“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 fail."

Big Mentor 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 Motheran 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