10th Anniversary Dreams Campaign 10 Question Series - Ambassador Liberata Mulamula
One of the ways we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary Dreams Campaign is through a 10 Question Series. The Dreams Campaign was created on the belief that girls who dream, become women with vision and through this campaign we hope to connect the SEGA girls with people and organizations around the world through their shared dreams. Our goal is to show each girl at SEGA the endless possibilities that come from investing in girls' education. We are excited for you to read our first 10 Question Series with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula below.
1. What did you aspire for at an early age?
I aspired to be a teacher and a Catholic nun so could live and teach girls in the beautiful convent schools.
2. What inspired those dreams?
Let me share with you a little bit of my background. I come from a remote part and small village in the North West tip of Tanzania in the Kagera Region, a region that borders one of the biggest lakes in the world, the Lake Victoria. This region was renowned for having the highly educated people because of the Western Christian missionaries influence who established schools and education institutions in many areas of the region and the country at large.
My late father was a teacher and devoted Catholic who was highly respected, as everyone knew him as ‘Mwalimu’ (meaning a teacher). So he sent us all his children to the Catholic primary schools, which were considered as the best schools in terms of the curriculum and discipline. He was not only a teacher but an educator. He taught us the three Ds-Determination, Dedication and Discipline. This had a great influence on me and hence I wanted very much to follow my father’s footsteps to be a teacher but also a nun. I loved the way the nuns lived, dressed and how they taught us academically, as well as imparted to us spiritual values, morals, discipline and hard work.
3. What is the most difficult decision you’ve had to make to pursue your dream?
My difficult decision was to accept my parents advise not to pursue my dream of being a nun at that early stage. They convinced me that I was too young to devote my life to worship and stay away from home and abandon my twin sister who I loved most.
4. What’s one thing you would tell your younger self?
Follow your heart and dreams but listen to your parents. I am ever grateful to my parents for not allowing me to be a nun, as I would not have been what I am today, an accomplished
Diplomat(Ambassador), a mother of two great children and now a Scholar at one of the best Universities in the US, The George Washington University.
5. Who is someone you look up to / admire?
I admire great and visionary leaders as President Barrack Obama and iconic women as Oprah Winfrey who were able to rise against all odds and had very humble beginnings.
6. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best advice was by our First President of Tanzania, the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere who told us as Tanzanians, “Time is now(make the best of it). And “Argue Don’t Shout!” These piece of advice has lived with me throughout my career life.
7. Who was your best teacher/helper on your journey?
My best teacher was my late father who shaped my career path and life journey until his passing four years ago. He instilled in me the confidence (believing in ‘your self’), discipline and determination (never give up) to succeed.
8. How did your environment/friends shape/support your dreams?
I have lived in different environments, starting as rural girl with my dreams to be a teacher and a nun. Then I moved to the city and found it a bit challenging, as was too fast for me and peer pressure was big which distracted me a bit from achieving my dreams, as I was following more what my friends did and aspired. Thanks to my supporting family was able to study hard and achieve academic excellency which allowed me to pursue my career path in the foreign service, which was my biggest dream at that time when I joined the University.
9. Was there ever a time you felt uncertain about your dream?
Yes, my friends at a certain stage in high school made me not sure what I really wanted to pursue as my dream. My twin sister and of course our father helped me a lot to determine my course and remain focused.
10. What is a piece of advice you have for the SEGA girls?
To my SEGA girls my piece of advice is: “Nothing comes easy and there is no straight line in life or ready made models. It is through hard work, perseverance(determination), good conduct, discipline and to remain focused to meet your goals. Avoid peer pressure that would distract you and send you different directions. Respect your teachers and elders. As girls, you need to work even harder to succeed and overcome all temptations that would make you dropout of school.”
With my best wishes.
Ambassador Liberata Mulamula
Visiting Scholar/ Associate Director,
Institute for African Studies of the Elliott School of International Affairs,
George Washington University