Five ALA Students Selected as 2019 Bezos Scholars

Five ALA students have been selected to join the prestigious Bezos Scholars Program, joining a cohort of exceptional students selected from across the United States for the year-long leadership program. Each year for the last nine years, five students and a faculty member from ALA have been selected as Bezos Scholars and Bezos Educators, as the only African school in the network.

The program, which kicks off with the annual Aspen Ideas Festival, is hosted by the Bezos Family Foundation as a platform to empower young leaders to design solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing their communities. The Scholars are selected for their demonstration of leadership skills, the willingness to embrace challenges and the desire to create positive change in their communities. ALA’s Bezos Scholars have subsequently organized the South African Ideas Festival (SAIF) in Johannesburg upon returning from the USA. To date the Bezos Scholars have organized 208 community change projects in the U.S and South Africa, drawing nearly 40,000 attendees.

Meet the ALA students and educator who a part of the 2019 Bezos Scholars Program:

Mpiwa Gwindi (Student Scholar), is from Mazowe, Zimbabwe. She organized a Zimbabwean nationwide event, ZiMarimba Fest 2k18, that broke the Guinness World Record for the largest Marimba ensemble to play together. Mpiwa also qualified as a finalist in the Los Angeles World Championships of Performing Arts 2018 with African Traditional Instrumentals, including the Marimba and Mbira. At ALA, Mpiwa also serves as Director of Marketing for the 2020 ALA Model African Union.
Thaksheel Nirvaan Alleck (Student Scholar) is from Union Park, Mauritius. He is the co-Founder of EcoSoap, a start-up with the aim to improve the hygienic conditions of economically disadvantaged people through the production of recycled soap.
Mike Remezo (Student Scholar) is from Musaga, Burundi. He is passionate about coding and entrepreneurship and has designed an app with a group of friends at ALA to help farmers in Burundi. Mike serves as the Block-chain Platform Lead, helping leverage technology to carry out secure elections and is the co-founder of Club Taiga in Burundi, which brings young people together around the arts. In 2016, Club Taiga was awarded Best Youth Club by the Burundian government.
Abigael Abuga (Student Scholar) from Nairobi, Kenya, is the Director of Multimedia for the ALA Model African Union, she is the co-founder of the African Film and Photography Society, a platform for creative students, like herself, to come together and share their work. She is passionate about creating discourse around mental illness and feminism in the African context.
Nicolus Mositi (Student Scholar) is from Maseru, Lesotho. At the age of 16, he took it upon himself to empower teenagers to dedicate intensive service to the field of agriculture throughout the year, to tackle the problem of starvation due to unemployment in the community. He strongly believes that equipping young people with entrepreneurial skills is one of the best ways in which Africa can develop.
Nkembo Kiala (Educator Scholar) from Luanda, Angola, is an Entrepreneurial Leadership faculty member at ALA. He holds a degree in Political Sciences from the University of Pretoria. Nkembo was selected to be part of a group of young African leaders dedicated to the transformation of the continent called “Young African Leadership Initiative” (YALI) at the regional leadership Centre in South Africa. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum Luanda Hub, forming part of the Global Shapers community.

To learn more about the Bezos Scholars Program, visit: https://bezosscholars.org/