For Edna, this is just the beginning

Within the academic circles of the Institute of Accountancy Arusha (IAA), one young lady is proving to be a force to reckon with.

Going with her leadership traits, you’ll be forgiven if you say that she’s indeed destined for greater heights.

Meet Edna Melody Yonazi, a 20-year-old girl, who’s always been passionate about leadership.

“Apart from being a leader at home, I have practiced leadership throughout my schooling, from being a monitor to a Minister,” she opens up.

This has seen Edna, who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance at IAA, boost and improve her confidence, as far as public speaking is concerned.

Edna, who is currently in charge of the Health, Food and Environmental Conservation docket at the college students’ government organization, is quick to credit her parents, Dr Jim Yonazi and Leah Yonazi for molding her to what she is today.

“My family had played a huge role in shaping me in terms of values. Great emphasis was placed on integrity, respect, compassion, perseverance and responsibility, these remain my core values ​​to date,” explains the accomplished musician who also plays the piano.

According to her, the support and guidance she received from her family have greatly shaped her worldview and influenced the choices she made in life.

Her urge of vying for a leadership role at the student’s organization stemmed from what she describes as her deep passion for making a positive impact in the society.

“I’ve always been passionate about community service and leadership. By vying for this position, I saw the opportunity to serve my fellow students and contribute to creating a campus that promotes the wellbeing of its members.”

By being a leader at the students’ organization, Edna is determined to represent the interests of her fellow scholars, particularly in areas appertaining health, food quality and the environment at large.

“I believe this will greatly improve the students’ welfare as everyone is here to chase their dreams,” she opines.

Edna being sworn is the Minister of Health, Food and Environmental Conservation at the Institute of Accountancy Arusha (IAA).

Edna reveals that it is her core values ​​that have kept her grounded and motivated throughout her academic and leadership journey.

She reiterates that it is her family that has kept her going.

“I have the greatest family and friends anyone could ask for. They offer unconditional love and constructive criticism that help me stay true to myself,” she says.

Edna is a strong believer of self-reflection, where as she puts it, she spends every Sunday of the week reflecting on her life journey.

“This keeps me grounded as well because it helps me manage my emotional intelligence, a very critical factor of life and leadership.”

One of Edna’s wish is to reach out to young female leaders and support them to ensure that they reach their full potential.

She also aspires to be a role model for other aspiring female leaders, encouraging them to embrace their potential and pursue leadership opportunities.

According to Edna, she is also keen on spearheading projects that focus on diversity and inclusion, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal Number five.

She says: “I’m very much excited to face the challenges that will help me grow as a young female leader.”

For her, being a female leader goes beyond just having a title. It encompasses unique experiences, challenges and opportunities that arise from being a woman in a leadership role.

It embodies strength, resilience, and the ability to inspire positive change, she says.

According to the prolific musician, being a young female leader means breaking barriers and defying stereotypes.

It also entails leading with empathy and compassion as women often have a unique ability to understand and connect with others on a deeper level.

As she soldiers on, in her journey Edna looks up to model turned politician, Jokate Mwegelo.

“She has paved a way for us, young female leaders, and has shown us that we can thrive in male dominated fields.”

Edna further describes the Korogwe District Commissioner as a reflection and self-confidence.

In her own perspective, a good leader is someone who possesses a diverse set of skills and qualities that adapt to the rapidly changing world and complex challenges.

Edna believes that good leadership in this time and era means being adaptable and flexible as the world is constantly changing.

“It means being a lifelong learner. With the rapid advancements in technology and knowledge, a good leader must be willing to continuously learn and adapt.

This willingness to grow and evolve enables them to stay relevant and make informed decisions.”

Edna reserves praise to the government for what it is doing in grooming future leaders.

She is quick to point out CCM’s drive in nurturing and preparing its youth for leadership roles, singling out the ruling party’s youths wing (UVCCM) as a perfect example.

“The Youths League Arm has been instrumental in fostering political awareness, encouraging civic engagement and promoting leadership skills among the youths,” she offers.

She is equally impressed by UVCCM for providing a platform for young Tanzanians to voice their opinions, propose innovative ideas and contribute to decision-making processes.

Furthermore, the Tanzanian government has prioritized education and skills development as essential components of grooming future leaders, she says.

The successes notwithstanding, Edna believes that there remains a lot to be done in empowering the future generation.

“However, while commendable progress has been made, there are still challenges to address. Youth unemployment remains a pressing issue, and more efforts are needed to create job opportunities that match the skills and aspirations of the young population.

Additionally, enhancing gender equality and inclusion within youths leadership programs should be a continuous focus,” she argues.

Edna’s wish is to become a leader and serve in the government, preferably in the cabinet as a Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.

Edna’s highest moment in life was when she got accepted to join the Niongoze Fellowship of Doyenne Organisation, a non-governmental organization established with a goal to create a generation of female leaders through special training programs.

“I have been so eager to grow professionally, especially in my leadership career…so when I got the opportunity to go learn more about leadership, I crossed my fingers and hoped that I would be chosen to become a Niongoze Fellow,” she recalls.

Away from college, Edna spends her time singing and drawing, and also works with Doyenne organization to help and groom young female leaders in Tanzanian Universities.

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