Funmi Iyanda, a much-admired broadcaster and media entrepreneur from Nigeria, presented her vision of the future of black British leadership at a talk given at the University of Cumbria’s Institute for Leadership and Sustainability. She wove into her talk personal stories spanning generations from her growing up listening to her grandmother's oration, to her own daughter's experiences of being a young African in an environment where unfamiliarity breeds social discomfort. These personal accounts provided additional context to the legacy that colonialism has left in current day Nigeria, and its lasting effects on young Africans living in the diaspora.
Funmi's underlying message was that we, as Africans, need to reconstruct an Africa that is fit for Africans, and that when we marginalise and devalue humans we lose the opportunity to learn from them and absorb the positive benefits that the skills, knowledge and experiences of ‘others’ can bring to society. The challenge for future leaders is to learn to see diversity as less of a problem and more of an opportunity.
Here are ten more quotes from Funmi Iyanda’s ‘Future of Black British Leadership’ talk.