Global leaders, dignitaries and alumni were not the only ones who were inspired by ALA’s Decennial Celebrations. Students benefited greatly as well, as Year 1 student Temilolu Awofeso reveals…
Has your school ever had a grand celebration that hosted over 1 000 people across Africa and the world itself? No, I didn’t think so either. Well, ALA did that this weekend and it turned out to be a monumental experience.
I’m sure African Leadership Academy has made its mark in Africa’s Hall Of Fame with its Decennial Celebrations (February 23 and 24).
From the amazing handmade products on offer by Entrepreneurial Leadership to the outstanding Assembly performances from ALApella, African Dance and our anthem Shule ye Afrika, as well the lively and engaging This Decennial In Africa by two extremely talented First Year Students – Adnan Shafi from Kenya and Zeinab Muntaser from South Sudan – I can truly say our talents, efforts and creativity has made ALA shine brighter than any Botswana diamond these past two days.
Even for us students, “A Day In The Life of ALA” was an exhilarating experience. Focusing on the work of the late former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, my Seminal Readings group was highly engaged in discourse over the effectiveness of the education systems in various African countries, and the need to foster methods that integrate education systems from schools and institutions into the wider community.
Another highlight of my day was the Residential Hall meeting, as Classified Hall had the honor of hosting our CEO Chris Bradford’s parents and relatives, along with a member of the inaugural class, Ms. Tabitha Tongoi – famously known as “Craving Yellow” – who was key in creating ALA’s anthem Shule ye Afrika, which has been remixed and revamped and bassed up by the multitalented ALA students over the years.
Engaging with Like-Minded Spirits
On Saturday, ALA was similarly blessed to have many amazing people gracing our campus. Through my conversations with South African politician Mrs Makhosi Khoza (founder of the new African Democratic Party), I learnt how the Zulu language could be defined and constructed like a Lego brick wall through the use of Pure Mathematics.
From talks on Women In Africa’s Boardrooms to Protecting Human Rights in Africa and Rewriting African Identity, the impact, presence and engagement with these amazing likeminded spirits brought more joy to me than acing a Literature exam. Towards the ending of our remarkable event on Sunday afternoon, the day was tied up nicely with special customized gift bags from the work of Lady B herself. Shorshor Burgesson, a Year 2 Student from Ghana, has an African print clothing line and created beautiful accessories ranging from necklaces to ties and bracelets as a “Thank You” gift to the amazing speakers who attended the Symposium sessions.
Now that’s an ALA way of saying thank you.
On that note, let’s appreciate the amazing Danai Gurira, the famous Zimbabwean-American actress who played the role of Okoye in Black Panther, for sponsoring all ALA Students to see the blockbuster film on Sunday, with drinks and popcorn too! #WakandaForever!
For me, ALA’s Decennial Celebration was not just an opportunity to chaperone African stars and dignitaries. Nor was it about dressing in my kaleidoscopic African attire (which looked amazing by the way). It was the beauty of engaging with minds across Africa and beyond; under the lively scope of the enormous tent and the packed classrooms. A long-standing appreciation goes to all the students, Mr. Peter, The Administration team, Staffulty, Supercare and every single person who made this weekend a success for not just ALA, but for Africa’s future. I am looking forward to more amazing, diverse events.