Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Mfreke Anakan Ayan-Asigbe. I am a Public Health Specialist and the CEO of Cypress Global Health and the Founder of the Women Riding on Waves Initiative. I am also the secretary for Young Women in Politics Forum, Cross River State Chapter, and the Deputy Coordinator Women’s Leadership Institute Network, Cross River State Chapter. I am currently a Fellow at the Emerging Political Leadership Fellowship.
How did you find out about the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship?
I found out about the Fellowship via an email from the Bridge Leadership Foundation.
Give a synopsis of your experience before you joined the Fellowship
Previously, I was a pioneer student of the School of Politics, Policy, and Governance as well as an Associate of the Electoral College. I enrolled in African Civic Engagement Academy, where I learnt Civic Engagement. This Fellowship is a plus in my political journey and is also my first political fellowship opportunity.
Why did you apply for the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship?
I applied for this course to gain more knowledge.
What interests you most about being a part of the Fellowship?
I’m most interested in the diversity of the fellows, and the inclusiveness in the selection process.
Briefly share with us some of your best moments during the Fellowship so far.
My best moment is being assigned a task to create political campaign videos for various groups, of which I played the role of Presidential candidate in my team. This task enveloped my mind with sober reflections on the realities of running for a political office, and I realized how beneficial this Programme has been and would still be to me.
How has this fellowship impacted you so far?
Amazingly, I have learnt a lot ranging from visionary leadership, building strategic alliances, planning, crafting a campaign, financing, and running for an office, and I’m channelling all of these learnings to the right perspective.
What are some of the achievements you’ve had during the fellowship?
Interestingly, I have gained more visibility through the Fellowship’s social media platforms, and I have been able to increase my network by partnering with other fellows on projects.
To what extent would you say the Fellowship programme is changing your perception of political leadership in Nigeria?
The Programme has shown me a simplified dimension of emerging as a political leader.
What will you do differently if given a chance to serve your country?
I will ensure inclusiveness, transparent governance and robust civic engagements.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see myself advancing in my career and attaining a political position.
Would you recommend this fellowship to others? Why?
Yes, because it has helped me shape my vision for leadership and I believe it will do the same for any other fellow.
What will be your advice to young people aspiring to be in politics?
Well… Be on the lookout for opportunities to expand your knowledge because getting into a position equates to apt concentration on shaping the current state of the nation. Widen your networks, broaden your horizons, have an open mind, and be ready to learn, evolve and grow!