A FIERCE LEADER AT AGE 22; CAMEROON IS PROUD OF HER!

Nakinti
Posted July 13, 2013 from Cameroon
Nkiri Comfort Daru on Campus of the University Institute of the Diocess of Buea (UIDB) where she works presently
Nkiri Comfort Daru on Campus of the University Institute of the Diocess of Buea (UIDB) where she works presently
Nkiri Comfort Daru on Campus of the University Institute of the Diocess of Buea (UIDB) where she works presently (1/1)

BUEA, CAMEROON - At the age of 22, she has done more than 22 positive things, held more than 22 leadership positions, and touched more than 22 lives. This amazing 22 year old has more than 22 esteemed admirers, and she speaks more eloquently than an average 22 year old. If wisdom was truly counted from the grey hair of old age as an African belief holds, then this young woman would surely be considered abnormal for being so wise in her youthful black hair.

Nkiri Comfort Daru is the 22 year old who was recently awarded the Moremi Fellowship of the 25 most outstanding female African leaders between 19 - 25 years old for 2013, by the Moremi Initiative or Women’s leadership in Africa (MILEAD 2013). As she packs her bags, set to fly to Ghana for the first MILEAD three week residential summer institute built for July 12 through August 2nd 2013she is filled with excitement for being among the privileged class of young female African leaders.

She thinks she is a square peg in a square hole.

“I think the Moremi program is only going to perfect my leadership skills,” she says. “I have been a leader and an activist ever since I was a kid.”

The MILEAD Fellows Program is a long-term leadership development program designed to identify, develop and promote emerging young African Women leaders to attain and thrive in leadership in their community and Africa as a whole. The program targets dynamic young women interested in developing transformational leadership skills that help them address issues facing women and girls across communities in Africa. The MILEAD Program equips Fellows with the world class knowledge, skills, values and networks they need to succeed as 21st century women leaders.

Daru is the only Cameroonian, amongst 24 other African girls who was selected for this program. It was due to her already exhibited leadership and activist skills.

Daru started by being the Senior School Prefect in her primary school. She says she remembers that whenever a top official came visiting her school, she was always called upon to present an address to the visitor.

“I was usually scared of doing this, but I always did it courageously,” she says. “The officials of my school saw something special in me.”

Daru who is a Masters Student in Anthropology in the University of Buea - Cameroon, is currently holding the position of the Deputy Coordinator of the Center for entrepreneurship, research, and innovation at the University Institute of the Dioceses of Buea.

She is passionate about entrepreneurship and thinks every Cameroonian should strive to make use of the many entrepreneurial opportunities.

“I made my first 100,000frs ($200) CFA out of a 10,000frs ($20) that my father dashed me when I passed my Advanced Level Certificate into University,” she says with a smile.

Daru says when her father dashed her 10,000 frs, her mother being an entrepreneur, took her to the market and bought different kinds of jewelry which she sold from house to house, office to office. In less than one month, she made 100,000 frs cash in hand, irrespective her expenses for transportation etc.

She is a motivational speaker, a gift which many – even her colleagues in the office, identify in her. She has inspired people at gathering after gathering that she has been called upon to present a motivational speech.

As a young girl, she has been:

  • The Director of and Later President of Junior Chamber International (JCI) University of Buea Leadership Academy in 2012 and 2013
  • Corporate Personnel at Big Steps Outreach Network in Buea – Cameroon.
  • Facilitator of Bloomberg University/University of Buea Seminar on Culture
  • JCI certified trainer and presenter for 2011
  • Business trainer at a six-week business training program in Buea in Jan-Feb 2013
  • Founder of a project called “Microenterprise for social destitute project.” …Just to name a few.

Being born of poor parents, a father who was a mere secretary typist with the Tiko Rural Council, and a mother who was a common seamstress whose seamstressing shop was burnt in a 2006 fire incident at Cameroon’s Tiko Market, she has grown to face life’s challenges as they come.

“Life’s challenges are my pillars of strength,” she says. “When I think of the way my parents sacrificed their happiness just to get us educated, there is no way I will sleep comfortably in my bed without thinking about how best to make life better for others who find themselves or may find themselves in similar situations.

Daru is remembered for saving her monthly earnings to give to young mothers in her neighborhood where she grew up, a neighborhood which she says is filled with poor and destitute families whose female children often became mothers at teen age. Every month, she goes back to see those girls who she calls ‘victims of circumstances’ to provide a little money for them for their children’s upkeep.

