THE FORBES AFRICA 30 UNDER 30 CLASS OF 2022 CARE ABOUT BEING VISIONARIES OF CHANGE AND CATALYSTS FOR INNOVATION. BEING ON THE MOST-ANTICIPATED LIST ON THE CONTINENT, FOR THESE YOUNG TRAILBLAZERS, IS NOT JUST ABOUT COMMERCE AND CLOUT BUT ABOUT ENSURING THEY REPRESENT WELL THEIR COUNTRIES AND THE DIVERSE, HETEROGENEOUS AFRICA THEY WANT TO SERVE. CELEBRATING ITS EIGHTH EDITION, THE LIST THIS YEAR FEATURES THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST, BUT IMPORTANTLY, THE MOST RESILIENT, WHO HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO NOT ONLY SHINE A LIGHT ON THE ISSUES PLAGUING AFRICA’S GROWTH IN A PANDEMIC ERA BUT ALSO WORK TOWARDS SHIFTING THE NARRATIVE, ONE TINY, TENACIOUS STEP AT A TIME
In a statement by Forbes Africa that says that making it to the inner sanctum of the FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list is no mean feat. The process began in October last year on our online platform that saw over a thousand applications and nominations streaming in. If successful, to proceed to the second round, nominees needed to provide valid evidence of their endeavors and ventures.
Each year, the process gets even more stringent at this stage. We also gleaned suggestions from our 30 Under 30 alum, employing the same rigorous process as last year to whittle the list down to 30 finalists across the business, technology, sports, health and creative sectors, the statement continues.
For yet another year, SNG Grant Thornton came on board as our audit partners to assess company financials from losses to growth margins to overall revenue and profits since incorporation. Background checks were conducted on the potential listers, which included going through documentation such as police clearance certificates to ensure that they had no criminal record, troubling lawsuits/bankruptcies and allegations of crime, misconduct, sexual harassment/abuse or fraud charges against them.
The finalists were vetted by the editorial team and a panel of high-profile judges and subject-matter experts. Our judging panel’s comments are testimony to some.
Daniel Mukisa, a Ugandan Businessman and entrepreneur, Chief Executive Director at Ridelink, a transport and logistics company featured in the Class of 2022
In a Linkedin Statement by Mukisa, he narrates his journey to success:
If you are wondering how much transformation can happen in one’s life in five years:- Well, it’s what it took me to metamorphose from a novice dabbling in business to a seasoned businessman recognisable by plausible business houses such as Forbes 30 under 30, Google for startups, Africa and many more.
“It’s been a bumpy ride transforming from an inexperienced businessman with only a story to sell to a confident one with tangible benefits and worthy tech solutions to the Small and Medium Businesses that enable growth and development. It’s been a journey of learning, mentorship, coaching, being hungry for knowledge, teachable, reading, listening and seeking. Listening to the folks who have made it on the business highway, drinking in every lesson and every advice they have to give, reading every resource I could lay my hands on concerning entrepreneurship, my best being the “7 habits of highly effective people.” It gave me a sense of first things first, giving my best time to what is important and fixing the rest of the small things that have to be done. it redefined the use of my time to maximally glean from it.” says Daniel Mukisa
The year 2016 was pivotal in my life. I was nominated to do my business internship in South Africa attending an Expert in residence session organized by the Anzisha Prize team. This internship offered a very unique opportunity to learn by observation, conversation and execution. Bigger players in the same industry get to babysit upcoming startups in the same domain.
Mine took place at ParcelNinja, a South African-based fulfillment business. I was taken around their warehouse, and witnessed how they take and fulfill orders; I was not only left awed at the efficiency and effectiveness of these guys, I was equally challenged on how smooth they operated and how explicitly they seemed to have mastered their game.
How one incident could either mean the end of one’s life or the start of an entirely new Chapter is simply incredible. Well, after an hour’s tour around their facility, I then got to sit with their CEO, Mr Justin Drenan who was kind enough to share his founding story and the lessons he had learnt along the way. I was awestruck seeing in real life the things I had only dreamt of.
Before I could recover, He asked me about my then 1-year-old business. Looking back now; he asked the normal usual questions a focused businessman like himself would typically ask. Truthfully, at this point I had nothing to write home about our progress; we had no structures, no office, no team to talk about-only 2 young men, a website and lots of words/hope.
My then direct mentor who had taken me for the meeting was so unamused at my responses, especially when asked how my business was doing. In my novelty, I had no idea what the numbers looked like, where I was steering the business in the next 5 years or how much financial resources I needed to advance to the next level. On the reverse trip back to the hotel, it turned out that that was the longest 30min drive ever. My mentor was tough and very straight up. He castigated me on how I need to get more intentional with building the business, be keen with my numbers and always be aware of the industry I am in.
Was Anzisha wrong in their choice of an entrepreneur? No, they recognised potential, they curated it and propped it and showed me the ropes. Today I can speak about this conversation with grace, but at the time, it felt like an attack on my persona.
Several years later- 5 specifically, to be still the CEO of a now thriving business with operations in 7 countries and an ever-growing team, I am glad that Josh Adler had that conversation with me. He showed me tough love and it paid off. Thank you Anzisha for believing in me, identifying the potential I carried and no, I am not yet where I want to be but am not where I used to be. I am on a journey. Feel free to share some of your life-changing moments, maybe we can even do a Twitter thread.