Student Profiles

Sharon Baah

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Sharon Baah, a student of the African Leadership College, Mauritius, and an alumni of Labone Senior High School, Accra, Ghana is the youngest of a family of seven. Prior to her study in the African Leadership College, she worked at the Eat well bakery Enterprise and savings company both as a sales girl and mobile banker. From there, she worked with Father’s Legacy International School as a teacher to develop the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of children. This was as a result of her growing up in a community where 0.5% of the children in the community had the opportunity to go to school and she was one of the children who had that privilege.

Further, despite the fact that it was a poor community which encouraged picked pocketing and prostitution she was able to overcome all the obstacles with the help of education. She believed that education was the only way through which she could break the poverty barrier and thus she didn’t leave any stone unturned. From this experience, she developed the interest in wanting to train children because she believes that children are the future leaders of the African continent and that they should be well taken care of in the early stages of their life. This can either make these children grow to become an asset or a liability to the continent.

Again, while growing up, the political system in her country Ghana, enabled her to develop an interest in politics. This was as a result of change in government and the kind of change that was happening in the country. Developmental projects that should be improving grew from best to worst within four years. Thus, Sharon aims to be a president in her country in the future or a Minister of Women and Children’s affairs so as she can bring certain change which can solely be done when one is in government. She also aims to involve the youth of her country to pursue entrepreneurship while encouraging them to forgo the complaints mind set and develop a solution based mind set which would enable them to see the future of the country and the African continent in their own lens.

Lastly, Sharon is a Christian who values honesty, humility and Integrity. Though she doesn’t have one thing that she can say she’s solely interested in and passionate to pursue, she aims to be good at whatever her hands find doing. Her hobbies are taking on tasks when needed, sleeping, cooking and programming.

Insene Bagaja

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My name is Insene Buchu Bagaja and I am 21 years old. I was born and raised up in Sololo Town. Sololo is a very small town on the outskirt of Moyale constituency, in the Northern Kenya. I am a third born child in a family of 8 siblings. I come from a humble background. Both my parents are amazingly supportive to me on my educational journey because they know that I am working to change lives; something that they too are passionate about.

I attended the Alliance Girls’ High School between 2010-2013 and later joined Kenyatta University in Kenya in 2014 to pursue a degree in Gender and Development studies. However, I did not finish my course at Kenyatta University since a great opportunity to go here instead.

I aspire to be a gender and human rights activist. This has always been my passion, a passion that I drove from the many forms of discrimination that I see happening in my home town-Sololo and Moyale town. Girl-child has always been and is still being discriminated against in my area. Many are still undergoing retrogressive cultural practices like Female Genital Mutilation and early marriages in this modern age. Some are not even getting the free education that the government is providing. I would like to transform the community that I come from through education. Currently, a couple of my friends and I have started an organization called Urgo Ladies Organization to empower girl-child from Marsabit and Isiolo counties of Kenya. We are currently doing mentorship in over 5 high schools and a few primary schools, educating communities on the Effects of FGM, early marriages and generally on the importance of educating girls. In the schools that we are doing mentorship, we help girls to be vocal and understand their rights through our special discussion program called ‘Koota Injenna’. Occasionally, I write about gender issues and share it on my blog.

Life here is an amazing one. I’m taking a Social Science major and an additional course in Entrepreneurship. At ALU, I joined a community out-reach program to help mentor less fortunate Mauritians. For this, I am grateful to my parents for inculcating in me the spirit of community development. I want to be a transformational African leader and ALU is sharpening me very well for that. I hope to be a young African leader who will help people who are being discriminated against on the basis of gender to find their voices and achieve justice because I believe in a world where there is equality for everyone.

It is my everyday dream to one-day work with the UN or Amnesty International to stretch out my hands further and reach out to many more people that need to be empowered and uplifted. It breaks my heart to see people who are in positions of power not providing solutions to the problems that their communities are facing. I want to be a solution provider.

 

Michaela Farquhar

FarquharPhotographJan2017.jpgI have always tried to sum up my thoughts into one word and allow that chosen word to resonate and give answers. The true answer to who I am – I believe I am hope; a shooting star that captures people’s imagination. Blazing a trail that no one has been towards before, but leaving enough glow of light to allow others to follow.

I am from a small town called Bulawayo in Zimbabwe and born the eldest daughter of Michael and Adele Farquhar. I was named shortly after entering the world in January of 1994, after my Father (Michael) – as Michaela. Head strong as my star sign Capricorn describes, I am a woman of made of iron, highly organised and down to earth.

Raised in a country that prioritises education, my parents sacrificed their last dollars to see me through a prestigious education. Their efforts to see me well education motivated me to do well in school – in recognition of their efforts. A major school highlight  was being sworn in as Junior Mayoress of Bulawayo at the tender age of seventeen – this experience ignited my passion for Service, People and Zimbabwe’s future.