She says enough is enough with giving people fish instead of teaching them how to catch fish. This is the reason why she came up with her ideal project which she calls “Micro enterprise for social destitute.”

She has identified seven destitute teenage mothers with whom she is currently working in the poor neighborhood where she grew up, training them on entrepreneurial skills. She plans to move this number up as time goes on. She hopes to get funding someday to help them increase their small businesses. She however encourages every individual to start a business no matter how small.

Daru says she has always been on the forefront.

“Hardwork has always made me to stand out in situations where others are standing in,” she says with a broad smile.

Being an admirer of Daru, Maggie-Lowels Egbe, a student in the department of Women and Gender Studies of the University of Buea described her as a source of inspiration.

“Comfort [Daru] is a girl who will not only make you discover your hidden talent, she will make you work on those talents yourself,” Ebge says. “When I started interacting with her, she made me to discover my leadership talents and today I am holding about three leadership positions, all thanks go to Comfort.”

Egbe says of all the leading women in the world, Daru is her role model. This is because she was a shy person by nature, she revealed, but when she listened to Daru’s story and saw how active she was as a leader, she told herself that if Daru could conquer her fears and become who she is today, then she too can become another Daru.

Daru is a force to reckon with. She recently gave this word of motivation and advice to students on Cameroon National television (CRTV) during an interview where she appeared as special guest.

“Students, I made my first 100,000frs out of 10,000frs capital. Your pocket allowance can generate a lot of income for you, just identify a line of small business and dedicate some time to it. Do not sit and ask your government what it has done for you, but rather ask yourself what you have done for your government. The government cannot employ all of its citizens; let’s all stand up and make a difference for our lives and our nation, let’s become entrepreneurs. “

Shakespeare wasn't wrong when he said:"Some were born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." Whether in-born, achieved, or both, Moremi Fellow Nkiri Comfort Daru has achieved a lot of greatness in her scant 22 years. Cameroon looks forward to what she will do in her next 22 years, which will no doubt involve ‘standing out where others are standing in,’ and challenging those around her to find their voice and become own hero.

This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future a program of World Pulse that provides rigorous digital media and citizen journalism training for grassroots women leaders. World Pulse lifts and unites the voices of women from some of the most unheard regions of the world.

Voices of Our Future 2013 Assignments: Profiles

Comments 36

Log in or register to post comments
MaNnenna
Jul 13, 2013
Jul 13, 2013

Great Story. Keep up the good work.

Nakinti
Jul 13, 2013
Jul 13, 2013

Thank you Nnenna darling...thank you! Love. Nakinti

Klaudia
Jul 14, 2013
Jul 14, 2013

I'm very glad you have chosen Daru. Age, gender or economic status never stop you from being a leader and help change other people's lifes. Congratulations!

Nakinti
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

Dear Klaudia, Determination is a strong force, passion is another. When we have these two, we can go places where money alone can't take us to. I am proud of Daru. Thanks for the kind words darling. Love. Nakinti

Aminah
Jul 14, 2013
Jul 14, 2013

I loved the way you started telling us about her.

And all through to the end, you held on to the excitement about Nkiri Comfort Daru, and her leadership skills and contribution to the well-being of the poor. Very inspiring. One thing that confused me at a point was the use of her name - in some places you use Daru and other places Comfort. At one point I was thinking they are two different people, so had to go back and start over again :)

But not to worry - you have selected a very inspiring activist as your profile.

Nakinti
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

Dearest Aminah, You will always read through my posts and make valuable comments...I am humbled. Daru is a special woman, one whose voice is growing bigger and bigger for women's course. I admire her. About her name, you are right, it's a bit confusing. I just edited it now to make it clearer. Thank you darling. Love. Nakinti

Iryna
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

So many achievements for such a young lady! I'm impressed. Cannot imagine what will happen in 2022, when another symbolic 22 will appear! Perfect story, interesting writing, alive character, beautiful ladies.

Well done, Daru and Nakinti! Good luck for you both, Iryna

Nakinti
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

So-so many achievements, Iryna. Daru gives me goosebumps whenever I think of her. By 2022 I am sure Daru would have done two thousand and twenty two (2022) things. Thank you dear Iryna for you wonderful comments. Love. Nakinti

Mukut
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

What a brilliant young lady Daru is !! hats off to her and take a bow my dearest Nakinti. You write fantastic profiles. Professional and concise. Well done on this amazing profile and the write up.

