Latest News

The latest news from the African Leadership Institute and its Fellows.

AFLI Fellows are leaders and change-makers, so this section has a lot of news. Please use the icons below if you want to sort posts by category, such as: regular news posts, video posts, audio posts, by tag, or by blogger. Additionally, all text in all of the posts is fully searchable.

When a moonshot falls short

TEDxKopano

In this TEDx talk in Johannesburg, novelist and medical doctor Kopano Matlwa Mabaso tells how she and her friend Chrystelle Wedi sought to turn the tide of preventable deaths in women at childbirth. Their idea made them winners of the first Aspen Ideas Award. Their idea was to set up mobile, ultrasound scan clinics in remote and rural parts of Africa and make lifesaving antenatal healthcare more easily accessible to pregnant women. But the deepest parts of Africa are tough places to do work. Matlwa, with humility, tells how even good ideas sometimes need self-correction during implementation.

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Anti-corruption TEDx talk by Tutu Fellow

Anti-corruption TEDx talk by Tutu Fellow

Tutu Fellow Robtel Pailey has given a TEDx talk in London on her children's book to fight Gbagba (corruption) in Liberia. She reminds us all that there is nothing inherently African about corruption.  Her children’s book was published in 2013 to critical acclaim and subsequently placed on the list of supplemental readers for 3rd to 5th graders in Liberia.

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This is what a farmer should look like

This is what a farmer should look like

2015 Tutu Fellow Mosunmola Cynthia Umora told her TEDx audience Ife, Nigeria about how she was broke, in debt and being called a failure as a startup farmer and entrepreneur.  Her advice: "Identify that reason, that purpose for which you have been created, and stick with it."  It is the only thing that will get you through those periods when the road is tough. 

She is a distinct type of farmer. For her, agriculture is a mainstay of the Nigerian economy and yet there is so little regard paid to it. Cynthia founded a company engaged in farming, food production, processing and distribution right out of college. The company has its flagship retail outlet under the Farmshoppe , a retail brand for freshly processed, organic farm produce.

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Will women be the engineers of the future?

H-Vallabh

2017 Tutu Fellow Hema Vallabh spoke at a TEDx event in Johannesburg about how she realized that young girls weren’t considering becoming engineers because it was a job for men only. She tried to find the source of this misconception and found it was in the definition of traditional engineering as being a space of strength and physical ability.

She makes the case that the needs of society nowadays should be addressed with the new definition of engineering as a space of innovation and invention, which are skills that women have. She wants to bring the information to a young generation of women who otherwise might be excluded from considering the profession.

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Telling your story

J-Gichuru

2012 Tutu Fellow Julie Gichuru reveals in a TEDx talk how she has committed to tell Africa’s story and she challenges everyone to do so with their own means. With her long experience hosting TV shows and working in the news industry, Julie has been striving to offer African content to its people, rather than just importing it from other cultures or abroad. She gave her talk as part of the Brookhouse School series in 2013. 

She said the younger generation that concerned her especially, as many young Africans were going through something of an identity crisis regarding culture. Julie has always been preoccupied with young Africans, helping through her foundation Footprints Africa Foundation to provide better living conditions and education for children. She makes the case that to transform Africa, it cannot be possible without people aware of their roots.

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Dreams of my tata

s-sisulu

2011 Tutu Fellow Shaka Sisulu shares with the audience at TEDx in Soweto in 2012 how much he was inspired by his uncle about the importance of dreams. In his homage to his uncle Zwelakhe, Shaka uses the power of imagination to travel into the future, where he brought back with him visions of a prosperous and affirmed Africa - the Africa that he says, we must create.

Born into a the renowned family that fought for and won the liberation of South Africa from apartheid. Shaka has a passion for start-ups. He points out how the best entrepreneurs have become successful from following their dream and working towards it. Dreams - and courage - are important if one is to realise those dreams.

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Lessons from my three new kidneys

Irungu

As a survivor of kidney disease, 2010 Fellow Lorna Irungu shares in her TEDx talk some important life lessons. The first one she offers is the importance of being well informed. She goes on to say how important it is to surround yourself with the right kind of people who believe in you and support you in any way. She gave her talk in July, 2012. 

Running through the statistics of the number of people who die annually of kidney disease in the world - 2.5 million people - she points out how daunting these numbers are and the  impacts are on the people affected. Despite that, she says it is very important for people to not identify themselves with the situation they are in, in order to become a conqueror of the situation rather than a victim.

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Democracy and design

M-Makeka

In 2011, 2014 Tutu Fellow Mokena Makeka spoke at a TEDx event in Mfuleni township about the relationship between democracy and design. His perspective as an architect revealed to him how lot of problems are caused by the way design is used to separate and affect people.

Mokena is the Director of Makeka Design Lab an international award-winning Architecture practice. He said he noticed how areas of Cape Town that were more vulnerable to floods were inhabited by poorer people, while the ones with great views had homes for more privileged ones. This was not just about colonialism or apartheid, he said.  It was about the conscious choices of design in society.

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Does a Baby's Heart Count?

InfantMortalityFrancoisBonnici

2013 Tutu Fellow  Dr Francois Bonnici shares in his TEDx talk in 2010 the issue of newborn survival. He starts out by asking which seems more dangerous - bungy jumping, shark infested waters, air travel?  Rather, he says, it is infant mortality. The day we are born is the day we have the highest risk of dying.

Statistics show how incredibly big an issue newborn mortality is, and how investment in health has had great strides in improving the numbers. In some countries in Africa, the numbers can be as high as one child in 16 dies at birth. He has been trying to change the African health system and to raise awareness by working in humanitarian and development programs.

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Let's take a new look at African aid

A-Mwenda

2009 Tutu Fellow Andrew Mwenda asks the audience at a TED talk in 2007 to reframe the "African question" - to look beyond the media's stories of poverty, civil war and helplessness and see the opportunities for creating wealth and happiness throughout the continent.

Andrew points out that the solution to Africa’s problems is not to increase the foreign aid, because that it comes with reinforcing negative narratives - but instead to reframe how aid can be best used. Among the consequences of the continent being seen in a bad light is that it appears as if it is only a place of despair, rather than one of great potential and opportunities.

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