This year’s Forbes’ 30 under 30 list is brimming with ‘black excellence’. From entrepreneurs, to scientists, to media personalities and athletes, it is refreshing to see how much impact the black community is having on the world. What is most exciting is the three star Africans who have been featured on the list. Among this year’s finalists are Augusta Umamanzu-Nna (18), Kwame Onwuachi (26) and Yaa Gyasi (27).
Augusta Umamanzu-Nna, at eighteen years, has been credited with the discovery of a nanoclay ingredient called attapulgite, a breakthrough element in the oil and gas sector which helps keep off shore wells from leaking. Augusta followed in the footsteps of Harold Ekeh by becoming the second Nigerian student to get accepted into all 8 Ivy League schools from Elmont High School. She chose to start her Bachelors at Harvard. No doubt we will be keeping our eyes on this brilliant young lady.
The Forbes List also highlights Kwame Onwuachi, a 26 year old chef who currently owns and operates the Shaw Bijou restaurant in Washington DC. Kwame’s love for cooking started with a visit to his grandfather in native Nigeria where he learnt to cook with river water and open fires. This passion has been honed over the years as Kwame returned to the US, pursued his dream and eventually became a top chef contestant. He also took time off to travel the world and incorporate the treasure trove of delicacies he was exposed to, to his cooking palate. At age 26, Kwame is not only a top chef, he has also cooked for the White House and he now owns his own quirky restaurant in Washington DC. In a delicious twist, he recently gained the title of fiance when he got engaged to his girlfriend, Mya Allen.
And then there is engaging Yaa Gyasi. This alluring 27 year old is a novelist whose first book, “Homegoing” has won the National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honors in 2016. Her book reflects experiences from Ghana where she is originally from. Homegoing spans several generations of slavery, privilege and poverty and tells the story of relatives separated by fate during the colonial era. This potent story is a must-read by all standards.
Although representing different fields, our three stars shine in Forbes’ List. We cant wait to see them soar and hopefully, their shine will lead others into a bright mass of black excellence.