2024 Top 16 YOBA Winners

The prestigious Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards concluded its 3rd annual ceremony at The Capital on The Park in Sandton, on 22 June – celebrating the remarkable achievements of young African brand owners who have redefined industries and demonstrated exceptional excellence in building their own brands.

From a competitive pool of 76 nominees across Africa, voted by over 30 000 individuals, the winning brands have showcased exceptional impact and innovation in their respective fields. The Top 16 YOBAs recognize not only entrepreneurial success but also the profound contributions of youth-led initiatives to the African business landscape.

3rd Annual Top 16 YOBA Winners

The Winners Are…

  1. Top Agriculture – Optimum Poultry
  2. Top Apparel – Active Lifestyle
  3. Top Creative & Arts – Karabo Poppy
  4. Top East Africa – The Hills Collection
  5. Top Education & Literature – Sivuyile Mentorship Academy
  6. Top Food & Beverages – Ghemere
  7. Top Footwear & Accessories – Khonkhe Kuhamba Kahle
  8. Top Hair & Beauty – Young Barber
  9. Top Health & Wellness – Zuri Nutrition
  10. Top Homeware – Kimmy’s Creation
  11. Top Manufacturing – Grace Gras Empire
  12. Top Media – Millennial Mindset Media
  13. Top NPOs & Charities – Nomzamo Lighthouse Foundation
  14. Top Personalities & Influencers – Robot Boii
  15. Top SADC – Batoka Africa
  16. Top Services – Mdu Cleaning Services
  17. Top Technology – Bothlale AI Solutions
  18. Top Travel & Tourism – Bee Travel
  19. Top West Africa – Kemz Mama
2 x YOBA Winner – Robot Boii

In addition to these remarkable winners, Robot Boii was also honoured as the Overall Top Brand, embodying excellence as a personality and influencer within the industry. Robot Boii expressed his gratitude, stating, “The Overall Top Brand award is personal to me. In all my interviews I always tell my people to not build careers, but brands; because when you are a brand you can change careers and not die when a career dies – you can do multiple things at the same time, understanding that it is all possible”.

Global Excellence Award recipient – Thebe Magugu

Furthermore, the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, in collaboration with Brand SA, proudly presented the first Global Excellence Award to South African fashion icon Thebe Magugu. The award celebrates and honour local youth-owned brands that are excelling in their fields and challenging status-quo. Reflecting on his achievement, Thebe Magugu remarked, “Winning this award is special. It’s always nice to see clapping around you. It’s nice to see people who can acknowledge the difficult path we’ve taken in fashion, and it’s such an incredible validation for me. I want to continue making my people from home proud.”

Founder of the YOBAs, Pat Mahlangu, expressed his enthusiasm about this year’s winners, “The 2024 Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards have showcased excellence and innovation of young African brand owners. The winners are not just building brands; they are driving positive change across the continent and we are here to witness it”.

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards extends heartfelt congratulations to all the winners, recognizing their hard work, dedication, and ingenuity in shaping the future of African entrepreneurship.

For more information on the YOBAs please visit, www.top16yoba.africa


Image: Mamba Online

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards in partnership with Brand South Africa, will honour SA’s renowned fashion designer, Thebe Magugu at this year’s YOBAs ceremony, set to take place on 22 June in Sandton. For the first time in 3 years, the YOBAs will be introducing a special award that aims to celebrate and honour local youth-owned brands that are excelling in their fields and challenge the status-quo.

“As Brand South Africa, we are delighted to partner with the YOBAs as they celebrate and put a spotlight on initiatives driven by young people, particularly entrepreneurs who are created solutions to address the country’s social and economic challenges, as well as create the much-needed jobs for other young people”.

Embracing South African heritage, the YOBAs’ mission is to recognize Thebe for the work that he does and his contributions in the fashion industry, not only in South Africa but globally.

Thebe Magugu, hailing from Kimberley, South Africa, has gained global acclaim for his fashion label, which beautifully blends traditional South African craftsmanship with modern styles.

One of his recent collections, named LOBOLA, has garnered particular attention. This collection is celebrated for its bold reinterpretation of traditional South African wedding customs, showcasing intricate beadwork and vibrant fabrics that tell stories of cultural pride and identity.

source: Vogue

Thebe’s accolades include winning the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers in 2019, making him the first African to be awarded the prize.

In addition to his collections, Thebe Magugu has collaborated with global brands like Adidas, bringing his unique South African perspective to a wider audience. The collaboration with Adidas has been celebrated for merging high fashion with sportswear, reflecting Thebe’s versatility and creativity.

The partnership between the YOBAs and Brand South Africa highlights a shared commitment to celebrating South African excellence on a global stage. Brand SA shines as an organization that is dedicated to promoting the positive image of South Africa globally. The partnership with the YOBAs aim to celebrate and honour Thebe as a cultural ambassador whose work not only showcases South African heritage but also bridges cultural gaps through fashion innovation.

“We are excited to introduce this special award. We are also thrilled that our first recipient will be Thebe Magugu. Ours is to say we see him; we see his work and contributions and we would like honour him and his brand’s excellence. His designs not only reflect our heritage but also push boundaries in the fashion world,” says Pat Mahlangu, founder of the YOBAs.

The YOBAs will take place on the 22nd of June 2024 at The Capital on The Park, 101 Katherine Str. Sandown, Sandton. The public is encouraged to attend by booking their seats here.

For more information on the YOBAs please visit, www.top16yoba.africa


The Top 16 YOBAs have again partnered with KnM Auditors Inc, a member firm of the KnM Group. KnM, which is South Africa’s leading and proudly black-owned professional services specializing in Audit, Tax and Advisory services is yet to help maintain the credibility of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs) for the third time in a row.

With the voting stages having closed, KnM will now begin their responsibility of auditing all processes to guarantee transparency and integrity in the selection of winners.

