In this Tutu Talk, 2012 Tutu Fellow and Ivory Coast entrepreneur Swaady Martin says: "What drives me is how do I contribute to make the world a more compassionate and loving place with all the gifts that I have. But also the gifts that I acquire along my journey. How else could we bring more peace?"

TutuTalks are a series collaboration between the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and the African Leadership Institute, and it is a platform for African leaders who embody the values and ethics displayed by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu throughout his life of service.

Aside from the luxury brand she created, YSWARA, Swaady has also ventured into consciousness activism and founded Tounché Global Consciousness Summit & Events, and LovingKindness Boma, an independent publishing house creating conscious books for children with diverse main characters. She said growing up in West Africa, it was a time of coups and change and political instability.  It affected her view of what African leadership should be and now how can she be the change she wants to be. She asks herself 'what kind of African leader can I be and what is my contribution to the African continent?'  As a result, she holds dear the responsibility of imparting the gifts of knowledge and a journeyed experience to the African community, while working hard to empower all women.

She said that moving out of a corporate environment and into entrepreneurship, she learned to pick herself up from the inevitable falls that occur as one starts a business. Swaady spoke of her leadership journey, saying that initially she felt leadership was all about doing - and being an activist was part of this. As her career developed, she said within the business environment the question she asked was 'how can I empower Africa and women in Africa'.  She said she found Archbishop Tutu to be an inspiration in that our inner landscape affects the type of leadership that we can offer. So by changing the sacred within, it can produce a revolutionary consciousness.

Tutu Talks is a platform for African leaders who embody the values and ethics displayed by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu throughout his life of service. The video below is on the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation YouTube channel.









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About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.