IoT, big data analytics and proprietary software into a platform that enables remote monitoring and optimization of power sources.”

Her company is listed as one of the “Top 60 Women-Led Tech Companies Around the World Shaking Up Tech.”

  • Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, 27 (Art & Style)

Born in England to Nigerian parents, this artist puts his West African history and Yoruba heritage in his paintings. His work can be found at The Dallas Museum of Art.

  • Lumka Msibi (Science)

Hailing from Soweto in South Africa, Msibi is an experienced aerospace engineer. She is the Cofounder of AstroFarm Technologies which works to ‘empower farmers with actionable data to improve crop yields, utilizing data from satellites coupled with a proprietary AI engine.’

She also sits on the board of the South African National Space Agency.

  • Fadji Maina, 28 (Science)

This Niger native is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. According to Forbes, Maina is “creating an atlas of water by using computational models to better understand how climate change and pollution impacts its availability, enabling researchers to predict future needs.”

  • Ivy Awino (Sports)

Known professionally as DJ Poison Ivy, this Nairobi-born is the DJ for Dallas Mavericks, an American basketball team.

She is the second-ever female NBA team DJ and the first woman to DJ the NBA All-Star Game. She has launched an initiative in Senegal for the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program.


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