COVID-19 Update

Fall protocols for Massachusetts campuses were updated August 29, 2022. See details

Our dedication to Racial Equality and Social Justice (RESJ) spans decades. Learn more about our RESJ Initiative

time exposed photo of headlights in urban center

Welcome, Mandela Washington Fellows!

Cambridge College is excited to welcome twenty-five Mandela Washington Fellows for a six-week academic and leadership institute sponsored by YALI. We are honored to be one of thirty-six top U.S. colleges and universities nationwide selected to host these promising leaders.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Department of State and administered by IREX.  For more information, please visit MandelaWashingtonFellowship.state.gov

Below you can learn about the individuals participating in the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Cambridge College.

Albert Muragijimana
Rwanda

Albert Muragijimana is the founder of Amasimbi African Adventures, a company that specializes in travel and tourism. As an innovator, Albert has authored several short stories that teach wildlife and encourage children to read. Albert holds a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship with Education and has five years of experience in entrepreneurship, education, and community development. He was the recipient of the Spark Business Plan award and Ministry of Youth award in 2015, in recognition of his innovation for promoting domestic tourism. Currently, he is a workforce readiness officer for a USAID-funded project known locally as Twiyubake, where he focuses on financial literacy, saving with education, work readiness, and micro-enterprise development training. Upon completion of the Fellowship, Albert plans to replicate lessons learned through a mobile mentorship academy as well as engage the networks formed to continue his business and so create more economic opportunities for youth.

Camille Epembia I Borobo
Gabon

Camille Epembia I borobo has over six years’ experience as a human resources entrepreneur, creating jobs in his community and promoting entrepreneurship. Currently, Camille Epembia is the founder and chief executive officer of Yorha Group, a group of businesses that includes a human resources firm, a human resources and training magazine, and human resources web solutions for businesses and job seekers. It employs over 200 people. He also volunteers through an NGO called Ogooue Labs in promoting entrepreneurship and good business practices in various schools and universities in Gabon. He works with NGOs such as Junior Achievement Gabon. Camille holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from Midrand Graduate Institute, South Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Camille plans to continue his work as an entrepreneur, create more jobs, and keep promoting entrepreneurship in order to actively participate in his country’s development.

Emile Uwezowamungu
Burundi

Emile Uwezowamungu has over seven years' experience in entrepreneurship and skills development for youth empowerment in particular. Nowadays, Emile works as an executive director for a nonprofit, youth-led organization where his focus is to plan, recruit, lead, supervise, control, administrate, and fundraise for projects. He is also a founder and lead consultant at Innova Group, The Social Innovation Incubator, where he coaches and supports the youth in his community for research, advocacy campaigns and projects running from capacity building and partnership mobilization to African youth initiatives.  

Emile is an engineer from the University of Burundi, where he focused on Civil Engineering. He changed his career and became a consultant and community activist after realizing the highest need in Burundi involved supporting the youth in entrepreneurship and social innovation for job creation. After the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Emile plans to continue his work in social entrepreneurship, leadership, and organizational skills development. 

Fortune Tazvivinga
Zimbabwe

Independent filmmaker and author of fictional children’s books, Fortune ‘Fortue’ Tazvivinga has over five years’ experience in the arts industry, and is an entrepreneur. Fortune is a self-taught producer, scriptwriter and author at Haus of Glueck Inhlanhla, a media house in Zimbabwe, which she founded in 2010. Her passion for the arts enabled her (despite not having a degree yet) to empower herself so that she can empower others by creating employment and doing on-the-job skills training for school leavers, single mothers, and the youth.

During her spare time Fortune volunteers in her community by teaching basic German and extra academic extra lessons. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Fortune hopes to change the face of the Zimbabwean economy and create more jobs by expanding the brands of children’s books so as to provide the market with products that will sustain Africa, and provide entrepreneurial and business skills.

Gisela Justin Masika
Tanzania

Gisela Masika has been operating her own school for about three years. She works for the school as finance and administration manager. She also works at the Center for Agricultural Development as chief accountant. Gisela holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from Tumaini University, Tanzania. She wants to empower children from her local community with high-quality education from nursery to primary school level so that they can compete well in their higher learning studies. Through empowering children in this way, Gisela believes that Tanzania will have a generation that is well educated and this will improve the living standard of their families.

After completion of Mandela Washington Fellowship, Gisela plans to start a secondary school, which will offer secondary education to girls, especially those who come from marginalized families. From this perspective, the school will provide services to a community while generating income for her family.

