Enobong Kennedy, a Laidlaw Scholar at London Business School, on staying determined to succeed and providing rural electrification for markets without energy access.
I am the Group Marketing Director for ZOLA Electric, a renewable energy company with investments from investors such as Tesla, Total, and EDF. At ZOLA, the group marketing function has strategic accountability for marketing, including brand development, execution, digital marketing, and corporate communications across various countries such as Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda & Côte d'Ivoire.
I applied for the Laidlaw Scholarship because I believed that it would help me make an impact on the world and tell my story of survival against all odds.
What is the biggest life challenge you overcame, and what did you learn from it?
Losing my father at the age of 18 completely derailed my plans to obtain an education abroad. I overcame this struggle with my sheer determination to succeed at all costs. I learnt about the power of self-discipline and resolved to never underestimate the willpower to succeed.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
My mother has a fond African saying: "Remember the child of whom you are."
This saying has always propelled me to act with integrity because I have a name to protect, and a good family name is better than riches. To respect and honour your name, you must remain morally upright in everything you do.
What is the worst piece of advice you have been given?
I have been told that I aspire for too much and that it is best if I stay within the confines of my present reality. A family member told me this after I lost my dad and I was outlining all the things I was hoping to achieve at a certain age.
Top 3 tips that will help someone become a better leader
- Empathy: This might not be conventional, but as a leader, you must be able to review situations & circumstances from all angles.
- Communication Style: Learn how to communicate efficiently and objectively.
- Encourage Growth: People must be allowed to creatively express themselves.
Which leaders in the world inspire you the most and why?
Jeff Bezos — He is a visionary and a game-changer.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala — She is the director-general of the World Trade Organization and the first woman and first African to hold this position. She is a Commissioner Emeritus and Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Her track record speaks for itself.
Kamala Harris — She has broken barriers throughout her career and is also the first female Vice president of the United States of America.
What does it mean for you to be a Laidlaw Scholar?
Being a Laidlaw Scholar means that I have been given a platform to partner with international agencies on sustainability projects that are focused on providing rural electrification to markets without energy access. Access to electricity provides improved productivity, enterprise creation and increased employment and caters to the socio-economic wellbeing of the region. I intend to take full advantage of this platform.
Briefly describe a scene from the future you are striving to create.
Long term, I plan to partner with international agencies such as the World Bank and Power USAID on sustainability projects that focus on providing rural electrification for markets without energy access. In doing this I hope to impact the healthcare, educational & economic infrastructure of the region, therefore increasing its GDP.
📺 Currently binging: Billions
🎵 My quarantine anthem: Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Kudi
📚 My top book recommendation: Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn
🌈 Something that made me feel joy recently: Surprisingly getting a good score on my data & analytics exam.
Enobong is a Laidlaw Scholar at London Business School. The Laidlaw Women's Business Education Scholarship aims to help build a pipeline of future women leaders through access to best-in-class education, resources and global networks by providing full and half scholarships to women who would not otherwise be in a position to reap the benefits of attending an outstanding school.
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