Forbes Africa have released their seventh edition of its 30 under 30 list, honouring some of the continents leading charge building brands, creating jobs and transforming entrepreneurs, creatives and sport stars. Amongst them is award winning fashion stylist, Reinhard Mahalie.
According to Forbes Africa’s Managing Editor, Renuka Methil, what made this compilation even more compelling is the fighting spirit of the candidates that made it through a challenging year.
“They need to be honoured even more for their tenacity and resilience as leaders charting a non-linear trajectory to success,”
Mahalie is no new name to international recognition as last year, he was nominated for best Male fashion stylist for the Designer Awards Africa.
“Today is both humbling and surreal. Being recognized on a platform such as Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 is truly a zenith accomplishment, which arrived by no accident, but 5 years of hard work and dedicated nurturing of a passion and gift. My life has been filled with personal tragedy like everyone elses, yet I have alchemist every challenge to serve my rise and work. I have, however realised that my contribution to the fashion industry is fueled by the greater impluse to bring beauty and dignity to the marginlised and silenced. ”
Meanwhile,with recent controversy in the country against the LGBTQ community, Mahalie exclaimed saying, “In a time where they want to make us invisible I am on a cover of Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 – black, proud and queer representing Namibia.”
Mahalie further added that in his search for reconciling his presence and self determination, he has found that being human is not enough to guarantee equality the words black and queer are met with distrust, disdain and assault. The influence of our cruel history and vast fundamentalism be it political, religious or economic has reduced the access to justice and inclusion for people who identify outside the standard societal sexual orientation and preference.
“This achievement arrives as a continental intervention, recognizing that I am free to be who I am but more that my contributions to Africa are valid. I feel immensely responsible more than ever to be part of the next generation of leaders to shape impactful change,” he concluded.