Golda PoniYanta Wani
South Sudan

Golda Poni has over four years' experience in women's empowerment work. She currently works as an enterprise officer at Christian Relief and Education in South Sudan (CRESS). There she helps beneficiaries of CRESS's women's empowerment program in sustainable development through the establishment of small businesses and commercialised small-scale vegetable farming. She also volunteers in her community with the Widows Association to Save Orphans (WASO) and Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) of South Sudan. 

Golda has a bachelor's degree in Economics and Management from Uganda Christian University. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Golda intends to use the knowledge and skills she has acquired to improve her women's empowerment work in development and sustainability in order to restore hope for a better future for her community.

Ibrahim Seini
Niger

Ibrahim Seini was introduced to Information Technologies in 2007, and has been developing marketing tools for numerous companies ever since. Over the years, Ibrahim has been able to adapt his skills to the latest technologies, and those most wanted on the African market, such as graphic design, web design, 3D modeling, video editing, data mining, software developing, and mobile applications.

In 2013, Ibrahim developed the concept of free education through mobile devices. He and a team of young local entrepreneurs promoted and distributed the initial app samples, thereby successfully introducing and equipping 4,800 children from private schools with a fun educational mobile application based on the school program. Children from the age of three responded positively by getting their homework done and raising their school grades. With these results, Ibrahim is looking to go nationwide with the project and hopes to raise national literacy levels.

Ivan Kasongo Kalonda
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Ivan Kalonda has worked for over nine years in mining and six years as an entrepreneur in education. Besides his work with TFM, Ivan has a passion for community services, entrepreneurship, and leadership. To serve his community, he runs the International Christian Alliance of Tenke Fungurume, an NGO that he founded to sponsor the education of vulnerable children in the Tenke Fungurume region. As an entrepreneur, he owns a startup school in Lubumbashi where he offers employment to 21 people, and education to an estimated 1,000 children.

As for leadership, Ivan is an independent consultant, conference speaker, and researcher in leadership. He obtained a university degree in Biomedical (premedical) Sciences at the University of Lubumbashi and a master’s in Business Leadership at the University of South Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Fellowship, Ivan plans to focus on values-based leadership development for youths, executives, and government officials.

John Njagu
Zimbabwe

John Njagu has more than 10 years’ experience as a filmmaker in Zimbabwe. He is the co-founder and creative director of a company called Thinking Films. He has won several awards in his field, including the best director at the American International Film Festival in 2011. John runs a training program for school leavers who have an interest in filmmaking, thus giving them the power to communicate through the medium of film. He also teaches them skills in front of and behind the camera.

John has been influential in developing the business aspect of the arts in Zimbabwe by making the commercially successful film ‘Lobola’ in 2010. ‘Lobola’ sold 100,000 DVD copies in the first two months of release. On completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, John plans to return to Zimbabwe and continue working to improve and enhance the skills pool of local filmmakers.

Likeleli Tebello Mphutlane
Lesotho

Likeleli Mphutlane has over five years' experience in the accounting profession. She is the founding director of Inspire Innovation, a company that provides consulting and training services in accounting, taxation, and financial management. Likeleli also serves on various board committees as a finance specialist. She is a qualified chartered accountant.

Likeleli also oversees the accounting education program at Montech Institute, a college based in Maseru. She is also the co-founder of the Lesotho Young Professionals Forum, and the curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Maseru Hub. She uses these platforms to advance initiatives she is passionate about, such as youth development, economic empowerment, and leadership development. Upon completion of the Fellowship, Likeleli plans on growing the consultancy into a choice employer for accounting and finance professionals in Lesotho and South Africa.

Lydie Hakizimana
Rwanda

Lydie Hakizimana has 10 years of experience in various fields of education and in publishing, in particular. Currently, Lydie is the CEO of Happy Hearts, a preschool that is providing quality education to children between the ages of 18 months and six years old. She is also the co-founder and owner of Drakkar Ltd, a publishing house that serves 3,000 schools in Rwanda.

Lydie is the chairperson of the Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs and a board member of the Private Sector Federation of Rwanda. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Lydie plans to open a second school in Africa and continue to publish books in her local language in order to contribute to the promotion of a culture of reading in Rwanda. Lydie is a certified Montessori teacher and a proud wife and mother of three children.

Masresha Beniam Hirabo
Ethiopia

Masresha has over six years' experience in software development, especially in the area of machine learning. Currently, she works as a deputy general manager for eNet ICT Solutions, a software company that she co-founded. As deputy general manager, her responsibilities include administering the everyday operations of the organization, preparing schedules, and providing both managerial and technical support to all projects. In addition, she oversees the progress of projects and coordinates with managers, clients, and supervisors to evaluate approvals. She also works as a part-time research programmer, where she is responsible for the research and development of advanced systems.

