Once again: Do Something Cool a.k.a DSC

For the past two years, both students and staff take two days off their work to engage in a fusion of creativity, inspiration, guts and skill. These two days are commonly known as Do Something Cool, which is an initiative created by the Center of Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) Department. When you take ALA people and ask them to dedicate their right side of the brain for two days, something epic is bound to happen.

This year, DSC was separated into three distinct parts; individual project, creative group work and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

I interviewed Mario, A Year 1 student from Cape Verde, to see how he found DSC. “I liked the fact the flexibility of DSC, to do whatever you want, wherever you want,” Mario responded to my first question. “The best part of day two where the breath-taking performances that kept us on the edge of the seats all the time, ready to stand and applause once a performance is over,” Mario continued. indeed, the auditorium was lit like a blaze ranging from Belkiss’ video, to Estella and Amadou’s dance, just to mention a few.

Right now everyone awaits the announcement of the winners of each of the three categories. So to sign off I will proudly say, “The Academy Did Something Cool”.

BUILD-in-a-Box Dinner Party in Pictures

Over the summer, about a hundred ALA current students and alumni hosted BUILD-in-a-Box Camps across the continent.

As part of ALA’s efforts to scale the impact of its programs across the continent, students commenced the BUILD-in-a-Box Camps, for high school students in local and disadvantaged areas across Africa this year.

To reward the students who facilitated the camps, the Center For Entrepreneurial Leadership held a BUILD-in-a-Box dinner.

Check out pictures from the event here.


Anzisha Prize Promo Video. 

The Anzisha prize needs no introduction however for those who do not know, The Anzisha prize is Africa’s premier award for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs.

The Prize seeks to award young entrepreneurs who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to social challenges or started successful businesses within their communities.

Anzisha week is held annually on the ALA campus and kicks off on the 10th of November this year which is in just 4 days.

Check out the promo video for The Anzisha prize this year.

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite 2015 Anzisha finalist — Anzisha People’s Choice Award by clicking here.!

A Song EL May Like

It’s safe to say I have a new favorite song. It’s just so happy sounding but then the lyrics are deep and emotional. You could listen to it in any mood. This song is called “Hero” by a band called Family of the Year. It came out in 2012 but I, with my tendency to live under a rock, am just hearing it. And in the past day, I have ‘heard’ it multiple times. And in a move that would make ALA proud, I began to reflect on the lyrics. And guess what came out of it? An EL Lesson.

The Chorus goes:
Let me go
I don’t wanna be your hero
I don’t wanna be a big man
Just wanna fight with everyone else
Your masquerade
I don’t wanna be a part of your parade
Everyone deserves a chance to
Walk with everyone else

This man is basically saying he just wants to work with everyone else and not be the ‘hero.’ He doesn’t want recognition, because everyone deserves to get equal recognition. Apart from thinking this guy was just really awesome, i realized he reminded me of Level 5 Leadership, something we learnt about in entrepreneurial leadership class. Level 5 leadership is a blend of personal humility and intense professional will (wanting the whole business to succeed). I think this song really sends that message, at least after 40 listens. Maybe after I play it a 100 times, I’ll see how it’s the cure for the common cold.

What songs do you like with not so obvious messages?

Here’s the link for the song

ALA on the Nigerian Scene

From international pressure concerning the anti-gay bill to attacks conducted by Boko Haram and recently, the abduction of over 200 girls from a school Borno state in Northern Nigeria in April – suffice it to say that this year has not particularly been the smoothest one for Nigeria.

The world is aware of the issues in Nigeria, particularly that of Boko Haram. The world has shown its support and willingness to help through many ways. Most people have taken photos, tweeted or updated their statuses on Facebook to “#BringBackOurGirls.” Also, the government of the United States and Britain have sent some of their officials to Nigeria  to help the country recover the kidnapped girls.
Michelle Obama bring back


david cameron bbog
Being a school supporting the idea of a pan-African Africa, the ALA community gathered together on Thursday, the 8th of May, on the quad to write messages about the scene in Nigeria and took pictures with their messages to add their voices to that of the world’s.


The recent tragic happenings in Nigeria also caused the Nigerian community of ALA to come together and brainstorm ideas on how to make Nigeria a better place. ALAians Media got the chance to find out what the Nigerian community in ALA seeks to do to achieve such a goal.

The Nigerian members of the community hope to create a website that aims to motivate youth to draw media attention to the problems of Nigeria and inspire the youth to let their voice be heard in Nigeria. The idea also serves as the pilot of a project that the Entrepreneurial Leadership department encourages all first year students to implement over the summer for the Nigerian community.

As SEPs Get Competition

Last week, the EL department announced plans to issue temporary trading licenses to people who wish to start some sort of ventures on campus. In an email sent to students, it is asserted that the licenses are being issued to challenge SEPs and improve the “dearth of innovation” the enterprises might suffer from.

The argument for competition has been brought up many times by ALA students. Some people argue that competition is needed to make the SEP program more realistic and life like. Others argue that, SEPs like Duka Bora need competition to make them serve us more eagerly. Some days, Duka Bora would be out of stock of certain products and we the customers would be left to suffer. Or the people on duty would not open the store up for service while people would be waiting at their counter, hoping for a saviour.

