Fireside Chats

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Yvonne Orji

YVONNE ORJI gives a knockout performance as Issa Rae’s best friend and fan favorite, “Molly” on the HBO comedy series, INSECURE. Her stellar work last season garnered her an Emmy Nomination for best supporting actress.

 

Yvonne’s 1 Hour Stand-Up Special for HBO, MOMMA, I MADE IT premiered on June 6th, 2020.  It was shot in the two places Yvonne called home while growing up, Washington DC and Nigeria.

 

Prior to the taping she embarked on a domestic tour which included sold out shows in New York and Los Angeles. She has opened for Chris Rock in a number of venues across the country including Madison Square Garden and the Barclays.

 

Later this year she can be seen on Fox/Hulu’s feature VACATION FRIENDS opposite John Cena and Lil Rel Howery.

 

Her debut book, Bamboozled by Jesus: How God Tricked Me Into the Life of My Dreams, will hit the shelves on May 25th from Hachette Book Group. In addition to Yvonne's work on camera, she is creating and executive producing an autobiographical comedy entitled FIRST GEN which is currently in development at Disney+.

 

Isha Sesay

Seasoned and award-winning journalist Isha Sesay has covered global events and major breaking news of the past decade, with a special interest in stories of social injustice and their impact on women and girls. Of Sierra Leonean descent, Sesay grew up in Britain and holds a B.A. honors English degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University.

 

She is currently the host of Home with Isha Sesay, a weekly, live 90 minutes digital news show. Originally created during the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic, Sesay initially focused exclusively on in-depth, analytical coverage of the outbreak in Africa, before expanding the program to include the most critical and under reported stories from across the world. Smart and always engaging, Home with Isha Sesay, which airs across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, is a must-watch for its range of insightful conversations that bring together Africans, African Americans and a myriad of other voices, that are all too often not heard. She was most recently appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA, working with the United Nations to combat and eliminate violence against women and girls, specifically focusing on reproductive rights and health. 


 

After graduation, Sesay began her career in television as a researcher on Kilroy- once one of the UK’s most highly rated daytime talk shows, followed by several years at BBC Scotland, where opportunities arose to move in-front of the camera. In 2002, she joined Sky Sports News and became the co-host of Good Morning Sports Fans. Sesay left the world of sports behind in 2005, to join CNN International as an anchor and correspondent, where she quickly became a viewer favorite. As part of her anchoring and reporting duties, Sesay’s impressive roster of interviews include numerous global leaders - the Prime Ministers of the UK, Kenya and Australia, as well as the Presidents of Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, and a host of newsmakers including Desmond Tutu, Nancy Pelosi, David Beckham, Bill Gates, Bono, Richard Branson, Matt Damon, Michelle Obama, Lupita N’yongo, Will.i.am, Akon, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates - Wangari Maathai, Malala Yousafzai, Leymeh Gbowee, and Denis Mukwege. 

 

Reporting from Nigeria in 2014, Sesay led the CNN team that covered the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in north-eastern Nigeria. The network’s in-depth reporting was recognized with a Peabody Award. Sesay also received a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor, in recognition of her coverage of the story. These are among multiple accolades she won during her   tenure at CNN. 

 

Sesay is also the Founder, and President of W.E. (Women Everywhere) Can Lead, a non-profit organization working in her native country of Sierra Leone, to nurture and empower teenage girls to become Africa’s next generation of dynamic female leaders.  

 

Her first book, Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram (Dey Street Books) is the first definitive account of the Nigerian schoolgirls’ kidnapping. It was published to rave reviews in July 2019 and released in paperback in April 2020.  Sesay lives in Los Angeles. 

 

Acha Leke

Dr. Acha Leke is a Senior Partner in McKinsey’s Johannesburg office Chairman of McKinsey’s Africa practice, and a member of McKinsey’s Shareholders Council – its global governance board. He started his career at McKinsey & Company as a Summer Associate in South Africa in 1998. He rejoined the Firm in Atlanta in 1999 and transferred back to Johannesburg in 2002 to help expand the Firm’s activities across Sub- Saharan Africa. Acha relocated to Lagos in 2010 to open up the Firm’s newly established office in Nigeria and returned to South Africa in 2014.

 

He leads the Firm’s Private Equity Practice in Africa and is a member of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) Council. Until December 2018, he led the Firm’s Public and Social Sector Practice in Africa and was also the Senior Partner in charge of Global Recruiting for McKinsey worldwide.

 

Acha serves governments, multinational, and private sector institutions across Africa on issues of economic development, tax administration, growth strategies, holistic transformations, and investment decisions. He has worked across over 20 African countries to date.

 

Prior to McKinsey, Acha worked as a part-time Consultant on novel techniques to linearize High Power Amplifiers for wireless applications, while completing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He also received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University, as well as a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering summa cum laude, with a minor in Economics, from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated as Valedictorian (first Black Valedictorian in the School’s history) and was elected to Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu.

Acha is a co-founder and member of the Global Advisory Council of the African Leadership Academy, a co-educational boarding school which aims to develop the next generation of African leaders.  He is also a co-founder of the African Leadership Network, a network of the current generation of African leaders who aspire to bring prosperity to the Continent.

 

He is a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader Alumni (2008), and has received numerous recognitions including Africa’s Young Investment Professional of the year (Africa Investor, 2008); Top 40 men under 40 in South Africa (Destiny Man, 2010); Top 10 Youngest Power Men in Africa (Forbes, 2011); 50 Most Influential Africans (Africa Report, 2012, 2019; Jeune Afrique, 2018); 100 Most Influential Africans (New African, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016; Jeune Afrique, 2019); Top 20 next generation Francophone Africans (Forbes, 2013); Top 40 under 40 in Nigeria (Business Day, 2013); Top 20 Rising Stars in Africa (Euromoney, 2014).

He served on the WEF’s Global Future Council on Economic Growth and Social Inclusion for 2 years, after having served for 8 years on the Global Agenda Council for Africa; he also served on ONE’s Africa Policy Advisory Board. He is a member the Lagos Business School Advisory Board, and of President Kagame’s African Union (AU) Reform Steering Committee. He co-authored McKinsey’s highly acclaimed series of Lions on the Move reports and the latest book Africa’s Business Revolution: How to Succeed in the World’s Next Big Growth Market. He is regularly featured in various media (CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Economist, FT, Wall Street Journal, Jeune Afrique, Harvard Business Review, etc.). 

Acha is from Cameroon, and is fluent in both English and French.