Meet Africa’s Next-Gen Cultural Shape Shifters

Ethiopian creatives – fashion designer Kunjina Tesfaye and media personality/entrepreneur, Luna Solomon – are amongst the recipients in the second, annual Keep Walking: Africa Top 30 List. Announced today, the prestigious List includes a select group of next gen African creatives & visionaries who are boldly pushing culture forward across music, film, media, fashion, and art.

An innovative initiative from Johnnie Walker™ and TRACE, the list comes after months of rigorous searching with top talent managers and industry leaders across the continent to identify a definitive list of pan-African cultural shape shifters.

Included on the list, fashion designer Kunjina Tesfaye established the “Kunjina” brand in 2017, with her distinctive designs now seen around the world. The Addis Ababa-based label focuses on ready-to-wear fashion while empowering women through their garments and designs, for which she has also won the African Mosaique “Most Creative Fashion Designer” award.

In the Media Category, Luna Solomon is a highly regarded TV and radio host at Tirita Media, an urban-themed entertainment, news, and business themed media outlet in Addis Ababa. A multifaceted creative, Luna is also a photographer, specializing in portraits that capture the authentic spirit of Addis, through fashion, food, travel, and lifestyle.

With African culture having its voice heard around the world, the Keep Walking: Africa Top 30 list includes names who are impacting global culture such as South African Amapiano star, Young Stunna, Nigerian actor & “Gangs Of Lagos” star, Tobi Bakre, Benin-born fashion, Abidjan-resident, photographer Oronce Hounkponou, Nigerian fiction writer Eloghosa Osunde and Cameroonian rapper, Tenor. For the first time a recipient also has been chosen from South Sudan – filmmaker Akuol de Mabior, director of the 2022 documentary, “No Simple Way Home”.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to again celebrate and acknowledge Africa’s cultural shapeshifters along with Johnnie Walker™. They are all inspirational and proof of the extraordinary way the continent’s culture is evolving, generating international attention and is a force to be reckoned with,” says Valentine Gaudin-Muteba, Managing Director, Trace Southern & Lusophone Africa.

The extensive list includes artists & creatives from across the continent – from Angola to Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia – all of whom have given impetus to shape and moved African culture forward.

On the 2023 Keep Walking: Africa Top 30 list are:

Music – DJ Tarico (Mozambique); Young Stunna (South Africa); Rosa Ree (Tanzania); Bravo Le Roux (South Africa); Helio Beats (Mozambique); Oprah (Côte d’Ivoire); Tenor (Cameroon); Majoos (DRC); Céline Banza (DRC).

Art – Esther Sweeney (Kenya); Haneefah Adam (Nigeria); Kim Praise (Angola); Oronce Hounkponou (Benin); Resem Verkron (Angola).

Film – Ange-Eric N’Guessan (Côte d’Ivoire); Tobi Bakre (Nigeria); Dylan Habil (Kenya); Sophia Chapeshamo (Zambia); Nimo Loveline (Cameroon); Akuol de Mabior (South Sudan).

Media – Clarisse Ndinge (Cameroon); Eloghosa Osunde (Nigeria); Kalenga ‘K-Plus’ Chambatu & Elson Chigerwe (Zambia); Luna Solomon (Ethiopia); Half & Halve (South Africa) and Kevine Obin (Côte d’Ivoire).

Fashion – Aristide Loua (Côte d’Ivoire); Kunjina Tesfaye (Ethiopia); David Kusi Boye-Doe (Ghana); Fikile Sokhulu (South Africa).

“While we have uncovered creators from many different regions and from different creative paths, they have one thing in common – they all step boldly to the beat of their own drum. They are true individuals who believe in the collective shifting of African culture. Along with Trace, Johnnie Walker™ is proud to be able to contribute by presenting this recognition,” said Adrian De Wet, Marketing Manager, Johnnie Walker.

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