Dan Foster
Early life
Born in California, Foster was brought up with his three siblings in Washington by their father – their mother had died when he was ten – but partly raised in Baltimore by his grandmother. As a teenager, Foster was a rebellious young man, but soon joined the Marines and attended Morgan State University in Baltimore where he studied Broadcasting and Drama.

Career Profile in phases
Award winning radio personality with over twenty five years radio experience. He is credited as changing the face of radio broadcasting in Nigeria. He has a unique way of holding listeners attention with his inspirational style and has trained some of the top presenters in the country.
He has received numerous awards for Best Radio Presenter of the Year and has since won the Nigerian Media Merit Awards for Best Radio Personality for three years in a row. The City People Awards named him the Media Person of the Year for two years in a row. He was also a judge on two reality talent shows namely Idols West Africa and Nigeria’s Got Talent.

Word on Marble
“In 2007, Foster was a judge on the one-off Idols West Africa series, alongside Nigerian Dede Mabiaku and Ghanaian Abrewa Nana. During the show’s run he was compared to American counterpart Randy Jackson, although he received some criticism for not attending the Ghana auditions”

Dan Foster has had a fruitful association with corporate Nigeria having served as consultant to a number of blue chip companies in their media campaigns such as Airtel, Globacom, MTN, eTranzact, Nokia, Etisalat, Samsung, Stanbic IBTC, First Bank, Keystone Bank and many others etc. He created Nigeria’s #1 Family Radio Station-Inspiration FM and people all over the world listen to his life changing Sunday Morning Praise Jam (at the time of his stay at the radio station). He had also created and hosted “The Let’s Go Naija Radio Show” powered by Shell Nigeria. When Dan worked with Cool FM in Nigeria as a radio presenter. He was the host of Good Morning Nigeria which was rated No.1 for six years.

Milestone Strides at Cool FM
Foster also re-created the Sunday Gospel radio show Praise Jam and was a key organizer for the Cool FM Praise Jam concerts in 2004; with a total of over 22, 000 people in attendance, 2005 and 2006 which concentrated on boosting the image of both established and upcoming artists. 2004, with a total of over 22, 000 people in attendance

“Foster won the Nigeria Media Merit Award for Best Radio Personality in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He also won the City People Media Person of the Year award in 2004 and again in 2005”

Early Media Career in American
He went on to work in 6 different popular radio stations in the US including Mix 106.5 FM. Foster worked with numerous radio stations including Cathy Hughes Radio One, Mix 106.5 both in America, and Virgin Island-based WTBN before moving to Nigeria in 2000 where he first joined Cool FM Lagos; quickly becoming popular with Nigerian listeners, although he was constantly criticised for his constant use of the word “Ikebe” (Nigerian pidgin for derriere).

Uneasy Events in Dan’s Career
In September 2009, Foster left Cool FM for a new radio station Inspiration FM; which played a lead role in birthing, but left in 2014 to join City FM.

Personal Life
Foster is married to Nigerian, Lovina, the couple are parents of daughter Daniella and son Somtochukwu alongside Dan’s First Son Joshua. The African Based American Radio Legend of All time has also played a celebrity role in a popular Nollywood Movie “Face of a Liar”.

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Florida International University

On July 28, 2014, in front of the inaugural class of Fellows, President Obama announced the renaming of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in honor of Nelson Mandela.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies President Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa.   The first class of Mandela Washington Fellows arrived in June 2014 for six weeks of intensive executive leadership training, networking, and skills building, followed by a Presidential Summit in Washington, D.C.   Through this initiative, young African leaders are gaining the skills and connections they need to accelerate their own career trajectories and contribute more robustly to strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.  Selected Mandela Washington Fellows should be prepared for an academically and professionally challenging program.

The Fellowship is designed to encourage and foster the ingenuity, confidence, passion, and commitment of the next generation of African leaders.  It offers young leaders an unparalleled opportunity to meet and share ideas with some of America’s dedicated leaders from community organizers to the President of the United States.  The Mandela Washington Fellowship will challenge preconceived ideas and open new horizons for those who embrace the experience.

Academic Institutes:
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders brings 500 of Africa’s most promising young leaders under the age of 35 to top U.S. universities for a six-week academic and leadership institute in one of three areas: business and entrepreneurship; civic leadership; or public management.   Programs draw from the university’s or department’s unique set of expertise and resources.  Academic study is augmented by workshops, mentorship, and networking opportunities with recognized leaders in each field and interaction with “everyday” Americans.  While every experience may not be directly relevant to Fellows’ immediate personal goals, each experience will provide transferable skills that will likely prove useful during the course of their careers.  Each academic host institute will also offer a snapshot of American culture through site visits, community service, and cultural programming.  Fellows will live in  college dormitories and eat a variety of American foods during their time in the United States. The academic institutes and leadership training are rigorous and time intensive; prospective Fellows will need to minimize their work obligations in their home countries for the duration of the Fellowship.