With a proven track record in financial and process auditing, KnM brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. They also advocate for positioning Africa in the forefront and the world after. KnM’s mission is to improve the day-to-day operational efficiency for all clients, thus enabling clients to focus on governance and growth for their businesses.

KnM’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of accuracy and fairness aligns perfectly with the ethos of the YOBAs, making them the ideal choice to oversee this crucial aspect of the event.

Peterson Khumalo, KnM Group MD

“We are thrilled to be back as auditors for the YOBAs. Our objective is to ensure that every step of the selection process is conducted with the utmost integrity, giving nominees and participants the confidence that the winners truly deserve their recognition. Our slogan ‘Confident about the future’, shows that we the YOBAs to be an important platform that aims to encourage youth entrepreneurship by recognising and celebrating young entrepreneurs,” says Peterson Khumalo, Group MD of KnM.

Pat Mahlangu, Founder and CEO of the YOBAs says, “We are happy to welcome KnM as our auditors again this year. Partnering with KnM once more reaffirms our commitment to transparency and excellence in the YOBAs. With their expertise, we ensure that the recognition given to the winners will be truly earned. Together, we aim to elevate youth-owned brands and build a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa”.

The YOBAs will take place on 22 June 2024 at The Capital on The Park, 101 Katherine Str. Sandown, Sandton. Tickets are also available here. General admission tickets are available at R900 and VIP at R1850.

For more information on the YOBAs please and this year’s finalists, visit, www.top16yoba.africa


City Lodge Hotel

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs) proudly announces their partnership with City Lodge Hotels for the upcoming YOBAs event. As part of the collaboration, City Lodge Hotels will serve as the exclusive accommodation partner, providing a seamless and luxurious stay experience for the YOBAs attendees and guests.

Acknowledging the importance of comfortable and convenient accommodation for guests traveling to attend the YOBAs event, City Lodge Hotels will extend 30% off Best Available Rates (BAR) at select City Lodge Hotel brand properties and 10% off BAR at a select Road Lodge to all guests who choose to book their accommodation directly with the hotels or on the group’s website (www.citylodgehotels.com) for the duration of the event at the following hotels:

Delegates can take advantage of the offer by using the code YOBA when booking directly with the hotels or on the website.

“We are thrilled to partner with City Lodge Hotels for this year’s YOBAs. Their reputation for excellence and commitment to guest satisfaction aligns perfectly with our values, ensuring that our attendees have an unforgettable experience both on and off the blue carpet,” says Pat Mahlangu, Founder of the YOBAs.

With its extensive network of contemporary and stylish hotels across South Africa, as well as one hotel each in Windhoek in Namibia, Gaborone in Botswana; and Maputo in Mozambique, City Lodge Hotels has established itself as a premier destination for travellers seeking comfort, convenience, and exceptional service. Boasting modern amenities, well-appointed rooms, and personalised hospitality, City Lodge Hotels epitomises the perfect blend of comfort and ease. Its tagline says it all, “Life is hard. Check into easy.”

“We are delighted to be chosen as the official accommodation provider for the YOBAs. Our team is dedicated to providing a welcoming and hospitable stay for all our guests, ensuring they feel pampered and well cared for throughout their stay, from the moment they check in to our hotels,” says Zuki Jantjies, Divisional Director of Sales and Marketing at City Lodge Hotels.

To book, guests can visit City Lodge Hotels’ website at www.citylodgehotels.com.

The YOBAs will take place on 22 June 2024 at The Capital on The Park, 101 Katherine Str. Sandown, Sandton. The public is encouraged to attend by booking their seats here.

For more information on the YOBAs and this year’s finalists, visit www.top16yoba.africa


Legends Barber Shop

Legends Barber, Africa’s no1 barbershop is paying it forward at the 3rd annual Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs) by sponsoring the Top Services Category. Last year, Legends Barber won the Top Service Brand and Overall Top Brand at the 2nd annual YOBAs.

Established in 2011 on a stoep in Elderado Park, Legends Barber employs over 600 people (majority of them being youth) in 70+ branches across 5 African countries. The brand is the epitome of  what the youth can achieve despite where they come from. Legends Barber is the embodiment of youth excellence.

Renowned for celebrating youth excellence, the Top 16 YOBAs aim to inspire and encourage young people to pursue entrepreneurship and to support the growth of small businesses across the African continent.

By sponsoring the Top Services Category, Legends Barber continues its tradition of supporting excellence and quality service provision.

What makes this sponsorship particularly special is that Legends Barber will be sponsoring a category that they won in 2023. This achievement highlights Legends Barber’s dedication to not only setting the standard but also supporting and uplifting others within the industry.

The winner of this category will receive an opportunity to be mentored by the founder of Legends Barber, Mr Sheldon Tatchell.

“Our brand was built on the back to excellent customer service and we are thrilled to be sponsoring the Top Services Category at this year’s YOBAs. At Legends Barber, we understand the importance of recognizing and celebrating excellence. It is an honour for us to support the Top Services category and continue our commitment to support innovation and quality in our industry,” said Sheldon Tatchell, founder of Legends Barber and 2024 Top 16 YOBAs Jury member.

Sheldon Tatchell, Founder of Legends Barber

Echoing Legends Barber, Pat Mahlangu, founder of the YOBAs, says “We are truly delighted to welcome Legends Barber as a partner for the Top Services Category. They won in the same category last year and this year they will be supporting the same category. To us, it proves that they believe in the work of the YOBAs and their dedication to excellence aligns perfectly with the values of the YOBAs. We are confident that their support will further elevate the standard of quality of the YOBAs and will inspire more youth”.

