Generation Z

Generation Z (the mid-1990s to early 2000) is the generation after the Millennials (1980-2000). It is the generation of no limitations and ultimate risk takers-be it lifestyle or business wise. By the year 2019, it is estimated generation Z will account for 32% of the global population. Despite being defined as “millennials on steroids”, having a lower attention span due to social media and spoiled, we can not deny that some of the most extraordinary beings are from this generation. They are the generation of early starters, individuality, they are justice-minded, independent and they do not always follow the outlined course of life structured by the generations prior. They practice thinking outside the box from a very early age, to the age is literally just a number and believe even the sky is not the limit. Today’s post focuses on the few of the many who are living their lives fully, with passion and purpose-inspiring me to do the same.

This list is in no particular order.

 1.Yara Sayeh Shahidi

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Yara Sayeh Shahidi (born February 10, 2000) mostly known as Yara Shahidi is an Iranian-American actress, model and activist. She is best known as Zoey Johnson on the sitcom Black-ish and its spin-off, Grown-ish. Yara started her career at the age of 6 years and appeared in adverts for McDonald’s, Ralph Lauren, Disney, GapKids, Guess Kids and Children’s Palace. She made her cinematic debut in the movie, Imagine That (2009), starring Eddie Murphy, which then led her to win the Youngest Artist Award nomination for the best performance in a featured category.

She is well known among her generation as an activist and is the founder of Eighteen x 18 with the American social news publisher NowThis, which is a platform to encourage her peers to vote for the very first time in upcoming American elections. Her other organisations include Yara’s Club which is a partnership with Young Women’s Leadership Network of New York, which provides online guidance in hopes to end poverty through education. She has been admitted at Harvard University and made the Times Magazine list for Most Influential Teens in 2017.

2.Donel Mangena

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Donel Mangena (16 years old) is a Zimbabwean-British pop-star who was a finalist of The Voice UK. He is also a writer and penned some of the lyrics to his debut single, Bang Like A Drum. Whilst coaching him on The Voice UK, Will.i.am likened Donel to the late Michael Jackson stating, “Donel could be the biggest artist on earth, the way he is in the studio, how attentive he is, mentally, spiritually, his excitement and dedication. That’s what Michael was like”.

Donel has won hearts all across the nation with his incredible performances, he was personally invited by Prince Harry who is a fan, to the Queen’s 92nd Birthday concert earlier this year. Prince Harry introduced him on stage as: “one to watch, a star of the future”.

3.Adult Akech

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Adut Akech Bior (born December 25, 1999) is a Sudanese-Australian model, who made her fashion runway debut as an exclusive in the Saint Laurent S/S 17 show and went on to close both the Fashion Week 2017 and S/S 18 shows as an exclusive. Adut was introduced to the fashion industry by her family and despite being scouted at 13/14 years, she began her career at 16 years. Within the fashion industry, she preferred her birth name, Adut and signed with Chadwick Models in Sydney, Australia.

Adut’s first runway debut was in a local show put together by her aunt, she went on modelling at the Melbourne Fashion Week and she has been unstoppable and has walked for Kenzo, Tom Ford, Prada, Givenchy, Miu Miu, Zara, Bottega Veneta, Burberry and Versace. She has done editorials for American Vogue, British Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Parish, WSJ and Vogue Australia to name a few. She made history by being the second Black Woman to close a Chanel Haute Couture.

4.Caesar Sant

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Caesar Sant (born August 1st,2008) is an American young violin prodigy who was born with a form of chronic anaemia called sickle cell anaemia. At the age of 2, he started playing the violin and at age 4 he was playing Vivaldi. He has had 3 strokes in a span of 2 years, however despite all these obstacles, he has shown stupendous courage and resilience.

In 2016, he played for the most prestigious violinists of the world and his idol, Mr Itzhak Perlman. By the age of 5, he was already fluent in 6 languages and when he was 22 months, he conducted a Beethoven 5th Symphony.

5.Malala Yousafzai

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Malala Yousafzai (12 July 1997-) is a Pakistani activist for female education ad the Youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls to go to school.

