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NMG fetes Top 40 Under 40 Men champions

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From Left: Dentsu Group CEO Christopher Madison, Michael Omondi, Editor, Business Daily, Konza Technopolis Development Authority CEO Eng John Tanui and Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama during the gala dinner. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Elizabeth Kivuva


Winners of the 2022 edition of Top 40 Under 40 Men award by the Nation Media Group were feted on Friday following a competitive season that attracted a wider professional scope of finalists.

The 40 men were treated to a gala dinner at the Simba Corp Aspire Centre, Westlands and awarded with lion head sculpture trophies and other goodies. Nine of the 40 finalists were picked from the technology sector, nine others from the health sector and five from the education sector, representing 58 percent.

This reflects a shift from a concentration of finalists from finance and marketing sectors when the awards were initiated 14 years ago, when also the majority of winners were CEOs below the age of 40.

In this year’s awards, 13 were entrepreneurs (33 percent), reflecting a shift in the corporate landscape with high adoption of technology, a spring of fintech and start-ups accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

NMG chief executive Stephen Gitagama honoured the winners and challenged them to inspire other young people to take up positions in society to create an impact.

“When we started 14 years ago, there were fewer men under 40. Today they are more, meaning the competition is tougher,” he said.

“I encourage more young people to take on challenging tasks because if we don’t have many young people rising to the top, our future will be bleak. We need to innovate, we need to have creative minds and be more challenging.”

Top 40 Under 40 is a Business Daily annual award aimed at recognising and feting 40 men and women under 40 years in corporate leadership, professional services, enterprises and Juakali sector, sports, arts and creatives who have made a great impact in their field and in society.

This year's men were selected from over 400 applications and shortlisted from 85. Sponsors of the event included East Africa Breweries Limited’s whiskey brand Johnnie Walker, Simba Corp, Dentsu, Little Red and Ronalds.

Nominations for Top 40 women are still ongoing.

The recognition has in the past years helped in creating a strong brand for the individuals, giving visibility of their work and opportunities to further their career.

Konza Technopolis Development Authority chief executive officer, Mr John Tanui, a winner of the award in 2012, said the recognition impacted his life by propelling his career to secure the position in 2015, three years after getting the award.

“About 10 years ago, in the year 2012, I was the recipient of this very important award and it really impacted my life. It helps you see you have pushed yourself over the years. Sometimes you feel you have reached a plateau in your career, and then comes a recognition,” he said.

‘’Since then, it continues to be one of the most celebrated awards that I have seen, that is more impactful, especially to our young people.”

He is among Principal Secretary (PS) nominees under the new administration selected for the State Department for ICT and the Digital Economy.

Business Daily has launched a networking and thought-sharing platform, Top 40 Club, for more than 1,120 Top 40 Under 40 men and women.

Top 40 Club will be held quarterly holding fireside chats with speakers proposed by the individuals.

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