Kayo Cecile Jelissa Kamguem – Cameroon

  • March 23, 2020 at 10:36 am #2321
    Huong Nguyen

    Name: Kayo Kamguem Cecile Jelissa,

    School: Lafayette College

    Part One: The Ketil 10 points of Leadership positive and negative examples.

    1. Mission: A long term goal that most of the time leads to positive impact on the community. The goal in this case is realistic and measurable. A mission guides your every move and action and keeps the focus. An example of an institution that has a mission of shaping the next generation of African Leaders is the African Leadership Academy. Through the two year programme of leadership and entrepreneurship, they have been training young African leaders who graduate from the institution and invest on the continent.
    On the other hand, a mission could lead to a negative impact. For Example, the Boko Haram terrorist group which mission is to establish islamic states in most west Africn countries has led to the deaths of many in Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger.

    2. Passion: What you do without any monetary compensation from a standpoint of love for the self and for others. Samuel Eto’o is my model when I think of passion. He loves playing football and does this even when no one is looking. His continued commitment to his passion is what motivates me to do what I love doing best. Passion on the other hand could lead to negative impact. Pastor TV Joshua in Nigeria who loves preaching to people leads to people believing in unrealistic miracles that not only creates a fictional reality, but generates untruthful perceptions of reality.
    3. Vision: Something bigger than a mission; affecting a greater audience that a mission. Manu Dibango, a Cameroonian Musician has a vision for African youths as he sings through the lyrics of his song “Africa”. With a combination of his passion(Saxophonist) and his mission(albums) he was able to come up with a vision for the future of Africa. On the other hand, Paul Biya, the current 85yr Cameroonian president’s Vision of an emerging Cameroon in 2035 is very unrealistic and unachievable because there are no set of goals or missions to achieve this vision .
    4. Ethics: A moral judgement of what is right or wrong. Dean Hatim Etalyeb from the African Leadership Academy will be my role model when it comes to ethical decisions. As the dean of the Academy, he has come up with ethical decisions like expelling students that violate the rules and regulation of the institution; a decision that goes beyond his own will but is the right thing to do. That notwithstanding, Ni John Frundi, the SDF political party leader in Cameroon who promotes ghost towns as a means to fight against the government is an unethical decision because people lose their jobs and children lose education.
    5. Compassion: The unconditional love and care for one another. I really admire the Cameroonian first Lady Chantal Biya for her love and care for high schools in Yaounde the Capital of Cameroon.On the other hand, her husband President Paul Biya’s silence on the Anglophone crisis currently going on in Cameroon is mean to the population.
    6. Equality and Respect: Freedom of speech, equal vote and respect for humanity. Mimi Mefo, a Cameroonian Journalist who was jailed for publishing the truth about the Anglophone crisis stood for what is right. I appreciate her courage and determination. Ni John Frundi on the other hand thinks less about others. He decided to look at what is right through the lens of money than through the eyes of humanity.
    7. Good governance /Management: Good governance means government for the people, with the people and by the people always. Paul Kangame of Rwanda is an example of a government with the people, by the people and for the people. He is most of the time seen carrying out cleaning activities on the street alongside his citizens. In terms of managing the country, he takes into account people’s concerns and petitions. Paul Biya, the current president of Cameroon is not an example of good government.Having ruled the country for over 35yrs with little or achievable mission and vision for the country, it leaves Cameroonians with the question;” when will he leave power?”
    8. Personal Presentation: Deals with dress code, facial expression, networking skills and body language. I love Charlotte Dipanda, a Cameroonian artist because I love her dresses(very African) and her smile always makes my day. Her facial expression encourages conversations and she is always very positive. On the other hand, Paul Biya,the Cameroonian president’s facial expression is scary. He always looks very tired, angry and less enthusiastic.
    9. Team Building: Working together in harmony towards a specific goal. An example will be the African Careers Network team, who have been working tirelessly towards providing jobs and internships for students in Africa. A bad example will be the Boko Haram team engaged in massive killings in West Africa.
    10. Measurable Accomplishment: Achievement that can be seen, felt or touched. Patrick Nganang in his novel: Temps de Chien, talks about Cameroon; Africa in Miniature through the lens of a dog.Very unique piece of art which motivated me to read even more of his novels. I could feel my story being told in this novel. That notwithstanding, President Paul Biya and his desire to build better roads in Cameroon is not measurable because impact is not felt.

