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This is a panel composed of alumni of the African Leadership Centre who went on to make an impact on their communities as practitioners. Some of them have worked for, or even set up, grassroots organisations, while others now work for organisations like the African Union and the United Nations.

The discussion aims to shed light on the significance and constraints of grassroots leadership in the context of peacebuilding in Africa, drawing upon the participants' extensive practical experience and insights in Sierra Leone and Nigeria. 


  • Kate Ijeoma Ibeanusi: Human rights advocate
  • Dr Toyin Ajao: Research Associate, African Leadership Centre, King's College London
  • Salamatu Kemokai: Policy specialist
  • Dadirai Chikwengo: Human rights advocate

Moderator: Saramba Kandeh

This event will be held online. To join, please use the following link: 

This event is part of Africa Week 2024 organised by the African Leadership Centre at King's. Learn more about Africa Week 2024.

About the speakers

Ibeanusi, Kate Ijeoma

Kate is a human rights advocate with special interests on gender and general family matters. She is the founder of the Initiative for Sustaining Family Unity – IforSFU a nongovernmental social enterprise set up to provide qualitative services to members of society for the actualization of violence free families through counselling, training and referrals. Kate has worked for over 7 years in the field of advocating for the rights of women, girls and children in Nigeria. 

Kate completed her BA in Anthropology and MA in African Studies (with specialty in Applied Anthropology) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She was honoured with the Katherine Fleming International Development Award in 2014 by the Coady Institute for her efforts to address gender-based violence among women, girls and children.

Dr Toyin Ajao

Toyin (Moon Goddess) is a Restorative Healing Researcher and Practitioner at ìAfrika and a Research Associate of the African Leadership Centre (ALC). She founded Ìmọ́ lẹ̀ of Afrika Centre (ìAfrika) to advance restorative healing and Ubuntu culture across Africa, spreading soulidarity through multidisciplinary empirical findings, holistic praxes and restorative nexus. Her main foci include restorative healing research and praxis, ancestral technologies, posthuman security, healing justice, conflict transformation, systems change leadership, and gender and sexual rights. Her empirical research, praxis, and activism spanning two decades across academia, civil and political societies, and LGBTQIA+ and feminist organisations have culminated in storytelling, breathwork meditation, music, and dance therapy as a constructive change nexus. She is an alumna of the Next-Gen SSRC and ALC. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Pretoria, an MA in Conflict, Security and Development from King's College London and a BSc in Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo, Ile-Ife. She has contributed several scholarly and creative publications to knowledge production in Africa.

Salamatu Kemokai

Salamatu is a capacity-building specialist with technical expertise in gender, women’s peace and security, emergency response, localisation, leadership, climate change adaptation, HIV and AIDS, adolescent sexual reproductive health, media and communications. She has over 20 years experience working in both development and crisis contexts, with government and academic institutions, national and international organisations, including the United Nations and NORCAP. More specifically, she has extensive experience working with local women’s organisations and networks in conflict and post-conflict settings in Sierra Leone and Nigeria, supporting their establishment, capacity enhancement and operation.

Salamatu is a Sierra Leonean, has a Master’s degree in Conflict, Security and Development (King’s College London), a Post Graduate Diploma in Population Studies and Social Statistics (Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone) and a Diploma in Environmental Journalism (International Institute of Journalism, Germany). Her first degree was in Geography (Njala University, Sierra Leone). She is currently undertaking her PhD in climate change adaptation at the University of York, United Kingdom.

Dadirai Chikwengo  

Dadirai is the Lead Governance Advisor for the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) based in the London Office. She works in support of CAFOD’s global Governance and peacebuilding work across Africa, Asia and Latin America – bringing her wealth of knowledge and years of experience in civil society strengthening, decision making and making governments accountable. She has extensive programming experience and has provided oversight and technical expertise on several community and national-level peace-building projects.

Dadirai has over 20 years of experience working with civil society in Zimbabwe, rising to be an influential civic leader in her role as the Chairperson of the umbrella Civil Society body in Zimbabwe- the National Association of NGOs (NANGO). She has worked for the Zimbabwe Government and national and international organisations in Zimbabwe and UK. She is a well-known and respected human rights defender in Zimbabwe and Africa. She is a Kings College African Women in Peacebuilding Fellow and holds a master’s in international law and Comparative Legal Studies specialising in governance in developing countries, women’s rights and peacebuilding. Dadirai is also a board member of the JEFCAS (Africa Centre) University of Bradford.

At this event

Toyin Ajao

Research Aide to Bisi Adeleye Fayemi