Zanudeen Makorie ‘19 is a lawyer, General Counsel and Company Secretary at RioZim, the largest mining company in Zimbabwe. In this interview Zanudeen talks about his personal leadership journey since joining ALUSB, shares his thoughts on what leadership development applied looks like in his professional life, and highlights some leadership lessons from African leaders that other students in the programme can emulate.
“Leadership is not something that you are born with but it’s something that develops. All of us have the potential, it’s just a question of applying what we have.”
Here are some highlights from Zanudeen’s interview:
How have you grown and developed as a leader since joining the programme?
“I was privileged enough to come from a background where I was always in leadership positions…In my head, I assumed that being a boss was being a leader but after joining ALU School of business, all of that has changed. I realised that there are many bosses out there but there are a few leaders.
Leadership is a journey that begins with you. First lead yourself, and to do that, you need to know who you are…I learned self-awareness and that makes it easier for me to lead others.
The most critical thing with leadership is just being able to lead others so that they can lead themselves later.”
What does leadership development applied look like for you in this programme?
“The best learning curve for me was when we did character profiles at the beginning of the programme. Naturally I am conservative, quite mild, and I assumed that was not leadership. Most leaders you see are extremely charismatic…I found my personality more on the mild side and I assumed that some of us were not necessarily leaders. But regardless of your character profile, all of us have that leadership within us. Leadership is not something that you are born with, but it’s something that develops. All of us have the potential, its just a question of applying what we have.”
What African Leaders have inspired you and taught you and your classmate’s leadership lessons to emulate?
“In Zimbabwe I am proud of Strive Masiyiwa, the Founder of Econet. I studied him in law school and I have watched his company grow since I was a child to where it is today. When you meet him, he is a very humble man and he speaks to everyone. I think Africa needs good ethical businessmen who are doing it well, not corrupt…simple people like us who made it, through simple hard work and perseverance. That’s my role model.”
New Leaders are stepping up in Zimbabwe and across Africa.What is need from those leaders from your perspective?
“The future of Zimbabwe is exciting regardless of who you support. The people who are rising are those who appreciate the struggle that the ordinary Zimbabwean is going through…I believe what needs to be done is getting someone who unifies the whole country…through diversity, we are better. We are one Zimbabwe, we are one nation and I believe whoever is going to take us forward cannot ignore the need to unite all of us as a people. That’s the only way we would go forward.”
Watch Zanudeen’s full video interview here:
Lillian Madeje ‘18 describes herself as a passionate changemaker from Tanzania. In this video interview, Lilian talks about her personal leadership journey since joining the ALUSB programme, the importance of empowering her team, and her thoughts about what lays ahead after graduation, this July.
Here are some highlights from Lilian’s interview:
How have you grown and developed as a leader since you joined the ALUSB MBA?
“Joining the class, I was actually looking for the technical capabilities of the programme. I had just started my company in 2014, and 2016 was when we were starting to grow…I needed the hardware to make sure that I would function well.
I can attest to the fact that over the past 16-17 months I have been able to grow as a leader…the concept of a leader who is seen…I am really keen on grooming the team that I’m working with, on getting them to see the vision that we have for the company.
What’s more important to me is the growth within the team and the feeling that the team has. This is displayed by people going the extra mile while delivering on a project. I can actually leave for a week without stressing because I know that the team is on point.
What got us to that point is not because Lilian said so, but it’s because of a team effort. I have been able to trust my team, to delegate and to see opportunities that can empower my team to do better.
It’s all about learning.”
What does the future look like as an ALUSB MBA Graduate?
“It’s a bittersweet feeling. July is coming…and we are excited because it means we have gone through the boot camp and we’re coming out the other side.
…I know we’ll be meeting. Now have a reason to visit different cities in Africa and have meetups. Other than that, I know for a fact that given the work I do, if I need someone in a certain country, all I have to do is pick up the phone and call, and I know that I will have support”.
Watch Lillian’s full video interview here:
“This MBA has taught us how to use and leverage the business, leadership skills and so forth to make an impact, and what it means to be a visionary leader”.
A member of ALUSB’s inaugural MBA Class of 2018 and a global health international development professional who was born and raised in the USA, Haroun recounts his professional journey, as he made the move back to his family roots in Sierra Leone.
