As a Black American, studying abroad at the University of Kwazulu-Natal was a transformational experience! Aside from the myths and preconceived notions that were dispelled about the continent, I truly learned invaluable lessons about myself, my heritage, and other cultures. While there I studied International Business, Business Law, Marketing, and African Music & Dance. I was a member of the UKZN sailing team and was able to perform Ingoma & GumBoot dances (traditional Zulu dances) with my African Music & Dance class at a concert held on campus at the end of the semester. Additionally, I was able to travel within the Country to Drakensberg to see Zulu Falls, Cape Town to see Table Mountain & Robben Island, and Johannesburg to see Mandela Square.
Most importantly, I made lifelong friendships and business relationships with folks from South Africa. I have always had a very deep and serious interest in international business. Studying board on the continent of Africa gave me that experience, 1st hand and it changed my life!! While in school I was able to identify other very serious, strong leaders who shared my intercontinental sentiments and aspirations, and I’m very proud to report that we were able to forge very profitable business relationships. If I did not study abroad on the beautiful continent of Africa, I know I would not have the global world view I do now, nor the deep understanding of other cultures, their nuances, business practices, and sensitivity towards their differences. Thank you CTF!
During the summer of 2012, I decided to approach diplomacy by connecting the world through film and creative arts. I journeyed abroad to pursue this mission by film journaling ‘cultural aspects of North African and Middle Eastern ‘ in Casablanca, Morocco to be débuted by fellow film students at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This opportunity educated and promoted cultural awareness of the African Diaspora in the Arab world.
Because of the opportunity provided by CTF, I strive to continue this pursuit in the promotion of a strengthened relationship between America, Sub-Sahara Africa, and the Arab World by creating documentaries and short films. Relations between American, Africa, and the Middle East have been devastatingly strained over the past few years, however; many underestimate the connectedness that is given through music, film, and great artistry—I strive to encourage this. Thank you!
Being a part of CTF has impacted my life tremendously. It enabled me to propel my career forward and provided me with the tools and motivation to promote social change and justice internationally.
My work with CTF has helped me to apply my skills on a global level. CTF has been effective connecting me with organizations in Cameroon put me on the path to achieve my vision of building a successful global enterprise.
As a result of my community service project with CTF, I was required to learn about the culture in Johannesburg. The inequality is so obvious. On one side of the road there would be a $100,000 home and literally on the other side of the road there would be a shack worth less than $100. Still, the areas that I visited were extremely rich culturally. My most memorable experience occurred when I attended Mozolies. Mozalies is a celebration that takes place every Sunday in the township of Gungaleta. Africans come from all the different areas of the community wearing their best clothes and driving their motorcycles. At Mozalies there is dancing, music, and freshly cooked food. At the festivities, there is a building that has a humongous grill and everyone purchases their own meat and takes it to the grill to be cooked. During this visit I ate the tastiest food, saw the most beautiful people and had an amazing experience. From this I learned that even through the poverty, there is happiness, there is hope, and there is love.