I have always found myself in leadership roles as far as I can remember. In high school I was made a prefect even when I personally felt unqualified for the role. I remember at the end of my grade 12 my guidance counselor wrote in my testimonial that I have “exemplary leadership” skills. At the time, I had to look up the word ‘exemplary’ to know what it means, lol! Yes, from that young age, I firmly believed that leading by example is the best way to lead; getting my hands dirty doing the very work that I expected others to do. Leading by doing helps me to be more understanding of my subordinates and able to relate to their experiences as they strive to achieve their goals. It puts me in a better position to dispense advice and guidance. If I were to describe myself in three words, I would go with integrity, objective, and driven. Integrity in small matters even when no one is looking, being objective in decision making regardless of who is involved and driven to achieve goals despite the obstacles along the way.
Ms. Kayumba is currently a Project Manager with the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) where she has been since 2013. Her work entails administrative oversight of various donor-funded projects, up to the tune of US$1 million per year. Most of these projects focus on adolescent health programs which range from imparting knowledge and information to young people on key health issues, to empowering them with skills and access to income generating opportunities. She is passionate about the youth and believes in harnessing their potential and strength for the common good of humanity as well as embracing their diversity. She has served in her church as a youth leader and has been part of the youth ministry leadership at Capital Christian Ministry International for over 14 years.
Before joining CIDRZ, she served with the United Nations under the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator (2005 – 2012) where she had the opportunity to interact with the all the UN Heads of Agencies in Zambia including the World Bank and IMF Representatives on matters of harmonizing UN support to the Government of Zambia. It was during this time that she harnessed her networking, strategic planning and coordination skills. She holds a master’s degree in Development Evaluation and Management from the University of Antwerp, Belgium and a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies and Economics from the University of Zambia. She loves travelling the world, and in her spare time, she is an avid reader.
Braving the Odds: Ms. Kayumba recalls her first job as a project manager where all members of the team reporting to her where older than her, some of whom where fit to be her parents and had years of experience in the industry than she did. It was a daunting thing to lead the team without feeling intimidated. Regardless, she led them and navigated the hurdles, drawing on the wisdom of God, while acknowledging the strength and role of each team member on the project. In the end, the team grew to respect her decisions as a team leader and together successfully implemented a US$ 3 million project over 3 years in Lusaka and Southern Province.