Here are some highlights from Haroun’s interview:
About the move to Africa:
“It was actually the MBA that pushed me to be on the ground in Africa; right after the first MBA intensive (week) I decided to quit my job at USAID and get a position in Africa”.
On the ALUSB community:
“There is a great representation of the Pan-Africanism, we’re very connected, we all have great networks in the various industries that we’re in, and the potential of great leadership in these areas”.
On the MBA curriculum:
“ALUSB MBA has taught us how to use and leverage the business skills, leadership skills, and so forth to make an impact and what it means to be a visionary leader, to be a visionary leader, a value based and a virtuous leader”.
On Building Leaders for the African Century:
“I see a lot of potential in our class, I see future presidents in our group, future business leaders, private sector leaders making great impacts all around the continent”.
Watch Haroun’s full video interview below.
“The future of Africa is bright, but only we the leaders of today and tomorrow can make it bright. It is filled with many challenges, but these challenges can be flipped into opportunities depending on the lens we choose to look at them.”
Inutu Zaloumis ‘19
#MeetTheStudents is a series where we profile our students from all over Africa who are #DoingHardThings to drive the continent forward. This #MeetTheStudents interview features Inutu Zaloumis ‘19 who shares highlights from her professional journey since beginning the ALUSB MBA, and the impact the programme has made to date.
1- What has surprised you about the ALUSB MBA to date?
I have never done a Masters, so I didn’t have anything to compare it with. However, after examining it with friends who are in “long distance” learning programmes for their MBAs, I realized that their content was not based on African cases. I was surprised by the format of the HLTs (Home Learning Teams) and PAGs( Pan African Groups) because this has given me insight into different countries and how similar and at the same time different the countries are. The leadership lab was surprising as I initially thought there would purely be assignments on what we have read but the portion of self-reflections and being able to read my cohort self-reflections was different and very insightful. Another aspect was how practical it is and how I can immediately apply the learnings.
2- Tell us about the professional transition that you’ve just made. How did this opportunity come about?
I was headhunted for the position, and initially, I did not consider it. But after attending the second intensive, I realized that I should be brave enough to explore the opportunity. The MBA has taught me the importance of a Pan African experience and how important it is for personal and professional growth. The new role I have is stretching my thinking and has opened me to new cultures and backgrounds. I am thankful for the learnings with the MBA as I can put into practice what I learn immediately and in a much broader context.
3- Did the ALUSB MBA play a role in this transition? If so, how?
Yes, it did play a significant role in my transition. Firstly, it was something that Fred said: Do hard things. It also made me look at my professional growth, where I was and where I want to be in the next few years. The other thing was a statement that Achieng Butler said: “Do what makes your heart sing.” And it was during those sessions that I knew that the unsettling feeling I had was actually that I felt that I had outgrown my current role and needed to be challenged further. I know I would not have had the courage to take up this role if I had not been exposed to ALUSB MBA programme.
4- What does the future of Africa look like through your eyes? What role will you play in it?
The future of Africa is bright, but only we the leaders of today and tomorrow can make it bright. It is filled with many challenges, but these challenges can be flipped into opportunities depending on the lens we choose to look at them. This change can only be done by developing leaders at different levels, and we are the ones that can do that, one person, at a time, demonstrating leadership wherever we are placed, and pouring into those that are looking for a new found hope in their leadership.
My role is to become the leader that I wish to be led by. I look to play a role firstly in my sphere of influence, as they say, charity begins at home. I am here in Kenya, and I have an opportunity to show Kenyans what Zambia can produce. I look forward to making an impact in the property sector here as I did back home, but this can only happen when I first learn about Kenya.
“My personal mission is to inspire and empower African entrepreneurs to build an inclusive African dream that others can believe in; to bring about hope for African youth – so that they know if they work hard, they can achieve their goals.“ Diana Mulili ’18.
#MeetTheStudents is a series where we profile our students from all over Africa who are #DoingHardThings to drive the continent forward. This #MeetTheStudents interview features Diana Mulili ‘18 who shares highlights from her professional journey since beginning the ALUSB MBA, and the impact the programme has made to date.
Qn 1. Has the ALUSB MBA met your expectations so far on your student journey? If so, how?
The programme has more than met my expectations, for two main reasons:
- The applicability of the programme – I weave in content from the MBA to my day-to-day life.
