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Nominations Open for FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 class of 2020

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FORBES AFRICA is on the hunt for Africans under the age of 30, who are building brands, creating jobs and transforming the continent, to join our Under 30 community for 2020.


JOHANNESBURG, 07 January 2020: Attention entrepreneurs, creatives, sport stars and technology geeks — the 2020 FORBES AFRICA Under 30 nominations are now officially open.

The FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list is the most-anticipated list of game-changers on the continent and this year, we are on the hunt for 30 of Africa’s brightest achievers under the age of 30 spanning these categories: Business, Technology, Creatives and Sport.

Each year, FORBES AFRICA looks for resilient self-starters, innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors who have the acumen to stay the course in their chosen field, come what may.

Past honorees include Sho Madjozi, Bruce Diale, Karabo Poppy, Kwesta, Nomzamo Mbatha, Burna Boy, Nthabiseng Mosia, Busi Mkhumbuzi Pooe, Henrich Akomolafe, Davido, Yemi Alade, Vere Shaba, Nasty C and WizKid.

What’s different this year is that we have whittled down the list to just 30 finalists, making the competition stiff and the vetting process even more rigorous. 

Says FORBES AFRICA’s Managing Editor, Renuka Methil: “The start of a new decade means the unraveling of fresh talent on the African continent. I can’t wait to see the potential billionaires who will land up on our desks. Our coveted sixth annual Under 30 list will herald some of the decade’s biggest names in business and life.”

If you think you have what it takes to be on this year’s list or know an entrepreneur, creative, technology entrepreneur or sports star under 30 with a proven track-record on the continent – introduce them to FORBES AFRICA by applying or submitting your nomination.

NOMINATIONS AND APPLICATIONS CRITERIA:

Business and Technology categories

  1. Must be an entrepreneur/founder aged 29 or younger on 31 March 2020
  2. Should have a legitimate REGISTERED business on the continent
  3. Business/businesses should be two years or older
  4. Nominees must have risked own money and have a social impact
  5. Must be profit generating
  6. Must employ people in Africa
  7. All applications must be in English
  8. Should be available and prepared to participate in the Under 30 Meet-Up

Sports category

  1. Must be a sports person aged 29 or younger on 31 March 2020
  2. Must be representing an African team
  3. Should have a proven track record of no less than two years
  4. Should be making significant earnings
  5. Should have some endorsement deals
  6. Entrepreneurship and social impact is a plus
  7. All applications must be in English
  8. Should be available and prepared to participate in the Under 30 Meet-Up

Creatives category

  1. Must be a creative aged 29 or younger on 31 March 2020
  2. Must be from or based in Africa
  3. Should be making significant earnings
  4. Should have a proven creative record of no less than two years
  5. Must have social influence
  6. Entrepreneurship and social impact is a plus
  7. All applications must be in English
  8. Should be available and prepared to participate in the Under 30 Meet-Up

Your entry should include:

  • Country
  • Full Names
  • Company name/Team you are applying with
  • A short motivation on why you should be on the list
  • A short profile on self and company
  • Links to published material / news clippings about nominee
  • All social media handles
  • Contact information
  • High-res images of yourself

Applications and nominations must be sent via email to FORBES AFRICA journalist and curator of the list, Karen Mwendera, on [email protected]

Nominations close on 3 February 2020.

Entertainment

Kendall Jenner Settles Fyre Festival Instagram Post Lawsuit For $90,000

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TOPLINE Trustees working to claw back money owed to investors, lenders and attendees of the 2017 bankrupt music extravaganza Fyre Festival settled a lawsuit with model and influencer Kendall Jenner for $90,000⁠—less than half of the $275,000 she was sued for in connection to a promotional Instagram post.