Outside of the realms of work, I enjoy dance and free movement. Drama and theater have always been my escape from the pressure of the work space. I spent many years in school drama productions and later found myself assisting with the production of two school productions as a choreographer. I’m an avid swimmer and have been fond of water since 18 months of age.

As I begin my second year of higher education my passion for Zimbabwe and Africa develops further. After completing my Undergraduate Degree in the next couple of years, I aspire to complete a Masters Degree in Public Administration. I intend to delve into Politics and International Relations – as these have been passions I have developed and refined from the age of seventeen.

I have a vested interest in seeing segregation between races become less dominant in Africa, particularly Southern Africa in this post Colonial era we are moving rapidly into. Africa has the chance to show the world that equal and fair race integration can and will exist. I may have been born as a caucasian into Africa, but that does not make my blood any less African born than other inhabitants of this beautiful continent.

My best years will be dedicated to Africa and more specifically Zimbabwe – the former breadbasket of Africa. I believe in being hope, because when hope exists so does the possibility for anything to happen in this world.

Stephanie Gogo

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I’m Stephanie Gogo, a 19-year-old lover of all things cosmic. I believe in the immortality of the soul and the mystical creature that is karma. I consider myself a doer of many things but I’m best described as a thinker (or over-thinker for that matter).

I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya yet pride myself in being a global citizen (with a specialization in the African context). All things spiritual, I subscribe to the concept of pantheism; holding true to the belief that the universe operates as a powerful hand determining the divine titter totter that sets worlds, thoughts, people and actions in motion. In addition, I believe and stand for feminism; striving to strike a balance between the opportunities that women and men get in the society.

Currently, I‘m a varsity student at the African Leadership College in Mauritius where I continue to equip myself with the necessary skills that will aid the completion of my life’s mission.Any time someone asks me what I want to be, I say ‘A lot of things.’ This answer’s never changed. I’ve always been passionate about social justice and this is mainly because of my core values and the events I’ve witnessed throughout my life. I noticed a lack of good governance within my immediate environment and want to work tirelessly to fill this gap and elevate the weak and impoverished. On the other hand, I am also a carrier of African culture, ensuring the lifeline is maintained through creating art that uniquely speaks on what this vast continent has to offer.

I’m a work in progress and I’m warming up to the fact that that’s a step in the right direction. I plan on enjoying the speed bumps as I go along this journey and see where the road will take me. I love to help people find their voice and enjoy equal comfort- that’s all I want to keep doing in the days to come.

I picked Social Science as my major because it is a discipline known for shape-shifting just as my personality suggests. Social Science is so multi-faceted and remains applicable in all spheres of life. Moreover, it has no answers; only theories and ideologies coined by different human beings as they try to navigate the circle of life. In Social Science, nobody knows- they only try to question how much they don’t know. I like the confusion that this course offers me and more than ever wish that it affords me the ability to graduate with more questions on life and people.

Khaled Khalil

Welcome my dear audience! Wait a second! Who are you? Are you the thinking few or the undereducated many? Should I be analytic and critical or brief and direct for you? Should I freely discuss any thought on my mind or strategically maintain a flow in writings? Would it bother you if, after a series of articles about relationships, I write about the plummeting Arab Spring ? Would you read the latter? What if I never told you who I am, would you still read it? What if I never told that the writer is an Arab, practicing Muslim, who happened to get born in Egypt that happened to be located in Africa that happened to be a developing continent in the era he was sent there? What if he never told you that he is also in one of deepest love relationships he ever heard of? Would that in anyway affect your decision-making process and make you read the article? And when you read it, would you notice those subtle words I chose carefully to reinforce some subconscious thoughts in your mind? Please don’t! Also don’t read for me if you are expecting definite answers – here, you find questions and answer attempts no more.

I invite you to join me in my thinking process and would expect your collaboration in finding the ultimate truth yet without assuming its attainability.

Insightfully,

Khalid

Kirui, Nicole

Elizabeth Kitange

elizabethBorn in Moshi, Tanzania, I have lived half of my life in the capital city, Dar-es-Salaam. In 2015 at the age 18, I graduated with a Diploma from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and now at 19 years old, I am a full scholarship second year student in  Mauritius. For four years of junior and senior high school, I was passionate about economics and languages and decided to follow a path that would lead to diplomacy and economic development. I was interested in the different roads and opportunities that would allow my country to develop at the fast rate that it was when our late father of the nation Julius Nyerere led. However, I was still blind to the breakdown of how Africa would rise again. This is when I started getting interested in education as a tool for the development of Africa.

Throughout my leadership journey at ALU, my passion for education has lighted the way towards the impact I want to make in people’s hearts. Aspiring to become a social scientist in education, I chose a major in Social Sciences and Applied Psychology to mark the start of my journey. The social sciences are a path that will allow me to understand how societies work and interact with each other with Psychology as a road to understanding how individual minds work and how I can apply its skills to psychology and vice versa. Through this knowledge, a program shall be given birth to – one that will allow not only the best student experience in tertiary education, but also corporates – to build their emotional intelligence and awareness of self and others in order to maintain their leadership maps clear throughout their lives.