The YOBAs will take place on the 22nd of June 2024 at The Capital on The Park, 101 Katherine Str. Sandown, Sandton. The public is encouraged to attend by booking their seats here.  For more information about Legends Barber, visit their website, www.legends-barber.com. For more information on the YOBAs please and this year’s finalists, visit, www.top16yoba.africa


The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards are looking for young, vibrant and energetic host for our Blue Carpet Experience on the 22nd of June 2024.

Interested participants will get an opportunity to enlist their name by submitting a 30 to 60 seconds video on social media (Instagram, X and TikTok) and tag @Top16YOBA and use the hashtag #YOBABlueCarpet.
A selected number of staff members will assist with selecting the winners consisting of 1 Male and 1 Female. 

The winners will be announced on Thursday 20 June 2024.


  1. Please note that these terms and conditions will be a binding agreement between the party and the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs).
  2. The party acknowledges that they are continuing in the competition out of their own free will.
  3. The prize for this competition is the opportunity to co-host the Blue Carpet Experience at the 3rd annual Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards on 22 June 2024 in Sandton, South Africa.  This is subject to change at the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, without any prior notice.
  4. Please note that the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards is not implying or directly offering or even promising the party any kind of employment beyond the prize stated in point number 3.
  5. Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards is not and will not be liable for any cost implications (Accommodation, food or transport) arising from the party’s presence being requested at the venue either before or during the prize redemption period.
  6. The party enters this competition at their own risk and the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards will not be held liable for any loss they may incur in any way as a result of taking part in the competition.
  7. Entries for the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards presenters search starts on the 13th of June 2024 and closes on the 20th of June 2024.
  8. The party will need to be available for a telephonic interview.
  9. The party gives the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards the right to use the party’s name, pictures and videos on the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards’ social media platforms, website and on-air as part of promoting the competition and for record purposes.
  10. Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards reserve the right to amend any elements of the competition without prior notice.
  11. This competition is organized by Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, and it will run from the 13th of June 2024 until the 20th of June 2024.
  12. Each entry should consist of a 30 to 60 seconds video submitted to be submitted via X, Instagram and/or TikTok using #Top16YOBA #YOBABlueCarpet
  13. Competition is open to people between the ages of 18 and 35.
  14. The competition is open to all Africans; however, preference will be given to South African residents.
  15. Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards reserve the right to disqualify any entrants based on its own discretion without needing to justify such action, even after the announcement.
  16. The winners will be contacted by the 20th of June via telephone.
  17. For all queries in respect of this competition, please contact the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards on 011 593 2370.
  18. These terms and conditions are used in addition to the organizer’s terms and conditions.


The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs) are bringing a dynamic duo to host its 3rd annual edition of its awards show. Introducing the talented TV presenter, radio personality, MC and voice-over artist, Kgosi Rankhumise, alongside the esteemed former Miss Botswana, Palesa Molefe, as they take the stage to host an evening of celebration and recognition of youth-owned brands.

Kgosi Rankhumise, TV & Media Personality

About Kgosi

Known for his captivating presence on the big screen, Kgosi’s versatility as a media personality has captivated audiences in South Africa, making him the perfect choice to lead this year’s YOBAs. His journey is a testament to his creative brilliance and love for storytelling. Starting from being a radio host at Impact Radio in 2020, where he earned two radio nominations for his Afternoon Drive, to now being a TV presenter at eTV’s Morning Show; Kgosi’s ability to captivate his audience remains his biggest strength.

“Stepping onto the stage of the YOBAs as a host is a moment of pride for me. It’s not just about presenting; it’s about connecting with the energy and passion of the incredible young business owners, as well as the audience. Together with Palesa, we’re ready to make the evening of the YOBAs unforgettable”.

Kgosi displays his versatility by presenting news, sports and lifestyle inserts, and exclusive interviews with local and international guests.

Palesa Molefe, Author and Former Miss Botswana

About Palesa

Joining him is the esteemed former Miss Botswana, Palesa Molefe, whose reign in 2021 showcased her grace, poise and commitment to excellence. Beyond her being Miss Botswana 2021, Palesa also walked the stage of Miss World 2021 in Puerto Rico, where she made it to the Top 30. Palesa’s career spans diverse industries, including being an Actress, Writer and Producer. She is also a founder of an NGO called United Artists where they illuminate the value of artists and mental health in society.

Early this year, Palesa ventured into a new role as an author, where she wrote her first book called, ‘O Shapo, O Sho?’ Written in Setswana, the children’s book consists of a collection of affirmations meant to ignite a spark of self-discovery and resilience in the hearts of young Batswana readers. The book is about a girl child, who is able to overcome her feelings of fear, sadness and shyness through the power of positive thinking.

Talking about the YOBAs, Palesa says, “Hosting the YOBAs this year is such a great honour, one that resonates deeply with my commitment to celebrating excellence and innovation. It’s a platform where we recognise and celebrate the brilliance of youth-owned brands, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it”.

Together, Palesa and Kgosi promise a memorable evening; honouring youth-owned brands and their achievements in their respective fields. Their collective expertise and magnetic personalities are set to elevate the YOBAs to new heights, leaving a lasting impression on all guests.

The YOBAs founder and CEO, Pat Mahlangu beams, “Palesa and Kgosi bring a perfect blend of charisma, talent, and passion to the forefront of this year’s awards. Their individual journeys and collective chemistry promise to infuse the YOBAs with a new level of excitement and inspiration. We’re honoured to have them as our hosts, guiding us through a night where we will be celebrating youth excellence”.

The YOBAs will take place on the 22nd of June 2024 in Sandton. The public is encouraged to attend by booking their seats here.

For more information on the YOBAs please and this year’s finalists, visit, www.top16yoba.africa


Image :Proudly South African

Proudly South African has joined the prestigious Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards as a category partner. Proudly SA will be the category partner for the Top Manufacturing Category – marking a significant step forward in its mission to empower made in South Africa brands. The partnership between the YOBAs and Proudly SA highlights Proudly SA’s unwavering commitment to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth among South Africa.

