Awards News South Africa

Finalists for inaugural Äänit Prize announced

Seven young leaders have been shortlisted to win up to $80,000 for their socially impactful ventures in Africa from The Mandela Rhodes Foundation. The finalists run transformative projects in key areas of impact ranging from educational technology to sustainable fashion and public health. They come from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Canada.

Following a final round of evaluation by a panel of expert judges, the winners will be announced live in a special ceremony co-hosted by award-wining actor Masasa Mbangeni and MRF CEO Judy Sikuza, on 23 October 2021. The public and the press are invited to join the live stream for the awards and to hear from some of Africa’s exceptional minds in an intimate Q&A between the judges and the finalists.

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is offering the prize for the first time in 2021. “When I look at the powerful potential of these seven ventures and the excellent work they have done so far, I feel optimistic about the catalytic effect that this prize can have. The finalists are innovators and leaders of high calibre. They are leaders who see Africa’s challenges as opportunities, and have the vision, expertise, and determination to deliver,” said Sikuza.


The seven finalists for the Äänit Prize are:

  1. Esethu Cenga: Rewoven
  2. Vuyane Mhlomi: Quro Medical
  3. James Tayali: Keki-Mawe
  4. Sarah Burns: Nia Crowdfund
  5. Kenechukwu Ikebuaku: Mozisha
  6. Chido Dzinotyiwei: Vambo Academy
  7. Sammy Sambu: Bartanel Discovery

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