Man Crush Monday (MCM): Christian Achaleke Leke

by Duke Magazine

Christian Achaleke Leke is a Cameroonian youth development, civil society activist, and a youth expert on peace-building and fights against violent extremism with over a decade of experience. Born in 1990, Leke grew in a community known for rife and other social gangsterism. As a person, he was a victim of radicalization and violence but being able to transform his personality from an agent of violence to an Ambassador of peace and change. 

Following his transformation, Leke has been pivotal in advocating for peace and violent extremism in his home country Cameroon. He has been achieving this through his organization and other affiliations. 

Leke’s acumen in youth empowerment has stretched forth to over a million young people across the globe via one-on-one and media programs in and outside Cameroon. He has also coordinated more than 200 youth development and peace-building projects. Going by his laudable contributions to community development and service, Leke was named Commonwealth’s Young Person of the Year in 2016.

The 30-year-old social activist has a great track record working with young people with a history of violence and extremist violence in and out of prisons and correctional facilities. He was one of the young people who engaged in the global advocacy for the adoption of the historic UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth Peace and Security. 

He was the winner of the 2016 Commonwealth Youth Award for Excellence in Development Work as well as a recognition by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his outstanding contribution in peace-building and preventing violent extremism. Also in 2016, Leke was named the Most Influential Young Person in Cameroon 2016 and also named among the 100 Most Influential Youths in Africa for two consecutive years 2016 and 2017. 

He is a fellow of the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) organized by the US State Department. In 2016, he was appointed by the Commonwealth Secretariat to lead the Commonwealth Youth Peace ambassadors Network with a prime mission of coordinating over 500 young peace-builders from across the Commonwealth 53 Countries. 

Leke holds a master’s degree in international development (conflict security and development) from the University of Birmingham, UK. He is currently a consultant and expert on youth development, security, peace-building, and counter-violent extremism, working with several national and international organizations, embassies, and governments. 

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