MTV Honours Rising African Entrepreneurs

As part of the events during the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA), the music channel has nominated 5 outstanding entrepreneurs on the continent who are driving change and development in their fields of expertise.

The MTV Base leadership awards was created by Viacom International Media Networks and MTV Base and is “awarded to a young African under the age of 35 who, through their leadership and contribution, is making a positive impact towards the growth and development of Africa across a broad spectrum of disciplines.”

Senior vice President and managing Director of Viacom media said in a statement, “We are delighted to recognise the achievements of these extraordinary and inspirational young individuals who are working every day to make positive change on the African continent.”

The nominees for the MTV Base Leadership Award are 

Ashish Thakkar (Tanzania)

Africa's youngest billionaire Ashish Thakkar image:

Africa’s youngest billionaire Ashish Thakkar

Founder and Owner of Mara Group. Ashish is an entrepreneur who founded his first business in 1996 at the age of 15 with a $5 000 loan. Since then, he has driven the growth of the company from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognised multi-sector investment group that exists today. Mara Group now employs more 8 000 people across 19 African countries in sectors spanning technology, financial services, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture. 

Humphrey Nabimanya (Uganda)



Is a TV host and HIV/Aids activist advocating for safe sexual behaviour among Ugandan youth. He’s also the founder of MIX UP which invites role models, celebrities and successful people to inspire the young people. In 2010, he was recognised by the Young Achiever’s Awards as one of Uganda’s most influential young leaders in the film and television category for his role in shaping young people’s destiny and for advocating for responsible citizenship. Nabimanya is the founder of Reach a Hand Uganda, a platform for young people to express themselves and acquire knowledge and skills to enable them make informed decisions in life.


Ludwick Marishane (South Africa);



Founder and CEO of Headboy Industries. Ludwick is South Africa’s youngest patent-filer after having invented DryBath at the age of 17. In 2011, he was named the best student entrepreneur in the world (Global Champion of the Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards). That same year, Google named him as one of the 12 brightest young minds in the world. In 2013 TIME Magazine named him as one of their Top 30 under-30 people that are changing the world. He holds a Bachelor of Business Science, majoring in finance and accounting from the University of Cape Town.


Dr Sandile Kubheka(South Africa)

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Is the youngest graduate from the college of Health Sciences after completing his MBChB degree at the age of 20 with a disticntion in Obstetrics and gynaecology. He was selected by his classmates to receive the Yashiv Sham Bursary for having compassion and caring qualities and the Enid Gordon Jacob Good Fellowship Prize for character and good conduct. Kubheka is serving his internship at Grey’s Hospital in Maritzburg and wants to register for a Masters of Medicine degree, specialising in internal medicine and later in endocrinology.


Toyosi Akerele (Nigeria)

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Is the CEO of Rise Networks, Nigeria’s leading public and private sector funded social enterprise committed to wholesome youth and education development. Akerele is passionate about youth development and national transformation. She is an alumnus of the US Government’s International Visitor Leadership Programme for emerging leaders and was described by American First Lady Michelle Obama as one of her personal inspirations. The RISE National Youth Forum, the flagship project of RISE Networks, has attracted hundreds of thousands of Young People in more than 20 Nigerian States in the last five years

The MTV Africa Music Awards Kwazulu Natal will take place place at the Durban International Convention Centre in South Africa on the 7th of June in association with the province of Kwazulu Nattal and Absolut.

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