TOP 40 UNDER 40 male winners 2021

May 14, 2022

The winners are from across professional fields such as the arts, technology, academia and finance.

TOP 40 UNDER 40 male winners 2021

Ritah Mukasa
Journalist @New Vision

After three months of searching for the Top 40 under 40 nominees, from last December 2021 to February 2022, the judges declared winners who exhibited ingenuity, community impact and the X factor. 

The winners are from across professional fields such as the arts, technology, academia and finance. Below are the Top 20 men for the year 2021;

Peace & Reconciliation, Bob Muyonza, 34

 Country director, Pilgrim Centre for Reconciliation Uganda

Muyonza is the country director for Pilgrim Centre for Reconciliation (PCRUG) an international organization with headquarters in USA. 

The 34-year-old leads a team of professionals who engage youths and refugees in peace and reconciliation retreats. 

They spread the message of hope and healing by renewing individuals, restoring relationships and revitalizing communities through reconciliation.

 They also train their beneficiaries to become pilgrims, coordinators, reconcilers and facilitators for peace dialogues, healing and reconciliation retreats. 

His job involves making reports and organizing meetings, dialogues and retreats aimed at creating peace, justice and reconciliation.

“We have impacted over 4,000 people in four years. We have been appreciated by nationals, Somali and Congolese refugee communities,” he adds.

He observes that Uganda is home to thousands of refugees who come with fresh wounds that need to be nursed with food, love, shelter and counselling. 

 “These retreats help to dismantle revenge tendencies which are common among Ugandans and refugees,” Muyonza says.


Darren Harry Baine 19, Student, innovator

At just 19 years, Darren Baine lives a busy life juggling studies and part-time work in Canada. 

He also runs two charity organizations in Uganda: Kuzire Group Ltd, which he runs with two friends; Matthew Mugabi and Masiko Niwagaba. The second one is Ever Elm Foundation, which he runs with Rachael Nduhukire.

This started when he was 17 years old at Aga Khan International School. He started Ever Elm Foundation, a philanthropic initiative that has been running for two years. 

Through the foundation, Baine facilitates social growth and development of youth-based institutions across the country. With his team, they train and provide essential materials to the beneficiaries. 

"We adopted a small school in Bombo and have since offered teacher training. We also partner with organizations and donate scholastic materials,” he says.

In 2021, Baine donated to Naguru remand home and is in the process of creating modules for the children’s skill development programme.

Additionally, Baine registered a youth-centric organization through which he supports the development of high-quality, engaging, and educational talk shows, plus capacity building programmes to provide information on career and business for the youth. 

The organization currently runs the Young Eye show, which profiles inspiring youth and hosts successful individuals for insightful discussions.

“I have inspired youth to think beyond them and create initiatives they are passionate about to help societies,” he says.

Meanwhile, Baine is in his second year, studying biotechnology at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He also works part-time as an international relations analyst for Waterloo International. 

His job entails analysing and aiding the university to enrich its global presence and international impact with its different partners globally.


 Andrew Alikuluya, 35, Executive Chef   

Andrew Alikuluya is the executive chef at Extreme Adventure Park Busiika. 

His main job is managing chefs and kitchen staff to ensure that whatever food is served to customers is excellent so that they get value for money. 

He also checks on customers to get feedback on how the food can be improved in case they want something a little different. 

With more than 15 years of culinary experience, he brings a dynamic and innovative energy to the culinary scene.

At an early age, he used to participate in family cook-offs, where his mother was always the judge. So, every holiday his mother organized a cooking schedule for him and his siblings, and that is how he picked an interest in cooking.

Alikuluya’s passion for continuously learning, training and exploring his skill has resulted in an impressive career spanning Tunisia, Kenya and Uganda. 

He previously worked at five-star and four-star hotels such as: Laico Hotels & Resorts, Sovereign Hotels Group, The Pearl of Africa Hotel (Whydham Hotels & Resorts) and Latitude Degree Hotel, Makindye Kizungu.

His wide-ranging experience, creative flair and ardent passion for the culinary arts make him the ideal chef to work at five-star hotels.

