PHILLIP KUVAWOGA ’19: Leadership for the African Century

Phillip Kuvawoga ‘19 is a Zimbabwean professional planner, wildlife specialist and rising leader in conservation, working at WWF Zimbabwe. Some people call him the “Elephant Man’’, given his passion for these magnificent animals and how much benefit they can bring to communities. In this video interview, Phillip talks leadership: from the African leaders who have influenced him,. to what is needed from the leaders of Africa to come.

Here are some highlights from Phillip’s interview:

Which African leaders have influenced you and why?

“I think my father is an inspiration. He worked for 40 years in the conservation space in Zimbabwe and is well regarded. Sometimes my behaviour, my thinking and my visioning is inspired by him.”

“…if you look at the political landscape in Africa, one of the icons of our generation, toward political liberation and freedom of expression, has been Nelson Mandela. And back home, may his soul rest in peace, Dr. Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, in terms of his strive towards democracy…has been an inspiration especially to us, the young generation, in that we need to value people, human rights, and women, creating an enabling environment for people to strive and be the best that they can be.”

What leadership characteristics must you and your classmates emulate as rising leaders in Africa?

“There is a suite of characteristics that needs to be foundation of your being as a person; issues around empathy, virtuous leadership…I have learned that through my MBA journey so far, as long as you have the will, you have the heart and set your mind to it, you can do it.”

“It is about your integrity, it is about the consistency that you put to people, it is about you being honest in whatever you are doing. And you must know that along the way you will fail, but it is good to fail first and get up, dust yourself and do it again.”

Watch Phillip’s full interview below:

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