#LEAPISPARTOFMYSTORY WEEK 32: Chimezie Judemary Udechukwu

Chimezie Judemary Udechukwu, President of the Security Council, International Model United Nations

Life does not give you what you want and if you want anything out of life, you must be willing to stand up and get it yourself.

I am Chimezie Judemary Udechukwu the 6th out of 7 children, they say I am albino with limited abilities but I say I am God’s creature, limitless in Christ.

Growing up was challenging for me and you would quickly notice why. I was bullied, pranked, taunted, mocked and discriminated, owing to my skin colour. I pulled through basic education but found my feet in college.

I have always seen myself as a conduit through which others get connected to their dreams and aspirations and meeting LEAP in 2008 further solidified that belief!

Chinonso Arubayi (then Ijomah) had started her Change Project tagged “BOLD, Building Opinion Leaders” with a Difference, we were in the same Faculty of Social Sciences at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; I read Political Science, she studied Mass Communication. She invited me to join her team and I accepted. Later she nominated me to participate in the 2008 LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Programme, where I would go on to become a part of the Emeralds class comprising of some of the most brilliant people on earth!

Looking back now, I am grateful to God I accepted that nomination even though I had to sacrifice lectures and classes for eight days; my classmates went berserk because I was the class representative. But since then, I have become better and more effective.

The skills I acquired through LEAP has led to an improvement of who I am. Also the knowledge it provided has enabled me create a platform to reach out to other young people to become better members of the society.

I currently work as a speaker, compere and volunteer even as I prepare to round up my Masters Degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution. I am also serving as President of the Security Council, International Model United Nations, Nigeria IMUNN, Assistant District Rotaract Representative ADRR for District 9110 supervising more than 20 rotaract clubs in terms of administration and project implementation aside other Youth Advocacy within the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON) in the Archdiocese of Lagos.

LEAP has helped me fan into flame, the embers of Service, Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability, Professionalism in all I do. I have and am still contributing my quota to the growth and development of our Society. In the coming months I intend to start up my own firm dedicated to providing communication, research and strategies for project planning and execution.

At LEAP Africa, you are driven to reach the gifts, potentials and abilities you never knew existed within.


Have you got an interesting story to share? Send an email to info@leapafrica.org today. We’ll love to hear from you. 

Why Should You Attend Leadership Development Programmes?

Written By Wendy Capland


I had a wonderful time in San Antonio, Texas recently at a leadership development seminar and conference. This is my 4th year attending this event and it’s one of the professional development activities I participate in each year to grow my skills as a master certified coach and to network with other like-minded professionals.

Why should you go to Leadership Development Seminars? Many of the senior level individuals I coach tell me they are so busy that they don’t have time to go to industry events or conferences. I too feel busy and my to-do list is never ending, however as Steven Covey in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” says, we must prioritize activities that are important but not urgent. We know theoretically how important it is to get out of our offices, away from our desks, and network with others but do we make enough time for our own leadership development? I strongly believe the benefits of immersing ourselves professionally away from the office, far outweighs the challenges of being away from work for a few days.

Consider these five benefits for yourself and see if participating in a professional leadership development seminar might be worth your while:

1. Get an outsider’s perspective on some of your most pressing challenges.
Thinking about something by ourselves just brings us back to what we already know and does not give us a new perspective. None of us can observe ourselves in action. We actually need outside advice to stimulate our thinking. I’m currently writing a book and am at a crossroads deciding whether to go the traditional publishing route or self publish. I met a number of authors at the recent leadership development seminar I attended that gave me advice and helped me see the pros and cons that I was not aware of since I have never written a book.

2. Develop a network that you can re-connect with once you return to work.
An outside network can be invaluable. New people, new ideas, and access to a whole new network, theirs! A few years ago, I met a wonderful talented woman at a leadership development workshop and she and I now work together providing Strategic Decision Making and Mastering the Art of High Stakes Conversations leadership workshops to managers in corporations. I might not have met her if I had not gone to that workshop and talked about a current business challenge I was facing.

3. Develop a connection that might help you with future employment.
You may or may not be looking for a new job at the moment, but you never know when you might be or when someone you know might be. The more connections we have the better we are positioned when the time is right to make a move. I’m not looking for a job myself, as I am happily self-employed, but I did just hire a marketing person who was a referral from someone I met at a leadership development conference. You never know who you might meet that might know someone looking for just your skill set.