Love,

Nakinti
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

Mukut the great writer, I learn quite a lot from your writing darling You have contributed in a significant way in polishing my writing to this level. Daru is a very brilliant lady, I wish I were her in her age. No worries, we are making our own waves right here and right now. Thank you darling Mukut for appreciating

Mukut
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

And I have learnt from you. You inspire me.

Lots of love darling.

orionisis
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

What a great first story! You are a natural journalist, Nakinti, and I loved studying this story. The only thing that can improve an advocate like Daru, is having an advocate like you spread the word about her to the world! xoxo Orion Lumiere

Nakinti
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

Dear Orion, The only thing that can improve an advocate like me to spread the word is an Editorial Mentor like you who will add such tasty icing to my cake, it made this cake looks good and the taste, on point. Mentor you are the best!

Precious Nkeih
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

I am so pleased to know that we have young activists doing great things in Cameroon. I love the way you played with the number 22. Well written!

Much love, Precious

Nakinti
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

I am also pleased to know that Cameroonian female youths are hitting the leadership stands...your piece also made this clear Precious. Let's help them sound the whistle, just as we are doing. Much love darling Nakinti

No Name
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

Wow, she puts me to shame! This story is just what I need. It inspires me to push myself to accomplish more.

Good Job, Nakinti. Inspiring story.

Nechesa

Nakinti
Jul 15, 2013
Jul 15, 2013

She did put me to shame too Nechesa. She is inspiration itself. I admire her.

Olanike
Jul 16, 2013
Jul 16, 2013

I love your opening paragraph. It is very creatively written such that it added so much colour to Daru's already colorful achievements. Cameroon, certainly must be proud of her! I am too!

A million hugs to you for this very professional piece!

Greengirl

Nakinti
Jul 17, 2013
Jul 17, 2013

Ooooooh darling Greenish girl, What can I do without your encouraging words, they always make me feel special. Cameroon is certainly proud of Daru. Thank you for being proud of her. Love you sister. Nakinti

Jampa
Jul 20, 2013
Jul 20, 2013

Nicely presented Dear Nakinti, You have chosen such a courageous and young 22 year old Daru and chose her story to share is the best of your decision. She is an inspirational young woman who is born with ambitions. I liked when she says, “I have been a leader and an activist ever since I was a kid.” That proves her passion of what she does and her faith in what she can do for betterment. Thanks for sharing dear, Best, Jampa

Nakinti
Jul 20, 2013
Jul 20, 2013

Daru is such a courageous girl Jampa. I am proud of her, always. Thank you jampa for stopping by my journal, you are a darling. Love from Cameroon

Angele
Jul 23, 2013
Jul 23, 2013

Wow,

fascinating story. More grace to her elbow and may she never stop, may she always continue moving on and on for ..

wishing her the best MESSA

Nakinti
Jul 23, 2013
Jul 23, 2013

Fascinating Daru too dear Messa. I wish her all the best. Thanks for the wonderful coomments Messa. Remain blessed. Love from Cameroon

libudsuroy
Jul 23, 2013
Jul 23, 2013

Hi, Nakinti, Such an extraordinary young achiever Daru is! Hers is a rags-to-riches story except that her "riches" are of empowerment. This is a powerful, inspirational tale told in a light-hearted way.

Nakinti
Jul 24, 2013
Jul 24, 2013

You are right Libudsory, Daru is a big hard-work-achiever. I admire her every step of the way. She sure will go places. Blessings, Libudsory. Sending you love from Cameroon. Nakinti

Priyanka Borpujari
Jul 24, 2013
Jul 24, 2013

Dear Nakinti,

Thank you for the story of Daru! Her work is inspiring, and so is yours :)

This is a great job as the 1st assignment, and I see you have a lot of potential to progress very quickly in writing amazing biographies.

The first paragraph was superb -- it connected me to you and to Daru, immediately. I was excited to know more. It would have been nice of you could give a glimpse of at least one each of "...22 positive things, held more than 22 leadership positions, and touched more than 22 lives. This amazing 22 year old has more than 22 esteemed admirers..." More human stories = more personal connect. Always, a good way to start and end a biography like this, is with a strong anecdote. I am sure Daru has many stories to illustrate her work in motivating others.

Good writing is all about throwing out what is not needed, and I am sure over time, you will learn to distinguish between the grains that are needed, and those that can be thrown away.

