The first workshop of the 2019 Archbishop Tutu Leadership Programme was held at the Mont Fleur Conference Centre from the 27th April to the 4th of May, 2019. The 23 Fellowship candidates came from some 250 nominees of outstanding excellence from over 30 African countries, and represented 11 different African countries - Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Gabon, Mali, South Africa, the Gambia, Tanzania, Ghana and Madagascar.
It was a memorable time of learning, introspection, forging deep relationships with peers and lots of laughter!
It was also an opportunity to hear perspectives of Africa – the challenges and opportunities - from leaders such as Dr Oramah, President of the Afreximbank; Dr Mayaki, Head of NEPAD; Prof Carlos Lopes, former Head of UNECA, Trevor Manuel, former South Africa Finance Minister; Dr Nkosana Moyo, former VP of the African Development Bank and Mr Joe Mutizwa, Zimbabwean business leader and author on leadership.
The visit to Robben Island was a poignant one – as it always is - which was followed by a debrief session facilitated by Dr Caryn Solomon, an AFLI faculty member and a psychologist, thus allowing the Associates to process and share their emotions and the leadership lessons and learnings they extracted from the experience.
The class shares their experience of the workshop below, and at the bottom of this piece is a gallery of images from the workshop.
What the 2019 Associates said about the workshop
“A thought provoking and life-changing experience set in an environment that promotes a true sense of companionship”.
“This was a powerful, intense, deeply introspective week which left me both excited and uncomfortable in equal measure. Harnessing the collective genius of Africa’s brightest, most talented young people in a practical and deeply introspective manner and catalysing them to act beyond themselves make this is a leadership programme like no other. I particularly enjoyed how practical and Afro-centric it was. The calibre of the other fellows is inspiring and the network can be powerfully leveraged to effect positive change on the continent”.
“The Mont Fleur workshop was a transformative, immersive experience in introspection, interpersonal relationships, and learning – a complete assault on inertia, groupthink and defeatism! I felt validated in several respects, challenged in many positive ways, and I honestly haven’t laughed so hard and so often in a very long time. It is still hard to believe that the workshop was only eight days long.”
“This was a safe space for sharing and learning from each other and from the faculty. The quality of content delivered through the speakers is unmatched and very relevant in understanding what leadership means at a personal level. I was particularly blown away by the visit to Robben Island and the personality assessment which made me look inward and appreciate that leadership is how others experience me. The letter to self was also very powerful especially coming at the end of the workshop. From my experience, it is easy to get platforms and opportunities to talk to others, inspire, motivate, challenge, coach, mentor. We barely spend intimate time taking stock, looking forward and deeply conversing with self.”
“The quality of the speakers was the crowning feature of the programme. I already expected to be around smart, driven, and burgeoning African leaders. Learning from each other would have been worth the one week. However, what stood out most was the extent to which the programme brought external people who deeply challenged us to think about our places in the world, and our places in Africa. Every day left me with new lots of introspection, challenging how I viewed the world, and giving me ways to think about my person, my gifts, and my most effective impact. I got out of the week an understanding of, literally, endless possibilities for us as upcoming leaders – but also a very challenging future in which it is easy to get this wrong. The only way I think to be prepared is to, first, achieve a mastery of oneself – and one’s most effective way to contribute to shaping this future; then lead, courageously, with conviction, putting it all on the table, but constantly arming oneself with knowledge.”
“The week was so juicy, so packed, so inspiring. It is impossible to truly assimilate all that knowledge into insight back-to- back. I worry about people going through the week and jumping right back to work and projects. I think a critical part of this experience is to have significant opportunities for introspection, for synthesis, etc. I had to take some time off work, right after the workshop, to enable me to digest my 40 pages of notes and recordings, and truly extract the value of all the knowledge and experiences; the decisions I made have been markedly different – and already transforming my life. I couldn’t imagine jumping right back to work after such a riveting set of days!”
"Three things stood out for me: The first is the opportunity to step out our comfort zone and engage with a diverse group of individuals from sectors/backgrounds that are different from mine. This pushes one (or at least pushed me) to think beyond my experience/expertise and adapt a broader view of Africa’s problems. The second was the opportunity to pause and reflect on my leadership journey and what I need to do to be a better leader. We rarely get the chance to pause and reflect. And the third was is the opportunity to get to hear from and engage with an excellent assortment of experienced leaders across Africa (the facilitators/presenters)."
Edwine Barasa PhD
“The quality and calibre of speakers from various backgrounds is what made the workshop unique.”
“This has been such an awakening exercise. I have spent a lot of time and training on management and leading others but not as much reflecting on my leading myself and what drives this. The session also provided me with an opportunity to withdraw from my operating environment and to reflect on my journey. It is truly a life-changing experience that came at a very opportune moment for me”.
“The most striking feature of the workshop was the focus on self-awareness, reflection and self-leadership. This was important because I have come to the realization that leadership is not necessarily a set of skills one acquires, but rather the ability to understand how impactful you can be in the world, and what this workshop offered were tools to realizing that potential and measures on how to effectively utilize them”.
“The program content is tailored to promote self-reflection and awareness, collaborative learning and strategic thinking. The faculty comprises individuals with cognate experience and adopt a participatory learning approach for their sessions. The mode of delivery is exceptional. Leadership is sacrifice and taking responsibility for enabling others to achieve a common purpose. Leadership is an experience built on relationships”.
“The programme provided space and time to be vulnerable and introspective – a rare but badly-needed experience in our busy lives”.
“I strongly feel the week made me realize that I’ve got a personal responsibility towards future generations in Africa, and that the journey involves making some seemingly uncomfortable decisions”.
“This workshop allowed me to understand my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to leadership. The workshop challenged my present views on what leadership is, what I should aspire to, and pushed me to think critically on how I should aspire to grow as a leader”.
Gallery from the workshop
The bulk of the images in the gallery below came from Mo Barry and AFLI staff.