In 2009 when she was around 11-12 years old, Malala wrote a blog under pseudonym BBC Urdu detailing her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat. The following Summer, a journalist from America, made a documentary about her life and she rose in prominence-which made her a target of the Taliban.

October 9, 2012 while on a bus after taking an exam, Malala and two other girls were shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation with her activism. Having been hit by a bullet in the head, Malala was in a critical condition ad remained unconscious. She survived, relocated to the UK and is currently studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

In her first speech following the attack, she addressed an international Youth Assembly at U.N Headquarters: Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution.”

6.Triplets Ghetto Kids

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Formed of 9 members-Ada, Patricia, Ashley, Nyangoma, Fred, Kokoda, Ronnie, Isaac and ManKing, Triplets Ghetto Kids is a Ugandan dance group that has swelled and touched hearts all over the world. The group has members which range from 6-17 years old and even though they were all homeless, orphaned and impoverished-dancing brought them purpose and hope.

Having been dancing for many years, their big break came when they were featured in French Montana and Swae Lee’s Unforgettable video. Their fame skyrocketed and they have become popular all over the interwebs. Previously known as Sitya Loss Kids by the media as it was seen as suitable and would make them stand out, they chose to be called Triplets Ghetto Kids because to them ghetto is not an insult or fashion but it is their identity and a way to embrace their roots.

After the feature on French Montana’s video, they appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show and performed at the 2017 BET’s with French Montana. They currently have an album called Ghetto Dreams which has sold many copies.

7.Maya Penn

Penn (born February 10, 2000) is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, animator, artist and the CEO of her eco-friendly fashion company Maya’s world. She started her company when he was 8 years old and spoken at TEDWomen and has 2 official TedTalk.

She is the creator of an animation series, The Pollinators which emphasises on the importance of bees and other pollinators. In 2011, she founded her own nonprofit organisation Maya’s Ideas For The Planet and was amongst the people chosen by Oprah on SuperSoul 100 list of visionaries and influential leaders in 2016.

8.Kylian Mbappe Lottin

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Kylian Mbappe Lottin (born December 20, 1998) is a French professional football player who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Sain-Germain and the France national team. At the age of 19, he was named the best young player in the world and has been projected as the future best player in the world. He made his debut into the football world at the age of 16 in Monaco and quickly made his way to the top as a goalscorer for the first team in the 2016-17 seasons.

He made his senior debut for France in 2017 and at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he became the youngest French player to score at a World Cup. He became the second-highest goalscorer as France won the World Cup ad he received the accolade for Best Young Player Award for his performance.

9.Tanya Muzinda

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Tanya Muzinda (13 years old) is a Zimbabwean Motocross athlete who at 6 years old became the first Zimbabwean female motocross champion in history. Earlier this year, she ended up pulling out of the 2018 FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships in Zambia, because there was no class for her to ride in at the big continental event. Tanya rides the 85cc (big wheel) and the only class that was available for females was 125cc.

At a young age, Tanya’s love for the sport encouraged her father to reach out to Motocross legend Stefy Bau. Stefy travelled to Zimbabwe in 2013 and trained her for 2 weeks and afterwards, Tanya dominated a second overall in the very competitive division of the 65B class. Her dream is to be the first African women to reach international success. She is currently in between the UK and the USA to be coached and has enrolled at the Coventry Motocross Junior Club, an opportunity which will open more doors for her.#TeamTanya is a project that was formed to help Tanya conquer in the male-dominated sport and for her dreams to come true.

10.Sheila Sheldon Charles

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Sheila Sheldon Charles (Generation Z) is a 9-year-old Kenyan artist who has caught the attention of many people including the President of Kenya himself, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. Not only is she an artist but she is also a model, vlogger, dancer and is in Class Four in Mombasa. Having started at the age of 6 untrained, Sheila’s artistic talent is incomparable to her age-mate.

When asked what inspires her to draw on an interview with BBC Africa, she stated that she does not know why she draws but it is God-given and it is something in her. She likes to draw cartoons as they are her favourite things. She encourages young children with talents never to give up and to have intelligence and character-and to always thrive to be there best selves.

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