Sarkodie, David Oyelowo, R2bees Others Make Forbes’ List of Top 13 African Celebrities To Watch in 2013


Forbes Magazine has published a guest post by Zimbabwean TV personality / producer and entrepreneur Farai Gundan on the Top 13 African Celebrities To Watch in 2013. Ghana’s Sarkodie and R2bees made the cut. Check out the list

Ahmen Soultan, Recording Artist, Morocco

Winner of the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards for “Best Middle East Act” and “Best Middle East, Africa, India” and nominee for the “Best WorldWide Act”,Ahmed is a Moroccan singer artist who is considered as one of the leading artists of “Nayda,” the new Moroccan scene. In 2011, his song “Jokko” was nominated as best North African song and best African reggae song of the year. Ahmed has collaborated with American R&B recording artist, Ne-Yo on a song called “Amazing You”. He’s now working on his third album (planned for Spring 2013), for which he promises amazing collaborations.

David Oyelowo, Actor, Nigeria

David Oyelowo is a British-born Nigerian actor based in the U.S. This year has been a very busy year for David. He was in the George Lucas produced bio-pic “Red Tails”; Oscar-nominated film director, Lee Daniels’ “The Paperboy” opposite Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey; Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones and most recently “Jack Reacher” starring Tom Cruise. David also starred in the indie film, “Middle of Nowhere” for which he was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male Actor.

Trevor Noah, Comedian, South Africa

Trevor is South African stand-up comedian, who made his U.S. television debut on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in January of this year. A megastar in South Africa, Trevor has also been a radio DJ, actor and TV host. He toured the U.S with stand-up star comedian Gabriel Iglesia and presented his one man show “The Racist” at the Edinburgh Fringe in the U.K. Fresh off a very successful three month national tour in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, Trevor is currently appearing in a six week sold out run at London’sSoho Theater.

Serge Ibaka, NBA basketball player, Republic of Congo

Born in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, Serge Jonas Ibaka Ngobila is one of the most improved professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Commonly referred to as Serge Ibaka, Serge is a power forward with the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team. He won a silver medal with the Spanish national basketball team at the 2012 Summer Olympics and is reported to be dating American R&B artist Keri Hilson.

Julius Onah, Film-maker, Nigeria

Emmy-Award winning, film and television director and producer, J.J. Abramsannounced that he has selected Nigerian-born filmmaker Julius Onah, to direct his top secret sci-fi project, “God Particle”. The film will be developed through InSurge Pictures, Paramount Pictures’ micro-budget division. The 29-year-old Nigerian born film-maker made a name for himself with his short films “Little Girl Blue” and “Big Man”. His short film, “The Boundary”, designated by Amnesty International as one of its “Movies That Matter“, was acquired by American premium cable television network, Home Box Office (HBO). He most recently completed his debut feature length movie “The Girl Is In Trouble”, which was executive produced by Spike Lee. Julius has an MFA in film from the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where he was a Dean’s Fellow.

Kudzanai Chiurai, Artist, Painter, Zimbabwe

The first Black student to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Kudzanai is regarded as one of the fastest rising talents in contemporary African art. So impressive was his work that the university faculty named him “Most Promising Art Student”. His art-work has been exhibited at the prestigious Museum of Modern Artin New York City, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London anddOCUMENTA13, the mega- exhibition of contemporary art that takes place every 5 years in Kassel, Germany. Kudzanai’s film “Iyeza” has been selected to be screened as part of the short films program at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. “Iyeza” was one of only three African based short films to be selected.
Born in the United States, but raised in Somalia until they were nine years old and had to flee their country’s violent civil war, the Brooklyn-basedMohallim sisters launched their fashion line,Mataano, which means “twins” in Somali, in 2008. Oprah Winfrey hailed the identical twin sisters,Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim as future millionaire moguls on her popular talk-show the same year their fashion label was launched. Four years later, the Mohallim sisters have presented their collections at fashion weeks from New York City to Lagos, Nigeria to Johannesburg, South Africa. CNN Inside Africaprofiled the design duo for a feature on African fashion. This year the Mataano twins announced their partnership with supermodel Iman’s IMAN Cosmetics for which they are also the brand ambassadors.

DJ Sbu, DJ, Recording Artist, Social Entrepreneur, South Africa

Sbusiso Leope, popularly known as DJ Sbu, is an entertainer, media personality, philanthropist, and abusinessman. A role model to South African youth, DJ Sbu goes to at least three high schools weekly to share his inspirational story about how he overcame poverty and became successful in life. Voted “Sunday Times Coolest Brand of 2012,” DJ Sbu released his 6th studio album, “Sound Revival Volume 2” earlier this year. It has since been certified platinum.

Ajak Deng, Supermodel, Sudan

The Sudanese supermodel burst into the scene in 2009 when she debuted at the spring Michael Angel show at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. She has closed the Valentino couture show and also walked at fashion weeks in New York City, London and Paris for Gucci, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Armani, Lanvin, Chloé, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Arise African Collective. One of the faces of Benetton, Ajak has been featured in various magazines, most notably Vogue, “Interview” with Mikael Jansson and “V” with Amy Troost.

Camp Mulla, Hip Hop Group, Kenya

The five-member, award-winning group is considered one of the most exciting hip hop groups in Kenya. After winning several awards locally, Camp Mulla became the first Kenyan and East African artists to be nominated at the 2012 BET Awards for the “Best International Act – Africa” category”.

Sarkodie / R2Bees, Recording Artists, Ghana

The two-time Ghana Music Awards Artiste of the Year became the first Ghanaian artist to win a BET Award, walking away with the “Best International Act – Africa” category” earlier this year. For the second time, Sarkodie made a second appearance at the 2012 BET Hiphop Awards in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside hip hop artist Talib Kweli. Sarkodie’s third studio album, titled “Sarkology”, will be released in 2013.

Ghanaian mega-group R2Bees, made up of Faisal Hakeem (Paedae da Pralem) and Rashid Mugeez, is behind some of the biggest hits coming out of West Africa. The hip-hop/hiplife group’s highly anticipated single featuring London-born, Ghanaian artist, Tinchy Stryder is due out in 2013.

Mark Tonderai Hodges, Film-maker, Zimbabwe

Mark Tonderai began his career in the media working as a writer, producer and presenter on the Mark Tonderai Show on BBC Radio 1 and weekending for BBC Radio 4. In 2002 he formed Shona Productions with partner and wife, Zoe Stewart, and wrote and starred in his debut feature, Dog Eat Dog. His latest film, ‘House at the End of the Street’, which he directed, brought inUS$36 million at the box office.

Bonang Matheba, Media Personality, South Africa

Bonang is undoubtedly South Africa’s leading female television presenter, reality TV Host, and radio DJ. A favorite with South African youth, Bonang won the 2012 Glamour Magazine Woman Of The Year Award. Bonang most recently joined South African Broadcasting Corporation, SABC3’s flagship lifestyle and entertainment show, “Top Billing” as one of the hosts.

Farai Gundan is a media personality, producer and contributor on South African television channel eTV‘s flagship morning show, Sunrise, and on SABC radio station MetroFM. She is co-founder of AfricaTripDeals, a travel reservation platform and FaraiMedia, an online and mobile advertising plaform. She speaks on women in media and technology, with a focus on Africa. (Twitter @FaraiToday)

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