A short, fairly light skinned jolly girl sits across the room, wearing a bright smile. She has a stern look that is miles away from shyness. At 19 years of age, Hayley Mulenda, a Ugandan based in London has created her niche as a global motivational speaker, entrepreneur and author.
In November 2013, Mulenda started blogging every single week about how to cope with different situations, which attracted a number of followers and prompted her to shift from writing to speaking. She describes herself as a humble, loving woman who wants to change lives and be able to show God’s love to people. As a child, Mulenda was bubbly, confident, outgoing and her mother says she was disciplined.
“My confidence is God given. I also have passion for people and want them to have the best in life. Whenever one has a problem, I always provide a solution,” she says.Mulenda was born in London and her father passed on when she was three years old. Her mother, a midwife raised her and her elder brother, now an Information Technology Technician.
She drew her inspiration from numerous cases of mental health disorders and depression in the United Kingdom and says she had to make people have hope in life.
Mulenda went to St Helens Primary School, St Angela for secondary and then went to the University of Sussex, in London where she studied Sociology. The course in a way forced her to study society and help people reach their aspiration. A journey that started a few years ago has seen Mulenda stand on the biggest podiums in the world, speaking to young people, from all walks of life, explaining why she is currently in Uganda, on tour.
First stage appearance
In Jan 2015, in Form Six, Mulenda made her first appearance on stage. Although she was quite popular by then, she says a lot of people thought she was too young to speak to them and ignored her in the beginning, but her passion and confidence left even older people who never had faith in her mesmerized. At the age of 16, after College, she ran for Young Mayor in London along 53 candidates and scooped more than 900 votes. “This made me believe that people believed in me,” she says.
She has built a registered motivational speaking company that seeks to promote education to school children all over the United Kingdom. “I am training other youths to become motivational speakers so that they can possibly turn out like me or even better,” she confidently says. Mulenda has toured most of the UK, working with different universities such as Oxford University and talked to thousands of students in different secondary schools, colleges, and youth organisations. She has conducted two talks at the Houses of Parliament. Mulenda’s ability to integrate love, wisdom, and humour has enabled her to empower young people.
In Uganda, she has been able to build a connection with the students in all schools she has visited including Acorn International School in Bukoto, Aga Khan High School, Galaxy International School in Entebbe and Gems Cambridge International School. In her free time, she goes to events to watch people talk and reads books, including fables, studies different celebrities and how they overcame challenges or became millionaires, to perfect her art.
Mulenda aspires to help others reach their aspirations, little wonder other youth including her cousin Nesta Paul have labeled her “Miss Inspiration” and “The Spark”, others have highlighted that she is a spark of hope, inspiration and the spark that is needed to help you hustle on.
She also hopes to become the most influential female motivational speaker and to build a chain of schools in Uganda and Africa someday so that she can give back to society since she believes children are the future of all generations.
“I speak to all age groups, depending on my clients’ topic. Sometimes I go to events to watch people talk. I also read a lot, including fables, study different celebrities and how they overcame challenges or became millionaires,” she says. Mulenda looks up to the women in her family, her mentor Jackson Ogunyemi aka Action Jackson, a renowned entrepreneur, motivational speaker and author.
She narrates: “Jackson helped me write my book: The ABCs to student success, which was published in October 2015. It is focused on dealing with psychological problems that students deal with in high school, and how to cope with circumstances and all life lessons”.