4. Step back, sort through, think creatively, reflect, re-invent and experience work from a whole new perspective.
This is one of my favorite reasons for attending leadership development seminars and conferences. I can think bigger and more creatively once I get away from my desk where the day-to-day issues and challenges rule my days. I came back from CAM a few weeks ago with an idea to develop video descriptions of my Leadership University seminars on my website, which I can easily film at the TV studio where I produce my monthly cable show. It’s sort of a no-brainer but it had not occurred to me until someone else was talking about using videos in their business. I also met 4 colleagues that are interested in forming a traveling mastermind group and we decided we are going to start our group by taking a tour of Zappos and then brainstorm how we can take what we learned back into our businesses. New perspectives are priceless!

5. Learn something that changes your life (in a good way!).
As you can see I go to these leadership development seminars and workshops with big intentions for myself. Why not discover something that makes a huge difference for me personally or professionally, or both!? This year, I had a deep learning about who I am and how I want to be in the world whether I am at work or not. I discovered that I am someone who is inspired about thinking of myself as “Serenely Ambitious”. (A special shout out and thanks to Jim Selman, an expert in the field of organizational transformation and change, who coined this phrase, which I have now made my own). I love this phrase as it covers both sides of me that I am cultivating and celebrating. One side of me that is at peace, happy, and present and the other that is materially solid and driven towards success, but not at the expense of being spiritually bankrupt. I am learning to accept that all is perfect and unfolding in my world even if I am uncertain where it might lead, and at the same time I am committed to a larger possibility for myself and others and being constantly dissatisfied. Serene Ambition will be one of my leadership practices for this year as I strive to become masterful over time.

Float Your Boat. You never know what you might learn about yourself or your business until you get away from it. Think about attending a leadership development training workshop, program or conference this year as a professional or personal gift to yourself. Find something that looks like it has the possibility to really float your boat. Maybe it’s something you want to learn more about or something you want to immerse yourself in, or maybe its something completely new to take yourself out of your box.

A couple of years ago, I attended something out of the box for me, a course called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action run by Charlie Kiefer of Innovation Associates and Len Schlesinger, President of Babson College. It rocked. I learned a lot about running entrepreneurial ventures, which came in handy while I was starting The Magic Parties, (an organization of women supporting women to make their next bold moves) and I made some wonderful new friends and colleagues, including Len and Charlie.

Be conscious and deliberate about what and how you are stretching yourself professionally and personally. We all need to re-assess where we are, what we want, and how the heck we’re going to get there. Where will your next bold move be?

Culled from Vision Quest Consulting 



Musa Abduljelil Harry, Electrical Engineering Student

I am the last child of six from Mr. and Mrs. Musa Paul Audu. My name is Musa Abduljelil Harry and I have a passion for Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Information and Communication Technology (I.C.T), Computer Networking/Web design packages and empowering youths in Africa.

My first engagement with the LEAP was during my secondary school days at the Lagos State Senior Model College, Badore Ajah Lagos state, Nigeria. The content and training techniques of the facilitators teaching the Youth Development Training Programme (YDTP) were so compelling, it encouraged me to believe in myself and become more self-aware of who I was and who I wanted to become in future.

It was indeed a life changing experiences because I also began to think purposefully about creating value, rather than depending on what my country could do for me.

In 2010, I was an active member of the group that designed and constructed a non-conventional home use generator tagged “The Badorator” at the Lagos State Senior Model College, Badore Ajah Lagos state, Nigeria. During my National Diploma Degree program, I began a free ICT tutorial class, which my colleagues at school benefitted massively from, while earlier this year, I accomplished my first sole project titled “The Electronic Teaching Aid Board (ETAB) at the Federal Polytechnic, Idah Kogi State, Nigeria. I made the prototype in 2014 and it was tested ok! It became the best project in my set and is currently used at the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering–computer Laboratory for practical classes on the course Computer Hardware I “Computer Motherboard”. The ETAB is a pedagogical electronic teaching device that is interactive and user friendly as a result of its special design features.

In school, I volunteered for associations that were in line with my interests such as Boy Scouts of Nigeria (BSN), Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists (JETS Club of Nigeria), Society of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Students (SEEES), National Association of Polytechnic Engineering Students (NAPES) etc, holding various leadership positions which helped me to explore my capabilities and expand my horizons.

Every day, I take a step towards my dreams because I believe the journey of a thousand miles equally starts with a step forward. So, I constantly find ways to creatively correct the challenges in my society by consciously influencing the people I come across because, one of my endearing value is contribution. LEAP inspires me to be the change I want to see in the world and that’s why I can’t deny the fact that #LEAPISPARTOFMYSTORY.

Have you got an interesting story to tell, send an email to info@leapafrica.org today! We’ll love to hear from you.