I aspire to begin at the scope of tertiary education where students would be able to keep their leadership maps clear, through emotional and personal growth. This is through practicing psychology and mindfulness to allow them to broaden their minds and step out of the box and start guiding themselves through the best tertiary education experience. This student life experience will be led with my passion in facilitating Entrepreneurial Leadership and Projects where students can mix their personal leadership journey and projects to create services and products that will allow both them and their communities to flourish.

After graduating from ALU, I choose to work for a corporation that values its mission and vision to transform the continent through education and other skills – corporations and institutions that are passionate about using education as a tool to build a firm foundation through our youth for the development of the African continent. My aspiration in life is motivated by the satisfaction of personally working with people, helping them grow and finally watch them flourish out in the world. Creating opportunities through education is a servant leadership path that I have chosen to take.

Angel Adam Kobelo

angelI am Angel Kobelo from the home of the highest mountain in Africa, fascinating wild life, breathtaking views and the beautiful Zanzibar Island, Tanzania. Am currently a social science student at the African Leadership College (ALC) in Mauritius. Looking back at my life today, I have come quite a distance. From the little girl attending primary school in the freezing cold of Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania, diploma in medical laboratory sciences, a couple internships and months of volunteering, to the lady in sophomore year at ALC today, my life has really transformed. The knowledge and skills, lessons and mistakes along the way have made me a better, wiser, stronger person I am today.

I would say you are what you stand for, so to know more about me I start by telling you about what I stand for. I stand for peace, for freedom, creativity and the use of our basic human resources to make a good today and an even better tomorrow. I love travelling, exploring cultures, music and lending a hand. Helping someone do and be better, gives my life purpose and my heart peace. I would live a complete life if there will be people whose lives I have touched, and in some way made better. I live to lend a hand and put smiles on faces as I instill hope in their hearts.

Problem solving is also a hobby I picked up at a young age. I enjoy every bit of it, solving a problem to me is a breath of fresh air after a long, exhausting journey from a hot, dusty place. I love it! However, more than anything, I love freedom. Freedom to live life the best way you know how. To make mistakes and not be ruled a failure, to explore and wander in the lines of curiosity and what ifs. The freedom to experiment and try things out, to do something that only you can see the value of, being call crazy and not ruled out as dumb. I love the type of freedom that makes your spirit light and your head a frenzy of imagination and possibilities. Because that type of freedom brings not happiness but joy.

With the love of freedom comes a dislike of rules. I think rules box you in and I prefer outside the box. They set you into a routine and make the world such a definite white and black place of what is right and what is wrong, creating judgement and a need to fit-in in societies all over the world. This often makes me think of how I want to live my life and the answer is always,” in such a way I won’t regret anything at the end.” That to me that is through helping people no matter what I choose to do in the future.

However, I would like to be an entrepreneur. Because with entrepreneurship comes creative problem solving, touching people’s lives, challenges, and hope. All of which I hold dear. I look forward to learning more and gaining more knowledge and skills to help me achieve this goal. It’s a world of endless possibilities.

Lubalenkosi Ncube

ncube-imageI answer to the names Lubalenkosi Lisa Ncube. Born and bred in the ‘City of Kings,’ also known as Bulawayo in Zimbabwe 21 years ago, I am the baby of the family, having come after 4 other kids I am forced to call siblings. Yes, they drive me crazy at times, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. So I guess it’s safe to say I’m very family oriented and can’t wait to have my own little family.

I’ve always considered myself a rich kid, not because we were financially-endowed, but because our home was always rich in love. It’s because of such an environment that I appreciate the simple things in life, which greatly contributes to my being passionate about helping people. For a long time, I struggled to figure out what exactly I want to pursue in life as a career but I knew it had something to do with my passion as mentioned above. Finally, I settled for Law, which is what I want to explore for my Masters, seeing as I am taking Social Sciences for my undergraduate studies.

Growing up in Zimbabwe, especially with the country’s deprived economy, being very ambitious come easily. The struggle to get by on a day to day basis in fear of the sudden change in currency as per experience, is the driving force behind the need for change. I come from a country with an excellent literacy rate and a strong education system that produces exceptional results, but poor governance and a disappointingly high unemployment rate for graduates. I personally believe that education and health are the two most important systems that determine the trajectory of a country’s success. Therefore, it’s such setbacks that motivate me to fully equip myself using education in order to create a more effective dynamic shift in the society.

Having said this, my future is leading up towards the law field because that is where I believe I am likely to implement change in the best way I can. I see myself more as the voice of the people, as cliché as it may sound, but in line with youth development. Ever so often, we hear that we young people are the leaders of tomorrow and yet, as in this case, our contexts somewhat starve us of the opportunity to fully explore our potential.

