Saturday, 24 May 2014


Five of Africa’s most inspiring trailblazers have been nominated for the inaugural “MTV Base Leadership Award” created by Viacom International Media Networks Africa and MTV Base as part of the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) KwaZulu-Natal.
 VIMN Africa’s flagship channel MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) is bringing the MTV Africa Music Awards KwaZulu-Natal, its spectacular awards show and music celebration, to South Africa for the first time in 2014. The awards take place at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), on Saturday 7 June.
 The MTV Base Leadership Award is awarded to a young African under the age of 35 who, through their leadership and contribution, is making a positive impact towards the growth and development of Africa across a broad spectrum of disciplines. The award is one of three new “lifestyle” awards, including the “Personality of the YearandTransform Today by Absolut”, created in 2014 to further reflect the aspirations of Africa’s youth. 
 The nominees for the “MTV Base Leadership Award” are Ashish Thakkar (Tanzania); Humphrey Nabimanya (Uganda); Ludwick Marishane (South Africa); Dr Sandile Kubheka (South Africa) and Toyosi Akerele (Nigeria).
Commenting on the award, Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, “We are delighted to recognise the achievements of these extraordinary and inspirational young individuals who are working every day to make positive change on the African continent.”

Toyosi Akerele (Nigeria) is the CEO of Rise Networks, Nigeria’s leading public and private sector funded social enterprise committed to wholesome youth and education development.  Akerele is passionate about youth development and national transformation. She is an alumnus of the US Government’s International Visitor Leadership Programme for emerging leaders and was described by American First Lady Michelle Obama as one of her personal inspirations. The RISE National Youth Forum, the flagship project of RISE Networks, has attracted hundreds of thousands of young people in more than 20 Nigerian states in the last five years

Ludwick Marishane (South Africa) is the founder CEO of Headboy Industries and is South Africa’s youngest patent-filer after having invented DryBath® at the age of 17. In 2011 he was named the best student entrepreneur in the world (Global Champion of the Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards). That same year, Google named him as one of the 12 brightest young minds in the world. In 2013 TIME Magazine named him as one of their “Top 30 under-30 people that are changing the world”. He holds a Bachelor of Business Science, majoring in finance and accounting from the University of Cape Town.

Dr Sandile Kubheka (South Africa) completed his MBChB degree at the College of Health Sciences at the age of 20, making him the youngest graduate in the college’s history. Kubheka, who hails from Newcastle, South Africa, attained a distinction in obstetrics and gynaecology. He was selected by his classmates to receive the Yashiv Sham Bursary for having compassion and caring qualities and the Enid Gordon Jacob Good Fellowship Prize for character and good conduct. Kubheka is serving his internship at Grey’s Hospital in Maritzburg and wants to register for a Masters of Medicine degree, specialising in internal medicine and later in endocrinology.

Ashish Thakkar (Tanzania), founder and owner of the Mara Group, is an entrepreneur who founded his first business in 1996 at the age of 15 with a $5,000 loan. Since then, he has driven the growth of the company from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognised multi-sector investment group that exists today. Through its investments, Mara Group now employs more 8,000 people across 19 African countries in sectors spanning technology, financial services, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture. He is passionate about empowering young entrepreneurs and founded the Mara Foundation in 2009 to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs.   

 Since 2004, Humphrey Nabimanya (Uganda) has been a HIV/Aids activist, advocating for safe sexual behaviour among Ugandan youth. In 2007, he started hosting a trail-blazing youth talk show on NBS TV.  This led to MIX UP which invites role models, celebrities and successful people to inspire the young people. In 2010, he was recognised by the Young Achiever’s Awards as one of Uganda’s most influential young leaders in the film and television category for his role in shaping young people’s destiny and for advocating for responsible citizenship. Nabimanya is the founder of Reach a Hand Uganda, a platform for young people to express themselves and acquire knowledge and skills to enable them make informed decisions in life.

 The winner of the MTV Base Leadership Award is chosen by MTV Base. Voting in the music categories is open at and closes on midnight on 4 June 2014. Voting for Song of the Year closes during the show on 7 June.

 The 2014 MAMA is set to feature stunning performances from African and international artists, including the awards’ signature collaborations between artists of different genres and cultures – a high point of every show. The MTV Africa Music Awards KwaZulu-Natal will air live across the continent at 21:00 CAT on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) and MTV (DStv Channel 130).  The show will be amplified on radio by media partners Gagasi FM, Yfm and Capricorn FM.

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