Business and Entrepreneurship Institutes cater to Fellows aspiring to become leaders in the private sector or to start their own business ventures in Africa. The Institutes expose participants to business and entrepreneurial approaches in the United States, including those that address social issues.  Institutes may also help Fellows build technical and leadership capacity in areas such as business strategies, operations and supply chain management, business ethics, microfinance, marketing and branding, innovation and technology, emerging markets and risk analysis.

Civic Leadership Institutes are for those Fellows who are civically engaged and serving the public through nongovernmental organizations, community-based organizations, or volunteerism. The Institutes introduce Fellows to the meaning of civic leadership in the United States, while building technical and leadership capacity in areas such as advocacy, strategic planning, organizational development and the intersection of civil society with business and government.

Public Management Institutes are tailored to those who work, or aspire to work, in all levels of government, regional or international organizations, or other publicly minded groups and think tanks. Public Management Institutes introduce Fellows to U.S. models and best practices while building technical and leadership capacity in areas such as citizen engagement, human resource management, public financial management and the intersection of government with business and civil society.

Summit with President Obama:
Immediately following the academic institutes, Mandela Washington Fellows convene in Washington, D.C. for a Summit.  During the Summit, participants interact with President Barack Obama and other prominent U.S. government, business, and civic leaders.

100 Fellows will remain in the United States for an additional six to eight weeks after their academic institute and Summit to participate in internships in the public, private and non-profit sectors with organizations throughout the United States.  The internship will be a high-level professional development opportunity that relates to the Fellows’ professional experiences.  While Fellows are carefully matched with organizations, is important to note that a Fellow may be placed based on broad rather than specific interests. The internship is not designed to mimic the experience a Fellow will have in their home country, but to provide additional skills, ideas, and networks that will prove useful in the Fellow’s career.  The Fellowship internship is designed to offer a new perspective on the Fellow’s current position and prepare them for sector-wide leadership as they progress in their careers.

Mandela Washington Fellows’ U.S.-based training is only the beginning of the United States’ long-term investment in these young leaders. The U.S. Government is working with businesses, governments, and NGOs to create ongoing professional opportunities and resources to support these young leaders when they return home.  Upon the Fellows’ return to their home countries, President Obama will call upon Fellows to share their new skills and apply the resources available to solving challenges in their communities, countries, and world.

Professional Development:  The U.S. Government is securing over 200 internships and professional placements for Mandela Washington Fellows in private companies, government ministries, research institutes, multilateral organizations, and non-profit or community-based organizations on the continent.  Fellows will be placed in internships in private sector companies such as Microsoft and global NGOs, such as Partners for Democratic Change.

Mentoring:  Fellows will be matched with mentors – industry leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including from major international companies and U.S. organizations with operations in Africa – who will guide and support Fellows as they seek to apply the lessons and skills gained through their fellowship experience, plan short and long-term career goals, and grow professionally after their return to Africa.

Seed Funding:  Mandela Washington Fellows will have access to dedicated funding to support their ideas, businesses, and organizations and undertake joint projects to improve their communities.  More than $5 million in small grants will be awarded in the first three years by the U.S. African Development Foundation for Mandela Washington Fellows seeking to start or enhance their businesses or social enterprises.  In addition, Washington Fellows will be able to attract funding for their ventures and projects through Rocket Hub’s dedicated YALI crowd funding platform.

Contributing to the Community:  The State Department will invest an additional $5 million over the next three years to help Fellows establish or grow their own NGOs, undertake projects to improve their communities, or work collaboratively to build the network of young African leaders, including in underserved areas.  Fellows will serve as mentors to other young Africans in eight Connect Camps, where they will use technology to promote social good and community engagement.

Leveraging Ongoing U.S. Government Investments:  USAID will leverage more than $350 million in existing youth programs and development initiatives to give the Fellows access to a broad array of assistance and support.  For instance, under the Feed the Future Initiative, Fellows in selected countries will benefit from training programs and tailored internships.

Below are the Recipients and Fellows of The Prestigious MWF:


Chinomnso Traffina Ibe is a nurse, midwife, and maternal and child health advocate. She has eight years of experience providing free maternal and child health services to pregnant mothers and children in poor rural communities.

She is the founder and executive director of Traffina Foundation for Community Health, a non-profit organization that produces and distributes free clean-delivery and newborn kits. Chinomso has produced and distributed 7,500 free birth kits across Kaduna, Kebbi, FCT, Imo, and Abia states. As part of her contribution to reducing the high maternal and child mortality rate in Nigeria, she also provides training and capacity building to healthcare workers..

Upon completion of the fellowship, Chinonso plans to expand the reach of her work by setting up regional offices of the Trafinna Foundation in each zone in Nigeria.


Ikuba John Ona has over eight years of experience teaching at the University of Agriculture Makurdi in North Central Nigeria. He is the founder and president of Royal Dream Builders Initiative, an NGO that organizes workshops and seminars for students, graduates, and unemployed youth, and equips them to innovate, acquire adaptive technology and requisite entrepreneurial skills.

