Life of SUSIs, S1E3 : a chat with Jacobo

Talhata Z Toure
6 min readJul 11, 2022


Educated and Empowered young people are the asset to one’s community, with the potential to become greater leaders. “ Jacobo Fernando

Olá Friends !

In this life, we all have stories to tell about our journeys on this planet. For each of us, our stories have highs and lows . Some people’s peaks are as high as Chimborazo and some people’s valleys are as cold as Neptune.This week, I am sharing a transformational, inspirational story of hope.

To resume, I present to you the story of the world’s greatest gender equality advocate-to-be, the mighty giant Jacobo Manuel Fernando a.k.a Jacob. I think he deserves an award for being the most enthusiastic and motivated Man who advocates for gender equality of all time. What a man!!!! What a story!!!! Reading Jacobo’s story you will be able to tell that he loves to bring change to his community more than the fish of the sea love water. I mean, how can I get Jacobo to adopt me? He is hard-working, very ambitious, determined, aspiring, and inspiring. He is a strong, naturally wise, born leader that is outstandingly open and deep. It was an honor for me to have a chat with Jacobo talking about SUSIs, Mozambique, community engagement, etc…

Just wish you a good read …

A chat with Jacobo

Hi brotha ! How are you doing? I wanna just start by asking you to tell me more about this project you’re running in your community “Girls agent of change ?

_My project address young women’s needs, which is why I named it “Girls Agents of Change” (GAC), because of variety of reasons including child marriage, and early pregnancy that make many girls drop out of school in my community. However, I believe this girls need to keep in school, be encouraged, Heard and supported, and learn lessons to teach/equip them with skills of communication, confidence, motivation and help them define new goals for their lives after graduating from secondary school. I chose the the saying “Educated young women educate young women” as the motto of the project, because I believe the girls that will benefit from this project will not hide their experiences, they will give them off to their communities empowering other girls, and they will do it well educated, motivated and inspired to make their dreams come true, I envision to working in partnership with local leaders, schools and parents.

Advance young women’s leadership, life skills and raise awareness about child marriage and early pregnancy. Empower young women to tell their stories through motivational talks, conversations with local successful women’s stories and girl-to-girl conversations on outreach programs.

WOW WOW , proud of you bro !So , How has 2022 SUSI (Study of the US Institutes for Student Leaders) been to you so far?

_SUSI -2022 has been immensely amazing to me ever since the program ended on February 11th. As matter of fact, the SUSI program has been my addiction so far, I have been dedicating my time and energy for it.

_Well, it’s hard for me to choose a particular class from my SUSI experience. However, I’ll try to bring up on table a brief description of my whole experience. Allow me to start with my perspectives, before the program I had always hoped to learn from my peers different strategies or techniques to fight child marriages and early pregnancies , and how other Communities advance young women’s leadership. I was so lucky because during the program I happened to learn a lot more about my expectations and more about leadership styles. Therefore, apart from that one of take aways that I gained from the program is the action project planning, the civil rights movements in the USA, the SNCC. Summing up, learning how to design a project knowing the root causes, and how to mitigate them marked my SUSI program, again learning about how the SNCC was tremendously important to the movement was a great encouragement for me to keep my head up and come up with initiatives to help my local community. That’s everything I can share so far about my SUSI experience, but I can assure you that it was a life changing for me.

Could you tell me about your country , its history , culture and the Civil right movements in and more ?

_Well, I am from Mozambique. My country has had over four centuries of Portuguese rule, and gained its independence in 1975, after two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977–1992. The main ethnic groups are makhuwa, Tsonga, Makonde, Shangaan, Shona, Sena, Ndau and other indigenous groups, most of the people in Mozambique practice native beliefs and are christians, and the most popular sport is soccer. Since Mozambique was ruled by Portugal and they share in common, main language and second main religion (Roman Catholicism), but most of the culture is native and for Bantus living in urban areas with some Portuguese influences, and people are more collectivist than individualistic. The Frente de Libertação de Moçambique, also known by its acronym FRELIMO, is a political party officially founded on June 25, 1962 (as a nationalist movement), with the aim of fighting for the independence of Mozambique from the Portuguese rule. That’s all I can share about my country so far, Thank you

If you were your country’s leader today, what would you change?

_This is a great question, the first thing I’d wish to see different is the Education, because if young people are not getting a proper education, where they feel motivated, encouraged or heard, everything else you’ll do, plan, or and dream will not come true. I feel like education in my country still needs great enforcement, there other thousand things I wish to see different, but that starts with Education. Thank you for asking that great question.

I wish you all your heart desires and more, my Dear. What’s your dream in life and your most memorable moment in life ?

_As I mentioned earlier, Education has captured my attention, and one thing I figured out ever since I was in secondary school is that, all the whiz classmates I had were young people from remote areas, and because of some circumstances of life some were dropping out school and some kept on going. So, I will reveal my dream to you though, haha, I wish to open an orphanage, it’ll be way more like a guest board house, where young people who are interested to carry on with their studies and vulnerable young people will be put up there, benefitting of free healthcare system and education. That’s my biggest dream, and SUSI has given me tips on how to commence bringing this dream into reality slowly.

_Doing what I love doing man, I feel like young people are my favorite field, so when I am around them I feel like the world has ended there. So, everyday is my memorable moment, because I’m surrounded by different young people 24/7, that’s it. Which is why, I love learning new things so I can give it all of to them.

Great ! What’s your message to the SUSI community and the world?

_First off, I’d like to tell the world to receive every gift they are given, every sunrise and sunset brings with it a certain surprise, and we need to save some place in our heart for that surprise to abide. For instance, SUSI Communities has thousand tools to help Communities across the globe be safer and better place, but sometimes it’s hard to experience that because the world take it all for granted. Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to SUSI community, and wish you all the best, let’s keep the hard works up, because they pay off. Talhata thank you for time and consideration and thanks for having me. God is great, blessings.



Talhata Z Toure

I’m Talhata Toure, A.K.A Yasuke.From everywhere,from somewhere, from Barrah, from Ha, from Gao,from Africa. States Department 2022 SUSI Alumnus.