He has managed and worked in both big and small investments, which has made him quite versatile.


 Charles Bwanika, 33, Proprietor, Farm Kiosk

Charles Bwanika is the founder of Farm Kiosk, a social enterprise, which uses the web portal and mobile app to link farmers with different value chain actors. 

The 33-year-old is also the co-founder of Hope Children’s Primary School, Hope sports academy and Giving Children Hope Initiative (GCHI), a civil society organization. 

At the organization, he is responsible for strategizing and initiating programmes that empower, mentor and inspire young people. Such programmes include Youth Mentoring Clubs (YMCs) in schools and Girl Child Mission (GCM). 

Since 2012, GCHI has impacted several communities across the country; Bwanika has mentored more than 1,600 vulnerable children in Mityana and the surrounding areas since its inception in 2013.

“I have also mentored more than 5,000 boys and girls via our annual sports galas at the academy, which I co-founded in 2014,” he says.

The academy aims at unlocking young people’s potential through sports.

In addition, in 2015, Bwanika initiated a schools’ outreach programme dubbed, Discovering, Defining and Presenting yourself to Opportunities (DDPO), which has taken him to many schools, where he equips learners with 5Cs including creativity, curiosity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication skills.

For ten years, Bwanika has been part of the Plant for Planet Uganda chapter, which is part of the worldwide network for children that aim at planting 12 billion trees. 

At Farm Kiosk, despite the COVID-19 disruptions, Bwanika and his team have reached out to 2,360 farmers with structured programmes such as digital literacy training and smart farming approaches. 

“We have formed 22 youth groups, 40 women groups and trained 680 community leaders and food security activists,” he shares.

Social Entrepreneurship

Jackob Alok 34, Co-founder, Plavio Uganda

Jackob Alok is a co-founder of Plavio Uganda, an organization that restores hope and creates smiles on the faces of vulnerable girls, especially teen mothers and school dropouts in Lira district.

They benefit from psychosocial support, vocational skills training, menstrual hygiene education, peacebuilding and livelihood projects.

“We have changed the livelihoods of teen mums. Hundreds of them no longer depend on their parents because they are skilled,” he says.

Since 2018, Alok has donated over 7,740 reusable sanitary pads to rural adolescents and mothers. He also founded the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA), an initiative that has impacted more than 500 people.

He also offers basic food supplements to the elderly in different villages in Lira district. 

 Away from philanthropy, Alok is a part-time lecturer with Uganda Christian Institute for Professional Development (UCIDP). 

Here, he lectures on communication skills, fundamentals of records management, public healthcare system, social administration and NGO development.  


Paul Matovu, 32, Proprietor, Vertical and Micro Gardening

Paul Matovu lost his parents at seven years. He grew up with his grandparents deep in Kassanda district. 

While there, he fell in love with agriculture. When he moved to Kampala for his university education, he was touched by how urban dwellers struggled to get food. 

He devised Vertical and Micro Gardening (VMG), a space-saving way to grow food in urban settings. 

In four years, this social enterprise has scooped 10 international awards and Matovu, a 32-year-old has grown it from 1,000 dollars to a worth of 50,000 dollars.

His farms and extension services have so far impacted over 1,000 homesteads around Kampala and Wakiso districts.

He also employs 11 permanent youths including gardeners, extension workers, an accountant, sales and marketing personnel, administrator, machine operators and manager.

Matovu has initiated and implemented various projects in agribusiness to impact more people. 

He says they have been an opportunity for him to reassure communities and leaders that with combined effort, societies can solve their problems. 

“I have used the knowledge and skills to support fellow young people to start and run their ventures,” he adds.

At VMG, Matovu provides overall direction for the enterprise. He makes major business decisions, creates strategic partnerships and fundraising, manages the overall operations and resources of a company, and ensures growth for all employees.


Christopher Seezi Tigaiza, 32, Managing Director, Embago Coffee

 Christopher Seezi Tigaiza is a coffee roaster, barista trainer and managing director of Embago Coffee, which he established in 2020.

 “We package quality coffee for Ugandans and international markets,” he says.

