Kennedy Ekezie, Drea Okeke, Chinonye Vanessa Mbonu make Forbes 30 Under 30 list

Kennedy Ekezie, Drea Okeke, Chinonye Vanessa Mbonu make Forbes 30 Under 30 list

Forbes has released its annual 30 Under 30 list which features trailblazers that cut across all industries and span from the United States of America down to Africa. The list highlights revolutionaries and innovators who are changing the world in the areas of media, art & style, food & drink, education, science, music, sports, healthcare, and a number of other industries.

The list includes Nigerians and people of Nigerian descent, such as co-founder and current CEO of Kippa Kennedy Ekezie, Nigerian American content creator Drea Okeke, founder of ISE-DA Adefolakunmi Adenugba, and founder and designer Tia Adeola, Instagram Strategic Partner Manager Amala Okpala, VP of Digital Marketing and Communications of the NAACP Chinonye Vanessa Mbonu, Co-Founder and CEO of Solideon Oluseun Taiwo, Investment Strategist at Churchill Asset Management Saheedat Onifade and more

Other names on the list include reality star and model Kendall Jenner, comedian Matt Rife, rapper Latto, “Wednesday” actress Jenna Ortega, actress-singer Renee Rapp, TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney, rapper Ice Spice, and more.

The list is put together by Forbes writers and editors, along with experts and previous winners as judges, including Swizz BeatzAyo Edebiri, and Wemimo Abbey. The selection process scrutinized factors such as funding, revenue, social impact, inventiveness, and potential. Notably, nearly half of this year’s list identifies as a person of colour, slightly lower than last year’s 49%. In a remarkable shift, Gen Z representation surged to 22%, marking the largest contingent of Gen Z honorees on the list. Interestingly, the majority of listmakers are founders or co-founders of companies, while others are entertainers or creators building their own brands. This year’s class carries a collective student debt of over $10 million, double that of the Class of 2023.

Last year’s honorees included Elsa Majimbo, Ayo Edebiri, Arike Ogunbowale David Iya, and Joshua Nzewi.