KEY FACTS

  • Jenner is among entertainers such as Blink-182 and Pusha T who were paid for their involvement in the festival⁠—which promised days of parties, luxury accommodations and gourmet food, but was instead a complete flop, and generated multiple lawsuits.
  • Bankruptcy law allows trustees to recover, or claw back, payments made before a company filed for bankruptcy, and Jenner and other entertainers were sued by Fyre Festival trustees to recover money for creditors.
  • According to court documents, Jenner was allegedly paid $250,000 to promote the festival in a single, now-deleted Instagram post, along with an additional $25,000 a few days after the post went live.
  • “So hyped to announce my G.O.O.D Music Family as the first headliners for @fyrefestival,” Jenner wrote in the deleted post, according to court documents. “Use my promo code KJONFYRE for the next 24 hours to get on the list for the artists and talents afterparty on Fyre Cay.”
  • The lawsuit alleges that Jenner did not indicate she was paid for the Instagram post, and “intentionally led certain members of the public and ticket purchasers to believe” her brother-in-law Kanye West, G.O.O.D’s founder, could attend or perform at the festival.
  • Jenner, who has 129 million Instagram followers, denied any liability connected to the lawsuit, according to court documents; the settlement still requires a judge’s approval, and, as the Wall Street Journal reported, will avoid spending more time and money on litigation.

BIG NUMBER

Over $26 million. That’s how much money Fyre Festival investors ultimately lost, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

KEY BACKGROUND

Fyre Festival⁠—which promised attendees (who paid anywhere from $500 to over $250,000) a two weekends-long party full of marquee music acts and models like Jenner and Bella Hadid⁠—was a failure. The reality, as chronicled in two documentaries and mocked extensively, involved FEMA tents, cheese sandwiches in foam containers and stranded festival-goers. None of the promised entertainers showed. The Fyre Festival fallout resulted in multiple lawsuits. Its founder, Billy McFarland, is serving a six year prison sentence for multiple fraudulent schemes. He requested compassionate release in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It was denied.

TANGENT

In 2019, Forbes reported that Jenner held 34 U.S. trademark applications among the over 700 owned by the Kardashian clan (that’s Kim, Kanye, and sister Kylie, along with Kendall)⁠.

Lisette Voytko, Forbes Staff, Business

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As TikTok Takes Over America, It’s Making A Disney Executive Its New CEO

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TikTok, the ultra-popular short-form video app, has hired a top Walt Disney DIS Co. executive to be its new CEO.

Kevin Mayer, who ran Disney’s video-streaming business, will also serve as the chief operating officer of ByteDance, the Chinese-owned parent company of TikTok. Mayer was seen as a favorite to get the top job at Disney but was passed over to replace Bob Iger in favor of Bob Chapek earlier this year.

“Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years,” Chapek said in a statement. “Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship.”

Disney has been badly damaged by the pandemic as Covid-19 forced it to close its lucrative parks and cruise line businesses. Iger has taken back some control over the company—he remains the executive chairman—while Disney rushed to assemble a $6 billion debt offering in March. It has furloughed workers and cut pay with Chapek agreeing to halve his salary and Iger agreeing to forgo one entirely.

Mayer could not be leaving for a more different environment. TikTok was already a big hit before lockdown—and has seen its popularity soar since. It was downloaded more than 315 million times in the first quarter, according to data from SensorTower, which tracks app downloads. That figure represents the most downloads in a single quarter that SensorTower has ever counted up.

Mayer was the deals guy at Disney, acquiring Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Fox. And there was nothing more important to Disney recently than the expansion of its streaming business, which has proven a success. Disney+ launched last year and was downloaded 14.1 times in 2019, more than even Netflix NFLX (11.9 million) or Hulu (8.1 million). Disney said it would spend $1 billion in the first year alone on original content for the streaming service, building out a line-up that already includes the Star Wars series The Mandalorian and soon a recorded version of the musical Hamilton.

Mayer will face some challenges ahead at TikTok. It has become an off-and-on-again target of criticism that its Chinese ownership makes it a security risk. And a group of 20 advocacy groups last week filed an FTC complaint that it hadn’t lived up to a deal reached with regulators last year to better protect children using its app.

