Tell us an interesting fact that we do not know about you Ashley, Do you have a unique talent or hobby
I really like travel photography. It has taken me to places ranging from the ruins of Athens to the banks of the Ganga, and from the duomos of Milan to the matatous of Dakar. Sebastiao Salgado is my favourite photographer mostly because his work presents the best and worst of humanity, perhaps illustrating what Terence meant by “I am human, and nothing of that which is human is alien to me”. Photography helps me to put my trips into perspective. Some of my favourite shots are entitled “Regality in Focus” and the “Slum Ballerina”. Through photography I have acquired a valuable life philosophy—to chase my shot relentlessly, remaining hopeful that, just as time and chance always do, it will also happen to me.
What would you say was the turning point in choosing the Telfer Executive MBA?
My last diplomatic assignment reminded me of a reality I may have wanted to forget, and it inspired me to align my profession with a deeper purpose—the vocation to help reproduce for others some of the conditions, which allowed me to succeed, against considerable odds. I enrolled the Telfer Executive MBA because I was looking for an ecosystem that would allow me to grow as a well-rounded international business expert, facilitating government relations and cross-border investments, which creates shared values and activate economic actors forced passive because of health, infrastructure and energy issues.
What qualities do you admire in a leader Ashley?
I could say Bob Dylan’s vision since his “The Times They Are A Changin” is to me one of the most prescient calls to action. I could also say Charlie Chaplin’s thoughtfulness given how much his speech in the “Great Dictator” tried to appeal to a dictator’s sense of humanity. But I guess it would be Muhammad Ali’ grit, even though I regard boxing as a form of“tyranny over the mind of Man”. Ali took a stand, looking beyond his own success because he was convinced that his wellbeing was intimately connected with, and dependent upon, those of others. I must also admit that I really like his “work ethics” to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”.