However, the world is evolving and so is education. Inasmuch as Zimbabwe is full of newly born graduates, “book smart” isn’t enough to salvage an underdeveloped country within a technologically driven world, especially since the knowledge that is still being received in universities today dates back centuries. We live in a world where art and creativity are the major game changers in how education is delivered and received lately. This for me, is the missing ingredient in the recipe for a better life as young and hopeful Zimbabwean.

Grishon Njoroge

grishon-njorogeI am Grishon Njoroge born on the 14th of February 1995 to Charles and Ann Njoroge. I am the second born son but not the second born child. I have four siblings; two beautiful sisters and two good looking brothers.I am five feet four inches, and that makes me the tallest person in my family. I like to think of myself as an African citizen with a Kenyan passport. I am a secretive person, and every once in awhile I like to keep to myself this could also be because I have some problems with trust. I can barely believe people; this does not mean I have had bad experiences with trusting people I just find it difficult to do it.

I like to think of myself as a friendly and loving person sometimes I love more than is conventional. It is very easy for me to deny myself something for my friend to have it I believe more in making sure people around me are happy even if that means I will not enjoy some luxuries in life. I believe in equality in everything be it gender, race or sexuality; I hate to see it when someone is looked down upon because of something they have no control over or a decision they made. A family is a big part of my life I know without it I would not be anywhere close to what I am now. I believe in family as the glue that holds me together.

I am a creative and an artist. I like to create things that I think would help or just to change up things to look better than they already do. This makes me the worst critic to myself most times I want to change a lot of things around me and in me. Being artistically inclined has caused me to be a perfectionist. I like to see the beautiful side of stuff and that comes with me being a photographer, in everything I do I always look for what makes it beautiful. Seeing beauty to some extent makes me an optimist. I do not see the evil in people, or the negative end of things I like to remain around positive energy, and I like to give positive energy back.

I believe in a supreme being I also respect religion because of my family and background. I am however not denominational. I believe love is the one gospel that all religions preach and we should not separate ourselves from others because of how we worship.

One Pusumane

oneMy name is One Pamela Pusumane, and I am from Botswana.I am a debater.A poet. A Feminist by my definition. An entrepreneur and a leader. I am in my second year and studying Social Sciences.

I am passionate about art. Thus I write and perform poems in my spare time. In my opinion, every individual has a unique voice and a story to tell hence the need for art in our lives. Shortly I hope to work on my poetry and to get my work out to the world. When I am onstage, I feel alive and somewhat believe I am making a difference by impacting other people through art.

Competitive Debating is one thing I am very keen on because I believe it is very good for personal development. I have been debating since 2008: During all these years I have managed to represent my school and countries in various tournaments across the African continent. My vital skill lies in my ability to explicitly express my ideas and be able to engage in arguments and respond effectively hence I continue to build these skills over time.

In addition to my hobbies, have picked up coding which I had stopped doing back in 2014. I am currently seeking out opportunities to learn more about tech because I was inspired to do so while working on a project during my internship period. Programming helps one to think better hence the way one approaches a problem is very different.Also, I believe this is a field that more women need to get into since the industry has more men than women.

As a young woman, I feel passionate about Gender equality and women, so I volunteer to work with young people, and I have one one sessions with so I can assist them with any resources that may contribute to their personal growth. I make my mission to save time to hold fundraising events for kids without homes or those stricken by poverty. I also collaborate with local NGO’s and run a mentorship program where I give motivational talks to kids and share my experiences with them.

I do monthly reviews of where I am as a person so as to have a sense of how I am achieving the goals I have set. I have seen the need to have a mindset of deliberate practice so as to know if I am on the right path. I believe that breaking up my goals into smaller chunks will help a lot. I know the journey will be tough and challenging, but I am sure the ride will be an awesome one. I will get embrace the change.

Social Sciences will allow me to keep all parts of myself and improve on them as time goes on. I believe it is a major that will allow me to prosper in every possible sense. Therefore, I believe that I will learn a lot from the various concepts in Social Sciences. I am excited about this journey!

Sunday Salami

sundayI am Sunday Jerome Salami. I am from the country that is revered to be the giant of Africa, Nigeria but truth be told: there’s nothing really gigantic about my home country except for its ever growing massive population. I hail from the middle belt region of Nigeria, Kogi state by name and a few miles from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja which is located in the country’s center. However, I have lived in the South Western part of Nigeria all my life. I grew up in Lagos with my family and attended both elementary school and high school on its soil.

I am interested in interdisciplinary social sciences. Particularly, history and politics and how government decisions influence or impact our day to day lives. I am also very much passionate about entrepreneurship, education, leadership and youth empowerment and I look forward to leveraging these four in order to better impact the community I come from positively. I want to see youths who’d go forward to become a catalyst for change and craft out various solutions to problems each of their respective communities currently face.

