When Campus Becomes a Mini Food Court.

All around the ALA campus, all I hear is ka-chings. In every nook and cranny nowadays, something edible is being sold. From pizza slices, to omelets to cheesecakes to coffee, our longing for the mall has been slightly dampened.There is suddenly an array of mouth watering food only a few steps away from our rooms. And how has this glorious turn of events come to be? Thanks to the EL department and their trading licenses, that’s how! Previously, selling things on campus was not allowed, but at the start of third term, the EL department began to issue trading licenses, which gave students permission to trade anything (food and otherwise) on campus.

Many would agree that this was a good idea. For one thing, students are getting to practice some to the business and entrepreneurial skills they have picked up while at ALA. They are getting to make some extra money either for themselves, or to raise money for a cause (both admirable aims.) The other thing is ALA students are happy. A student was heard remarking that they can now buy food from a different place on campus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Talk about variety.

The only worrying part of all this is the rate at which pockets are being emptied. Usually all have no choice but to wait for mall trips and other rare outings to go crazy with shopping (eat…a lot) . Now, the shops have come to us and the muscles of our will power tremble in defeat. The key here is to do our best to regulate and only go crazy in tiny doses.If not, our wallets are going to slim down while we find that weight elsewhere.

Good Luck.

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!

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.

CEL Exposed

As students we are always exposed to the faculty. They are the ones whose lessons we have to sit through, they are the ones who give us assignments, and they are the ones who we love or hate. It’s great that we love the faculty at ALA but the term coined by ALAians to describe the employees in school is ‘Staffulty’. That is Staff + Faculty but as ALAians we often forget about the Staff. So we investigated the Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership to give ALAians a clear understanding of what the Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership is about.


This is the organizational chart to help you out visually.CEL Chart


The Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership is the heart of ALA. They are the body that creates the special curriculum that ALA develops and finds ways in which they can expand this curriculum to the outside world. As you can see the head of the CEL is Mr. Josh Adler. Under him is Mr. O who heads the EL department, which is focused on teaching EL. Mr. O and the rest of the EL department make up the faculty department. However, there is another realm of the CEL, which is the staff.


The Staff of the CEL consists of Ms. Melissa, Ms. Ruth, and Ms. Chi. Below is a basic job description of each of the staff members in the CEL.


Ms. Melissa

We know Ms. Melissa and it’s because a part of her job involved aiding the EL department and making sure out lessons go as smoothly as possible. However, her other roles are to assist Mr. Adler, design for the CEL department and oversee logistics for external projects such as social innovation camps, Global Scholars Program, and BUILD in Box.


Ms. Ruth

Ms. Ruth’s job is to evaluate the value that ALA brings to the rest of the community. Whenever an external project has been held, she assesses the value it brings. She is the one who lets the CEL department know that the work they are doing is useful or useless.


Ms. Chi

She is the head of the Anzisha Prize. The Anzisha prize is a subset of the CEL that aims to empower young African Entrepreneurs and leaders who didn’t get the chance to come to ALA. The applicants are we also know Ms. Chi quite well because she advertises the Anzisha prize so we can get our friends and family involved.


So hopefully this gave more information about what the CEL department does. Think of EL as the special curriculum that we learn at ALA and then think of CEL as the medium that spreads what we learn at ALA to the rest of the world.


Why We Celebrate Unsung Heroes

At ALA, we define an unsung hero as someone who does something for others but isn’t widely recognised for their positive contribution.
We celebrate two unsung heroes each month, a student and a member of staff & faculty (staffulty). The entire community votes (or is supposed to vote) and each nominee receives a small blurb on why they are appreciated.
Now there are many people in our lives that we ought to be thankful for, especially in school. Think about how difficult life would be if everyone had to cook their own breakfast, or vacuum their room, or do their own plumbing. These are all simple everyday tasks that we overlook. Then there’s the little things: that person who always has a smile for you, that person whose room is always available for you to relax in, those who always have a pen available for you because you never have one. Then there are the people who feed you: those whose pizza you always eat. Of course on the few and far between days you actually have food, they never get to share it. But I digress. The point is there are many people without whom life would be a lot less lively. A friend of mine once said that Unsung was an opportunity for people to pat others on the back and commend them for the little things. Too many times, we celebrate larger than life achievements: academic excellence, passion for Africa, entrepreneurial spirit and scientific achievements. But we hardly pause to consider the people whose minute acts make such feats possible. This is what unsung is about, thanking the man who cleans the board on which a revolutionary mathematical proofs are written. A wise man, a.k.a Mr. Findley tells me over and over that, “Success is about the little things”. Unsung is an extension of that idea, that gratitude should be fostered at all levels.
After months of nominating someone for Unsung,  you tend to take less for granted.

Fun fact: There is a 1200 minute North Korean film called Unsung Heroes.

SEPs and Football Teams: A Comparison

The student enterprise program at ALA is comprised of 18 incredibly varied student-run businesses and non-profit organizations, each with its own mission, vision and mode of operation. These differences make for a rich SEP experience that includes a lot of competition, just like in club football. It’s a funny comparison, but a correlation between ALA’s enterprise program and the most beloved sport on the planet can be made. This article seeks to do just that and so, without any further ado:

*Please NOTE that this article is written based on the opinion of the author. No research was done and as such views expressed should not be seen as a be-all-end-all.


 The AB showed a lot of potential at E-Fest last year and with their lofty ambitions certainly merited an inclusion in the SE program this year. However, like the German giants, they have struggled to act on the promise they showed and this has negated the high points they have had over the course of the year. The AB’s problems may just stem from the fact that they are a new enterprise, just as Dortmund’s stem from their re-emergence as a European football powerhouse. With time, both will reach the pinnacles they should be at.


