Kofi Borti is an engineer by training and works offshore with an oil and gas company. He is, however, currently focusing his talents and energy on social entrepreneurship and developing solutions to most challenging social challenges. Kofi is a Co-founder of ThinkAfrik, a socio-impact investing start up currently focused on agriculture and education initiatives.
We had a chat with Kofi to find out about his experience as a mentor of the Ahaspora Changing Mindsets Mentoring Program.
Q: What inspired you to give back through the Ahaspora mentoring program?
Most of my earlier teenage life was filled with struggles, with me trying to find myself, define my purpose and figure out where in the world I fit. These were hard times for me, however a statement by one of my high school teachers still lingers in my head and continuously shapes my life. I guess now I can call him my first mentor. He made me aware that the problem was not necessarily in figuring out “what” I wanted to be, but “who” I wanted to be. This valuable advice shaped my approach to life, and got me to understand the need to give back what I received… how I have come to appreciate the importance of mentoring and guidance for the younger generation in education and career pathways. I believe we must groom and raise Africa’s next mass of leaders and the Ahaspora mentoring program has provided a revolutionary platform that takes a unique approach to creating long lasting impact with the mentees we are privileged to serve. I was excited to jump on the train to be part of this journey…
Q: What has been your experience so far as a mentor?
It has been an amazing experience for me! To me mentoring is a professional activity, a trusted relationship, and a meaningful commitment. My two mentees Adesa and Joana have become family to me. My approach has been to be a “friend” – to be flexible. It really helps for a mentoring relationship to have defined goals, but the process is as important—if not more —than the goals. What is important to me is that there is a consistent two-way transfer of perspectives and experience. By guiding my mentees to make certain life decisions, I turn to reflect on some of the decisions I have made myself in life. As such, by helping them to be the best they can be, I too have become a better person. One of the biggest lessons within my mentoring relationship has been the realization that actions create the most lasting impressions – so lead by example…
Q: What has been your most memorable moment with your mentee?
I have had several really memorable moments with Adesa and Joana. With Joana, one of our sublime moments was when she shared her idea of starting her own organization to tackle some of the most challenging issues in Teshie – her community. I had a wonderful time structuring and helping her organize her first school outreach project. That night I sat down quietly going through some pictures we had taken and I could not help but feel so incredibly proud of how much she has achieved.
As for Adesa, where do I start? There is no dull moment when we are together. We realized we had so much in common – We were both incredibly excited when he got admitted to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), same university as I attended, to study Materials Engineering.
Want to be a mentor? Read all about our program and how to get involved here.