Aspen New Voices Fellows Andrew Mude and Jemimah Njuki tell of the moments their ag careers ‘took off’

For your viewing and listening pleasure, here are two short video ‘stories’ by two great agricultural-research-for-development storytellers. Their stories were introduced recently at an Aspen New Voices Fellowship evening gathering in Nairobi by moderator Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, vice president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), former chair of the board of trustees of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and a former Aspen New Voices Fellow herself.

Beyond language

Andrew Mude, an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow and economist with ILRI, here describes an unlikely moment (rhetorically and personally tense as well as transformative) that occurred years ago in a small church in Kenya’s remote northern frontier region of Marsabit during the launch his livestock insurance program for African herders. Run-time: 10 minutes.

Andrew Mude – Aspen New Voices Fellow 2017 from Natasha Sweeney on Vimeo.

And here’s Aspen New Voices Fellow Jemimah Njuki, who formerly headed ILRI’s gender and livestock research and is now senior program officer at Canada’s International Development Research Centre, in Nairobi. She describes the transformative moment in her unusual trajectory from (very happy) employee serving cocktails and gourmet food to rich people in a five-star hotel at the Kenya coast—’as far away from a farm as I could possibly be’—to her lifelong commitment to empower rural women and girls. Run-time: 7 minutes.

Jemimah Njuki – Aspen New Voices Fellow 2017 from Natasha Sweeney on Vimeo.

If you like those stories, there’s several more like it at the site above. Soon you’ll be able here to nominate your favourite scientist or other development professional for an Aspen New Voices Fellowship in 2019. This is a year-long media skills, communication and leadership program designed for standout development professionals from the developing world.

The New Voices Fellowship at the Aspen Institute is a groundbreaking initiative designed to bring more expert voices from the developing world into the global development discussion.

‘The Fellowship offers development experts from Africa and other parts of the developing world a year-long program of media support, training, research and writing under the guidance of experienced mentors and trainers. The program will help Fellows to sharpen their messages, elevate their stories, focus their media targets, and communicate their insights across a variety of media platforms – illuminating crucial grassroots perspectives for a broad worldwide audience. Fellows can be drawn from a variety of development disciplines, ranging from public health and education to poverty alleviation, agriculture, sanitation and community activism. Ideal candidates are experts in their fields who have a deep understanding of broad development challenges and a passion for communicating their views.’