BY ANTONY MUTUNGA
The most anticipated annual list of young Kenyans, 2019 100 Most Influential Young Kenyans, which is spearheaded by leading PR & Rating firm, Avance Media, has been released. The annual ranking has highlighted the works of many young Kenyans across the world and has seen notable personalities such as Daniel “Churchill” Ndambuki (2016) and Darshan Chandaria (2018) voted as the Most Influential Young Kenyans.
According to Prince Akpah, MD of Avance Media, this year’s list has a gender record of 56 females and features young Kenyans who have made remarkable contributions towards their respective fields which has extended impact to other young people across Kenya and beyond.
“The list serves as an encouragement to young Kenyans who are accomplished in their industries and continue to build a distinguished brand for themselves and influence over others. It also urges those honored to continue striving harder so their stories can inspire other young people to also contribute their quota to the development of Kenya and the continent of Africa,” he said.
Those included in the list are drawn from diverse sectors whereby they are making great strides as entrepreneurs, musicians, activists, media personalities, social entrepreneurs, public servants, and politicians. The list includes some notable personalities such as Boniface Mwangi, John Allan Namu, Catherine Mahugu and Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti.
The Nairobi Business Monthly was able to have a sit in with one of the candidates, Harun Momanyiwho has been nominated to the list in the media category. The digital journalist and influencer is not new in the Kenyan digital journalism sector as he has been able to appear in a number of reputable publications such as Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa (BI SSA), OkayAfrica, and Destination Magazine.
Much of his work is geared towards inspiring young people. For the past six years, Mr Momanyi has focused on connecting those he has interviewed with others who are interested in entrepreneurship, side hustles, career success, music, business, fashion and other fields. His story in the field started back in high school where as the chairperson of his school’s journalism club, Storymoja Africa published one of his writings for emerging among the best in the country during a competition.
From then on, he kept honing his skills in journalism which saw him as a finalist in both the 2013 NUHA Foundation Global Blogging Prize and the 2014 Haller Prize for Development Journalism. As a result, he was able to join Radio Africa Group as a lifestyle writer for four years. Apart from being nominated to the 100 Most Influential Young Kenyans, the influencer has also been shortlisted for other awards such as Forbes Africa 30Under30, BBC Komla Dumor Award and the prestigious Desmond Tutu Fellowship programme.
He has also represented Kenya at the P4G Summit as a Next Generation Young Influencer and served as a Global Schools Ambassador for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth). As of 2019, Momanyi was a Young and Emerging Leader with the LéO Africa institute in Uganda, a leadership development fellowship.
“I have used this platform to gain practical knowledge on what truly makes an ethical leader and how best I can use my journalism talent to impact as many young people as possible. When I was a Global Schools Ambassador, I tapped into as many networks as possible to reach the young people and educate them on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I worked with several celebrities across East Africa, using social media to reach over 50,000 young people during my tenure,” he said.
To the young people, “follow your dreams and do not give up despite the challenges that are in your way,” he advises, calling on the youth to “dare to achieve”.