    Part Two: My Eulogy

    If I should die, I would love to see no tears on the faces of my beloved because their friend, sister, colleague and daughter is not gone. She just took a nap as she always did, but this time around, an infinite one. But don’t get me wrong, I am still not gone. I am just giving you time. Time to appreciate my journey more than ever before. It is rather unfortunate that the silence in the room might be intimidating, but I encourage you to smile because that’s what I love: Smiling.

    Yes I smiled, when my last year of high school was almost taken away from me by the 2017 war in my native town Bamenda. My parents were worried about me losing an education but I was worried about being caught by gunmen on my way to school. With the gravity of the situation, students were not allowed to go to school while teachers were allowed to be in school; a situation I did not understand. With a smile, I decided to uphold the identity of a teacher in order to make my way to school. Each morning I will dress up like a teacher. At school, I will meet my teachers and we will have a class. That’s what I did throughout the entire school year and I wrote my final year examinations passing all my exams. Yes mom, I could see your smile when you saw my results as we smiled together. To all in this room, I want you to remember me as that woman who fought for her education even in the midst of war. And please do that with a smile.

    Yes I smiled too when I got waitlisted for my dream school Lafayette college. I had worked so hard on my application together with the generous help of Mark Hoffman and Suzanne Hunter. It was disappointing at first for many but I viewed this as an opportunity to show my love for Lafayette college out of my application. Mr Eugene Gabay, I can’t believe I still call you Mr when you told me several times not to.It just shows how much respect I have for you or maybe how stubborn I am, lol.I am sorry for flooding your emails with updates on my participation in the South African Ideas Festival, how I designed the curriculum, how I trained facilitators and how I danced with participants and made them smile( actually this wasn’t on the schedule). But given that situation, I felt that was my one solid joker card to play and guess what, it worked!! A month later, I got an email from Lafayette stating that I was admitted with great financial aid. I danced and danced and danced again, dressed up and took pictures in my room. I wish I knew how to do some makeup. I definitely would have done some just for pictures. So for all of you in this room, pretend we are about to take a picture and bring out that cutest smile. I will count down to one and we will all say “cheese”. Are you ready? three, two,one “Cheese”.

    Yes I hope you still have your smile on your faces, because I smiled too when as a young woman, 20yrs old, going through the thorns of chemical engineering while realising that love was the center of life. At this stage, more than ever I felt so vulnerable. Vulnerable to handsome men( there were actually a lot at Lafayette lol), vulnerable to switching identities, religion and moral values and more vulnerable to losing friends and family. I got carried away by the infinite deadlines and exams that I forgot to call home to check up on family. I got too excited with presentations here and there together with conferences and internships that I ignored a couple of text messages from friends and family. I know most of you might be present right now wishing I had replied to those texts of voice notes, but I apologize I didn’t. I am sorry for my negligence. With the pandemic coronavirus situation, I felt like I was going to die in the next minute. I realised how I missed you guys and how completely lost I was without you.I almost lost my smile but I didn’t because pictures brought back all those good memories. I could feel the love as I saw pictures of us, Estalla, Ritzi and Christian at the beach in Miami, or my picture with you mom in our kitchen or the picture with my ALA basketball team. All these sweet memories brought back love, without which I would not have stayed in my room quarantined for an infinite amount of time. So I hope you are all still smiling, because you all played a huge role in bringing love into my life.

    I always wanted to be a leader but I wonder if I have lived to become one. From my passion for small things like dancing in front of the mirror at night to organising leadership festivals like the Aspen challenge, I want you to remember me as someone who fought for success even when there was nothing left to fight for. Someone who found love and shared love. A girl full of humility for the young and the old, ready to serve. Above all, someone who always smiled regardless. Like I mentioned before, I am not gone, I am just taking a nap. Feel free to wake me up at any time, feel free to remember my story at any time.


    Part III Panel Discussion Report.

    It is interesting what people have to say about the above core values. I was challenged and challenged even more with the diverse nature of the arguments that came up during our discussions. It was a round table discussion with six students, three Juniors and two first year students. We began with an introduction with each one introducing themselves. Then I introduced the topic of discussion. For values like compassion, we kind of had a harmonious definition: Love and care for one another. Examples of people who extend compassion were Grace Marshall, Paul Kangami and Mike Bezos.On the other hand, we had conflicting perspectives on good governance and management.Some students believe good governance is giving more power to the people to make their own decisions whereas others believe more power should be given to the leaders. These opinions were supported by powerful examples such as the fact that most African countries are still developing with people not understanding the law and its implications. Overall, it was a wonderful session and I look forward to holding more of such discussions in future.

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