Four African sports personalities – Nigerian footballer Asisat Oshoala, Botswana athlete Nijel Amos, South Africa’s rugby player Pieter-Steph du Toit and Ghanaian car racer Lewis Appiagye – have been named on the 2020 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list.
The list is an annual compilation of the ”continent’s revolutionary thinkers revitalising ideas and industries with fresh business models and innovative leadership,” who are all under the age of 30.
The four are all making their first appearance on a list that includes entertainers, innovators and business executives.
Following an unexpectedly solid 2019 Women’s World Cup campaign for African teams, Asisat Oshoala, 25, picked up the Caf Women’s footballer of the years for the fourth time.
In the same year, she became the first player to score for FC Barcelona Femení at the UEFA Women’s Champions League final – thus becoming the first African woman to score in a Champions League final. Barcelona lost 4-1 to eventual champions, PSG.
In what will go down as a memorable rugby year for the Springboks of South Africa, Pieter-Steph du Toit, 27, was awarded the 2019 Men’s World Rugby Player of the Year as well as the South Africa Rugby Player of the Year following the Springboks’ win of the 2019 Rugby World Cup title.
The rugby superstar plays as a lock or flanker for the Stormers in the Super Rugby club competition.
At just 18, Botswana’s Nijel Amos won his country’s first and only Olympic medal; a London 2012 silver medal in 800m and a podium finish behind 800m world record holder, Kenya’s David Rudisha,
With injuries depriving him of more successes on the track, the joint-third fastest man of all-time, now 26, clocked last season’s fastest time in 800m, and has qualified for the 2020 Olympics while effectively combining sports and running his foundation Chase the Dream empire, that caters to youth empowerment of ex-convicts.
As a 10-year-old, Lewis Appiagyei set the unbeaten Guinness World record for the fastest lap driven on the Laguna Seca Circuit in virtual racing on PlayStation3.
From Go-Kart Champion to winning a junior trophy at the Buckmore Park Kart Circuit where Formula One great Lewis Hamilton also honed their craft, Lewis at just 16, sets his sight on something more daring.
“My aim is to become Africa’s first Formula One world champion, a prize which is still up for grabs to all African racing drivers wherever they may be,” he told Forbes Africa.
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