Austin Malema: Forbes 30 Under 30

2019 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 South African Creatives

Words by Naledi Sibisi

Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 is one of the most esteemed lists. Every year, it profiles Africa’s game changers and most thought-provoking individuals under the age of 30 when it comes to the world of technology, business and creativity; they all inspire and influence the next generation of leaders. Previous names on the list include Nomzamo Mbatha, Cassper Nyovest and Orapeleng Modutle to name a few. Austin Malema, one of the most recognizable photographers in South Africa makes the 2019 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 South African Creatives.

“It is such a prestigious platform and to be featured just means that as a creative, I’m doing great. For Forbes Africa to recognize who I am and what I have contributed is such an honor”. Malema tells me that someone had applied on his behalf last year and he is in awe of the whole process. The Forbes 30 Under 30 list was launched in 2011 in the United States. The annual issue acknowledges businesses and industry figures that are game-changing. Over a period of time, the list extended to other continents including Europe, Asia and Africa.

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“At first I thought it was related to the business but then I realized it had to do with me as an individual and a creative”. Over the years, Austin Malema’s career has since taken undeniable strides. The man who is considered one of the most prolific and sought after photographers in South Africa transitioned from videography to photography and catapulted himself to where he is today. “If you make onto Forbes, you’ve made it. I don’t even know where one goes from here but maybe after this, we can take it from Africa to the world”.

He previously expressed that he is looking forward to becoming a fully-fledged creative agency doing commercial work on both large and small scales and it seems that he is well on his way to achieving that.“I think a lot of us grow up reading Forbes because of the richest or most successful hip hop artists or musicians in the world so to be featured is a lot. I think it is going to open up a lot of doors, you know, before this, I shot David Beckham for example so it just shows that there are these possibilities in Africa; we can extend that to the world”.

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