Entries open for the 2019 Top 100 Young Independents

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The search is on for the Top 100 Young Independents (TYI) 100 inspiring and aspiring young leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa. In its fifth year running, the Top 100 Young Independents competition seeks to identify young people who are involved in projects that are contributing towards developing their communities against all odds.

The Top 100 Young Independents offers trailblazers, influencers, disruptors, healers, innovators, entrepreneurs, creatives and social activists the opportunity to showcase their community contributions and efforts towards community development. Entries are open to young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years of age.

Mike Ntsasa, Founding Member of The Young Independents, says, “Platforms such as The Young Independents give us the opportunity to celebrate African excellence. The platform allows us to focus on the contribution of young people in reshaping their communities and the greater continent.

“We want to celebrate change-makers across our continent, support and encourage the expansion of these efforts for Africa’s growth and development. We recognise that with support, young people can expand their projects for greater impact.”

Mike Ntsasa

Ntsasa adds: “Following the success of the four previous TYI campaigns, and decision to launch the initiative across the African continent, the TYI has become more than just a competition to recognise the work being done by young people; but an eye-opener to the energy and passion that young people have for developing solutions to change the continent.”

Nominations for the coveted awards will be considered in five categories, namely:

  • Innovators: which recognises young people inventing new products, business ideas or services that are changing the way we live, work and play.
  • Influencers: which recognises young people who are influencing the actions and behaviors of brands, policies and people.
  • Trailblazers: which recognises young people leading different fields at local and even international level, including top sport stars, academics, scientists, and business leaders.
  • Healers: which recognises young people who are driven to heal our planet and society with their hands and heads.
  • Disrupters: which recognises young people challenging the status quo with unconventional ideas.

Prizes worth US$18,000.00 will be shared amongst the twenty winners selected for each category, including the runners-up to help support their projects.


Nominees vying for the coveted title of The Young Independent should be:

  • aged between 18 and 35 years old;
  • be leaders in their respective field;
  • must be citizens of any country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, namely Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Comoros, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, eSwatini, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Previous nominees are also welcome to submit entries.


Nominations for any of the five categories can be submitted here. Entries close on 14 June 2019. The winners will be announced at a gala event which will be hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 29 August 2019.