A final celebratory dinner hosted by Investec in their London offices on 15th September brought to an end a six-month tumultuous journey of learning, of exploration, of self-reflection and establishing bonds of friendship and collaboration amongst 28 of Africa’s highest-potential emerging leaders, that will pertain across thousands of kilometres and for many many years. The Tutu Fellowship awards were presented at the dinner to those who had met the exacting standards required by the Fellowship and the 2017 class of newly-awarded Tutu Fellows dispersed to fulfil their potential and commitment as young leaders to make Africa a better place for all to live in.
The success of the 2017 programme is probably best captured by the words of the new Tutu Fellows themselves. Here is what some of them highlighted from their six-month experience:
“It was a life changing experience. This program has really challenged me inside and will surely impact me in transforming Africa!” – Prof. Yap Boum – Cameroun
“A life-changing experience - over the course of the last six months, I feel like I have been cracked open, with each and every single one of my vulnerabilities and flaws exposed and through the interactions with speakers, my peers and self-reflection, I have begun the very necessary but sometimes difficult process of growth to enable me to maximize my impact on the continent." – Fayelle Ouane – Mali
“Completing the Tutu Fellowship program has been a phenomenal personal and professional growth experience. The structure of the program keeps you continuously engaged over the six-month period. The interactive and experiential content really forces you to push your boundaries and stretches you out of your comfort zone, resulting in life-long learning that wont easily be forgotten.” – Hema Vallabh – South Africa
“The Tutu Fellowship offers an incredible opportunity to step back from busy day-to-day lives and think more broadly about the positive impact we can have as individuals in our communities, country and continent. Doing this with a focused peer group of leaders from across Africa, who all care deeply about seeing Africa thrive, brings a real energy and urgency to the task ahead. Together, so much can be achieved.“ – Dirk Holshausen – Zimbabwe
“The fellowship experience was sincerely life changing! I learnt so much about leadership, importantly about myself and the kind of leader I thought I was, unmasked by the kind I really am. The journey has allowed me to grow in ways I never imagined and I made some life-long friends along the way!“ – Sam Ngcolomba – Zimbabwe
The official group picture for the Fellowship Class of 2017 is below with embedded caption:
There were so many memorable moments during the six months, which started with a more Africa-focused look at leadership at the workshop at Mont Fleur, Stellenbosch. It finished with the 10-day workshop at the Said Business School in Oxford and with our sponsors in London, where African leadership was placed in a global context. Between the workshops, the Fellows came up with some amazing and ambitious community projects that will employ their undoubted leadership skills in improving life for others in Africa.
Their group projects on the future of Africa were amongst the best we have seen in the twelve years the programme has been running and should really be given greater exposure to decision makers on the continent. Each participant highlighted different sessions as their most insightful moment, because the quality of speakers and facilitators were almost uniformly high, and the innovation employed on the programme using music, poetry, Shakespeare, cooking, trading and other unusual techniques made the learning not only enjoyable but deep and varied.
We must thank our partner on the programme, Said Business School, Oxford, for helping us run this world class programme, but equally important to thanks our valued sponsors – Investec, Rio Tinto, GSK, Centum, Barclays Africa, Allen & Overy, and Thomson Reuters – without whom this incredible programme and its impact across Africa would not be possible.