Thanks to The Kectil Program for the learning opportunity through the years. I am grateful for this grace to be selected to be part of the Nigerian representatives for the Kectil Leadership Conference for leaders from developing countries at Georgia Tech University.
This journey has been an amazing one. It has been particularly helpful for me especially in my leadership journey as a woman. It seeks to develop leaders without gender bias. It is indeed all inclusive. It has been a program that seeks to ensure a safer and more sustainable world for women.
My knowledge has been enhanced through this conference through my interaction and learning from other young people between 17-26 years cutting across different parts of the world. I could confidently say my leadership skills have been sharpened and a lot ahead to do ahead of me.
I would like to share a bit of my experience during the one week conference. I was able to learn about 15 different countries of the world through over one hour presentation from each country on various issues affecting them. It was a period of sharing, brainstorming and finding plausible solutions to pertinent issues affecting developing countries. This program also enabled me to have a wider and broader perspective. Before, I used to ne limited in my area of study but with this, I have learnt a lot about different areas of life which makes me have a richer conversation with people. Now, I can say I have an holistic view about life. My other Nigerian representatives and I also had a presentation on Nigeria, our challenges and assets. It was quite an emotional moment for me and a call to action likewise to ensure my country becomes better.
We toured Atlanta starting with CNN and had a glimpse on how things were done and we were shown to the control rooms, live shows and important places. As a journalist, this is indeed a place I would recommend you to visit. Afterwards, we went to the Civic and Human Rights and I got to understand more the sacrifices some people paid to ensure the human rights of their fellow brothers and sisters are ensured. They were never deterred and stood for what they stood for . I was really inspired and it is my hope to move on from here to ensure I do better, never stopping the cause of gender equality and honour have been upheld. Later on, it was a great time visiting Coca-Cola which was an interesting experience then later on to the aquarium where I got to learn more about the aquatic bodies.
We also had a Georgia leadership course in form of a game which I would say was the most daring thing I have ever done in my life. It was indeed scary but the power of motivation and encouragement kept me going when I wanted to give up. The level of morale boosting went a long way. This made me understand the need for strong support systems in our life journeys who will always cheer us on and also encourage us to do more and be better. These words resonated within me more through this course “if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. I couldn’t believe I would finish the exercise but the strong voices went a long way. I also understood that success means different things to everyone. I think that was huge for me because when I see people not sticking to a particularly pattern, I feel they are not going for success or perhaps a failure but this gave me the opportunity to reflect deeply that success actually could be relative and I should respect individual’s choices of success.
What also stood out for me was the visit of Martin Luther King III, Kectil Advisory Board Member and Civil and Human Rights Activist and the daughter Yolanda. I actually understood that the fight for the cause you believe in won’t be an easy one but one keeps pushing nevertheless. The eleven year daughter answering some questions stood out for me as she spoke intelligently and I see a potential strong and passionate woman in her. She spoke on the need for dignity and respect for humans.
We visited some business organizations and I learnt quite a lot of concepts on how organizations operate. We visited AT and T where I was impressed by the level of innovation they project for the future. We also visited Coca Cola Headquarters where which was really insightful for me. I further understood the innovations that organizations dealing with plastic bottles and packaging are working on in order to ensure a more friendly environmenta in the face of rising climatic change concerns.
There were different sessions on running a social project, leadership skills, climate change and business development. It was indeed a great week and once again grateful to Kectil for this investment and I hope to pay it forward.