- The ALUSB network is relevant to my environment and is a network that you can start using immediately. The network gives you direct access to what is happening around the continent. It’s a knowledge network that you can tap into to get more relevant data – and make better decisions because of it. For example in recent days, as political change has swept the continent, my classmates are on the ground relaying real time information and insights to their classmates. At at the time of this interview, I’m in Dubai to meet with someone from the African Leadership Network (part of the African Leadership Group); he might partner with my organization and me, to help us identify the next industry ripe for investment and transformation.
Qn2. What led you to the ALU School of Business?
My personal mission is to inspire and empower African entrepreneurs to build an inclusive African dream that others can believe in; to bring about hope for African youth – so that they know if they work hard, they can achieve their goals. A few years ago there was a misalignment between what I was doing in my career and my mission. That’s why I ended up at ALU. I wanted to be with people who shared the same desire to see positive change actually happening on the continent. Being in ALU has helped me bridge the gap between my mission and my career; I am now in a role aligned to my mission.
Qn 3. You’ve just made a move to your current organization. How has the ALUSB made an impact on your career to date?
ALUSB definitely helped me. Sometimes you don’t realize how the programme is equipping you and transforming you. Business strategy, problem-solving, PECAB (Political Economy in the Context of African Business) are useful and relevant courses. The Leadership Lab teaches you the importance of being attuned to the people around you, about having a high EQ. And (ALU Founder) Fred Swaniker’s fire to see change come about in Africa – his challenge to do hard things is always at the back of my mind.
All these elements help establish you as the best candidate for the right job. The V3 (leadership) model has guided me in setting myself as the leader I’m supposed to be, and this shows up in my professional profile, in interviews, etc. The V3 model is a guiding force to making the right decisions and knowing how to bounce back from those decisions.
Qn 4. What does the future of Africa look like through your eyes? What role will you play in it?
There is a lot of change happening, and great conversations are happening across the continent: we Africans want to do things differently, to demonstrate impact and value for all the action that is being taken…now the actual output is essential. Rapid execution is crucial now more than ever.
With the recent rise in Impact Investing in Africa we’re seeing more patient capital where we want to go through the growth curve and come out stronger. My role is and has always been in the execution – of a robust and executive strategy. At Msingi our vision is to create widespread, lasting prosperity in East Africa through building Industries of the Future. We seek to develop high volume jobs, growing per capita income and contribute to GDP growth in all the 4 countries we exist in (Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania & Kenya).
In the long term, I want to scale my role to a more continental-wide space.
“ Africa is going through a transition in which the people are learning that they can hold their leaders accountable for their actions and their results. I believe that as this happens, Africa will see rapid development with millions lifted out of poverty.”
#MeetTheStudents is a series where we profile our students from all over Africa who are #DoingHardThings to drive the continent forward. This #MeetTheStudent interview features Matthew Grollnek ‘18 who shares highlights from his professional journey since beginning the ALUSB MBA, and the impact the programme has made to date.
1. What has surprised you about the ALUSB MBA to date?
I’ve been surprised by how close I got to my fellow students even though we are located all over the continent. Since we really explore the depths of our worldviews and inner values, we end up talking about issues deeply important to us as individuals. This creates strong bonds among us.
2. Tell us about your the professional transition and how ALUSB MBA played a role in this transition?
I have lived in Zambia for the last decade. I was highly invested in the community and had strong networks there. Being there for so long, however, my perspective became insular and I was not challenging myself to think on a pan-African scale. After two intensives (week-long, in-person MBA sessions) at ALU School of Business, and analyzing the Lions on the Move report with Acha Leke in which we compared economic activity throughout the continent, I realized that there were opportunities to create impact across Africa. At that point, I started searching for roles that would allow me to gain a continental perspective and learn about regions I knew much less about. I am now working as a management consultant and working on capital raises for companies across the continent.
3. What does the future of Africa look like through your eyes? What role will you play in it?
Africa is going through a transition in which the people are learning that they can hold their leaders accountable for their actions and their results. I believe that as this happens, Africa will see rapid development with millions lifted out of poverty. The role I will play will be to put others in the position to be leaders and affect massive change. I plan to achieve this by enabling them to build large, impactful companies, get the education that they need, and putting in place structures that will enable efficient delivery of services. The biggest challenge Africa will face, however, will be battling inequality. This is an issue that we all must tackle throughout Africa’s rapid ascension.