Profiles: 4 Ugandans recognized in Forbes under 30

Forbes Africa

Four Ugandans that are still below the age of thirty were recently recognized in Forbes Africa Magazine among the top ninety continental achievers in the three fields of technology, creatives and business.

These are Nataliey Bitature, Coutinho Kemiyondo, Gillian Abe Stacey and Kevin Lubega.

Now in its fourth edition, the Forbes Africa Under 30 considers “entrepreneurs with fresh ideas, taking into account their business size, revenue, location, potential, struggles, social impact and resilience.”

Over 600 people were nominated, investigated and “vigorously” researched about by a panel of judges in order to come up with this list, according to an official statement.

According to Forbes, they do not look at people who are already billionaires, but young men and women that have the potential to hit that level.

“This compilation is exciting, inspiring and offers a sneak peek into Africa’s future,” reads part of an introduction to the list.

Nigeria and South Africa dominated the list, but finalists came from Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ghana, Benin, Dr Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Sudan, Zambia, Cameroon, Algeria, Morocco and Swaziland.

Nataliey Bitature

A daughter to renowned Ugandan businessman Patrick Bitature, Nataliey is a co-founder of Musana Carts, a company that offers solar-powered vending carts that can support a fridge and stove. The carts also come with a battery backup and light which can be used at night to charge cell phones.

Already recognized by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the carts can be obtained by traders through microfinances.

Musana Carts features (Picture: Musana Carts)

The World Economic Forum in 2016 named Nataliey among the top 5 African innovators because of Musana Carts, and that same year they (Musana) participated in the US $1 million Hultz prize competition.

Nataliey Bitature is also a co-founder to two other companies — Tateru Properties, which deals in real estate services and Handymen Uganda which connects customers to services such as painting, plumbing, carpentry, electrical work and so on.

Additionally, she is the Chief of Staff at Simba Group of Companies, owned by her father and Project 500K, owned by her mother, Carol, with aim of equipping Ugandan youths with entrepreneurial skills.

Bitature holds dual honors degree in Business Management and Education Studies from Keele University, UK and a Master’s of Social Entrepreneurship from Hult International Business School in San Francisco.

She was recognized under the business section.

Coutinho Kemiyondo

Recognized under the creatives section, Kemiyondo is the founder and artistic director of the NUVO which stands for New Voices Festival; nuvo speaks out on both social and artistic issues in Uganda especially the issue of HIV/Aids.

Also known as Kemi, she spent most of her childhood in Swaziland, and she says this contributed to the culture diversity she capitalized on to shape her Arts.

A playwright, director, entrepreneur and actress has ventured into major projects, including ‘Kyenvu’, a film about miniskirt harassment in Uganda and A Ka Dope, a musical platform with an intention of revealing the new faces in the music industry that go unnoticed.

Kemiyondo Coutinho (Picture: IMDb)

She is also the founder of Kemistry Klass, an arts organization aimed at using arts to create change. Here, she teaches, acts, directs, writes and produces projects that all aim at vocalising silenced voices.

Just recently, she was selected as one of the recipients of Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Filmmaking fellowship for her script on immigration in America. As a result, through Hart’s Network, LOL Network, her film GREEN will be produced and available on his app.

A graduate of Theater and Communications, Kemiyondo wrote and acted in her first production Jabulile, addressing the lack of opportunities open to Swazi women traders. She performed it at the National Arts Festival in Grahams town in South Africa. The production was later New York and Chicago.

Kevin Lubega

Lubega is the only Ugandan male representative on the list, and he is a co-founder at EasyTicket Limited, a company that provides end-to-end ticketing solutions for various industries, including sports, entertainment, and business. Solutions offered include online e-ticketing, physical ticket printing, guest-list management and box-office ticket sales.

Kevin Lubega is also the General Manger of Ezeemoney which was founded in June 2012. The company specializes offering electronic money services without need of a phone or bank. It also handles payment of pay bills.

On the community outreach side, the technologist is part of the The Obama Foundation, started to promote values of being a good 21st Century citizen; and Global Shapers Community, a World Economic Forum initiative to unite young people who drive to make a contribution to their communities.

Lubega pursued his Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Communications from University of Nottingham and is currently taking a Master of Business Administration at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

He was recognised under the technology section.

Abe Gillian Stacey

A graduate of Art and Industrial Design from Kyambogo University, Abe has used her skills to start the Afriart Gallery.

She has featured at various exhibitions where her work has gained recognition. These include Women without Borders, Institute Francis Kinshasa (2014), Kampala Contemporary, Circle Art Agency Kenya (2016), Eroticism and Intimacy Faces, Places and Paths, the Underground Art Space (2016) to mention but a few.

She has received awards from The Boda Boda Project/KLA ART 014, the Prince Claus fund award and was nominated for an artist in residency fund program for African artists in 2017.

The achiever  speaks eagerly about her dream to provoke change: “I would love to inspire Ugandan women to be free from the cultural values and stereotypes that marginalize them. I don’t want to break down existing Ugandan cultural traditions but neither do I want to be held back by them.”

She hopes to encourage women to use their skills and educate men in order to get rid of gender inequalities.

Abe, just as Kemi, is under the creatives section.

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