Some good news coming through during this quarantine period is that our very own video director Sasha Vybz has made it to the prestigious Forbes Africa list of 30 young movers and shakers across the continent influencing different aspects of humanity who are under 30 years of age.
The Coronavirus outbreak has dominated the news headlines since the beginning of the year when it started killing many people especially in China. And since the spread of the COVID-19 throughout the world, the mood has been glam.
Sasha Vybz joins an elite list of vibrant people impacting the continent and comfortably sits on this table alongside the likes of Nigeria’s Rapper Patoranking, Singer Mr Eazi, DJ Cuppy as well as Ghana’s Video Director Scilla Owusu on this year’s list released last week.
According to FORBES Africa, “These are the men and women forging ahead with credible, creative and profound strategies to shape Africa’s tomorrow. Celebrating six years of the FORBES AFRICA 30 under 30 list, they are the continent’s revolutionary thinkers revitalizing ideas and industries with fresh business models and innovative leadership”.
Over 3,000 nominations were sent for consideration at the start of 2020 for this Under 30 list which was whittled down to 30 names in different categories ranging from business, technology, sports and arts with the youngest list-maker just 16 years old.
“Leaving an ordinary career path to start something new and original is difficult and lonely, and success is not linear. Making the list must also be an incredible encouragement to the brave young people who’ve struck out on their own,” says Fran Luckin, Chief Creative Officer at Grey Africa, a global advertising giant.
The final list was arrived at after extensive research, studies of databases and media coverage; and also delving into the knowledge the external judges. The nominees were evaluated to arrive at a long-list of 100 names, before short-listing to the 30 changing the face of business and society today.
Those who were considered for selection were under the age of 30 as of March 31, 2020. Besides business, other qualities considered included that; the nominees are passionate, innovative, impactful, pioneering and are real hustlers of the African growth story.
The list also examines their resilience, strength and ability to turn around their enterprise or careers.
Another Ugandan Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa 24, who is the Founder and Executive Director of Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab also joins Sasha Vybz on the final list. She is an entrepreneur with a background in the medical field.
ABOUT SASHA VYBZ
Sasha Vybz, real name Ian Akankwasa is the Founder of Savy Filmz and Video Director. He has been in the industry for close to a decade now having started at an early age where he made an instant impact on the entertainment and particularly, music scene.
He hails from humble beginnings in the Kabale district of Uganda. He was attracted to motion pictures from a very young age.
“When I was a young kid, I used to love film so much. I was always intrigued. I wanted to find out how they make these movies. I wanted to make movies and I wanted to tell stories. Given the fact that I was a very quiet person I thought I could express myself through filmmaking. I never imagined myself to get this far,” he told Forbes.
He taught himself using online resources, and hacks and tricks from his former days as an events photographer but was unable to develop the quality films and videos he yearned for, or to address the lack of high-quality videos in Uganda’s entertainment scene.
So he enrolled at the CityVarsity School of Media Studies and Creative Arts College in Cape Town, South Africa, to pursue his unfulfilled dreams.
Immediately after his studies, he broke into the music scene in East Africa and became one of the most sought-after music directors for artists in Nigeria, South Africa and Burundi.
He began turning Uganda’s music into gold with high-definition quality.
He has worked with top musicians such as Patoranking, Bebe Cool and Toniks.
His talent has seen him bagging awards including Best Video Director at the 2019 African Muzik Awards in Dallas, Texas.
His other awards include Club Music Video Award 2017, HiPipo Video Director 2018/19, Buzz Video of the Year 2016/17 and the Rising Star Video Director 2018/19.
Savy Filmz specializes in motion pictures, music videos, movies and documentaries.
THE FULL LIST OF FORBES AFRICA 30 UNDER 30
Bako Ambianda, 29, Cameroon
Founder, Chairman and CEO, Labacorp Group of Companies
Industry: Diversified holdings
Gift Sukez, 27, Malawi
Founder and Director, HD Plus Creation Company Limited
Industry: Video Production
Thobo Khathola, 28, Botswana
Founder, Managing Director and CEO, Lion Tutoring
Industry: Education technology
Tony Mautsu, 27, Botswana
Founder and Managing Director, Social Light
Industry: Digital solutions
Baraka Daniel Kiranga, 29, Tanzania
Founder and Director, Hamasa Media Group
Industry: Digital Media
Newman Tshepo Ramatokwane, 29, Botswana
Founder of Native Stretch Tents and Canopies (pty) Ltd
Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa, 24, Uganda
Founder and Executive Director of Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab
Industry: Artificial intelligence in medicine
Lloyd Harris, 23, South Africa
DJ Cuppy, 27, Nigeria
DJ, Founder and Director, Red Velvet Music Group
Mr Eazi, 28, Nigeria
Musician and Founder, emPawa Africa
Wisdom Mawuli Parku, 26, Ghana
Founder, Majora Group
Industry: Diversified holdings
Ogutu Okudo, 28, Kenya
Founder and CEO, Women in Energy & Extractives Africa (WEX Africa)
Industry: Oil and energy
Patoranking, 29, Nigeria
Tracy Batta, 29, Nigeria
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Smoothie Express
Industry: Food and Beverage
Olajumoke Oduwole , 29, Nigeria
Founder and CEO and Senior Web Developer, KJK Communication Limited
Industry: Tech / software development
Paul Makaya, 26, Zimbabwe
Founder and CEO, Bergast House
Industry: Digital design and marketing
Anwar Bougroug, 29, Morocco
Founder and Creative Director, Bougroug
Pieter-Steph du Toit, 27,
South Africa Rugby player
Swanky Jerry, 28, Nigeria
Founder, Chief Creative Officer, Swanky Signatures
Nijel Amos, 26, Botswana
Track and field athlete
Davies Okeowo, 29, Nigeria
Co-founder and CEO, Enterprise Hill and Competence Africa
Industry: Business Development
Maryam Gwadabe, 29, Nigeria
Founder and CEO, Blue Sapphire Hub
Director Kit, 29, South Africa
Director, Writer and Producer
Sasha Vybz, 28, Uganda
Founder, Savy Filmz, and Video Director
Lewis Appiagyei, 16, Ghana
Hadeel Osman, 29, Sudan
Creative Director, Stylist, Founder, DAVU Studio
O’Plérou Grebet, 22, Ivory Coast
Graphic Designer, Digital Artist, Founder, Zouzoukwa
Industry: Creative Tech
Asisat Oshoala, 25, Nigeria
Scilla Owusu, 23, Ghana
Video Director, Producer, Screenwriter, and Founder of Youngtrepreneurs