I enjoy reading biographies of people as well as digging up facts about history. Whenever I come across any old fact about someone, a place or an event, I simply go online to verify and also seek more information about such person or event. Now, that’s one thing I like doing for fun. I also enjoy playing soccer both physically and through video games. One thing I’m also very much interested in is traveling around and getting to tour the world; but one thing stands in my way: I have aerophobia—fear of flying on an airplane.

In a few decades from now, I see a world where Africa will start shinning at par with other continents; where great incorruptible and responsible leaders would have emerged from across the continent in order to move it forward. I believe that in 30 years’ time, I’d have become a catalyst who’d have remarkably turned around the education system of my home country, Nigeria. I also see myself becoming a global citizen, fostering peace and unity across the world. I see myself giving hopes to and empowering youths in the society. I see myself as a dynamite ready to blow off obstacles to youths and students’ successes by creating opportunities for them through my potential social enterprise.

Ṣike Salau

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I am a person; bound by a world I do not understand and bred in a world that doesn’t understand itself. I am Nigerian, short, smiley when the mood is right – but mostly, I am a girl trying to become a woman.

I am passionate about people, the way they think and the way their thoughts affect their actions. So going forward, I dream to renovate the communication sector in Africa, such that it positively renovates mindsets.

 

Fanidh Sanogo

fanidh“You would have been so beautiful if you were light skinned”, a male friend told me a few years back. The most shocking part of this statement was not the fact that he thought a light skin was a synonym for beauty, but rather the fact that so many people agreed with him. Now, as far as I was concerned, my black face was beautiful. My parents always taught me to love myself as I am. I remember some of my friends who were lighter than me telling me, “See your black face”, as though it was an insult. I would laugh it off and carry on with our conversation. It was not until that statement that I realized there was something wrong with the world, and with black people more specifically. Indeed, throughout my childhood, there were several people around me who would pass comments such as “I hate my black skin”; “White girls are the most beautiful”. This made me wonder why people of my kind lacked so much self-esteem and confidence. After a lot of reading and thinking, I realized that my people, including myself had been brain washed into thinking that everything that has to do with the black race is automatically at the bottom of the pyramid. So, I started observing my environment more carefully, and doing a lot of research, which led me to the conclusion that black people are still slaves mentally and spiritually as a result of slavery and colonization.

Based on these observations, I was able to craft my life’s mission which is to free Africans from mental slavery. Prior to that, my mission was to help eradicate sickle cell in Africa. I was very passionate about this due to the high number of sickle cell patients in my family. However, I realized that being healthy would be useless if we are still slaves. Similarly, eradicating wars and creating jobs in Africa would seem like the right thing to do, but I strongly believe that the root cause of all the problems in Africa is in the mind of Africans. Hence, in my view, a sustainable development can only be achieved when this problem of mental slavery is dealt with.

I trust one way to tackle this is by boosting black people’s self-esteem and by making them understand Africa. Indeed, most Africans hate Africa because they do not know Africa. The media constantly makes us believe that our continent is full of misery and that the only history we have is that of slave trade and colonization. This needs to change. Most of us as Africans don’t even know some of the greatest leaders that lived on our continent. This is why I believe it is essential to know our true history. I am aware that changing the mindset of a whole community can take centuries. Hence, I can only hope to contribute to this change, and intend to do this through my writing and photography.

Lethabo Setata

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My name is Lethabo Setata. I am the first born and have two siblings, Nthabeleng and Lesedi. I consider myself as a social entrepreneur as I constantly look for ways to solve problems in a more business way, as I used to when I was the Chief Operations Officer of a Not-For-Profit Organization called Gallery of Academic Leaders (GOAL). GOAL is an organization that seeks to assist high school students from previously disadvantaged background. I enjoy reading a lot and engaging with people of all levels.

I was born in the Republic of South Africa, a country with a rich political and economic history. I went to school in the province of Limpopo and successfully completed my primary and secondary school there. I studied Psychology for three years before I decided to continue my education on the island of Mauritius. I have also done Business Development with an insurance company called Discovery based in South Africa, and this excludes four more international companies which I have effectively participated in their projects.

I aim to complete my BA Social Science so that I can have a better understanding of various factors that influence the direction of societies, that is Politics, Economics, Sociology, International affairs etc. I immensely believe that if one possesses the understanding of these aspects, he or she can manoeuvre in any environment in a very informed manner.

I am aiming to become a social investor, a social entrepreneur, an author and a socio-economic political commentator (Something I have been doing with local radios in South Africa). I want to enter business from a social angle and build a social enterprise that will address the needs of the many. I want to leave a great legacy for the next generation of young Africans.

René Solomon

solomonI believe that people are drawn to their purposes early in their childhood and spend the rest of their lives trying to understand them. That being said, I do not have much memory of my childhood passions. That is, except for a deep obsession with dinosaurs and dogs, and an incessant curiosity of humanity. This curiosity manifested itself in many forms – I spent most of my formative years learning about journalism and martial arts. These interests peaked as a media director in the Model United Nations and captain of the Junior National Team.

