Judy Lumumba: Let’s Fight the Mental War

Ahead of the second YELP seminar in August, we tasked our Class of 2019 Fellows to reflect on the kind of change they would want to bring to their sector/industry through a performance speech. The speeches would borrow from the four principles that underpin the YELP Fellowship: empathy, clarity, knowledge and volunteerism. Below we have reproduced some of the speeches.

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Imagine the best award to prove the Gender of Leadership, will it be a he or she, female or male, feminine or masculine? As young leaders would you stand a chance for the award?

Our mentality, Ladies and Gentlemen, the invisible thoughts, empathy, knowledge, clarity and integrity depends on how we define leadership. Being a young leader and still doing what I have to do to get through the day, just to thrive through the political, economic and social world, especially in an African country that has even set a day on the calendar to celebrate their freedom or independence day.

The search for freedom and ethical leadership does not seem to find any destination. They have refashioned colonies and cajoled us into believing that we are powerless to change the leadership systems and structures in Africa.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we planted our sons and daughters in the African soils, believing they understood what Ubuntu  means, the power of pan-Africanism and its importance, the true definition of Peace, Unity and the fact that we are African. They were liberators, activists, advocates that we even flew on jets, overseas and across oceans to became scholars, professors  and academics, to help us rebuild and restructure African leadership, to liberate it from the modern colonist, digital imperialist and even fight for us.

My fellow leaders, they grew from African soils to became our own enemies, “not every black man is my Brother” as they would claim it, listen, they even partner with the modern colonialist to sell our own as slaves, plan for conferences to make laws and policies to harm us. They are ready to offer human labor to continue enjoying  the rhythms and choruses of guns in Africa, raping and stabbing our innocent mothers and children.

It’s not enough to congregate here today, without embracing and attaching our mentality and attitude to the indivisible peace, culture, and I still remind you the fact that we are blacks. The absence of war, doesn’t guarantee existence of peace in mother Africa where you are. We still have the greatest war to fight, a MENTAL WAR…….Ladies and Gentlemen, fellows who are being planted again in the African soil, to be the change makers and leaders with integrity. We still jet in and out of Africa; grow in Africa soils…..

To fight a toxic mental war, we must unite, to unite, we must be organized, to be organized we must have knowledge and know how systems operate. Fellow Africans, we must start shooting our own mind before turning the guns to shoot fellow brothers and sisters.

Let’s fight the Mental War. And that is how I intend to bring dignity in the World.

Judy Achieng Lumumba, YELP Class of 2019.

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