“Just like art requires style, brewing coffee is art too. I bring art into the barista profession and deliver my work with a high degree of professionalism and consistency,” he adds.

He also offers public awareness on the consumption of coffee, all the while providing coffee and other beverages to clients.

Tigaiza trains baristas and links them to employment opportunities in the country and abroad.

“I started training after seeing a gap in that space. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with youth,” he says.

Tigaiza adds that the trainings have impacted hundreds of youth. Some have started their own cafes while others have found jobs in the coffee industry, in and out of Uganda.

Elsewhere, the 32-year-old plays golf and has won awards in the game.

Tigaiza has also scooped barista awards including finalist at eighth National Barista Championship (2014). The following year, he emerged first runner-up at the Uganda National barista championship (2015) and best Espresso at the ninth Uganda National Barista Championship (2015) both awarded by UCDA. 

In 2017, he was the finalist at the 10th Uganda National Championship.


Moses Namara, 29, Graduate Research Assistant

Moses Namara is a graduate research assistant at Clemson University in the U.S.

He says he has executed his duties differently by being open-minded to new experiences and challenges. 

He is also the co-founder of the Black in AI (BAI) academic program, which facilitates the inclusion of black people in the field of artificial intelligence.

Namara went to Kampala Parents School, Kawempe Muslim SSS for O and A-Level and Montgomery College USA. 

He later joined the University of Maryland, College Park, USA for a bachelor’s in Computer Science, which he completed in 2014. 

He also attended Clemson University, USA for a master’s in Computer Science and is currently pursuing a PHD in human-centred computing.  

Namara was among the youth who won the MIT Tech Review 35 Under 35 for the year 2021, for the creation of a programme aimed at increasing the number of people studying for careers in artificial intelligence.

The programme has mentored 400 applicants, 200 of whom have been accepted to competitive AI programmes.


Peter Okware, 33, Director, Teachers in Need

Peter Okware is a professional primary school teacher, entrepreneur and director of Teachers in Need (TIN), a not-for-profit organization. 

He also owns Rising Star preparatory, a community school for less privileged children and is the founder of Teachers TV Africa, an online educative channel.

He enjoys teaching learners and training teachers all over the country. Okware empowers them with the necessary knowledge and skills to help them fight poverty through education.

For example, in 2018, he organized various workshops dubbed; Groom A Teacher, which were recommended by the Ministry of Education and Sports.

He impacted over 10,000 teachers in more than 500 schools around the country. 

Okware also connects unemployed teachers to schools and sensitizes parents about their role of being the first teachers at home and how they can fully engage in the development of their children.

In education, he focuses on laying the right foundation that will breed the right leaders, parents and workforce than just focusing on classroom performance that leads to short term excitement.


Simpson Muhwezi, 30, Director of Wandiika Literacy Initiative

Simpson Muhwezi is the creative director of Wandiika Literacy Initiative, a social enterprise he co-founded in 2018.

He uses story writing to help primary school learners to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are crucial in learning, development and future survival. 

Muhwezi coordinates Wandiika’s flagship programme; Wandiika children’s writing prize, an annual story writing competition, which brings together pupils from different regions of the country to write creative stories. The best are awarded and published. 

“The competition is open to all, and priority is given to disadvantaged schools,” he notes. 

He adds that he designs the programme with the help of colleagues, who include teachers, parents and heads of school.

Muhwezi has also compiled a collection of stories titled; A Visit to a Witch and Other Stories.

 This collection and others coming up in 2022 are subsidized to enable disadvantaged children to access culturally-authentic reading materials.

Muhwezi has awards to his name. In 2021, he was listed by the International Literacy Association among the 30 most outstanding young literacy leaders in the world.

In 2018, he was the overall winner of Kampala Geopolitics essay writing competition, organized by the French Embassy in Uganda.


Emmanuel Angoda, 35, Founder, Centre for Skills and Innovation 

Emmanuel Angoda is the founder and director of Centre for Skills and Innovation a not for profit organization in Lango sub-region. 

He juggles it with teaching ICT at Lira Town College, where he has served for 10 years.

He also heads the ICT department and oversees ICT services and infrastructure. 