Always ask yourself, why am I writing about her? Is this particular bit relevant to my original subject? And always ask a lot of questions, a lot of anecdotes. We all love stories :)

Love, A fellow writer, Priyanka

Nakinti
Jul 24, 2013
Jul 24, 2013

Dear Priyanka, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts concerning my post...I appreciate. I will put those questions in mind when next I am writing a profile. Thanks for this info dear. Love. Nakinti

Nakinti
Jul 24, 2013
Jul 24, 2013

Dear Priyanka, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts concerning my post...I appreciate. I will put those questions in mind when next I am writing a profile. Thanks for this info dear. Love. Nakinti

mrudberg99
Jul 24, 2013
Jul 24, 2013

My dear, beautiful Nakinti,

It is now that I have finally found my way to this page to formally to write my post - I have been reading your word document for over a week now reflecting, feeling, thinking.

I know how hard you worked to decide which powerful woman to write about - as well as how far you traveled to interview Daru. How blessed you are to have met her - and how blessed she is to have connected with YOU! Your lives will never be the same because of those moments shared together.

I am eager to read more of Daru and the numerous ways in which she is changing the face of leadership at such a young age. I am especially intrigued by her commitment to progress even with her meager beginnings - many would throw up their hands and give up/walk away... she never gave up and in fact has made a commitment to thriving even more because of her situation, it seems.

Congrats on a well written piece - your Editorial mentor is a maven! :)

With much LOVE, Molly

Nakinti
Jul 24, 2013
Jul 24, 2013

My trusted vision mentor, I am glad that you finally find your way to this post...I apologize for not sending you the link.r The moments spent with Daru are indeed memorable moments that will live with me till the end of my time. Hopefully I will post follow up stories about Daru even after the VOF training... Nkiri Comfort Daru is a powerful woman, I am proud of her. Thank you Molly for encouraging Daru and me. We love you. Sending you a package of cool love from Cameroon

Delphine Criscenzo
Jul 25, 2013
Jul 25, 2013

Dear Nakinit,

Thank you so much for sharing with us the inspiring story of Nkiri. She is the living proof that the spirit of the leaders inhabit young people and even very young people. I appreciate the way you traced back her life and how she became such an important change maker in her community from where she is now, to where she comes from and every empowering moment in between. I am especially amazed at how she vowed to teach young ladies how to fish instead of giving them the fish. I like this image and its implications. I am also very interested at her choice to help teenage mothers and coach them through understanding how to be power agents in their lives. I would love to hear more about the actual training she provides to these young women. As you know World Pulse is all about sharing solutions. I am myself highly interested in the stake of teenage mothers and would love to get some more guidance on how to encourage economic independence. Beautiful piece!

Nakinti
Jul 27, 2013
Jul 27, 2013

Dear Delphine, Delphine has made me understand that age is not a barrier to actual leadership...you can do it if you want to. Social status and income is sure not a barrier too. She is making gradual but sure steps, and I promise to keep this forum updated as she progresses. She makes me proud Delphine, I am proud of her, Cameroon is too, sure. Thanks Delphine and World Pulse for giving us this opportunity to sound the whistle for others. I am humbled. With love, real love, from Cameroon. Nakinti

Maura Bogue
Jul 29, 2013
Jul 29, 2013

Wonderful work. It is clear you have a strong understanding of what makes an excellent profile.

The one advice I would give is to include the list you mention in a sentence instead of in bullet points. This will maintain the flow of your story.

But, as always, great work!

Best, Maura

Nakinti
Jul 29, 2013
Jul 29, 2013

OMG, my pioneeer editor continues to do her work even out of the Global Press Institute; the work of always guiding me on what work best in writing news stories. I am so-so glad that you are always trying to make me become a good writer Maura. You have polished me up to this level, I am expecting more from you. I failed one test darling, making bullet points when you have never put bullet points in any of our GPI pieces --"I am sorry darling, I really am" I will improve in the next pieces, trust me. Thank you dear Maura for being there for me and for all the VOF correspondent. I appreciate. Love and Lovest for you only. Nakinti

Maura Bogue
Aug 06, 2013
Aug 06, 2013

Nakinti,

You are always welcome for the advice! I know your next piece will be even better. You never fail to impress!

Best, Maura

Yvette Warren
Aug 19, 2013
Aug 19, 2013

I love your play on the number 22. I also love that your subject is helping to empower women who want to work.