Justin Irabor realised he needed to merge work and school as a distance learning student. So he turned Kainene vos Savant—named after one of America’s smartest people—to be his personal study partner. But she is no regular study partner. She’s the super-intelligent chatbot Justin created to solve his problem. And she’s taking the Nigerian internet by storm.
For a long time, young people have been told that they are the future. But in Africa, they have decided to be the present. Today’s young people are taking up space, making changes, and doing incredibly interesting and daring things.
From setting Guinness World Records to turning plastic into high fashion—or creating personal AI chatbots—young Africans are showing agency and urgency. Read on to discover more about these inspiring people, and how they’re making headlines for their bold moves.
Image by nadia_bormotova/Getty Images
Hilda Baci is the new holder for the Guinness World Records title of the longest cooking marathon for 93 hours (about four days) and 11 minutes.
A science teacher from rural Kenya, who gives away most of his salary to support poorer pupils, has won a $1m prize (£760,000) for the world's best teacher.
Moses Aiyenuro fell into a depression in 2019 after failing his engineering exams, he was unable to access mental healthcare. This is why he has created a mental-wellbeing app called Blue Room Care. To help Nigerians who cannot afford mental healthcare, Aiyenuro created a WhatsApp group in 2021 to provide mental health tips and later turned it into an app.
Lucille Nyikuri repurposes cattle horn into elegant, distinctive jewelry and her striking craftsmanship is seeing her jewelry snapped in luxury markets worldwide.
Amie Fornah Sankoh, who grew up in Sierra Leone during the civil war and lost her hearing around three years old, is the first deaf, Black woman to receive a doctorate in any scientific, technical, engineering, and maths discipline in the US, and possibly the world.
Meza Malonga is taking people on a tour of the African continent with his dishes. Delicately plated dishes feature Nile perch from Uganda, Algerian olive oil, and penja peppers from Cameroon.
A Somalian blogger is changing the way we see Somalia writing about both personal and societal issues, but also changing the negative narratives surrounding Somalia by expressing more of the positive side of the country.
A standard image of a fetus in the womb, however what has everyone’s attention is time is the darker skin tone. Created by Nigerian medical student and illustrator Chidiebere Ibe, this is creating conversation about the lack of diversity in medical illustrations.
Adejoke Lasisi began learning to make aso-oke (hand-woven cloth) under the watchful eyes of her mother. It would take her another 15 years to master this traditional hand-woven fabric of the Yoruba people of Nigeria.
Lienne Shohiwa a blogger, has now pivoted to a business owner of a cosmetic empire. Founder and CEO at one of Zimbabwe’s most exciting startups – Manetain Organics, an innovative hair formula is helping afro-textured women “Mane”tain their curls.
Hayat Aljowaily and her crew at Crtve Development are highlighting young activists and amplifying climate justice in Africa.
Lagos’s Morit International School is making access to education more accessible while also cleaning up the local community.
At a chief’s camp in Lokichogio, Northwest Kenya, pupils are gathering to observe microorganisms with pocket-size foldable microscopes. This is the first time these children are seeing and using microscopes.
When formal employment did not work 31-year-old Faith Mugomba, she opted to go into farming as her parents owned an underutilized 20ha of land back home in Masvingo.
Moky Makura was born in Nigeria, educated in England and has lived in London, Johannesburg and Lagos. She has been a TV presenter, producer, author, publisher, and a successful entrepreneur in her own right. She is currently the Executive Director of Africa No Filter, a donor collaborative focused on shifting the African narrative.
Moky started her media career as the African Anchor and field reporter for South Africa’s award-winning news and actuality show – Carte Blanche. Her book, Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs, with a foreword written by Richard Branson, featured on the top 10 best-selling business books in South Africa when it launched. Moky has since compiled and published a number of non-fiction titles under her imprint MME Media. You can see Moky’s TED Talk on telling the African story here.