Proudly SA’s collaboration with the Top Manufacturing category at the upcoming awards ceremony, not only aims to promote local manufacturing but also showcases its belief in the transformative power of youth-led innovation within the sector.

“Our alliance with Proudly SA is one that solidifies our mission of celebrating youth excellence in brand building. Together with Proudly SA, we can inspire more young entrepreneurs to enter the manufacturing sector and produce their brands locally and make a tangible impact on South Africa’s economy through job creation,” says Pat Mahlangu, founder and CEO of the YOBAs.

Echoing this sentiment, Proudly SA Chief Marketing Officer, Happy MaKhumalo Ngidi says, “At Proudly SA, we are unwavering in our commitment to harnessing the transformative power of our youth. Our endorsement of the Top 16 YOBAs is a strategic move to catalyse economic growth and job creation. These young entrepreneurs are the vanguard of innovation, and by celebrating their achievements, we are not just recognizing their potential—we are actively investing in the future of our nation thus leading to entrepreneurship & job opportunities. We provide robust support to empower these trailblazers to thrive in a competitive market, thereby driving sustained economic progress and generating much-needed employment opportunities”.

Proudly SA has earned a sterling reputation for its persistent support of local businesses and products, championing the diversity of South African entrepreneurship and creativity. They are committed to promoting economic growth and job creation, their mission encompasses fostering a culture of buying local, ensuring that South Africans recognize the immense value and quality offered by homegrown businesses.

“By supporting initiatives like the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, we reaffirm our commitment to showcasing the exceptional quality and ingenuity that South Africa has to offer, while driving sustainable growth and empowerment for future generations,” Happy concludes.

Set to take place on 22 June in Sandton, the Top 16 YOBAs have been recognized as the pinnacle of excellence within South Africa’s youth entrepreneurial landscape for the past 3 years. Now, with Proudly SA’s support in the Top Manufacturing Category, these esteemed awards are poised to reach even greater heights, celebrating the remarkable achievements of young entrepreneurs.

For more information on the YOBAs please visit www.top16yoba.africa.


2024 Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards Jury

The anticipation mounts as the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs) proudly unveils the distinguished jury for its third annual event. With an impressive array of professionals, marketers, and academics, the 2024 YOBAs promises to be an extraordinary celebration of Africa’s vibrant youth entrepreneurship.

This year marked a significant milestone as the selection process for the judging panel was carefully structured. Drawing from a pool of exceptionally talented individuals who met rigorous criteria. This year, the Top 16 YOBAs received over 3 300 nominations, reflecting the growing enthusiasm and support for youth-owned brands across the nation.

“We are very grateful to the industry professionals who have graciously lent their expertise to our judging panel. Their commitment highlights the importance of nurturing and empowering our youth through initiatives like the YOBAs,” expressed Pat Mahlangu, Founder and CEO of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards.

Leading the panel with grace and insight is the esteemed Chairperson, Mosa Ntwampe who is a Group Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications at Sakhumnotho. Mosa will be accompanied by the dynamic Deputy Chairperson, Yasira Cajee, Digital Director at Wits Plus. Their guidance will steer the deliberations of 31 exceptional leaders in marketing, communications, academia, and entrepreneurship, each bringing a wealth of experience and specialization to the table.

Among the renowned members of this year’s jury are:

Leading the panel with grace and insight is the esteemed Chairperson, Mosa Ntwampe who is a Group Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications at Sakhumnotho. Mosa will be accompanied by the dynamic Deputy Chairperson, Yasira Cajee, Digital Director at Wits Plus. Their guidance will steer the deliberations of 31 exceptional leaders in marketing, communications, academia, and entrepreneurship, each bringing a wealth of experience and specialization to the table.

Among the renowned members of this year’s jury are:

  1. Boitumelo Mohube –   Founder of Mohube Media – South Africa 
  2. Bulelani Balabala –    Creative Director at IAF Brands – South Africa 
  3. Cameron Belling –   Head of Marketing at Bluff Meat Supply – South Africa 
  4. David Tshabalala –   Co-Founder at Suketchi – South Africa
  5. Devashni Ganess –   Brand Manager at Unilever, Knorr Soups – South Africa
  6. Dr. Beate Stiehler-Mulder –   Associate Member at the Henley Africa Centre for Emerging Market Consumer Studies – South Africa
  7. Dr. Marcia Lebambo –   Senior Lecturer and Section Head at Tshwane University of Technology – South Africa 
  8. Isabel Masikachinjika –    President at the Institute of Marketing in Malawi (IMM) – Malawi 
  9. Jonathan James –   Broadcaster – Nigeria 
  10. Katlego Ditlhokwe –   Founder & Brand Strategy Consultant
                                      at The Hyphen – South Africa
  11. Keagile Makgoba –   Head of Communications at Tech Industry – South Africa
  12. Khanyi Tshume –   Head of Strategy at TLC Worldwide, Middle East & Africa – South Africa
  13. Kovini Moodley –    Founder of Boss Babes of South Africa – South Africa
  14. Lerato Selialia –    Strategy and Property Professional – South Africa
  15. Masego Mosiane –    Managing Director at Veuw Packaging – South Africa
  16. Michelle Govender –   Social Media Manager at Spotify  – South Africa
  17. Motshidisi Mokoena –    Head of Reputation & Regulatory Affairs at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa – South Africa
  18. Naledi Toona –    South African ambassador for the global NPO Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) – South Africa
  19. Nokuthula Magwaza – Founder & Managing Director at Bloom Marketing Agency – South Africa 
  20. Phelane Phomane – Lesotho
  21. Ponatshego Makhuza –   Shopper Marketing Lead at Unilever – South Africa
  22. Salamina Mosese –   Producer and Managing Director at Sorele  Media – South Africa
  23. Sheldon Tatchell –    Founder of Legends Barber – South Africa
  24. Thabang Modiba –   Marketing Specialist at Mondelez – South Africa
  25. Thabani Khumalo –   Brand Manager at Tiger Brands, Premium & Value Brands (Beverages) – South Africa
  26. Thabelo Raphala –   Seasoned Business Leader, Accountant, Auditor, at Strategist – South Africa
  27. Thembi Sehloho –   Chief Marketing Officer at South African Tourism – South Africa
  28. Tosin Adefeko –     Chief Executive Officer at AT3 Resources – Nigeria 
  29. Tshepang Makofane –    Senior Strategist at TBWA\ South Africa – South Africa 
  30. Vuyokazi Mhlophe –   Marketing Manager at Showmax – South Africa
  31. Wendy Silinyana –   Director and Franchisee of Africa’s MiniBoss Business School – South Africa

