The African Leadership Academy’s annual graduation ceremony serves to celebrate the achievements of those who have successfully completed the intensive two-year course offered by this institute; those who are familiar with this academy, like Tunde Folawiyo, will understand how momentous an occasion this is. Amongst last year’s graduates were Elizabeth Mukayuhi and Diana Ayoub, two young women who are now on their way to creating sustainable positive change across the African continent.
Prior to attending the African Leadership Academy, Elizabeth had been a student at a school called the Gashora Girls Academy. After the Headmaster of the school, Peter Thorp, requested that his students be considered for ALA scholarships, Elizabeth and her peers set about preparing for their examinations, the results of which would determine whether or not they were accepted. Elizabeth threw herself into her studies, and achieved exceptionally high marks; this in turn led to her being offered a scholarship to the ALA.
She continued to excel during her time at the academy, serving as the co-captain of the ALA’s basketball team, and as Fiorina Hall’s residential assistant. However, her greatest accomplishment whilst at the ALA was being named as the chief financial officer of a student-run enterprise named ‘Emo-art’. This organisation aims to empower young girls residing in the township of Zandspruit, by using artistic mediums to teach them practical life skills. With Elizabeth’s support, the group managed to raise enough money from the sales of their bracelets to pay for an Emo-art camp, which is to be run each summer.
Shortly after graduation, Elizabeth went on to work as an intern at a financial services provided called Equity Bank. Her experiences there led to her developing an understanding of the importance of financial literacy, and an interest in micro-financing. She now intends to study the latter, along with peace studies, at university.
Diana Ayoub’s story is equally inspiring. Diana comes from an Egyptian city called Qena, where women are often discouraged from applying for schools anywhere outside their own country. However, Diana had dreams of working in politics, and was determined to obtain the best education possible in order to achieve her ambitions. And so, when she was offered a place at the ALA, she immediately said yes.
Her time at the academy resulted in her being accepted into the University of Texas. Like Elizabeth, she had an interest in finance, and so chose to study this subject, along with economics, for her undergraduate degree. Her studies are being funded by a non-profit called the African Leadership Bridge; this is an organisation which anyone an interest in education, such as Tunde Folawiyo, will have heard of. It offers students with exceptional academic records the money they need to pay for their tuition fees and living costs whilst studying abroad.
Folawiyo takes a keen interest in the work of educational institutes like the ALA. You can read the Tunde Folawiyo online CV to find out more about his areas of expertise.