He replaces Alex Zhu, one of the founders of Music.ly, the China-based app that ByteDance bought in 2017 and turned into TikTok. Zhu had made efforts to do what Mayer will now have to do: convince America that TikTok isn’t a threat.

Abram Brown, Forbes Staff, Business

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Beyoncé And Tina Knowles-Lawson Are Accelerating Coronavirus Testing In Underserved Communities—And Challenging Other Celebrities To Do The Same

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Last weekend, close to 1,000 residents flocked to two middle schools in predominantly black Houston communities, waiting patiently in their cars to receive free COVID-19 testing. 

Unlike many other cities nationwide, Houston has had free testing available to the public but “some people, definitely minorities because we are overlooked, just aren’t aware or aren’t taking it seriously,” Tina Knowles-Lawson, a Houston native herself, tells Forbes.

That lack of awareness in the community inspired Knowles-Lawson to create the #IDIDMYPART campaign. Launched in partnership with daughter Beyoncé and her BeyGOOD initiative, the campaign encourages black and brown residents—the demographic that’s dying at a faster rate than any other in the state—to seek free COVID-19 testing. The campaign ran two testing locations on May 8 and 9, 2020, with plans to recruit celebrities in other cities to continue the initiative in the weeks and months to come.

A #IDIDMYPART testing site. BEYGOOD/#IDIDMYPART

“It’s associated with Beyoncé, in some way, so it’s a cool thing, you know?” says Knowles-Lawson. “And it’s working, because people are still going to testing sites.”

The testing locations kept that cool factor in mind. As volunteer medical professionals from the United Memorial Medical Center administered tests (the hospital is following up with each individual attendee), DJs spun the latest hits from Beyoncé and other artists. And on their way out, attendees were given vouchers to two of Houston’s most popular restaurants: Frenchy’s and Burns Original BBQ. “You didn’t have to get in your head about the test; it wasn’t so sterile,” says Knowles-Lawson. “It was almost like a celebration of getting tested. We wanted to take away the stigma.”

Knowles-Lawson also wanted to stress health and wellness more holistically, so other products including vitamins, grooming supplies, toilet paper, gloves and masks were also handed out, thanks in part to the campaign’s partners including Procter & Gamble, Matthew 25 Ministries, supermarket chain H-E-B and TWC Logistics Trucking. 

Cars lined up at an #IDIDMYPART testing site. COURTESY OF BEYGOOD/#IDIDMYPART

“People are getting upset when they see people with no mask on, but a lot of people just don’t have them,” says Knowles-Lawson.

That the campaign took place on Mother’s Day weekend was just a coincidence, but was still a fitting time for the mother-daughter collaboration to launch. Knowles-Lawson, who grew up impoverished in Galveston, Texas, has always sought to instill the give-back mentality in her daughters, Beyoncé and Solange. “It was five kids at home, and my sister had eight children, and they were always at our house—our little two-bedroom house,” recounts Knowles-Lawson, with a laugh. “But my mom could stretch a piece of steak. She just shared all the time. I never forgot that.” Once they were old enough, Beyoncé and Solange were continuing the family’s acts of service, spending their Sundays feeding Texas’ homeless community after church. 

A sign at the #IDIDMYPART testing site. BEYGOOD/#IDIDMYPART

Beyoncé’s also teamed up with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to donate $6 million in support of mental health and wellness organizations in Houston, New York, New Orleans and Detroit.

And the #IDIDMYPART campaign isn’t limited to Houston. It’s challenging other celebrities to continue the initiative in other cities nationwide. Several have already answered the call. Tyler Perry has vowed to implement the initiative in Atlanta, Octavia Spencer aims to set up sites across Mississippi, and Cookie and Magic Johnson will lead the charge in Detroit.

“Nothing would make me happier than to see people use their platforms to get this information out,” says Knowles-Lawson. “People are getting testing who wouldn’t otherwise. We can keep the momentum going.”

Brianne Garrett, Forbes Staff, ForbesWomen

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