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“Africa’s Youngest Billionaire” Ashish J. Thakkar covers Y! Africa



Ashish J. Thakkar - April 2014 - BellaNaija 01

Last month, Y! Magazine announced that it is rebranding to Y! Africa. Now we can see the first look at the bold new direction.

32-year old serial entrepreneur Ashish J. Thakkar covers the debut issue of the publication. Ashish is the CEO of Mara Group, a pan-African multi-sector business conglomerate.

From escaping genocide and Hotel Rwanda, to conducting transatlantic business at the age of 15, Ashish who has been called Africa’s youngest billionaire, is a poster boy for evolving possibilities of the continent.

Ashish J. Thakkar - April 2014 - BellaNaija 02Ashish J. Thakkar - April 2014 - BellaNaija 03

Chude Jideonwo, Editor-in-chief of Y! Africa says “Africa is a beautiful picture in contrasts. On the one hand… much more than half of the employable young population is out of job and there are many caught in wars and rumors of ears, from Sudan’s two sides to the Central African Republic. But on the other… there’s growth and palpable excitement as the continent to watch; investment pouring in for technology and a whole range of businesses new and traditional, impressive GDPs across countries; democracy solidifying and with it free speech, citizen engagement, the flourishing enterprise and a groundswell of creativity. This edition presents that sense of newness – and hope.”

The issue also features the #YCeleb100, profiling 100 of Africa’s most powerful celebrities under 40, and the #YTech100, which lists the 100 Most Innovative People and Ideas in Nigeria’s Tech Space.

Y! is available in stores and from vendors across Nigeria, and is also distributed in Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa.

In Nigeria, you can also pay for the magazine with your mobile phone or online at Okada Books and have it delivered to any part of the country (click on magazine, click on the Y! Africa logo and place your order).

Details are available on or via @YAfricaOnline on Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. Email [email protected]; or call +234 817 300 0001 for more information.

Photography: Ade Asiko
Stylist: Segun Garuba
Written by: Wilfred Okiche


  1. Gorgeous

    April 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Yes sure. Only African when it is convenient…

  2. Noble (

    April 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Great Innovation. Congrats Chude and team.

  3. mk

    April 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    He escaped “Hotel Rwanda”…I always thought Hotel Rwanda was a place of refuge during the war?

    • Naveah

      April 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Are you minding Bella Naija? Hotel Rwanda was the movie that chronicled the event surrounding the genocide and how a hotel manager allowed over 1200 people to take refuge in the hotel he managed called Hôtel des Mille Collines. They may have been going for a play of words but it didn’t translate well.

  4. Rose

    April 21, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    This guy is Indian. So, this is the only representation of Africa’s wealth. I’m still surprise with all the degrees, education Nigerian youths get, none of them are business innovators. Now, dangote is Nigerian/African.


    April 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I read his story on bbc a few months ago and what i got from the story, was he and his family were air lifted with all the other foreigners whiles anyone with dark skin was left to die when war broke. so i do not get why he is disturbing us with him escaping from war and bla bla bla for me, i think he got off easily whiles others had to flee on foot just saying, sounds to me he is only african when its convenient. Anyway he has done well i am all for any young man and woman out there trying to make or have made it.

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