Africa Rising: Celebrating 10 Of Africa’s Tenacious Pioneers


Maybe you should quietly do a survey of the average number of people who upload absolute unhelpful things and ideas on social media and tell me if your grandmother was wrong when she says she’s worried about this volcanic generation. There are quite some concerns about the “youths of today” like they put it. As if there is this fear that we are finally going to ruin the world. What can we say, in Africa, the elders know better, I suppose. However, as much as the older generation panic, the younger generation are not all guilty of not wearing the appropriate head size on their shoulders. Some have actually proven themselves worthy of being faithful descendants of the African soil, setting the pace for others to follow.

Africa is proud to present innovative and vibrant pioneers who see the need to take charge of the development of their people; tirelessly working towards the greatness of the continent through entrepreneurship, selfless acts of charity and genuine concern. You become a hero when your life’s story becomes a challenge and a transformation tool for the growth of someone else.

These “proudly” African entrepreneurs, pioneers and patriots are a proof that there is definitely some good in and for our generation, and that Africa can indeed come up with practical and effective initiatives to better our continent. By proving that we are not a helpless race and a global problem after all, they deserve to be emulated and applauded for it. Africans are a people who have learnt to be strong and relentless against all odds; a people who yearn for long-lasting and practical good in the system. These tenacious and daringly innovative persons have made it a lot easier in the sense that any form of limitation not to do good and represent your origin will merely be a figment of the imagination.

It appears the seriousness of the African socio-economic condition has served as a prompter to actually do good; making us twice as hardworking. Like they say, every social problem is a business opportunity. Most of these people’s effort were motivated by the lack they felt or noticed in the society at certain points in their lives.

1. Musinnguzi Richard

Richard Musinnguzi 2

Richard is an animator and architectural designer; the brain behind the ‘Katoto‘ animation cartoon. He employed the use of the indigenous language and characters. His aim for doing this is to rekindle the sense of cultural identification through the promotion of Ugandan indigenous language and the culture in general. I’ve often wondered why there isn’t much of animated African movies, though some have come out on print. However, knowing that people like Musinnguzi are out there gives assurance for bigger things to come in African entertainment. He has also produced animated commercials for a chain of reputable companies and banks. Musinnguzi has been graced with the first ever Ugandan Diaspora Innovate Award which comes with a benefit of possible mentorship and scholarship abroad. The 24-year-old chap is clearly doing well for himself.

2. Derreck Kayongo


Global soap project is a non-profit organization that emerged as a passionate concern for Derreck Kayongo to do something helpful for his home community. Kayongo would assemble partially used soaps from five-star hotels in Atlanta with his wife, Sarah; they succeeded in their recycling experiments and consequently made a successful health impact in their community. In 2011, CNN, recognized the child refugee with an award as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes; one of the people who have the burning desire for positive change in the world around them. The Global Soap Project supplies millions of soap bars to 32 communities in the remotest parts of Africa- communities that desperately need health attention and care. Imagine what would have become of these regions if there was no means to soap during the Ebola epidemic? In partnership with Clean-The-World, the global soap project is currently in charge of the distribution of the soap while the afore-mentioned NGO takes care of the recycling.

3. Solome lemma

solome 1

Solome is in the fore front of generating aid from all over the world for the good of motherland. She is a strong supporter of the promotion of the budding collaboration of Africans across the continent and in the diaspora. Somehow there is now this revamp in the patriotic mentality of Africans abroad. The 21st century African in diaspora is now (probably) more patriotic than you know, sometimes even more than the Africans who are home. I believe this is the tendency that has spurred up the African In the Diaspora( AiD) initiative which is Solome’s brain child. In an interview with Jacqueline Sibanda, Solome says she knew as a child that she would give back to the African community through her education and career. The triggering point of this belief was when she lacked the funds to help the women in Liberia. That made her look into the relevance of Philanthropy, a course she is passionate about and faithfully promotes.

4. Laetitia Mulamula 


Ms. Mulamula is the Co-Founder and Vice President of the Eastern Africa Diaspora Business Council (EADBC), a U.S-based NGO, with the task of securing of infrastructural and economic development solutions and conveying them down to East Africa. She also has expertise in corporate strategic planning, energy generation and environmental matters. The NGO also works on public-private partnerships in East Africa and beyond; capacity building and the expediting of small and medium enterprise (SME) businesses; and upholding women and youth empowerment, in east Africa.

5. Chude Jideonwo


Chude Jideonwo is a Nigerian lawyer, award-winning journalist and media expert. He has a self-made success story, but the remarkable thing about it is that he achieved all of this right in the African soil. Our generation seems to be valuing more and more western based education and scholarships. Chude proved that trending notion wrong, while there might be excuses of a favorable social standard, he made it anyway, with what he has and where he was. Before now, Chude had worked with several media institutions – print and audio-visual alike. Chude is the co-founder of Red media Africa/The Future Project, a media company that has worked for both national and international brands. These serve as platforms where he expresses his concern for sound youth formation – they organize symposiums for youth empowerment and development. The youth today is a father tomorrow, investing in them now is the best thing that can happen to the community and for posterity. Lately he has become famous for handling the campaign of the current Nigerian President, Muhammed Buhari but more importantly known for his idea of “the office of the citizen”- promotion of civic participation.