Christian

Mugabe

Our Future Conservation Leader

Christian Mugabe is an alumnus of the African Leadership University, a dedicated environmental entrepreneurial leader and education enthusiast. He is the first born in the family of three, raised by a single mother in Rwanda.

Something many people don't know about him is that he finds plants fascinating. Professionally, he is a medical doctor and a conservationist.

Where are you currently working and what is your title? What does this role entail?


After graduating from ALU, I founded Ngozi Naturals, a conservation enterprise that amplifies the benefits of indigenous plants through manufacturing natural beauty products. We manufacture natural handmade soaps, body balms and beard oils, that are meticulously made from plant oils and butters, herbs and spices, organic clays and essential oils that leave you feeling clean, healthy and radiantly beautiful.

I am also the Director of Business Conservation at the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association, a role I assumed very recently. The organization’s mission is to provide sustainable solutions to critical wildlife conservation issues in Rwanda and the East African region using a holistic and multi-disciplinary, One Health Approach. and my role as the director is to chart different business strategies for RWCA

Tell us more about your life/experience at ALU


My journey through the University was great. There were so many opportunities that the university provided to us. I joined a cohort of young conservation leaders through the SoWC and that shaped my path as a conservationist. I was the Student president 2019-2020, and this put me on a journey to self discovery; I learnt about servant leadership in this this capacity. The environment generally was diverse, the learning model was unique.

Every time I walked through the university, it felt like I was part of something greater than myself.

Give a quick or detailed story of your post-graduation experience thus far


My capstone research assessed the use of indigenous plants by medicinal gatherers around the Volcanoes National Park in Musanze. Through this research, I registered a conservation enterprise with the objective of amplifying the benefits of indigenous plants to monetize their value through manufacturing natural handmade soap, bodybalm, and beard oils. The enterprise is one year old now. We are currently in a growth stage, going through a circularity program with Impact hub and an acceleration program with Fonerwa in Rwanda.

What role did ALU play in preparing you for the real world / your career ?


ALU helped prepare me in a number of ways. Through the Conservation in Residence program, I got mentors and learnt first hand from leading experts in the conservation space. The internship period introduced me to real work and I already knew what I wanted to do before graduation

What are your key takeaways from ALU

My key takeaways from ALU, as Mr. Veda Sunassee, the current CEO puts them EGGHOF. The values of excellence, gratitude, grit, humility, ownership, and fellowship made me a great team player with the ability to motivate, educate and achieve results by building long term beneficial relationships.

What is your mission and how are you currently working towards fulfilling your mission


My mission at ALU was to protect and preserve indigenous plants through harnessing their value and I have founded Ngozi Naturals to do just that.

Why is Ngozi Naturals important at this time and what led you to and what impact do you seek to achieve?


Indigenous plants in the great rift valley region are facing many threats due to agriculture expansion, human settlement, mining, charcoal making and many more. Also when compared to the exotic plants, they do not provide any high monetary return and they take forever to grow. Many of these indigenous plants are only endemic in this region and are likely to go extinct if nothing is done. Ngozi Naturals creates awareness of this challenge and tries to create monetary value from these plants so that people can start seeing the benefits of the plants.

Apart from manufacturing different natural beauty products from these plants, we have also painted a Mural in a primary school in Kigali, that sheds light on these challenges.

What advice would you provide
to the next generation of ALU students?


While at ALU, invest in friendship and try to solve the harder problems.

Degree Programme

Graduate BSc Global Challenges

Current Engagement

Conservation

Employment

Self Employed at Ngozi Naturals, At Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association - Dr. Olivier Nsengimana

Role

Ngozi Naturals - Founder
Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association - Director of Business Conservation

Previous work experience (internships)

- Program Manager- Leapr labs
- Program Manager at Goethe Institut-Sustainable together program
- Forest Landscape Restoration intern-IUCN