Afrik’art has been phenomenal this year, just as everyone expected. Over the course of the year they have managed to execute classy work almost effortlessly, just as everyone thought they would. Nonetheless, critics will point to the fact that they have not quite met all goals they set for themselves and/or the expectations other people had for them. A preoccupation with birthday posters will do little to increase your rep in these SEP streets.


Even if we weren’t necessarily sure at the start of the season that this would be the case, Agrinnovation has gone on to become one of the most productive and prolific enterprises in the SE program. Yes, they might have had one or two major problems along the way but they have managed to pull through and turn potentially mediocre to downright awesome.


ALAians Media is another enterprise that has bossed the SE program this past year. Only in its second year of existence, the media enterprise has become an indelible addition to the hard-to-alter list of hot enterprises on campus. By so doing, they have shattered the myth that only a handful of enterprises can be big time.


Just as Napoli has had an OK season, Angaza has had an OK year. Perhaps still struggling with the what-the-hellness of being a new SEP, Angaza ME has spent a lot of time researching, brainstorming and doing a lot of work that has largely gone unnoticed within the SE program. Don’t be fooled however; Angaza certainly has what it takes to eventually become one of the SEP greats.


This year has not been quite the one Aroma Emporium was hoping for. Just as Tottenham’s many summer signings have done little to help them this season, Aroma’s wide range of operational changes and new service offerings have done little to help them win the retail battle against Duka Bora or the beauty battle against Ten50. Aroma’s efforts to improve their fortunes are commendable however; these efforts should be considered as highlights of the year.


The Aspenite formula seems, to many outsiders, an easy one – get money, host event, leave. Well, many outsiders are wrong. Yes they’ve gotten a lot of money invested into the South African Ideas Festival but they’ve also put in a lot of time and effort making SAIF come to life. Most importantly, the Bezos Scholars can be compared to Man. City because of their ability to almost always get the job done in the best way possible.


Wait, wait, let me explain. Schalke have dazzled once or twice this season but haven’t really succeeded in hitting the big time. Same thing with CYCA. They promise and seem to want to bring a lot to the table but haven’t exactly discovered the winning formula for doing so. We are sure that with time, they will.


Money? Check.  Appeal? Check. Success? Check. Duka Bora is undeniably at the top of the SEP pecking order – they’re so good that people have to fight for their stuff. That being said they can be frustrating at times – being closed when Sodexo is slacking, having only Mint Green Toppers, etc. Notwithstanding, they’ve been winning for a long long time. They know the what’s up and so will keep winning.


EmoArt has to be the cutest, most affectionate enterprise. They are consistent performers in the SE program and will always be listed in the “enterprises to watch out for” section. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because it shows that they know their stuff but it’s bad because it shows that, for whatever reason, this stuff is not enough to propel them to the very top of the SEP ladder.


Footprints have been nothing short of excellent this year. Under the new leadership of Mr. Diego (Pep Guardiola anyone?), the textiles and merchandise enterprise has gone from strength to strength and have solidified their place at the top of SEP-land.



Just like this season has been for Paris Saint-Germain, this year has seen GigaVault gain increased relevance in the SE program. A restructuring of the SEP financial system means that Gigavault now handles all enterprise transactions. PSG went from near-obscurity (in an European context) to Champions League contention and similar to the Parisian outfit, Gigavault has gone from commercial bank to federal reserve. Ish.


Greendorm, Greendorm, Greendorm. The environmental protection enterprise has overpromised but underperformed in a fashion similar to the Italian football behemoths that they are compared to. Greendorm had experience and the potential to exert SAFCorp-like authority on other enterprises (through the Green Audit) on their side but despite the fact that they have occasionally sparked over the course of the year, they have failed to deliver the awesomeness we all thought they would.


When Oyama gained admission into the SE Program, they came with guns blazing… or so we thought. In retrospect, their aim of raising $5000 in capital is almost laughable and they still have considerable ground to cover in getting their newly-formed enterprise into performing mode. That may be where the problem lies though. We realize that Oyama may just be fighting OID syndrome and that just like the North Londoners, all hope cannot be lost on the finance enterprise.


Just like AS Roma who won their first ten league games of the season, Radio Skika started this SEP year hot. In fact, they started so hot that it seemed like they had been in the SEP game forever. However, just like AS Roma who now lie 14 points behind Juventus in the Serie A, Skika could not keep up their form forever. Morning shows stopped, streaming did not exactly work 100% and slowly the promise of Skika dwindled. They’re still in the running though, the Breakfast Café attests to this. In time, we are convinced that Skika will become a behemoth in the SE program.


Just like Chelsea, SAFCorp is the enterprise that everyone loves to hate. They are a very methodical and calculated organization who gets the job done (they have to be calculated though, they are an auditing firm). Chelsea has often been berated for their mechanical, defence-heavy style of play, even though said style of play has won them many trophies. Same thing goes for SAFCorp; no matter how much you complain about their deadlines and their audits, you’re still going to submit your books.


 One of the words that come to mind when describing Sanyu Productions is “efficient”. They do not necessarily do a wide variety of things (Liverpool as at the time of writing only competes in the Premier League) but they do what they do – assembly, primarily – in the most efficient way possible.


Fernebache has had an awesome season and are currently sitting atop the Turkcell Super League.  Ten50 has also had an awesome year and can (arguably) be ranked above fellow beauty enterprise Aroma Emporium. Unfortunately however, there’s one problem. The “beauty industry” in ALA is just like the Turkish league in that it does not get that much recognition/attention. In other words, Ten50 could just be a big fish in a small pond and might not be able to hold its own against the bigger boys.

 By Anonymous Contributor