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Mandela Washington Fellows during the Summit with President Obama

A Nigerian’s perspective during the Q and A section at the Mandela Washington Fellowship Presidential Summit Opening Ceremony in Washington DC Wednesday August 2, has got people talking.
Frank Sesno, former CNN correspondent and Director of School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, Senator Christopher Coons of Delaware and two Mandela Washington Fellows – Natasha Kimani and Patience Kente from Kenya and Uganda respectively were discussing their experiences throughout the fellowship on stage. During the discussion segment, Mandela Washington Fellow Vanessa Willie from Nigeria stood to talk about the misrepresentation of Africa especially to the American populace.
Enugu-based Vanessa popularly known as Lady V is an OAP and the host of a radio talk show The Talk with Vanessa, which focuses on addressing societal ills that plague young minds especially youth from dysfunctional homes. She’s an event manager and planner with a background in Public Relations.
She explained that through her stay in the United States during the fellowship, she has seen many things which mirror what she sees in Nigeria. Yet, she has still faced the ignorant questions such as “so, you speak English” etc…
Watch more of what she had to say.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, begun in 2014, is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. In 2016, the Fellowship will provide 1,000 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution with support for professional development after they return home.