Masresha holds an MSc in Computer Science from University of Kerala, India, where she focused on Machine Learning and Image Processing. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Masresha plans to lead and expand the company to work on the development of more advanced systems that can solve daily problems.

N'deye Madeleine Sy
Guinea

Madeleine Sy is a highly motivated and reliable managing director at Group Mondial Tours. She studied Accounting and Finance in the UK. She has been managing and developing the Group's multiple activities in the tourism, catering, logistics, and travel industries for three years. Recently, she made great changes in her work environment by setting a clear overall vision at top-management level, providing a clear focus for the defined activities and objectives of the local entities. As part of her work, she has developed the Group’s tourist site to be one of Guinea's favourite destinations. She has accomplished an eco-tourist camp and was able to distribute wealth among the community and the villagers around the site by remunerating more than 50 workers. Upon completion of this program, Madeleine’s ambition is to make her company more efficient, profitable, and socially conscious as a regional player in their field of activity.

Noel Kountirbor Some
Burkina Faso

Noel Some has over six years of experience in various fields of software development, ICT4Dev and project management. Noel is currently the manager of Tech Hub Ouagalab in Burkina Faso where he focuses on raising youth awareness about entrepreneurship. Noel is also the co-founder of a startup: an early stage waste management online mobile application, which helps users monetize their waste as well as generate revenue through satisfying the demands of recycling companies. He also volunteers in his local community and teaches girls and children to write computer code. Noel holds a master’s degree in Software Development and Data Analysis from the University of Ouagadougou. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Noel plans to incorporate more startups in his tech hub and also expand his waste management startup in order to convert waste into renewable energy.

Obianuju Maureen Egbuna
Nigeria

Obianuju Egbuna is the CEO and founder of Joppa Montessori School, an educational center offering quality childcare and top-notch early childhood educational services to children aged 12 years and below in Ughelli Metropolis, Delta State, Nigeria. She has over 10 years' experience with children, having worked as a caregiver, a class teacher, and a school administrator/manager for several private schools. Obianuju holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology, a post-graduate diploma in Education and is currently undergoing a master's degree in Education Administration. She is the pioneer and host of 'Solutions', an annual program that offers basic practical computer education and hands-on vocational training to teenage children living in orphanages. Obianuju plans to establish and run the first information and communication technology-based private vocational college in Delta State, which will offer students certification courses and internship opportunities at a reduced cost.

Omolara Rukayat Rasheed
Nigeria

Omolara Rasheed is a business-oriented person with over four years' experience in community development, including the provision of retail services to students on campus. She is currently a member of the Nigeria Association of the Blind, driven by the sole mandate of improving the productivity and independence of people with disabilities through entrepreneurship and advocacy. Through her language and communication skills, Omolara serves as a voice correcting all societal stereotypes concerning people with disabilities.  Omolara holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to launch an idea that will contribute immensely towards the creation of job opportunities to Nigerians, most especially persons with disabilities, thereby building individual capability and increasing productivity in Nigeria. 

Peter Wamunyima Nawa
Zambia

Peter W. Nawa has over five years of work experience in the private sector, four years having been spent at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Zambia as an auditor. Currently, he is co-founder of a startup called Butali Readers and Writers Studio, which is a publishing company that aims to provide high-quality and affordable publishing services. He is passionate about promoting Zambian books and writers, hence the creation of the website zambianbooks.com. He is also a blogger, and the author of a book titled Hired - Find the Job, Keep the Job and Quit the Job. Peter holds a master's degree in Globalization, Business and Development from the University of Sussex and is a qualified chartered accountant. When he returns from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he intends to implement the knowledge acquired, and use the experiences and networks developed to ensure that his startup succeeds, and will continue to promote Zambian books and writers.

Petronella Muzondo
Zimbabwe

Petronella Muzondo is the co-founder of a women-led startup, Shecodes, that strives to innovate, inspire and educate through technology. Petronella is a Technovation Challenge coach. She also volunteers by teaching young girls new skills in mobile application development. These skills help them develop mobile applications that solve problems in their community. Petronella is in her fourth and final year at the National University of Science and Technology, where she is studying a degree in Computer Science. Petronella is passionate about using technology to bring about positive change. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship she hopes to continue her work with young people.