Thankfully, these opportunities exposed me to brilliant individuals with a truly diverse set of ideas. From as young as 11, I had already developed an 11-year-olds concrete opinion on philosophical notions such as strength, principle and what it meant to be a leader. These ideas, for a pre-teen Rene, revolved around teamwork, and delivery of excellent work within deadlines. Yet, at such a young age, I had not yet understood what my purpose was and what measures I would put in place to achieve them.

This knowledge gap spiralled me down a path of excessive extra-curricular exploration. Aside from my academics, I ensured that I participated to my capacity in at least 6 extra-curricular activities at a time. The exploration, fuelled by the need to find a concrete purpose introduced me to entrepreneurs and artists who were ‘comfortable with discomfort’. Their expression for problem identification and solving cultivated a deep awareness of my ambitions. After all that time, the one thing I had been searching for, was a way to truly connect with the world and the people who lived in it.

My journey ultimately led me to Mauritius. Here, I was attracted by promise of an education offering relentless questioning of self, exponential growth and ultimately, a broad, deep and diverse network of African peers and friends. I chose the social sciences as my major because of the course’s multi-disciplinary structure. The overlapping modules are exactly what I need to continue my pursuit of understanding purpose, people and their contexts.

As for what the future holds, the jury is still out on that. I know that my career should involve plenty of travel and human contact. I would find it useless to engage in work that does not directly allow me to explore my emotions and thoughts with other people. Moreover, in addition to the curiosity I am trying to satiate, I am also grateful for an entrepreneurial spirit. I hope to merge the two to solve pressing challenges for minority, impoverished communities across the globe.

Felicia Somolu

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My name is Felicia OmoDunke Somolu. I am Nigerian by birth, Ghanaian by choice. I believe that I identify more with Ghana, my country of residence because I grew up there.

Growing up in two countries has given me a unique perspective on things. I believe that mingling with a people who share different cultural beliefs and values makes me see the world differently. I enjoy the food, music and lifestyle of both countries. I enjoy writing about my multicultural experiences and believe that this led me to believe in the uniqueness of the African story.

As a social science student I am intrigued by how the societies in which we live influence our lives. I believe that social science is about learning about our own identity, a concept that I have struggled with personally as a result of my unique background, history, culture, and how we relate to other human beings on our planet. Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, disciplines that can be found in social science are essentially the study of what it means to be human. In simpler terms it is the study of life.

As a writer, the subject of life, why we are here and the question of whether what we see is all that there is has always been captivating. Understanding that the world is not all that we make it to be and that what we see, experience and act on are actually the results of our experiences, social contexts and external forces that we sometimes cannot control gives us a better understanding of ourselves.

I believe that to solve Africa’s many challenges, we need the social sciences. In fact, I am of the belief that subjects like sociology, psychology and philosophy should be compulsorily taught in schools. We cannot solve our problems when we cannot define what African means to us.

I hope to be able to contribute to finding and building the identity we lost pre colonization and I believe that the media is the most powerful and efficient way to do this.

 

Amina Soulimani

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My name is Amina Alaoui Soulimani, and I am from Rabat, Morocco. Since very little, I was raised to be a cheerful and positive soul, fond of music and all kinds of arts. I am also the

fruit that came after the union of two loving beings in an early month of ’96 to conceive me.

I was with no doubt lucky to be born in a family that embraced diversity and openness, a reason why I attended 8 different schools throughout my 12 years of preliminary education.

Meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures pushed me to become curious, adventurous and enthusiastic about not only the little details of day-to-day life but the various actions and reasons which pushed human beings to act and think the way they do.

I had shaped my vision through every experience I had gone through in these past 20 years, and I had been able to get a new set of eyes each time, and see the world from different perspectives. Books, on the other hand, had allowed me to discover nations I would’ve never dreamt of visiting.It all lead me to become interested in research, and in building bridges of understanding and compassion between believers of all religions.

After having interned at the UN Refugee agency this past fall, I am currently excited to kick off my second year focusing on Political Sciences and Sociology while still diving deeper in Moroccan history, and analysing the religious trends between many African countries. On another note, I would like to make of my passion for literature a job, and initiate publishing houses for young writers to revive African literature more than any previous time.

Selasi Tokornoo

selasi-torkornooHi, my name is Selasi Esi Trudy Torkornoo. I am a 20 year-old proud Ghanaian born in Accra, the capital and busiest region in Ghana: a place of heavy traffic and the mouth-watering taste of kenkey.

I am fortunate enough to have been born into a household full of love, faith and diversity. My parents are people who value the concept of constant learning and growing. This is one of the many reasons why I am studying Social Sciences as my undergraduate degree.

