Tilka gets Forbes recognition
Zambian swimmer Tilka Paljk has been recognised as one of only 30 top inspirational people in Africa below the age of 30 by Forbes in this year’s edition of their annual Africa 30Under30 magazine.
Paljk’s latest achievement comes barely a month after the athlete was unveiled as brand ambassador for Equitysport, a United Kingdom (UK)-based charity sports organisation.
The Olympian is one of only two Zambians on the list alongside Deborah Mutemwa, South African based entrepreneur and founder of Tumbo-Scott Incorporated.
In what marks their seventh edition since the listing begun in 2014, Forbes Africa features ‘innovative entrepreneurs, tech geeks, sports stars and influential creatives leading a pandemic-hit Africa.’
“The Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list is our most coveted list of the year, and what makes this year’s compilation even more compelling is the fighting spirit of the candidates who made it through a turbulent year. They need to be honoured for their tenacity as leaders charting a non-linear trajectory to success, and they are also representative of Africa’s greater talent trove that they will in turn help shine a light on,” Forbes Africa managing editor Renuka Methil is quoted to have said by South African webiste BizCommunity.
Paljk has also been recognised alongside South African top musician and producer Kgaogelo Moagi (Master KG) and Nigeria musician Divine Ikubor (Rema) amongst some of the notables on the list.
Previous editions have featured top stars such as Mr. Eazi, Lloyd Harris, Siya Kolisi, Sho Madjozi, Bruce Diale, Karabo Poppy, Burna Boy, Davido, Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa, Nasty C and WizKid.
The 24 year-old described the developement as ‘surreal’ as she announced the news to her followers on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I would have never in my life imagined this, I am so grateful for this moment in my life, it's so surreal.”
Apart from just representing the country at major competitions like Commonwealth Games, World Championships and African Games, Paljk has become a standing advocate on issues of social and economic concern and gender equality too over the years.
“I want to leave my sport in a better place than where I found it so that the next generation of African swimmers can reach even greater heights, that means more opportunities and better opportunities, no matter who you are or where you come from.”
“Equality and diversity are all the rage right now, but they can’t be a fashion or a trend because fashions and trends die out,” she told Equitysport in an interview after her unveiling last month.