‘A once-in-a-lifetime experience that money cannot buy’

2015-10-20 09:44
Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders alumini Candice Potgieter and Hlanganani Gumbi have encouraged young leaders to enter this year’s programme.

Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders alumini Candice Potgieter and Hlanganani Gumbi have encouraged young leaders to enter this year’s programme. (Ian Carbutt)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - Being a Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders alumnus is an experience Pietermaritzburg-born Candice Potgieter would not trade for anything.

The fellowship is the flagship programme of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

Potgieter encouraged young leaders to apply for 2016 as applications had opened at the beginning of this month and close on November 11.

The programme will give 1 000 young leaders from Sub-Saharan African the opportunity to hone their skills at a United States higher education institution.

Mark Carr, public affairs officer at the U.S. Consulate in Durban, said they decided to double the number of fellowships from this year’s 500 because of the interest shown by young people.

“In South Africa alone, we already have about 1 500 applications for next year,” he said.

Upon completion of the programme, participants are expected to apply their leadership skills and training to benefit their country, community or a school.

They receive training in public management, civic leadership, or business and entrepreneurship.

Potgieter, who participated in the 2014 programme, said the fellowship represented “a once-in-a-lifetime experience that money cannot buy”.

“I would not trade it for anything”.

The chief executive officer of the KZN science centre which promotes science and maths, she said she would always cherish the six months she spent in Washington. “It allowed me to see what the world is like,” she said.

Potgieter said she would not forget the day she met U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, who addressed them in a town hall. 2015 alumnus Hlanganani Gumbi, of Mthunzini, said the programme gave him the opportunity to meet people who are doing “big things”.

The Democratic Alliance MPL said he met people including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the Democratic Party.

Gumbi, whose 2014 application was unsuccessful, said re-applying for the 2015 programme was worth it.

“What I really like about the programme is that it is tailored to meet each individual’s needs.

“Because I was doing Public Management, I was based in the office of a mayor who was the mentor in charge of the African programme,” he said.

Having recently returned from a six-month stint at Howard University, Washington, Gumbi said he would jump at the opportunity to go back

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.