The Key to Transformational Leadership: Scholars Perspectives

Baobab Summit 2019

The 2019 Baobab Summit theme’s are courage, connections, and creativity. Scholars will spend three days exploring how courage, connections, and creativity, can manifest in day-to day-actions to empower others, challenge norms, and defy expectations. We asked Scholars to share their ideas, in essays or poetry, on how courage is an essential element to transformational leadership, and personal and societal change.


Angella Nantambi, Ashesi University

“Self-education is the foundation of courage, the more you learn, the more you have it. Several times, we tend to associate courage to certain stereotypes. (…) However, a lot of acts form a part of courage. Waking up on a bad day is an act of courage. Not quitting when faced with a challenge is courage. (…) And throughout my whole self-discovery journey, I have learnt that if the costs are high, it’s worth nurturing a healthy source such as courage.”

Deloris Saad, American University of Beirut 

“(…) Small acts of courage are the only way to induce change. Looking back, I can clearly see myself in my room, crying about the injustice around me. Today, I see myself fighting injustice every day…The only difference between the 15-year-old girl crying herself to sleep and the grown woman who is starting her own program in a country that still considers her a foreigner was COURAGE. Speaking up about the injustice takes a lot of effort and strength but it is the first stone to a very long journey; the first step towards gender equality.”

Keketso Mabaleka, University of Pretoria

“(…) Courage is vital to anyone with a heart to impose change in any area of life to become a leader. It gives ability to press on against all odds that a leader may encounter along the way. Transformative leaders need courage to not sacrifice their faith on positive change when faced with challenges.

Sandra Kalua, Mastercard Foundation Scholar at Earth University

“ I could give a million and one definitions of Courage, but the definition of courage to me is growing and becoming who you really are. At this precise moment, the moment I understood my definition of courage, Sandra Peachy the vlogger was born.”

Albert Ayinpoya Akafari, American University of Beirut

“Transformative leaders need courage and the boldness to take risk and face challenges. Aristotle once said, courage is the most important of all human virtue because it serves as the foundation and catalyst for the other virtues to prevail. (…) Society cannot achieve its full potential in development, especially among young people, without the existence of courageous transformative leaders. Courage is an epitome of the characteristics of all great leaders.”