“The calibre of our esteemed judges for the Top 16 YOBAs 2024 panel is truly exceptional. Their collective wisdom and expertise will ensure a fair and rigorous evaluation process, honouring the remarkable achievements of our youth entrepreneurs,” remarked Chairperson Mosa Ntwampe.

The YOBAs ceremony will take place on the evening of 22 June 2024, at the prestigious Sandton Convention Centre. Where the visionary young leaders driving Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape will be celebrated and recognized.

For more information on the YOBAs, please visit www.top16yoba.africa.


Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs) – the Gold Standard of Youth Excellence received a record number of 3364entries this year. This is a significant increase from the under 500 nominations received in 2022.

The YOBAs expanded their reach to include participation from across the African continent, leading to submissions from 15 African countries. However, due to the substantial number of entries from different regions in Africa, the advisory committee of the YOBAs deliberated and got to the tough but necessary conclusion to postpone exhibition component (also known as the Festival of Youth-Owned Brands) originally scheduled for 21 and 22 June 2024 to a later date.

This decision underscores the commitment of the YOBAs to uphold the main purpose of the awards, which is to recognise and celebrate the youth that have turned their businesses into brands of excellence in Africa.

To ensure that the awards continue to live up to the high-quality checks and balances, all efforts will be directed towards delivering a world-class awards show, enhancing the experience, and bringing the rest of the continent on a journey of recognising the gold standard of youth excellence. The 3rd annual Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards will take place on 22 June 2024 in Sandton. Book your tickets now: www.top16yoba.africa


With just three days left until the nominations for the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs) close on 17 April, the countdown is on! It’s the final stretch for the public to nominate their favourite youth-owned brands, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.

In its third consecutive year, the YOBAs continue to champion the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation of Africa’s young individuals. These awards shine a spotlight on brands that exemplify excellence, innovation, and leadership across various industries.

Pat Mahlangu, the founder of the Top 16 YOBA awards, emphasizes the significance of nominations: “As we are nearing the closing of nominations for this year’s YOBAs, I urge everyone to nominate their favourite youth-owned brands. Nominations are open until the 17th of April at 23:59. Your nomination could truly make a difference in showcasing deserving brands and inspiring others. To nominate is totally free”.

Nominations are open to the public, inviting everyone to join in recognizing and celebrating outstanding youth-owned brands. To nominate your favourite brand, visit www.top16yoba.africa before the closing date on April 17, 2024.

The YOBAs offer recognition across a diverse range of categories, including Agriculture, Apparel, Creative and Arts, Education and Literature, Footwear and Accessories, Food and Beverage, Hair and Beauty, Health and Wellness, Homeware, Manufacturing, Media, NPOs and Charities, Personalities and Influencers, Services, Technology, Travel and Tourism, and Pan African.

Save the date for the awards ceremony on June 22 at the Sandton Convention Centre, preceded by the festival on June 21. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore exhibitions and interact with young entrepreneurs, making it an event not to be missed!

For more information and to submit your nominations, please visit www.top16yoba.africa.


Mosa Ntwampe, YOBAs Jury Chairperson

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards proudly announces Mosa Ntwampe as the Chairperson of the Jury for the upcoming third annual YOBAs. With his extensive experience and remarkable achievements in brand and communications strategy, Mosa brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the esteemed panel of judges.

The YOBAs, an initiative dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the outstanding achievements of young entrepreneurs in Africa, is thrilled to welcome Mosa to lead the jury. As a seasoned marketing professional with over a decade of industry experience, Mosa has demonstrated an exceptional ability to drive success and innovation in his field.

Throughout his career, Mosa has collaborated with a diverse range of brands, including state-owned entities, regulatory bodies, educational institutions, financial services, and FMCG companies. His passion, dedication, and distinctive talent for communication have driven him to remarkable career heights, earning him the reputation of a dynamic and influential figure in the marketing landscape.

Mosa’s commitment to excellence and his belief in the transformative power of marketing align perfectly with the mission of the YOBAs. His mantra, “I Change Lives for A Living,” reflects his deep-seated commitment to making a positive impact through his work. As a public speaker known for his captivating presence and flamboyant delivery, Mosa will undoubtedly inspire and motivate the next generation of entrepreneurs.

In addition to his role as Chairperson of the Jury for the YOBAs, Mosa currently serves as the Group Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications for Sakhumnotho Group Holdings and all its sub-entities. His leadership and strategic vision continue to drive growth and success for the organization.

“We are honoured to have Mosa Ntwampe lead the jury for the 3rd Annual Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards. His expertise and passion for empowering young entrepreneurs will undoubtedly enhance the judging process and ensure that we recognize the most deserving brands,” said Pat Mahlangu, Founder and CEO of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards.

Mosa also brings valuable experience to the role, having served as a member of the Jury in both 2022 and 2023. His insights and dedication to fostering youth entrepreneurship make him an invaluable asset to the judging panel.

