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The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards announce new categories

The 3rd Annual Top 16 Youth Owned Brands Awards (YOBAs) media launch was held at the Courtyard Hotel in Waterfall City, with the charismatic Khosi Twala as the host. These awards are special to Africa as they recognize and celebrate brands that are owned and run by young individuals. The title ‘Top 16’ symbolizes the importance of the youth’s influence on June 16, 1976.

Top 16 YOBAs media launch

With the African Union proclaiming June 16 as the Day of an African Child, they have also introduced new categories that encompass the entire African continent. These categories will shine a spotlight on the remarkable achievements of young Africans who are challenging the status quo by creating employment opportunities and contributing to the economic development of their nations.

Furthermore, apart from the newly introduced Pan African categories, there are several other noteworthy additions to the prestigious accolades. These include the highly coveted Top Manufacturing Brand, the esteemed Top Women-Owned Brand, and the distinguished Top Creative & Arts Brand. Additionally, a remarkable distinction will be bestowed upon a young South African who epitomizes unparalleled global eminence and distinction. It is worth mentioning that certain categories from previous years have been amalgamated, namely the esteemed Food and Beverages category, the revered Education and Literature category, and the esteemed Footwear and Accessories category. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of all the illustrious categories for the year 2024.

The YOBAs have impressively broadened their horizons, extending their influence far beyond the borders of South Africa. Their inclusion in the Pan African Brands category is a testament to their commitment to recognizing and honoring youth-owned brands from various Pan African countries. This category encompasses the Top West African Brand, Top East African Brand, and Top SADC Brand, showcasing the remarkable achievements of these brands across the continent.

Pat Mahlangu, Founder of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards

“This year, the YOBAs will be bigger than they have ever been. We are excited about the new categories. They are a reflection of our commitment to act on the feedback that we receive from our stakeholders. The festival will feature exhibitors from other parts of the continent,”

Pat Mahlangu, founder of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards.

You can start nominating your favorite youth-owned brands or any brand you like on the YOBAs website: Nominations were open from February 13 to April 17, 2024.

Before nominating a brand, the public is encouraged to consider the following criteria:

  • The brand should be owned and operated by individuals aged between 18 and 35.
  • The brand must have been established for more than a year.
  • It is preferable for the brand to have a website with its name as the domain, although this is not mandatory.
  • The brand should have an active presence on social media or any other form of digital footprint.
  • The brand must operate in one or more of the listed categories.
  • The brand should be South African, with the exception of pan-African categories.

The awards will be preceded by the two-day Festival of Youth-Owned Brands on June 20th and 21st, 2024, and the awards ceremony will be held on the evening of June 21st, 2024, at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Tickets will be available from March 1, 2024. Preregister here

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