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Obama African Leaders inspire schoolchildren in memory of Madiba

5 Dec 2019

Obama African Leaders, Mpho Tjope (South Africa), Nina Fo (Cameroon), Lucinda van der Hever (South Africa) and Muktabar Kushin (Somalia), painting the school walls

Story by Mpho Tjope

The Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa brought together 200 emerging leaders from 44 African countries in Johannesburg for an intensive leadership training and coaching programme by various expects and captains of industry, including former US president Barack Obama and former Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel.

The Obama Foundation selected the 200 young leaders from over 20 000 applications from young community builders across Africa, as part of a one-year leadership development and civic engagement programme designed to train, support, and connect emerging African leaders to create positive change in their communities.

As part of the programme’s training to lead selflessly, the young leaders participated in a group service project to honour Nelson Mandela during his birthday month, July, and went to do community service at Zandspruit Primary School in northwest Johannesburg.

They were welcomed with song and poetry by the children, followed by an address by the principal, Joshua Mamabolo, thanking the leaders for showing the children that Mandela was unselfish and focused on giving instead of receiving.

They then proceeded to clean the school grounds, wash windows and paint walls.

Kwame Daklo from the Ghana Association of Albinism said, “I am honored to be here, painting and I know that the learners will appreciate the painted school. Again it makes me feel happy as not only am I contributing positively, but I am doing so in the spirit of Nelson Mandela.”

After a few hours the principal remarked that, “Look how beautiful our school looks! We thank Obama Leaders for their time, their dedication and also the Obama Foundation as the messages painted are powerful and will surely inspire our young primary school learners to grow up to be the best leaders of the future.”

This was followed by more singing and dancing, with the Obama leaders joining in.

Afterwards, the joyful leaders returned to the Obama Foundation programme where they engaged in plenary sessions, problem-solving workshops, leadership sessions, and skills building training to increase their capacity to drive positive change in Africa.



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