Mosa expressed his excitement for the opportunity, stating, “I am honoured to chair the jury for this year’s YOBAs. I believe Sadika Fakir did an exceptional job and having the baton passed on from her to me is an absolute honour. This platform represents the future of entrepreneurship in Africa, and I am committed to ensuring that we identify and celebrate the innovative and impactful ventures created by our young entrepreneurs”.

For more information about the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, please visit www.top16yoba.africa


The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBA) is thrilled to announce the return of Cadbury Lunch Bar as a sponsor for the prestigious event. As a leading local brand renowned for its commitment to supporting Africans striving for excellence, Cadbury Lunch Bar will endorse the ‘Personalities and Influencers’ category at the 2024 Top 16 YOBAs.

The ‘Personalities and Influencers’ category embodies the spirit of individuality and creativity, daring individuals to carve their unique paths and make significant impacts in their respective fields. By championing this category, Cadbury Lunch Bar continues its mission of empowering youth to reach new heights of success and innovation.

Cadbury Lunch Bar is dedicated to supporting Africans who strive for much much more in their creative endeavours and professional pursuits. The collaboration with this year’s YOBAs reflects their commitment to nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset among the youth.
Pat Mahlangu, CEO and Founder of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, shares his excitement about Cadbury Lunch Bar’s continued support, “We are honoured to have Cadbury Lunch Bar onboard once again as a sponsor for our event. Their commitment to celebrating and uplifting young Africans aligns perfectly with our mission to recognize and showcase youth excellence.”

As an entity that aims to recognise and celebrate youth excellence, the 2024 Top 16 YOBAs acknowledge the youth in Africa who are not only contributing to the economy but also the overall image shaping of the continent.

The partnership between Cadbury Lunch Bar and the Top 16 YOBAs highlights a shared vision of empowering and celebrating the achievements of young creators. Through this collaboration, both parties aim to elevate the nominees and winners of the ‘Personalities and Influencers’ category, providing them with a platform to showcase their talents and contributions to society.

The 3rd Annual Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards will kick off with the Festival of Youth-Owned Brands on 21 June 2024, followed by the awards ceremony on the evening of 22 June 2024, at the Sandton Convention Centre. The festival will feature keynote speakers and industry experts, offering attendees valuable insights and networking opportunities.


A limited number of early bird tickets for the 3rd annual Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards are officially on sale. Get your tickets today and experience youth excellence.  

This year’s festivities promise to be bigger, bolder, and more inspiring than ever before. The event will feature dynamic brand exhibitions, inspiring speakers, and entertainment from SA’s top artists. Attendees will be treated to an unforgettable experience, celebrating the infinite potential and accomplishments of young entrepreneurs across Africa.

In 2023, the festival drew over 2 500 attendees, with 70 youth-owned brands showcasing. The stage was set on fire with electrifying performances from Boohle and the King of Amapiano, Kabza De Small. The attendees included notable personalities like Nomzamo Mbatha, Khuli Chana, and The Gorgeous Mbali, who amongst many had her brand Hermosa Flor as part of the exhibition.

This year, the YOBAs are poised to deliver yet another unforgettable experience, with a line-up that promises to be nothing short of spectacular.

The awards ceremony will take place on 22 June at Sandton Convention Centre and will be preceded by the festival on 21 June, where attendees will get exposed to the exhibitions, masterclasses, and a chance to interact with young entrepreneurs.

Early bird tickets for the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards are on sale and available at a variety of options to tailor your experience:

Exhibitions + Awards

21 – 22 June 2024 – 08:00

Day 1 + Day 2 + Awards – R950 – R1500

Day 2 + Awards – 22 Jun 2024 – R830 – R1000

Awards Only

22 Jun 2024 – 18:00

Day 2 (awards only) – Prices: R750 – R900

Exhibitions Only

21 Jun 2024 – 08:00

Day 1 (Exhibitions Only) – R200 – R250

Day 2 (Exhibitions Only) – R200 – R250

Day 1 + 2 (Exhibitions Only) – R350 – R450

Pat Mahlangu, CEO and Founder of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards expressed enthusiasm about the upcoming event, “This year’s Top 16 YOBAs is more than just an awards ceremony; it’s a showcase of resilience, creativity, and the entrepreneurial spirit of our youth. We invite the public to join us for an exciting journey of inspiration and empowerment”.

Early bird tickets are available until 31 March 2024. Don’t miss your chance to secure yours and be part of the extraordinary celebration of youth excellence. Visit Webtickets today and reserve your spot at this year’s YOBA awards.

For more information on ticket sales or the YOBAs, visit  www.top16yoba.africa

Meet the winners of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards

On the night of the 15th of June 2023, we saw the second annual Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, brought to you by Standard Bank . Held at the Sandton Convention Centre, the awards celebrated the outstanding achievements of young entrepreneurs who have demonstrated exceptional creativity, resilience, and innovation in building their own brands.  

Pamela Mtanga: Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards 2023 host

Voted for from a pool of 64 nominees making a significant impact in their respective industries, the winners of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards have showcased unwavering commitment, while driving positive change through their products and services. 

And the winners are… 

  • Accessories – Bona By Wenzy M 
  • Agriculture, sponsored by the IDC – Evergreen Ageing 
  • Apparel – GALXBOY 
  • Beverages, sponsored by CCBSA – Grandeur Premium Gin 
  • Hair & Beauty – Swiitch Beauty 
  • Homeware – Mo’s Crib 
  • Media – Public Health Entertainment 
  • NPO & Charities – ZA Powerhouse 
  • Travel & Tourism – Mogopodi Adventures 
  • Technology, sponsored by Telkom – Reslocate 
  • Services, sponsored by Brand South Africa – Legends Barber 
  • Health & Wellness – Numa Medical Aesthetics 
  • Education, sponsored by Wits Business School – Libertalia Group 
  • Food – The Lazy Makoti 
  • Footwear – Bathu 
  • Personalities & Influencers, sponsored by Lunch Bar – Snikiwe Mhlongo

Additionally, Legends Barber was recognized as the Overall Top Brand, representing the epitome of excellence in the youth-owned brand landscape. 

