At Nova Pioneer, we know that the best marker of our success as a school group is the success of our alumni. We currently have 1169 alumni and counting, with 349 more joining as the school year closes at the end of this year. Investing in our alumni programming is a top priority for Nova Pioneer as our graduates transition from high school to their academic and professional lives, and one way we have invested in our alumni is through our annual Alumni Summit.
The purpose of our Alumni Summit is to provide a platform for our alumni to create and strengthen meaningful connections with one another, learn from field experts across the Continent and to engage in personal and professional connections to serve them in their futures.Throughout the day, alumni have the opportunity to hear from African leaders about their growth journeys, engage with leaders in small-groups through Master Classes, hear from other alumni through the Alumni Panel, and connect with fellow alumni through breakout “Speed Dating” sessions and a school-specific global impact planning session.
On Saturday, 22 July, 2023, Nova Pioneer held its second annual Alumni Summit, bringing together over 150 former students, current teammates, and guest speakers under the theme, “Reunite, reconnect, reimagine, reignite”. Alumni of Nova Pioneer Ormonde, Tatu Boys, and Tatu Girls gathered virtually and in-person on campus to mark the day.
This year’s Alumni Summit was hosted by Michelle Bochaberi (NPTG 2021), Sinovuyo Titi (NPO 2022), and Brandon Chisika (NPTB 2020), and opened with speaker Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, Managing Director of Spotify – Africa. In a conversation moderated by 2019 NPO alumnus Jabu Mtwa, Ms. Muhutu-Remy spoke about her journey into leadership, and encouraged the group with her message that we each move at our own pace and some find their “big role” later in life.
After Ms. Muhutu-Remy’s opening speech, alumni had the opportunity to attend a small-group Master class led by an industry leader on the Continent. Master class facilitators included Dr. Stephanie Chesire of Signature Smile Dentistry, Gentamu McKinney, author of Keep Calm and Bring Your Carry-On, Elvis Maneno of Mobius Motors, Catherine Kiama of She’s The First, Lina Gichure of Roamtech Solutions Ltd., Mbuki Kasema of Wowana Ltd., Mthokozisi Madonda of NBA Africa, Likeleli Monyamane of Standard Bank Group, Stephen Wanyingo of Wezesha, Mary Onguko of Avanti Communications Group, Weldon Siele of Kecher Africa, and William Yakah of Wavy Ventures. In these tight-knit sessions, alumni were able to learn from a field expert about their professional journey and ask questions of the expert.
Next, alumni headed into their school breakout rooms to plan an Alumni Reconnect Day – a chance for alumni to head back to their alma maters to lead in a Humanities and STEM competition and provide mentorship to current students. This was followed by an update on ways for alumni to stay involved with Nova Pioneer heading into 2024, including joining our alumni committee, becoming an alumni mentor, participating in an alumni speaker series, coordinating a service project, volunteering and a Nova Pioneer Open Day, applying for professional development opportunities, and nominating a fellow alumnus for the Nova Pioneer Alumni Culture Awards.
The summit closed with speaker William Kamkwamba, inventor and author of The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. Mr. Kamkwamba shared his childhood story of problem-solving for his community in rural Malawi by building an electricity-generating windmill, and how that eventually led him to where he is today, heading the Moving Windmills Project. In a question and answer session facilitated by 2022 NPTG alumnus Hazel Ochieng, William spoke about how he has become a stronger public speaker and communicator as a young adult, who inspired him (his grandmother, who taught him that you can solve your own problems), and his greatest fear (failure – but this is also what keeps him going).
Coming out of the conversation with William Kamkwamba, several alumni shared their interest in William’s Moving Windmills project – particularly his forthcoming Moving Windmills Innovation Centre, a centre aimed at growing African innovators and supporting their ideas to solve problems in their communities. Our Post-School Success team is currently exploring opportunities for our alumni to be involved in this exciting work, as well as other exciting opportunities to further partner with some of our Master Class speakers for future initiatives.
We sincerely hope that our alumni engagement does not end with the summit, and encourage our alumni to keep in touch and let us know how they would like to stay connected! Interested alumni are encouraged to fill out this form to register their interest.
Once a Novaneer, always a Novaneer!