Aroma Emporium also left us out in the cold as their doors were shut to us for long periods of time. When we needed soap bars or washing powder we would have to take long dreadful walks under the sun to Spar. They sold really cool Senegalese pants at some point, but they were too expensive for many.

Footprints is also not left out from this as it sells ALA memorabilia, which in many cases are too expensive for students to buy. With G-jackets (Varsity jackets) at R350, it would be difficult for very many students to buy it.

Since the EL department had taken the bold decision to open up the market for competition and creativity, we are hoping some awesome ideas will pop up! If Duka Bora got competition, I might not have to wait until dinner and night snack to get my favourite drink and biscuit (TOPPERS!). Meanwhile, competition for Footprints could mean cheaper ALA merchandise for students in general. I really can’t wait!

SEPs 2014/2015

Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives…or so are the life spans of some Student Enterprise Programs (SEPs). It’s around that time again when the EL department takes on the heavy task of deciding what SEPs remain functioning on the ALA campus, what SEPs we bid farewell to *cue Rihanna*  (if you did not get my reference, please see the music video below) and the SEPs that will replace the ones that are leaving.

SEPs that will begin in the year 2014/2015

All 4 Girls Empowerment
Arts for Activism
Arts in African Education
Ed. Tech
Entrepreneurs without Borders

SEPs that will remain functional for the year 2013/2015

African Baccalaureate
ALAians Media
Bezos Scholars
Duka Bora
Radio Skika
Sanyu Productions
SEPs that we say goodbye to

Afrik’ Art

Afrik’Art was a student enterprise project dedicated to promoting Art and Culture on the ALA campus. It was known for its birthday posters, African jewelry and cards that they sold. The SEP was in charge of coordinating cultural exchanges and organizing open-mic sessions on campus. Afrik’ Art has been a blessing to the community and will be dearly missed.
Aroma Emporium

Aroma Emporium acted as the one-stop shop for all hygienic supplies on campus. It was known for its ability to give you two Rands if you needed to dry your clothes in the dryer. It will be missed on campus as it prevented trips to the mall for some and helped people out in hygenic emergencies.
Green Dorm

Green Dorm was the SEP that helped the campus stay green and tried to educate the community on the importance of recycling in fun innovative ways such as: the advisory lunch raffle that became popular with the students. We hope the campus stay green and we thank Green Dorm for all their efforts.

Whilst not widely known on campus, Oyama was an SEP that hoped to match people with ideas and projects to start in Africa to donors. This matching fund is clearly too large to be carried out on campus but rumor has it that the members of this SEP hope to continue with it, even after ALA.

Ten50 was the salon on campus cleverly named after our school address 1050 Printech Avenue (for those of you that didn’t know). It was known for its ability to transform bad hair days into better one and its innovation in the hairstyles or nails that were done by its members. It will be missed.

A follow-up article describing the services provided and members in the new SEPs beginning 2014/2015 will be published shortly. 

The Hand Over


Letting go is one of the hardest things in life, especially letting go of something that is very important to you. What’s even harder is giving it to someone on a silver platter. After all the sleepless nights, the fights, complaining, venting, moaning, achievements and improvements it was time for the Class of 2014 to hand over their Student Enterprise Programs known as SEP’s to their junior class, the Class of 2015.
ALA is a unique institution focused on Entrepreneurial Leadership. Its students are given a real life experience of what the corporate world is all about through the SEP programme. Throughout the years this program has grown leaps and bounds and the experience is definitely worthwhile.
31 April 2014 was the Hand Over, the current team (Class of 2014) passed over their SEPs to their successors. In order to prepare first years for this take over, EL teachers ensured that they are well prepared to work as a team. Throughout  this academic year it was evident that team dynamics were a huge setback for many SEPs, some recovered, some found the healing formula earlier and some never experienced such. It is for that reason that a week was dedicated to team building exercises- lessons about collaboration and conflict.
“It is quite imperative that students became aware about the inevitability of conflict and how to deal with it when it arises; it enables them to grow from one stage of team development to the other.”
The Class of 2014 argues that if SEP’s had been handed over earlier to them they definitely would have outdone themselves. On the other hand, this is an overwhelming experience for first years. One minute you are trying to figure what ALA is about, the other you are thrown into a team with people from all parts of the continent. You  could fight, or dislike each other for a while (if it gets that deep), you have presentations to worry about and you get on a journey to discover who you are and just when everything is a little rosier and less thorny – you are thrown into another OID group and expected to love your team, work well together and if your OID doesn’t make it to the SEP program, you get grumpy about it. Just when you start moving on from the traumatic OID experience – you are thrown into the SEP program and you have to start from ground zero.
While this time has been very hard for some, every second year deserves a  pat on the back for a job well done. Angaza, Duka Bora, Radio Skika & many other SEPs have grown from September until now. It is time for the Class of 2015 to rise to the occasion and fulfil the expectations placed on them by the predecessors, board members and SEP coaches – goodluck firsties.