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Forbes Africa #30 Under 30; Sports Category: Wayde Van Niekerk
By Chioma Okwu

THE FORBES AFRICA 30 UNDER 30 LIST IS THE most-anticipated list of game-changers on the continent and this year also marks the fifth milestone annual Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list with a new inclusion of new categories of game-changers.

Together, they are 120 in total across four sectors: business, technology, creatives, and sport. 

We will, however, take time to look into bits by bits details of the collectives in no particular order. 

We will be reviewing Wayde van Niekerk, 26, South Africa, a track and field athlete; in the Sports Category.


The man currently holding the world and Olympic record in the 400 meters was born in a small town in Kraaifontein, in Cape Town.


As a child, Wayde van Niekerk dreamed of being the fastest man in the world and he is evidence that dreams do, in fact, come true. The world took notice of him when he won gold at the World Championships in 2016.


Since then, he has shown no signs of slowing down.


He came first in the 2016 Olympic Games in the 400 meters in Rio de Janeiro, and again in the 2017 World Championships in London.


However, due to a knee injury, Van Niekerk was unable to participate in any games last year and he is still on his road to recovery.


After the long and painful wait, he returns to the track and is set to compete in the IAAF World Championships in Doha in September, alongside many other world stars. Usain Bolt, world record holder in the 100 meters and now Van Niekerk’s good friend, told FORBES AFRICA, when he visited South Africa this year, about what advice he gave the South African athlete.


“I always tell Wayde, ‘it is good to be fast and to be great, but if you want to build your brand you have to show your personality’. People will want you to be a part of their brand’,” Bolt said.


After news that he had temporarily withdrawn from athletics due to his injury, he showed love to his fans by tweeting that he was determined to race again. Many look forward to his return this month and, perhaps, more records to be broken.


“The race itself is a blank experience, I only remember the end. All stresses disappear right there. It’s about me giving my everything and leaving it all there on the track,” he told FORBES AFRICA after his 2016 win.

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