HE WAS once a hungry, impatient and dynamic young entrepreneur chasing dreams of wealth and aspiring to re-establish the good name his family had as both entrepreneurs and philanthropists in Uganda and Kenya.
Today, Lord Rumi Verjee has come full circle, preferring to back others and let them pursue their dreams and ambitions and seeking to support young people on their way.More or less a full-time philanthropist now, what gives him pride and satisfaction is the work of his own foundation and taking it to the next level, Lord Verjee says.Well-connected and still a mover and shaker when the need arises (as many entrepreneurs instinctively are), he has put his charitable efforts into global causes and concerns. This year, the Rumi Foundation formally established a partnership with the Obama Foundation.
The 44th US president’s organisation is dedicated to creating community leaders around the world – identifying and supporting young voices, often unheard and disadvantaged, and supporting and helping them to get an important message across to wider society.Last year, Lord Verjee joined president Obama in Johannesburg to meet Africa’s emerging leaders, and to learn how best to help the next generation make their voices heard.
This year in May, more than 300 young people gathered in Berlin for an Obama Foundation European town hall meet. Lord Verjee helped a group of young Britons get the ear of the former president – three wereshortlisted to talk to him.One, Temi Mwale, an advocate for young people’s rights and a tireless campaigner dedicated to fighting violence and structural disadvantage, caught the attention of the US leader.“It changed her life and the life of those around her,” reports Lord Verjee to the GG2 Power List.
“She’s a really committed young social entrepreneur looking to tackle youth violence in our city. It’s a really sweet