Popo from Zimbabwe (GEP Kanto)
Polite, “Popo” for us; was the first Zimbabwean leader in GEP Kanto.
She did 23 programs while she was persuing her Master Degree at Tokyo International University.
Polite was the “Mamma” of most African leaders, to the point that she even taught a couple of them how to brush their so tangled African hair!
After leaving Japan, this proud African Mamma keeps supporting others to become more Globalized.
Were you able to apply your GEP experience in your working life now?
In GEP I got to learn different teaching methods from the ones I knew back in Zimbabwe: different cultures and languages, creativity and programing.
I am currently working in an equally multicultural environment and also with the youth and it was not hard for me to fit in. I am also involved in camp programming and I have used a lot of activity ideas I learnt from the GEP programs to make it more fun and engaging.
What would you have liked to know before your first program?
The importance of an energy drink to keep me genki!
What advice would you give to our current members?
The students depend on you to make their learning experiences memorable so always be creative.
What was your favorite part of GEP?
Most of all, it was always leaving the program with a new friend for me, some of them I still talk to till today.
How has living Japan impacted your current life?
It challenged me to learn to live outside my comfort zone, always try see things through other people’s eyes especially those who come from different cultures and backgrounds from my own.
How is “adulthood”? What has changed in your life since you graduated GEP?
Instead of meeting different people and cultures under one roof I have been enjoying travelling to different parts of the world helping towards youth leadership development. It feels good to have a life’s purpose bigger than one’s self.
What are you doing now?
I am currently living in Uganda, working as an Admin/Program Manager at Ashinaga Uganda, a Japanese organization sponsoring youth leadership development in Asia and Africa. This also allows me to come back often to Japan, giving me the chance to visit a lot of my friends who are still living in Japan.
Do you plan to ever come back to Japan?
I always come back for work and to see a lot of my friends who are still in Japan.