“I also provide career guidance and assistance to students and school dropouts in the Lango sub-region,” he says.

Due to hard work and philanthropy, Angoda was named a rising star in the Young ICT Innovators category at the Annual Communication Innovation Awards (ACIA). 

He also scooped Vision Group’s Teachers Making a Difference award in 2017 and in 2019; he won the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders and Ireland Africa Fellows Programme - Masters Scholarship.

Meanwhile, Angoda does a lot of community work around the school and in Northern Uganda. For example, he allows community members free access to the ICT laboratory for education and research purposes. 

He also writes educational articles that are published in newspapers.

In 2021, Angoda birthed two projects; Virtual E-Learning workshop and collaboration and Building a strengths mind-set in schools which have impacted different people in the region.


Isaac Kato, 29, Climate Change advocate

Isaac Kato envisions an Africa where all girls and young women are nurtured, guided and empowered to reach their fullest potential. 

In 2018, he founded Girls Paint Africa Green (GPAG), a non-profit hub working in 11 countries and 150 institutions in Africa. It focuses on championing actions against climate change as well as empowering the girl child and single mothers to live meaningful lives. 

Kato has enhanced several community trainings on climate change, early pregnancies, and the fight against HIV/AIDS. 

Girls paint Africa Green is active in Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, Rwanda, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Cameroon and Congo.

“We inspire and empower girls to embark on environmental protection and conservation. They plant and conserve trees and nature,” he affirms.

On the other hand, Kato is also passionate about empowering young people, mostly those from underprivileged backgrounds.

In Mbarara city, Kato offers over 150 market vendors and hawkers capital to start up small businesses through Mbarara City North Community Traders SACCO.


Ronald Mugaiga, 26, Founder Ecomak Recyclers

Ronald Mugaiga founded Ecomak Recyclers in 2020. He works with refugees in Kyaka II settlement in Kyegegwa district. 

They collect waste and sell it to the company which recycles it into energy briquettes, bricks and blocks. 

By so doing, they solve the challenges of waste pollution, deforestation, indecent housing, poverty and unemployment.

Also, Mugaiga distributes tree seedlings to communities in Kyegegwa district. 

He also volunteers with The Tony Elumelu Foundation. He is also a coach for Startups without borders and mentor with Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI.

He was the first runner up at the Social Shifters Global Innovation Challenge under the climate category in 2021 for recycling plastic waste.


 Timothy Otim 34, Researcher, German Aerospace Center

Since June 2021, Otim has been working as a researcher at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt), also known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of Europe in Munich, Germany.

The center leads in carrying out research activities within the fields of space, navigation, satellite communications, energy, and transportation within Europe. 

Otim develops future applications based on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Artificial Intelligence techniques mainly for easing public transport in Germany, Munich city in particular. 

He is also actively collaborating with the city council of Hamburg in using Geographic Information System (GIS) information to perform land use classification, and relate how these classes affect human social functions, to infer German government policies.


Alozius Gonza, 39, Vice president, ISU & Executive director GMT Consults Ltd

 Alozius Gonza started his career in civil engineering in 2004. He later branched into land economics in 2010 after graduating with a degree in land economics. 

He briefly worked with East African Consulting Surveyors and Valuers before moving to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), where he served as head of valuation.

Under this role, Gonza spearheaded the revaluation of all properties in Kampala and the exercise was the first to be conducted internally for any government entity in Uganda. Most of these exercises are undertaken by external consultants.

Currently, he serves as vice president at Institution of Surveyors of Uganda (ISU) and executive director of GMT Consults Ltd.


Richard Mwebesa, 38, Author, business consultant

 Mwebesa is an author and so far, he has two award winning books to his name.

The first one; Inspired by Forty- Lifestyle, Love, Hope and Character Quotable quotes recently won the Christian living category at the African Christian Authors Book Awards (ACABA) 2021.

At the same event, Mwebesa’s second book; Out of the Crowd; The Ultimate guide to mastering the art of standing out emerged among the finalists for book cover of the year 2021.

He says, his books have touched lives, and this has humbled him to the core. 

“I have received enormous reviews but out of the hundreds, five are profoundly refreshing,” he says.  