He also works to provide information that promotes the creation of small and medium enterprises. Ikuba is skilled in community mobilization, ideas generation, networking, project planning and development. He holds a B.Sc. And M.Sc. in applied chemistry from the University of Jos, Nigeria and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Ikuba intends to partner with government, universities, individuals, and religious organizations to promote the development of a viable entrepreneurship ecosystem, through customized mentorship programs, for entrepreneurs in North Central Nigeria


Amina Nur Alkali
has seven years of experience working in the education sector. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Maiduguri, where she researches the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northeastern Nigeria.

She is co-founder of NurAlkali Development Initiative, an NGO that caters to the needs of the underprivileged especially Internally Displaced Persons. She is also working with IDP families to help them access sustainable living and education for their children.


Hassan Rilwan
A Young African Leader with over 16 years of entrepreneurial experience. He is the managing director of Focal Point, a professional dry-cleaning chain in Abuja Nigeria. His interests span cleaning, construction, agriculture, publishing, and printing.

He served his country as a member of a ministerial committee on Madrasah Education, which helped design the current blueprint in creating access to both Western and Islamic education. He has a foundation that caters to the education and general welfare of orphans taken off the street to the classrooms in northern Nigeria. Hassan was nominated by Nigeria’s president to serve as a delegate to the 2014 National Conference. He holds a Master’s degree in business administration from the Lagos Business School.

Upon completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Hassan plans to create value and jobs through entrepreneurship and later work in the government as a technocrat. He also hopes to engage the youth in entrepreneurship and skills acquisition
Amina holds a Master’s degree in law from the University of Maiduguri and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in law. She is a professional negotiator and mediator.

Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she will use her new skills and experience to help IDP children have access to education and to partner with other fellows to help provide sustainable living for the parents.


Bobwealth Oakina Omontese
has over six years of experience in animal reproduction research. He is currently a research fellow and lecturer in the artificial insemination unit of the National Animal Production Research Institute at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Shika-Zaria. At ABU, he conducts research to improve indigenous livestock reproduction while teaching and supervising students, and offering consultancy services to both private and institutional livestock farms in Nigeria.

Bobwealth holds Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Science degrees, and is concluding his Ph.D./FCVSN program in Theriogenology at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he intends to create an NGO dedicated to promoting the adoption of reproductive biotechnologies in animal production and livestock distribution to rural women and youth.
Say congratulations to Bobwealth
Today we celebrate Grace Jerry, 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow.


Grace Jerry
is a musician, artist, disability rights advocate, and peace promoter in Nigeria. She has brought originality to advocacy efforts through her unique blend of activism and music, while highlighting the important roles people with disabilities play in development.

Since emerging “Miss Wheelchair National Queen,” she has maintained her passion for bringing the contributions that people with disabilities make in the area of development into the mainstream. She works as a director at Inclusive Friends, where she provides direction and inspiration for change. She also serves as WaterAid Nigeria’s official spokesperson for the disabled on the issues of water, sanitation, and hygiene. Grace works to ensure inclusive access for persons with disabilities and toward ending violence through benefit concerts, proceeds of which have provided toilets for schools serving children with disabilities.

Grace plans to use the knowledge and experience she gains from the Fellowship to deepen her advocacy efforts to work toward an end to discrimination and violence against women with disabilities in Nigeria. Congratulations Grace


Chioma Rita Achi
She has been actively involved in community service for the past eight years and has helped empower rural women with income generating activities, showing passion for youth development with an emphasis on health and education.

She is currently a university lecturer at Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto and the founder of the Street to School project aimed at pulling children off the streets and placing them into formal education settings.

Chioma has strong negotiation, interpersonal, and advocacy skills, which she has been able to secure scholarships for young people in her community. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she hopes she will be able to apply the acquired knowledge and skills into further strengthening her volunteer work and encouraging other young people to get more involved in community service. Join us in congratulating Chioma.


Benjamin Kambai Dankaka
is the founder of Global Leaders and Readers Club, an NGO that promotes reading and trains young people on leadership. He obtained a bachelor of arts in literature from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria and then received a post-graduate diploma in journalism from the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja.

Benjamin has over eight years of work experience in social development. In 2008, he served as member of Debate to Action, Nigeria, a British Council and World Bank Initiative aimed at youth leaders in Africa. He has also served as a legislative aide in the Nigerian National Assembly, where became proficient in legislative proceedings.

After completing the fellowship, Benjamin plans to further his work of promoting a reading culture by establishing school reading clubs. He also plans to propose new legislation to strengthen Nigeria’s educational system. Congratulations, Benjamin, on your selection into the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

Read, like, comment & share. I trust you have been inspired. I treasure your feedback my precious IWAB readers. God bless you. Now, you can get notifications of my daily programs on the go by subscribing to this blog using your email today. Connect to me also on internet social networks via these handles: http://www.facebook.com/InfluenceWithAquinas, http://www.twitter.com/@InfluenceWitAq & Google+AquinadCosmas
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