I was born in to a family of intelligent and strong women and living without a brother was an experience different from most people. Going to high school and getting the chance to live with boys was an eye-opener because I began to see the differences between males and females. I became even more intrigued about human behavior and the society as a whole.

I also like to read anything written, from articles in Times magazine to fictional novels and research papers. Reading has broadened my scope and has made me inquisitive. I constantly thirst for knowledge about our society and the hierarchies of society. I particularly enjoy opinion pieces because they reflect different perspectives and ideas of people which is a great learning platform.

After my Social Sciences major, I intend to go to law school and become a practicing lawyer specializing in Intellectual Property and Litigation. This decision is as a result of watching my mother who is a Court of Appeal Judge back home in Ghana, and also my just-ended internship with a law firm in Ghana known as Minkah-Premo and Co. My internship gave me the space to learn about the justice system in Ghana, and ignited the fire in me to take action concerning helping people and the society at large. Being of help and support to anyone no matter their social class or stance is a fulfilling and rewarding thing for me and in essence, being a lawyer satisfies this cause and passion.

Phionah Umalisa

Umulisa, Phionah.JPGI am a young African girl from a small beautiful heart of Africa known as Rwanda. I am 22 years and single by marital status, born in Tanzania. I grew up asking myself why I am a Rwandan by blood but born outside. I later found something was wrong. Rwanda faced genocide and this made Rwandans lose their friends and relatives. By God’s mercy, my family managed to escape and that’s how I was got to be born from Tanzania. When the genocide was stopped, my family decided to go back to Rwanda and that’s where I was raised from and it’s where I am today. In the regard of my education, I studied all my education from Rwanda where I was doing Biology, chemistry, and Geography. I had a dream to be a doctor but, having some curious questions in my minds., I had different questions circulating in me such as; Who is a leader? What does it take to be one? How do you recognize that you can be one?… I couldn’t find someone to give answers to them. And this explains where I need to head. I need to understand the leadership scope of the whole world. And this doesn’t deal with some fields and leave the others. I need to learn and embrace leadership skills in all of the sections let it be in technology, Nonprofit organizations and so on. I need to work with the world to identify challenges and finding solutions to them. Basically, I need to travel and read a lot to understand how each and everything we see came into the existence. I always wonder what brought women used not to have the same opportunities as men and I find the solutions to them which will never let next generation face the same as our mother did. I came to Mauritius because there are students with the same taste and I was partially answered for the whole I was asking myself. This school helped me know my own continent before going abroad or traveling. I first understood that I need to know my continent better and solve the problem we have and spread the happiness to the world. Thus, I am taking a social science major which will give me more knowledge and details of how I can keep on learning and understanding with the help of facilitators who understands and with the same passion as mine. I need to build, I need to impact, I need to grow, I need to empower some community in this world.

Noah Walakira

noah-walakira

Noah Walakira is a 24-year-old Ugandan, passionate about entrepreneurship and leadership. He is the founder of Namirembe sweater makers a community-based organisation employing 25 people with the aim of solving unemployment in Uganda. They produce school uniforms, Sweaters, Co-operate wear, badge printing, head gears, scarves among others. They have now grown to currently making bridal wear such as; Wedding gowns, changing dress, and customised wear. His company currently has 58 partner schools and companies with customers from Rwanda, Tanzania, and South Sudan.

At 16 years, Noah started knitting after acquiring the skill from his grandmother, during his primary seven vacation. He later taught his friends in the same skill, saved up to purchase knitting machines and registered the company in 2012.

Noah is among 2014 Anzisha Prize finalist. He is also a winner of the 2015 Mulwana innovation awards. His business and success story has been broadcasted on CNN African startups and several famous media sites and websites. He hopes to grow his business to employing 35 youth and supplying 100 schools and companies. He also plans to set up a bridal wear showroom. In his academics, Noah had his college and High school from Mengo Senior school from 2007 to 2012. At school, Noah exercised leadership as a student leader in various positions such as school deputy Head prefect, Debate Club leader, Peer counsellor among others responsibilities. He was one awarded pioneer participants in the African Leadership Academy Model African Union debate; he was awarded during the young African leadership forum debates among other local debating awards.

After High school, Noah started full-time entrepreneurship for three years before moving to Mauritius, seeking to develop his skills further in entrepreneurship and leadership. He is pursuing a degree in social sciences alongside a short course in African studies and entrepreneurship. “I find it difficult to separate the word Africa and youth according to the statistics of youth in Africa. Therefore, I believe the best way to ensure Africa continues to rise has her youth rise.” In his words. This mindset has shaped his career objective, to positively impact people’s lives with the skills he has attained other the years.

 

Wanjiru Wambugu

wanjiru

Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius. Citizen, resident, temporary resident. Mom, dad, me. For the short 20 years that I have spent on this Earth, my life has somehow always been divided into three parts…My name is Wanjiru Wambugu and this is a short introduction of my life so far, my dreams and aspirations, and all that jazz.

