My leadership breakthrough - Leaving the comfort zone


My expectation when I left for South Africa in March to attend the 14th African Nutrition Leadership Programme (ANLP) was to learn about leadership in a formal way, thus I expected formal presentations and classroom sessions. However, I was taken by surprise with alternative methods of learning that challenged me to leave my comfort zone. These included intense team building exercises, climbing the high ropes and, working with and getting feedback from fellow participants. All of which contributed to what I believe to the 2016 ANLP as having achieved a breakthrough for my development as an African leader and nutrition champion. My biggest realization was that I have to leave my comfort zone in the quest to be the leader that I aspire to be. But leaving my comfort zone is something I struggled with. But thanks to ANLP, which made it very clear through its lessons and teaching methodologies, I have accepted that leaving my comfort zone is an essential element in self-discovery and harnessing my potential as a leader, who can and will make a difference to nutrition on the African continent.


ANLP 2016 has come to an end, it is packing time. Lifelong lessons have been learnt. As we go to lead from where we stand, here are the voices of the inspired ANLP 2016 participants:

I am heading home with total confidence that I will be a good leader. ANLP has helped me to rediscover myself. I now have many friends across Africa with whom I can network further. Anteneh

Life is about completing others but not competing with others. Lead from where you are. Esther

I have experienced people from different cultures, learnt to work as a team and understand situations from a different perspective. Afua 

Life changing experience! The best days of my life, something money cannot buy. Jennifer

ANLP made me to know myself better, I have decided to change. ANLP has made me change for the better. Naomi

Making diversity nutrition in Africa’s strength

What a delightful moment when you manage to achieve your goal. Such was the excitement of the organisers of the 2016 ANLP symposium, held on 13th March 2016 at Elgro River Lodge in South Africa. Diversity is Strength: How can the ANLP 2016 Participants Advance the Nutrition Agenda was the topic of discussion among 26 participants from 13 African countries. The subject was a timely considering that the SUN Movement countries are to meet in Rio, Brazil in August this year to take stock of the progress made after the London 2013 Nutrition for Growth Summit. And to commit to continued prioritization of nutrition on the development agenda that should lead to increased domestic resources being allocated to nutrition as we strive towards achieving the World Health Assembly Nutrition Targets by 2025.



This is the moment I have lived, breathed and dreamed of - an email from my supervisor, Prof Shane Norris from Wits Paediatrics Department. I have passed my PhD. What a gift. I haven’t yet assimilated the news, my mind is still trying to process it all, especially as my ANLP team (the great Buffalos) and I only went to bed after four o’clock this morning, as we had to produce the ANLP newsletter for today.


“Host team of the day, now is feedback time” echoed the voice of ‘JZ Msholozi aka Igwe aka Jane’. Quickly gathering together at the specified table, we wonder what the agenda will be. We have heard about the feedback session with the team being assessed and fellow members giving one another feedback. My mind began to be bombarded with questions and emotions. What will they have to say about me? How will I take the feedback? I have, after a few days here at ANLP, made a conscious choice to receive the feedback. Why? I have realized that if I am to grow and change, then I have to be prepared to listen to how others perceive my behavior.