Away from book writing, Mwebesa works with Britam Insurance Company (Uganda) Limited as business development manager.  

He also does part-time consultancy with the Insurance Training College of Uganda (ITC).   


Malik Ssempereza, 38, Skin specialist, health entrepreneur

 Ssempereza is not an ordinary doctor. The skin specialist has deployed the latest technologies to improve healthcare delivery in Uganda and in the process, curved himself a niche in health entrepreneurship. 

He is the founder and head of Unity skin clinic at Acacia mall, The Medical hub, Roswell Women and Children’s Hospital, Roswell Ear, Nose and Throat clinic and Wellington Heart and Diabetes clinics all located in Kampala. He also recently birthed a cosmeceutical skincare brand called Clabane. 

“Since 2013, when I started Unity skin clinic to date, I have dominated online real-time appointment booking,” he asserts. 

Ssempereza adds that his facilities have the most advanced laparoscopic surgeries including the only continuous real-time wireless labor monitoring system for mothers in East Africa.

He also runs the first private Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with a wireless real-time central monitoring system whereby doctors see what is happening to their patients on their mobile devices. 


Joram Muzira, 34 , Founder, Joram Model Management 

Joram Muzira never imagined he would be a driving force in the fashion industry in Uganda, scouting for and churning out models from Uganda to international catwalks like the New York fashion show.

He worked as a waiter during his senior six vacation. He rose through the ranks to cashier, events manager, public relations and marketing. 

He is currently the creative director for Joram Model Management (JMM), an agency he started in 2012. He serves as casting director, model scout, fashion show director, producer, and pageant coach.

He scouts for raw talent and develops them for the international world. He has 20 models working internationally in New York, Paris, London and Milan. 

These include; Aamito Lagum, Akello Patricia, Aliet Sarah, Aketch Joy Winnie, Paul Mwesigwa, Ayak Veronica, and Moussa Dhiako.

Since the agency’s inception, Muzira has been on a roll. He has participated in the popular New York Fashion Week 2018- Shadowing Rachel Young and interning with LDJ Productions, one of the top New York Fashion Week production companies.

Muzira has worked on several other local and international fashion shows.


Noah Ssempijja, 35, Founder, YICE Uganda

 Aside from working as the national programs manager for Opportunity International UK, Ssempijja also runs Youth Initiative for Community Empowerment (YICE Uganda) a social enterprise he founded. He employs 20 people permanently.

His team trains farmers to adopt regenerative farming practices that enable them produce food in small spaces in a sustainable and eco-friendly way, throughout the year. 

They use a mobile drip Irrigation kit which Ssempijja innovated. He also inspires them to conserve the environment by planting fruit trees.

 “This intervention aims to promote food security, regenerate biodiversity and achieve climate change adaptation all while improving farmers’ incomes,” he explains. 

Ssempijja and his team carry out community-based activities including; permaculture training and regenerative farming, water harvesting, irrigation, organic fertilizers and mobilizing beneficiaries into savings groups. 

Since 2016, they have directly benefited over 1,500 households. They have increased food security and can harvest two meals a day. 

At Opportunity International UK, Ssempijja heads the Refugee Financial Inclusion Program which has impacted over 4,000 refugees. 


Richard Kato Sembatya 33, Senior Technical Officer, UCAA

 Sembatya balances several huts on his head as a professional engineer, project coordinator and technical officer. 

At the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) he serves as a senior technical officer for research and development projects, Communication navigation and Surveillance (CNS) systems maintenance engineer and project coordinator. 

Elsewhere, he is a consultant with Jerm technology which he owns. Here, he participates in business development efforts, custom computer systems development and maintenance, asset security projects and general consultancy work. 

As a senior technical officer, he is tasked with the ideation, origination, research and development with the goal of improving processes, efficiency and the extension of the system value past the formal product lifecycle.

At the same time, he is Involved in the day-to-day maintenance of CNS systems as a maintenance engineer. The systems facilitate the safe and expeditious flow of aircraft through UCAA airspace.

The 33-year-old consequently coordinates activities under the modernization and automation of Entebbe International airport grant project.


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