Explore AL for The Arts:

About Us

The AL for the Arts Network is purposed to meaningfully contribute to the development of the creative arts industries on the continent by creating a collaborative platform for ALA employer partners, students, alumni, staff and non-ALA affiliated artists to engage in various AL for the Arts initiatives and activities. With a focus on nurturing talent and fostering collaboration, we’re building a community that celebrates Africa’s rich cultural heritage while driving forward its economic development.

Meet the Team

Amanda Chembezi

Senior Program Manager

Amanda is a youth development activist from Botswana passionate about youth development issues and has a strong background in the civil society sector. Amanda is the Founder of the Gifted Hands Society in Botswana; an NGO focused on providing professional development training and life skills education to high school and university students. Over the past 5 years, Amanda has gained a well-developed understanding of contemporary issues facing young people living in Africa in the areas of health, education and youth unemployment.

Keneilwe Motlana


Keneilwe manages our talent pipeline development by executing high impact career opportunities for our students and alumni through actively cultivating partnerships with governance-focused institutions across Africa. She is passionate about defining investments for the youth and believes that education and entrepreneurship are fundamental pillars of economic empowerment. Elsie was born in the United States of America and raised in South Africa and is grateful for the opportunity to interact with different cultures and contexts through her work.

Meet the Taskforce

Francis Ekii

Social entrepreneur who founded Young Entrepreneur’s Challenge, a youth-led entrepreneurship program. He is currently the American Center Director at the U.S. Mission in Uganda, overseeing youth development programs in entrepreneurship, STEM, creative arts, and education.

Alexis Teyie

A poet, literary writer, and editor. Co- founder of Enkare Review, Magic Door, and July Agency. Alexis co-authored a children’s book, Short Cut (2015) and published a poetry chapbook, Clay Plates: Broken Records of Kiswahili Proverbs (2016)

Mary Maker

A refugee education activist, an actor, and a writer. Currently serving as a Goodwill Ambassador with the UNHCR. Mary co-founded Elimisha Kakuma, an organization aimed at providing access to higher education opportunities for high school graduates living in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

Emmanuel E. Mushy

Social entrepreneur with a background in arts and culture, marketing and communication, innovation, and sustainable development. He is founded Visual Aided Stories (VAS) a youth-led enterprise of creatives entrepreneurs and civic innovators using art and storytelling as tools for social change.

Towela Tembo

Towela Kams is a social documentary photographer, filmmaker and arts advocate passionate about transforming the creative industry in Africa through Creative Connect Botswana - an organization she co-founded that aims at improving skills development and collaboration across the continent. Over the last five years, Towela has released four social documentaries on colourism, toxic masculinity, sexual assault and life as an immigrant. In addition, her media company PBTK also enlists a portfolio of clients such as the United Nations organization.

Eliseus Bamporineza

Eliseus Bamporineza is a Tujenge Africa Foundation (TAF) alumnus, poet, and one of the beneficiaries of the Aspire Leaders Institute founded at Harvard University. Prior to joining USIU-Africa in August 2019 to pursue a BA in International Relations, he attended a one-month pre-university orientation program in July 2019 at the University of Rochester in New York. He is currently in fourth year, focusing on Foreign Policy and Diplomacy and minoring in Philosophy.