One Year Later
Since returning home from Philadelphia, what has been your most successful achievement or accomplishment related to leadership in civic engagement?
A lot has happened that I would call success but I will give you one example. I work with one of the local church leaders to give talks specifically to youths living in the villages. I have been using my story – I was born and grew up in a village where resources were scarce and it is hard for one to school – to motivate them that living in the village is not a limitation and that they can achieve a lot.
How have you engaged with fellow MWF alumni since returning home?
Mostly it is about learning from each other. Since leadership is all about learning, every time I interact with other fellow alumni, I learn from them what they are doing, their progress as leaders, and how I can achieve good things as well from what I learn from them. I also apply with my fellow MWF alumni for projects – but of course many of these projects are not happening right now given Covid-19. However, even though the projects are not happening I have still applied from the process of applying for the projects with the other alumni – learning how to lobby and talking to political leaders.
Have you maintained contact with people from the Philadelphia area, if so, who and how?
I reach out to Anne and tell her what I have been up to – she is so helpful and encouraging and been open to reach out to her for guidance. Another person is Kate. Kate was my peer collaborator so we have been talking about personal life as well as my work with civic engagement. She has been updating me about Covid-19 and we have discussed with each other tips for dealing with things. Another person is Marilou, who has been helpful in every aspect, in a wholistic approach, and has been there for me through the whole process. Now I share with her my lows and my highs. I have also kept in touch with you – Haley, and Mabedi as well.
What do you miss most about Philadelphia and Drexel?
Firstly, I miss the company of everyone – the Drexel team, my fellow MWF friend, and people I met. I also miss America and everything, the whole experience in general.
Talk about your 3 biggest take-aways from your time at Drexel and the Fellowship.
1- The understanding of what leadership is. My 6-7-week journey helped me understand what leadership is- it’s very broad and is not just about leading people.
2- The network, starting with people and Americans, the other MWF alumni, and really everyone that I met.
3- The fellowship was so amazing because it made me understand who I am in terms of my strengths and weaknesses. This allowed me to work on my weaknesses to make them my strengths. It is emotional, mental, physical, ideological – a wholistic and diverse learning experience.
What would you pass on to future Drexel fellowship cohorts?
My advice would be that they should be themselves when joining Drexel and not hide who they are. Have an open mind to learning and experiencing different things- so that they can learn and appreciate the power of the lessons that they will experience. Appreciate every moment. What I never deeply considered before was sitting down after and reflecting on the impact of that activity on my life. Reflection is so important and amazing and at the end of the day the fellowship will be fruitful.
Let me say my journey has been so amazing and has opened so many successive doors for me. From interviews in Malawi, to preparations, to flying out to Philly, learning things there, coming back and reflecting and appreciating. It has been very life-changing. I have now secured a job as study coordinator and physician at John Hopkins University in Malawi. I have used what I leaned in team building and leadership, motivating my team with the things that I learned during my fellowship, and how you touch the lives of the people in your community. In a nutshell, I appreciate it all.