By Lepilali Ngoilenya
with Nick James
My name is Lepilali Ngoilenya. I am a form six graduate [Tanzanian students who finish secondary school (Form 4) & qualify academically go on to complete advanced-level studies or A-levels in Forms 5 and 6], and I have seen Asante Africa Foundation’s Leadership and Entrepreneurship Incubator (LEI) program changing the lives of youths. I have witnessed youths begin the program without a clear dream and come out with a very focused goal.
I personally lacked confidence with my abilities. I was not able to stand and speak before the mass. Even worse, I was too shy to ask help from elders and my teachers. I found question in the class.
I first attended a one-week LEI workshop in 2011, where I started to map my dream. It was a struggle in the beginning but I started to focus. Following the next LEI workshop in 2012 I could see my thoughts and actions changing. I managed to map my big dream and planned the ways to achieve it. One of the most unforgettable values I have learned from this experience is PERSISTENCE. This is the most important pillar, and any individual who want to succeed should have it in their life. I have learned that nothing can take the place of persistence. You can be rich. You can have the biggest dream. But without persistence you can achieve nothing in your life.
I was a person with smaller dreams, and I was not good in planning for my future. I assumed success happens by cha
nce. LEI sharpened my thought process and I started to think differently. Bigger. Much success does happen by chance, but luck comes to young men and women who have prepared themselves for success. The training in LEI made me courageous, and I have managed to organize my fellows to start a pay-it-forward project in our community called, “I BELIEVE THAT BY SHOWING OTHERS WHAT THEY WANT YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU WANT”. We are training primary and secondary students to map their dream and plan for their future. I am also training people on how to manage their money and now they are able to tell their money where to go instead of wondering where their money has gone.
I am doing whatever I can to help these young people to a least reach as far as I have. Through LEI I managed to map a big dream, which propelled me to achieve my A-level education. Now I am mapping an even bigger dream of joining university this year. My dream in life is to become a doctor, and I hope education, LEI training, and persistence will carry me there.