Pat Mahlangu: Founder & CEO (Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards)

“We are thrilled to acknowledge the remarkable achievements of these outstanding youth-owned brands,” said Pat Mahlangu, CEO and founder of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards. “Their accomplishments serve as a testament to their entrepreneurial spirit and ability to create innovative solutions that make a positive difference. We congratulate each and every winner and wish them continued success in their endeavors.” 

“These awards are a testament to the dedication and hard work we’ve put into building Legends Barber. It’s an honour to be recognized as the overall top brand, and to be among such exceptional young entrepreneurs. We believe in our mission to provide the best grooming experience while positively impacting our community. This award motivates us to continue pushing boundaries and creating a legacy,” said Sheldon Tatchell, founder of Legends Barber. 

Sheldon Tatchell: Founder (Legends Barber)

These extraordinary young entrepreneurs have not only demonstrated exceptional business acumen but have also made a lasting impact on their communities and society at large. Their passion, drive, and dedication serve as an inspiration to aspiring young entrepreneurs. 

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards extends heartfelt congratulations to all the winners, recognizing their hard work, dedication, and ingenuity. “We eagerly anticipate their future accomplishments and the continued positive impact they will make,” concludes Pat. 

What to expect at the Festival of Youth-Owned Brands

Get ready for an extraordinary event that celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative talents of South African youth. The Festival of Youth-Owned Brands will precede the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards brought to you by Standard Bank. The Festival promises an unforgettable experience as it showcases the top youth-owned brands in South Africa at the richest square mile in Africa.

The Festival will be held on the 14th and 15th of June 2023 at the Sandton Convention Centre, starting from 09:00 to 17:00 on Day 1 and 09:00 to 15:00 on Day 2, followed by the highly anticipated award ceremony at 18:00.

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards recognize and honor excellence among the youth, acknowledging their significant contributions not only to the South African economy but also to the country’s overall image. The festival serves as a platform for these exceptional young entrepreneurs to showcase their brands, products, and services to a diverse audience, offering an immersive entertainment experience.

Discover the best of youth-owned brands

Throughout the two days, attendees will be immersed in an atmosphere buzzing with entrepreneurial energy. They will have the opportunity to engage directly with the brand creators, interact with the showcased products and services, and discover exciting local brands they may not have been aware of before. Supporting local businesses and learning about their unique offerings will be at the forefront of this festival.

Thebe Ikalafeng

Over 30 speakers

The Festival is dedicated to creating opportunities for the youth, and as such, many young people are involved in bringing the festival to life. Renowned marketers and entrepreneurs, including Thebe Ikalafeng, Lebo Lion, Bulelani Balabala, Miles Kubheka, Tshepo Mohala, and Mbali Sebapu, will conduct insightful masterclasses.

Great entertainment

Expect extraordinary entertainment throughout the festival, as young performers take the stage and captivate the audience with their vibrant energy. Among the talented line-up is DJ & Producer, Daliwonga.

In addition to performances and masterclasses, the festival will offer engaging activities that encourage participation, creating an immersive and dynamic experience for all attendees. This event is not only a celebration of the passion, drive, and talent of youth-owned brands, but also a recognition of the expressive visionaries.

The festival will culminate in the highly anticipated award ceremony on the 15th of June at 18:00, where the most expressive and visionary young entrepreneurs will receive the prestigious Top 16 Youth-Owned Brand Award – the Gold Standard of Youth Excellence. This show of excellence will made extra special with performances singer/songwriter, Boohle and Kabza De Small, affectionately known as The King of Mapiano.

Tickets for the Festival of Youth-Owned Brands are available at https://top16yoba.co.za/tickets/. Choose from a range of ticket options, including a 1-Day Pass for R156, 2-Day Pass for R256, Award Show ticket for R716, or the Full Package for R1116.

Head over to the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards website and buy your ticket today!

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards announce 2023 auditors

The much-anticipated 2nd annual Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs) brought to you by Standard Bank are scheduled to take place on the 15th of June 2023 at the Sandton Convention Centre. To maintain the credibility of the awards, the Top 16 YOBAs have again partnered with South Africa’s leading emerging, proudly black-owned and managed professional services consulting firm – Khumalo & Mabuya Chartered Accountants (KnM).  

The Top 16 YOBAs are a platform that celebrates and recognises youth excellence in 16 categories of the economy. The awards embrace the fact that the youth are active players in the South African economy and that their contribution must be recognised.

KnM advocates for positioning Africa in the forefront and the world after. This is due to the contributions Africa has made to the world over many years in labour, minerals, humanity and so much more. The mission for KnM is to lead in all regions of Africa and alternative markets in advancing transparent governance in audit, advisory and SMEs.

Pat Mahlangu; Founder & CEO (Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards)

“Both Top 16 YOBA and KnM share common values which drive and catalyse youth entrepreneurship and excellence. It is great to have KnM as our auditors again this year as we continue to maintain the credibility and standard of our Awards,” said Pat Mahlangu, CEO & Founder of the TOP 16 YOBAs. 

Peterson Khumalo, The Group MD of Khumalo and Mabuya says, “UNICEF acknowledges that young people not only represent the future of any nation but are the main agents of change and progress in a progressive society. At KnM we have internalised that viewpoint to the extent that we have pledged our little contribution in support of YOBA. Our slogan “Confident about the future”, demonstrates our firm belief that YOBA is an important stimulus that seeks to encourage a culture of youth entrepreneurship by recognising and celebrating young entrepreneurs.” 

