Nigerian young entrepreneur nominated for Africa’s top award

Nigeria’s Toyosi Akerele, the young chief executive officer of Rise Networks, the Lagos-based public and private sector funded social enterprise committed to wholesome youth and education development, is one of five young Africans vying for the inaugural MTV Base Leadership Award.

Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, Alex Okosi, commenting on the leadership award, said in a release: “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 MTV Base Leadership Award category, given to a young African under the age of 35, who, through his or her leadership and contribution,  is making a positive impact towards the growth and development of Africa across a broad spectrum of disciplines. It was created by Viacom International Media Networks and MTV Base as part of the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) to honour what they call Africa’s inspiring trailblazers.

Other nominees come from Uganda, South Africa, and Tanzania.

They are Ashish J. Thakkar, the Tanzanian founder and owner of the Mara Group, who founded his first business in 1996 at the age of 15 with a $5,000 loan; Humphrey Nabimanya, the Ugandan who has been a HIV/Aids activist since 2004, advocating for safe sexual behaviour among Ugandan; and Ludwick Marishane, the South African founder/CEO of Headboy Industries and South Africa’s youngest patent-filer having invented DryBath® at the age of 17.

Sandile Kubheka, the South African doctor, who completed his medical degree at the age of 20, is also on the line for the award which winner would be chosen by MTV Base.

The award show will take place on Saturday June 7 at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) in South Africa, according to organizers who also say the 2014 MAMA will feature stunning performances from African and international artists, including the awards’ signature collaborations between artists of different genres and cultures.


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