These South Africans made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and are shaking things up

Kay Yarms, a content creator and beauty influencer is among those who made the list. File photo

Kay Yarms, a content creator and beauty influencer is among those who made the list. File photo

Published Apr 5, 2023


Forbes Africa released their 30 Under 30 class of 2023, with 11 of Mzansi’s own in the midst.

The magazine has identified 30 of the continent's brightest and most prospective game-changers under the age of 30. Here are South Africa’s rising stars who made the list:

Mhlengi Ngcobo - 28

Ngcobo is the chief executive and founder of CoffeeMM. The entrepreneur was delighted to hear the news.

‘’I cannot believe my eyes. How does one react when realising that through entrepreneurship, exceptional work, ethic, and the will to put everything I have on the line to succeed has paid off?

‘’Growing up, all I wanted was to prove to myself that I can be beyond what the world dictated upon me,’’ he wrote on LinkedIn.

Dricus ‘Still Knocks’ du Plessis - 29

Du Plessis is a South African professional mixed martial artist who currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's Middleweight category.

He formerly participated in the Extreme Fighting Championship's Middleweight category, where he is the former Middleweight and Welterweight Champion.

Talifhani Tshitwamulomoni - 29

Tshitwamulomoni is the chief operation officer of the Green Development Foundation.

‘’I have made it to Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2023. This comes at a time where we are doing massive work to grow and strengthen our partnerships at the region.

‘’We are excited and looking forward to building our portfolio and increase our reach in the work we do. Ours is positive action towards climate change and food security. It can only be God.’’

Lethabo ‘Focalistic’ Sebetso - 26

Focalistic is a rapper with numerous hits. Sebetso, who was born and raised in Pretoria, was a footballer before pursuing a music career as a rapper and released his debut studio album Sgubhu Ses Excellent.

Alessandrio Bergman - 29

Bergman is the founder of SYNC Model Management.

‘’I can’t contain the excitement. Thank you for all for your support throughout my journey. I have been waiting for this moment my entire life, and I could not have done it without any of you,’’ he wrote on Instagram.

Nompumelelo ‘Mpoomy’ Ledwaba - 29

Ledwaba is a digital creator and entrepreneur.

‘’I felt like a fraud, I questioned for the longest time whether I made things up and masked it as ‘God’. I have lived my twenties as an overachiever with goals to tick just to heal the little 19 year old who was scared, felt like an outsider and failure. Today, God granted me the gift of a full circle/closure,’’ she posted on Instagram.

Thembi Kgatlana - 26

Kgatlana is a professional footballer who plays for Banyana Banyana and is also a forward for NWSL club Racing Louisville FC.

She is the author of the books Girls Don't Do That and, ‘Strike A Rock’ - the Thembi Kgatlana story. Both of the books are co-written with Nikolaos Kirkinis.

Jacques Jordaan - 27

Jordaan is the co-founder and director of Specno.

‘’I have never been someone who likes to be in the limelight. I usually spend my time in the background, ensuring things get done correctly.

‘’I have spent a lot of time with my co-founder Daniel Novitzkas and the incredible team at Specno to ensure we can make a real difference in the tech space. Not only focusing on building world-class software but also guiding businesses and founders on how to build tech correctly,’’ Jordaan wrote on LinkedIn.

Khethokuhle ‘Kay Yarms’ Ngonyama - 29

Ngonyama is a content creator who works as a beauty influencer. ‘’Super star girl, you make me so proud. Thank you all so so much for all your kind words! Completely overjoyed,’’ she reacted on Instagram.

Cheslin Denman - 29

He is the managing director and co-founder of Trustlink Africa Hub. Denman wrote on LinkedIn that he is thrilled that his company has been recognised by Forbes.

‘’This is a remarkable achievement for us, and we are extremely proud of the hard work and dedication that our team has put into making this possible.’’

Cody Gordon - 26

Gordon is the co-founder and chief executive of CG Technology Group (be frank, Constructive Candor and It’sOk).

‘’I am humbled and grateful to share that I have been named among the Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2023. It is an incredible honour, and I am grateful for the recognition that this brings to the hard work and dedication of our team at It'sOk and be frank.’’

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