Rakotoarisoa Holiniaina
Madagascar

Holiniaina Rakotoarisoa has more than five years’ experience in local inclusive development, especially social inclusion and participation of people with disabilities through the Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program in Antananarivo. She is the executive director and founder of Merci NGO, where she currently applies the best of her knowledge and skills in the management and development of the organization and its programs. She is vice president of the National Federation of Women with Disabilities in Madagascar, where she does volunteer work in fighting for the gender equality and rights of women and girls with disabilities in the community. Holiniaina holds a master’s degree in English studies from the University of Antananarivo, and has been trained in social entrepreneurship at the International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs in India. Upon completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue extending local inclusive development and CBR throughout Madagascar.

Sadibou Sow
Senegal

Sadibou Sow is the CEO and founder of INAOTA, a leading agency, which offers a range of services for companies in the IT industry. He has over 10 years of experience in various fields in the technology and educational sectors. Sadibou Sow’s latest venture is the DevAcademie, an open learning space, which is looking to revolutionize the world of education. He is a dedicated member of many fledgling tech ecosystems in Africa, and upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship he plans to continue his work in education and give more opportunities to young African people.

Shylet Chanhwa
Mozambique

Shylet Chanhwa owns a kindergarten school called ABC Play Pre-School in Nampula, Mozambique where she has worked as a director and English teacher for two years. Her aim is to improve education and poverty in Mozambique. She believes in teaching children when they are very young and she concentrates more on infant education. Shylet did an honors degree in English Language Teaching at Universidade Pedagogica in Maputo, Mozambique and has been teaching English for over five years. She also did a course in Kindergarten School Management in February 2016. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Shylet plans to continue educating children and vulnerable orphans, in particular, making the kindergarten school grow to primary, secondary and even university level. She would also like to further her own education.

Taleni Shimhopileni
Namibia

Taleni Shimhopileni has over seven years’ experience in the media industry. Currently, Taleni is the founder of a new tech startup, set to become the top online platform and consolidated, distribution service provider of contemporary African-authored books for the global market. Previously awarded by Google as one of their Zeitgeist Young and Bright Minds, she graduated from law school at the age of 19, and completed a second degree in Television Production cum laude accompanied by the Dean's List Award. By the age of 24, she had worked in the Office of the President of the Republic of Namibia, Google, several national television broadcasters, and also worked as an undergraduate Television university lecturer. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Taleni wishes to work towards the full launch of her company, with an initial focus on distributing world-class, African-authored reading books to schools in Africa.

Tebogo Glad Mabele
South Africa

Glad Mabele has more than nine years’ business and entrepreneurship experience, four of which have been dedicated to publishing child-authored books. He founded Bala Books Creations to enable children between the ages of 7 and 18 to author their own autobiographies. His focus is on initiating, planning, and facilitating children’s book-writing programs in schools and libraries. He also volunteers in his local community’s primary schools, where he teaches aspects of language literacy and writing books. He's won awards for the Township Entrepreneur and the National Small Business of the Year. Glad qualified in Socio-Economic and Social Entrepreneurship Studies from the University of Johannesburg, and Business Development Studies from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria), where he focused on emerging social enterprise management and development. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Glad plans to continue his work in developing skilled young writers and reducing language barriers.

Teodosia Monica Angue Bivini
Equatorial Guinea

Teodosia Monica Angue Bivini has six years of experience in the education sector, with four years n running Babylandia, a kindergarten and preschool operating in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Bivini is currently working as a training associate at EGLNG Operations SA (Equatorial Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas), where she focuses on delivering soft- and professional-skills training to the national workforce. She is also managing EFE (Education for Everyone), an education consultation agency that provides guidance, support, and assistance to high-school students seeking to further their education in foreign universities. Bivini holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a major in Human Resources Management from Nilai University, Malaysia. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Bivini plans to continue fighting illiteracy in Equatorial Guinea. She will focus on promoting education in under-resourced woman and children and growing Babylandia into a primary and secondary school.

Zakiya Serguro
South Africa

Zakiya Serguro has more than ten years of experience advising businesses, governments and international bodies on risks and opportunities in Africa. She is currently the only African partner in risk consultancy, Frank Partners, managing their projects in Africa and the Middle East. Based in Johannesburg, Zakiya provides risk advisory services such as political risk analysis, reputational risk and integrity due-diligence as well as strategy for local and foreign investors. After extensive travels across the continent, Zakiya aims to establish a new standard of good governance for business in Africa, as she believes positive, constructive investment is critical for the continent’s economic and social development. Zakiya has always been active in her community and is currently mentoring young women professionals on their role in Africa’s economic rise and sustainable development. After the Fellowship, Zakiya plans to continue her work in anti-corruption, risk consulting and the development of young professional African women.