The Young Independents is searching for leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 years who are trailblazers, influencers, disruptors, healers and innovators.

The SADC region includes Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

"This year, under the theme 'It takes 100', we took a decision to extend our search for exceptional young people beyond South Africa because of the need to integrate efforts by young people in order to drive significant change, not only for South Africa but across the region," says Mike Ntsasa, founder of The Young Independents.

Saajida Francis, editor of The Young Independents, adds, "We need to place young people at the forefront of change and development within Africa."

Independent Media is calling on community members to nominate any person between the age of 18 and 35 whom they think is making a difference in their community.

The five nomination categories are:

1. Disruptors

Disruptors include people who are challenging the status quo or traditional thinking with their unconventional ideas and actions. This includes artists, writers, media and civil society leaders.

2. Healers

Healers include medical practitioners, educators involved with environmental work (such as recycling) and NGO workers. This is a leader who participates in the global shift in consciousness and acknowledges that Africa has more healing to do to reverse the painful political history of discrimination and oppression.

3. Influencers

Influencers are people who are influencing the actions and behaviours of brands, policies and people. This includes government leaders, trendsetters, social media gurus and critics.

An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position or relationship with their audience.

4. Innovators

Innovators include people inventing new products and business ideas or services that are changing the way people live, work and play. This category is for individuals who are driving business or technology, scientists, architects, and chefs. 

5. Trailblazers

Trailblazers include people leading their field at a local and international level. These include top sport players, academics, scientists, and business leaders.

Nominees must be living in the SADC region and should be doing community development work.

To enter the competition, submit the nominee’s contact details (name and telephone number or email address), as well as the nominator’s contact details, along with a motivation letter explaining why the candidate should be considered as one of the Top 100 of SADC 2018 inspiring leaders. Applications close on Monday, 30 July.

For more information, or to nominate someone, visit You can also follow The Young Independets on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.