Reflecting on your career, how do you feel about becoming Ambassador?
I arrived in Seoul two days ago and I’m still very much excited, and very much looking forward to starting my work here. I’m excited to represent well my country and make sure the relations between Tanzania and the Republic of Korea are improving, from the good position they are already in, to an even better position.
Up until now, my life has revolved around leaders – assisting, supporting and observing them – during crises and during great times. You learn how they function when they’re stressed and how to support them to deliver their work. This may be through writing speeches or through handling their itinerary and preparing their briefs.
So you can tell that I did not have weekends – because leaders deal with situations that are complex and which occur at any point in time. This means they always have to be on alert.
This has been my life for the past 15 years and now I’m looking forward to my new role – now as the leader myself. I’m coming to the front from the backstage.
Why did you decide to study at King’s?
I took a year’s break to study at King’s because after having enough years of experience in leadership – I mean, I’ve seen the practical side of leadership – I thought, maybe I should study the theory. I thought it was about time to try and better understand this subject. And of course, I was interested in becoming a leader someday.
Studying with the African Leadership Centre was a very eye-opening opportunity. I learnt a lot – my understanding of leadership is more enhanced and my studies helped me to be able to name and make sense of my practical experience. You know, you may be working on things but you don’t have the names for it? Now, when you go to the world of academics, you get meaning to situations.
And of course, it gives you much more confidence as you now do things, not by guessing, but by knowing – by having an understanding by how they play out, how to navigate better, how to understand better my leaders. I would say it was one of my best experiences ever.
King’s is the place to be – I love it!
Would you say that incorporating leadership into studies is useful for students?
If you ask me, leadership skills should be part of every course, along with communication skills. I say that because when you go to the field, success or failure will depend on the kind of leadership skills you have. Because in the workplace, most of the time you will be working in a team – either you are a team leader or a team member. At any point in your life, you either lead or you are led. There is no situation where you are out of that.
This concept of ‘followship’ is something I picked up at King’s. Often when you think about leadership, you only think about people who are in front leading the rest but followers are also part of leadership. The followers allow leaders to either succeed or fail. The followers can influence change from the back – you don’t necessarily have to lead from the front all the time, sometimes you lead from behind.
I think this is so important because there may come about situations where the leaders who were expected to lead may not be able to lead and the situation warrants that you are the only person that can take charge. So, all people have to be prepared, because you don’t know when and how and in what situation you’ll be called to stand up. So, we better prepare students for that, whether they are engineers, doctors, scientists – we must all have the basic leadership and followship skills.