#YALI2019

We Went to the Best Zoo in the World

Even before I’d been granted a visa, I knew that I was gonna have the opportunity to visit the Best Zoo in the World. You are assigned an Alma mater before you even schedule the visa interview and when I…

For Robyn Murray

As part of our YALI experience, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provided each one of us with mentors based on our interests/work and I was blessed with Robyn Murray whom I had to share with Lilian Kaivilu from Kenya. I don’t…

I Came, I Saw Cardi B and I Conquered #YALI2019

It must have been the first week when one of my favourite programme assistants let it slip during orientation that Cardi B was coming to Lincoln, Nebraska. I knew for sure that I wasn’t at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln by…

My #YALI2019 Alpha Familia

Before we had secured the American visas, the program admin at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln called us for short conversations about our expectations, interests and how they can make the Mandela Washington Fellowship more relevant to each and every one…

#YALI2019 Ignite Talks: In Loving Memory of Dad

Let the games begin! Ignite Talks are mini TedTalk style presentations about anything that’s important to you or you’re passionate about. I knew we were gonna have to do these Ignite Talks from the Pre-Departure Orientation. The Embassy had kinda…

I Was Gonna Be the ‘Valedictorian’

I was back like I never left. Woke up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The sun was shining brighter than ever. The birds were chirping melodiously. This was me, in the United States of America. My excitement was renewed. Showed up…

We Need Women Who Are Wild, Wild, Wild

Pulitzer Prize winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote “well-behaved women seldom make history” in a 1976 and when I saw it I just thought well yeah, Bad Girl RiRi didn’t make history by conforming or being a good girl. Anyways,…

#YALI2019 Two Days Later…I Crashed

Yep. It was only 48 hours since I had landed in the land of the free and I crashed. We were approaching the end of the day when I started feeling like everything was loud. I couldn’t gather my thoughts…

#YALI2019 I Found My Super Strengths! Find Out Yours

We took the Clifton Strengths test. This test was administered so that we may be aware of our strengths so that we may make better use of them. I wasn’t surprised by my results but I was a little disappointed…

#YALI2019 The American Visa Interview

I woke up in my hotel bed. By woke up, I mean I got out of bed because I hadn’t slept a wink. Imagine having gone through all the preparations and paperwork just to be denied a visa last minute….

The First #YALI2019 Interview and it Wasn’t the Last

I got into the interview room and the panelists introduced themselves. I could only recognise two. They say it’s important to catch their names so that when they ask questions you can address them by name. Trying to catch their…

How I Nearly Missed My #YALI2019 Interview

I had made it to the interview stage! WhatsApp’d my mentor the good news. But now, I had to prepare for the interview. I researched online how the Mandela Washington Fellowship interview is structured, what kind of questions they ask…

I Got Rejected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship

  The Young African Leaders Initiative was founded in 2014 and a couple of people that I knew and admired had been a part of it. I was inspired. So when the applications opened, I sat down to apply. I’m…

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