Peterson Khumalo: Group MD (Khumalo & Mabuya Chattered Accountants)

The Top 16 YOBAs will be preceded by the Festival of Youth-Owned Brands which will also be hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre on 14 and 15 June 2023.

Tickets are available on www.top16yoba.co.za

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards Announce 2023 Jury

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (the YOBAs) brought to you by Standard Bank have announced the 2023 jury.  

Professionals, marketers and academics around South Africa applied to be a part of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards judging panel. This year, the application for the judging panel was open to the public. The public could nominate either themselves or individuals who met a very strict criterion. The jury criteria included that the nominee should at least be an expert or an academic in the particular field they will be judging.  

Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards 2022

The YOBAs celebrates and recognises youth-owned brands in South Africa. It has enlisted 29 leaders in the marketing, communications, academia and entrepreneurship industry to assess and shortlist over 2 500 nominations. 

Due to the success of the award ceremony last year, the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands have received a large number of nominations this year, which sparked the idea of getting more judges. The judges that have been selected are masters in their field and specialise in the categories that they will be judging.  

Pat Mahlangu: Founder and CEO (Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards)

“We are thankful for the industry giants for taking time off their hectic schedules to join our judging panel. It is encouraging to have people of their calibre support youth initiatives,” said Pat Mahlangu, the founder and CEO of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards. 

For the second year, the chairperson of the jury is the Integrated Media & Digital Director of Tiger Brands Sadika Fakir and the voice of marketing, Lebo Lion as the deputy chairperson.  

Sadika Fakir: Integrated Media & Digital Director (Tiger Brands)

The chairperson of the jury, Sadika Fakir says, “we are so honored to have such an exceptionally high calibre of judges for our Top16YOBA 2023 panel. Our judge panel brings excellence, skill and wisdom.” 

Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards 2023 Jury

The judges that will be a part of this year’s two-day festival are the following:  

1. Sadika Fakir (Integrated Media & Digital Director Tiger Brands) 

2. Lebo Lion (Voice of Marketing, Beople SA) 

3. Dr Beate Stiehler-Mulder (Marketing Coordinator UJ) 

4. David Tshabalala (Award Winning Graphic Designer, Illustrator & Content Creator Slaying Goliath) 

5. Thembi Sehloho (Marketing Director Tiger Brands SA) 

6. Mosa Ntwampe (Marketing & Corporate Communications Sakhumnotho) 

7. Dr Marcia Lebambo (Senior Lecturer Tshwane University of Technology) 

8. Bulelani Balabala (Creative Director IAF Brands) 

9. Katlego Dithlokwe (Founder & Brand Strategy Consultant the Hyphen) 

10. Lindy-Lou Alexander (Global Marketing Head for Personal and Private Banking Division 
Standard Bank) 

11. Masingita Mazibuko (Executive Brand & Marketing Telkom) 

12. Palesa Mabuse (Senior Managing Partner Nalesa Media) 

13. Yasira Cajee (Marketing Officer Wits Business School) 

14. Cameron Belling (Head of Marketing Bluff Meat Supply) 

15. Boitumelo Mohube (Marketing Executive and Communication specialist Founder of Mohube Media) 

16. Thabani Khumalo (Brand Manager – Premium & Value Brands (Beverages) Tiger Brands) 

17. Tammy Darroch (Marketing Director Kellogg South Africa) 

18. Ponatshego Makhuza (Shopper Marketing Lead Unilever) 

19. Bogosi Motshegwa (Chief Creative & Strategy Officer Brandreserve Co. Thinkeneur) 

20. Kovini Moodley (Founder Boss Babes) 

21. Shiko Mamotheti (Digital Strategist and Director Nerdware) 

22. Deshnie Govender (Marketing & Culture Leader in Tech) 

23. Albert Makoeng (Divisional Sales Director Nfinity Influencer) 

24. Khanyi Tshume (Head of Strategy TLC Worldwide Middle East & Africa) 

25. Wendy Silinyana (Founder and Director Virtue Business Solutions) 

26. Lerato Selialia (Senior Experience Strategist Immersion Group logo) 

27. Lebohang Matsoso (Lead: Brand Marketing Communications Mercedes-Benz South Africa) 

28. Fatima Ouanssaidi (CEO and a co-founder On-Point PR) 

29. Vuyokazi Mhlope (Marketing Manager Showmax) 

The awards will be preceded by the Festival of Youth-Owned Brands on the 14th & 15th of June 2023 at Sandton Convention Centre. The awards show will follow on the evening of the 15th where the expressive visionaries will be celebrated and recognised also at the Sandton Convention Centre. 

Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards Early Bird Tickets Now On Sale

Tickets to the gold standard of youth excellence are officially available!  The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards brought to you by Standard Bank will be preceded by a two-day festival. Dubbed as the Festival of Youth-Owned Brands, the two-day festival will give youth-owned brands a platform to showcase and sell their products and/or services. The festival aims to acknowledge the contributions these youth-owned brands are making to our economy. 

Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards 2022

Imagine, a shopping mall of South African youth-owned brands, only? For the first time in the African continent, the largest number of youth-owned brands will be housed under one roof for over a two-day period, at the richest square mile in Africa. The festival will take place on the 14th and 15th of June 2023, bringing together trailblazers from across South Africa. On these two days, masterclasses from industry experts, entrepreneurs and the biggest names in entertainment will be in attendance. The official award ceremony will take place on the evening of the 15th of June 2023 with surprise appearances from celebrities. 

Pat Mahlangu: Founder (Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards)

According to Pat Mahlangu, the founder and CEO of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, “If you are passionate about youth excellence and want to support them, then the Festival of Youth-Owned Youth-Owned Bradnds is the place to be. The festival will be filled with celebrating and recognising the best youth-owned brands in South Africa”. 

The ticket sales will be divided into three phases. The pricing for the first phase is as follows: 

Grab your tickets now on Webticket!  Be there or be told.