Unearthing elite scholars across the globe to inspire the next generation of potential future global leaders is high on Vice President and Vice-Principal (International), Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin’s, agenda.
In support of this ambition, Professor Olonisakin travelled to Nigeria, along with King’s Choir, the President of KCLSU, Momin Saqib, and colleagues from the African Leadership Centre (ALC), International Marketing, and Communications, to visit schools and network with influential figures in Lagos.
Momin shares his experience of the trip, where he shared his experience as an international student.
Having never been to the African continent before in my life, I was wondering on the plane to Lagos, Nigeria, about what the coming days would bring. Little did I know that it would turn out to be one of the best and most uplifting experiences of my life.
Lagos turned out to be a huge, but pleasant, shock in terms of the development in the city against my expectations. Not only that, I was impressed by the positivity inherent in the general public. The citizens were extremely welcoming, very hospitable and kind. The general high-spirited aura I encountered is a real boost. You will see people helping each other and smiling all the time despite the fact that their economic conditions still need a lot of improvement compared to many other areas of the world.
Another notable aspect is the appreciable emphasis on education in the city of Lagos. We met students from schools, and talked to them about the value of education, life of a student at King’s, the culture of King’s as an institution that strives to make the world a better place, and how leadership can change the future of the country. After interacting with many students, I can say, without doubt, that there is enormous potential for bright, future leaders.
Another purpose of the trip was to further the narrative of the African Leadership Centre (ALC). The ALC is a global community of scholars, based at King’s, whose research on peace, leadership and security issues aims to inform and influence policy change, both in Africa and at a global level. Our vision is to train students at the ALC to become the future world leaders in terms of changing the global landscape of Africa. We had the privilege of meeting prospective student offer-holders from Nigeria, who were anxious to learn more about this initiative and had an informative and productive discussion with them about how King’s would provide them with the suitable environment to channel their passion and be ready to succeed in the outer world.
It was an amazing experience visiting the schools and talking about the value of education, life of a student at King’s College London and about unleashing their potential to prosper and get to the top. I was immensely impressed by the potential and zeal of the students, as well as their inspired response and eagerness to learn more about life at Kings.
In addition to this, we also had the wonderful opportunity of our King’s Choir being invited by the Cathedral Church of St. Jude to sing in collaboration with them. Being exposed to the African culture and being a first hand witness to the richness it entails definitely turned out to be an amazing experience.
Together with colleagues from across King’s, our Vice President and Principal (International) and our International Marketing team, we will definitely be working on developing partners in Nigeria and hopefully the rest of Africa.
President of KCLSU, Momin Saqib