A loan of $500 helped to purchase a laptop for his studies.

Fortune's story

Fortune is an 18-year-old full-time student at African Leadership Academy (ALA), a two year pre-university program in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a mission to identify, develop, and connect Africa’s future leaders.

Fortune was selected as one of 95 ALA students out of a pool of over 3,000 applicants from across the continent for his passion for public service, his commitment to Africa, and his demonstrated leadership potential to lead change in Africa and beyond.

Fortune is applying for a loan of $500, which will enable him to purchase a laptop to conduct assignments and research, to run his community service project and/or student run business which forms part of the ALA curriculum, and to participate fully in the world-class program offered by ALA.

Fortune comes from Mutare, Zimbabwe and is one of a family of eight. Growing up in Zimbabwe, Fortune was surrounded by high levels of unemployment. He recognised early on that unemployment was a major challenge to the economic and social development of his country. It is Fortune’s long-term goal to bring about change to address this pressing social issue.

Fortune identified and addressed a need in his community when he noticed the unpleasant surroundings of the local hospital near his boarding school. Fortune felt the need to improve the area as it had become a breeding ground for mosquitos and snakes. He appealed to his fellow classmates to help the hospital personnel tidy up the surroundings of the hospital. He managed to mobilize a group of students to pick up papers and cut the long grass around the hospital – efforts that were recognized by the nurse in charge of the hospital. This is now an on-going project.

A natural leader, Fortune has held multiple leadership positions. In Zimbabwe, leadership roles he assumed included: Sports Commissioner (co-ordinating sporting activities at his school), a junior leader at his church, the chairman for Kutama Cricket Fund-Raising Committee, and duty-boy at his school (waking up earlier than the others to ensure that everyone woke up on time and issuing cleaning materials for students who needed to use them). In addition to the numerous leadership positions he held, Fortune was still able to excel academically and was even named the best student in Economics in his high school in Zimbabwe. “A good leader needs to manage their time well,” says Fortune.

An aspiring businessman, Fortune’s entrepreneurial flair was recognised by pan-African bank, Ecobank, when he submitted a business plan to the bank for a business competition. Ecobank praised Fortune for his entrepreneurial ability and acknowledged that they were interested in supporting his plan so that he could execute it in the future.

In twenty years’ time, Fortune sees himself as a large-scale social entrepreneur in Africa. He wants to build businesses that provide services that will seek to address the problems that the continent will be facing at that time. He wants to partner with other people who are passionate about developing the continent to maximize the impact of their work and contributions to the continent.

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