Not so long ago, in a city called Nairobi, a nappy headed child was born to two doting parents (Josephine & Wambugu). The child was to be named Elizabeth Wanjiru Wambugu but due to unknown reasons, the child was named Wanjiru Wambugu instead. After seven short years, Wanjiru and her mother were whisked away to a foreign land that had a misleading currency, and where hardly anyone was conversant in the English Language.

For the longest time, I hated living in Tanzania. The people seemed strange as did their way of life, and I could not wrap my head around why everyone was just so uncharacteristically polite.

Growing up, I would have done almost anything to make my parents proud. This included buying into the idea of Christianity, more specifically, Catholicism because of how central being Catholic is to my mom and dad. However, I have gotten to a point in my life where I am no longer willing to play pretend; I have chosen to be Agnostic, as I have found an alarming number of conflicting beliefs in Christianity. I have considered Hinduism and Buddhism but the fear of not being accepted by my parents holds me back from committing to either one of these religions.

I have played the piano for over a decade and have gotten to a level that not many people will ever be able to reach in the lifetime. It was a struggle getting my parents to pay for my piano lessons because they wanted me to do activities that every other person my age was doing.

Not too long ago I began to appreciate photography, mainly macro photography and other types of abstract taking photographs; I spend most of my free time looking for inspiration on the National Geographic website. Looking at pictures and taking pictures is one of the ways that I unplug from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

In the coming years I would like to explore aviation and real estate development. I aspire to travel the world and take part in a movement that seeks to educate East Africans on the importance of conserving our environment by starting off with Eco friendly homes… I’m not quite sure how those two careers mix but hey, who says you have to have it all figured out? Time is on my side…for now.

Nicole Wambui

nicoleHello, my name is Nicole Wambui and I love adventure! I am 100% Kenyan and I’m currently doing my Social Sciences B.A in Mauritius.

What I plan to do with my life:

There are three things that really fascinate me in this world; space, learning about people plus their behavior and music. Now there’s not really much I plan on doing about my fascination with space but I really want to create music that will help people. Music that promotes calm and healing. I would one day like to be a music therapist and create a chain of centres across Kenya where people can access mental healthcare services at affordable rates.

It’s quite interesting how my introduction to behavior and people was through my O Level Sociology lessons with a woman named Ms. Winnie Mbithe. She used to teach that class with so much enthusiasm that I just had to always pay attention and see what all the buzz was about. Four years later, here I am pursuing a Social Sciences degree because of one woman’s decision to teach with passion- And that’s one lesson I have decided to take with me as I continue through life. The path to where I am now hasn’t been easy and I know I will continue to encounter challenges, but I believe that as long as I dedicate my time to what I love and do it with passion, my dream of improving the human mental condition through music will be realized and surpassed.

Mpumalanga Zwane

mpumiI, Mpumalanga Zwane, in addition to being proudly Swazi and African who speaks English all the time, am currently a a Social Sciences undergraduate student. Thanks to my first full scholarship and the sacrifices of my parents, I obtained my high school education from Mananga College, Swaziland, and then Penryn College, South Africa. This was before going on to the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, where I did a semester of my Bachelor of Arts Degree before I made the most daring decision of my life and moved to Mauritius.

When looking at the things that have shaped me, I believe there are two distinctly defining moments in my life that have played the biggest role in me becoming who I am. The first occurred in the last few months of primary school when the first girl amongst my friends kissed a boy. The drama of the moment, and the unwarranted judgement and rebuking my other friends and I showered on the Kisser was so delicious. It took a moment to realise that, besides doing this one thing I considered to be so “sinful” at the time, this girl was basically the same person I had known for eight years. I later learnt that my friend had been harbouring a crush on the boy she kissed but was always too afraid to tell us for fear of our reaction. That was my first lesson in how easy it is to judge people and crucify them based on our definitions of what is correct. Above that, it taught me the effects of those judgments on one’s freedom to be their authentic selves.

The second defining moment in my life was schooling in South Africa for two years where for the first time I was a minority and aware of my black skin. South Africa not only bore the scars of Apartheid, but many people I encountered knew very little about life outside South Africa. At first, I would get angry whenever I was asked what I deemed to be ridiculous questions about Swaziland- of course we had buildings! Until my friend made a joke about the troubles in South Africa being better than living in Ethiopia. Then, for the first time, I became very aware of the subtle prejudices I held about other African countries. It was easy to see how Ethiopia was not as bad as the news made it seem if I was having a logical debate. Outside of that, my ideas of Africa were not as educated or beautiful. That was the birth of my love for Africa and how it is perceived.

Today, I want to use my Social Science degree and poetry to explore how our perceptions of others and the world, and our environments come together to affect how we interact with the world and our ability to succeed thereafter. I also want to see how this pans out in an African setting and create spaces that are conducive to human growth and authenticity.

 

 

 

 

 

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