“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
"African government? Don't. You
must be corrupt or crazy. Or you will
always means well. But this time he will be wrong. That classic doomsday
narrative will not remain Africa's soundtrack. No, not even in our
governments. Especially not in
our governments. I want to rewrite this plot—for myself, for my
children, for CNN.
Born to a politician mother and growing up in
Eastern Nigeria, I have lived the spectrum of failing public institutions. I
have watched clueless leadership, the nation's wealth carted away as education
systems crumble, infrastructures erode, and poverty become more real than life
itself. But I've also been struck even more by the dogged daily sacrifice of
strong people—like Mother—who consistently manage to place community above
self, even at the price of a tumultuous career, even at the risk of life. I
want to be more like Mother—an even bolder and better version.
Our governments will work. I will be a part of
it—not in spite of my MBA, but because of it. I want to run African public
institutions like ethical businesses. It is my duty to the largest and most
patient community of investors I know: 26 years of betting on Uzoma and asking only for a smile and a promise. More
importantly, it is just too important to ignore.
— Uzoma Nwagba
Each year we ask our classmates a straightforward, simple question taken from the lines of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Mary Oliver.
We share with you intimate and candid responses to this question, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Concept and photography:
Tony Deifell, MBA '02
More Portrait Project
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