South African 800m Olympic champion, Caster Semenya, has been voted 2018 Most Influential Young South African in the 3rd edition of the annual ranking poll by international rating firm, Avance Media, in partnership with 1,000 African Voices & VIPI State.
Hot on her heels was Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, also known as the People’s Bae, who was the winner of the prize in 2017.
Avencia Media said in a blog that Caster, who was nominated in the sports category for her outstanding achievements in athletics across the globe, got her massive endorsement after winning a heavily contested poll among a hundred of the most influential young South Africans nominated across 10 different categories.
The ranking, which was launched by Avance Media in 2016, has also been won by comedian and TV personality Trevor Noah (2016) and Ndlozi (2017), making Caster Semenya the first woman to be awarded the coveted title as the Most Influential Young South African for 2018.
Also in the 2018 ranking was Nomzamo Mbatha, Brent Lindeque and Zincedile Tiya, who were voted among the top five most influential young South Africans.
Caster’s vote as most influential young South African comes as the athlete is challenging a proposed rule by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) aiming to restrict testosterone levels in female runners.
Below are winners in the various categories:
- Business – Sandile Shezi – CEO, Rivoltare
- Entertainment – Mapeseka Koetle-Nyokong – Actress
- Law & Governance – Mbuyiseni Ndlozi – Spokesperson, Economic Freedom Fighters
- Leadership & Civil Society – Nthabeleng Likotsi – Young Women in Business Network
- Lifestyle – LaSizwe Dambuza – Comedian
- Media – Nomzamo Mbatha – On Air Personality
- Personal Development & Academia – Bongiwe Beja – Youth Employment Service
- Science & Technology – Dr Ncumisa Jilata – Neurosurgeon
- Social Enterprise & Philanthropy – Brent Lindeque – Founder, Good Things Guy
- Sports – Caster Semenya – Athlete
Below is the top 10 list of Avance Media’s 2018 100 Most Influential Young South Africans
- Caster Semenya – Athlete
- Mbuyiseni Ndlozi – Economic Freedom Fighters
- Nomzamo Mbatha – OAP
- Brent Lindeque – Good Things Guy
- Zincedile Tiya – National Association of Democratic Lawyers
- Mapeseka Koetle-Nyokong – Actress
- LaSizwe Dambuza – Comedian
- Mihlali Ndamase – Social Media Influencer
- Sandile Shezi – Rivoltare
- Kagiso Legodi – I Am She
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)