Journalist, TV host, producer, photographer, lecturer… Leila Ghandi has done it all. At ease in any country and in any profession, the Monégasque-Moroccan is an example of drive and leadership.
Leila Ghandi is in her 40s, she speaks five languages and has a million Instagram followers. When we meet her in Monaco’s Condamine neighbourhood she’s wearing a simple marinière and no make-up. It’s nearly ten, but her day started long before. “I’ve just come back from the beach in Cap d’Ail. I try to go there every morning. The water temperature is just about bearable,” she jokes. Ghandi, who has a degree from Sciences Po in political marketing, likes to keep a schedule. “I go to bed at 2 am and get up at half 6 to take my kids to school,” she says.
First Moroccan woman to solo travel around the world
Leila Ghandi’s career picked up in 2005. “It all started when I began travelling the world. In Morocco, I was that naïve girl backpacking on her own,” she says. In her native country, Ghandi, who speaks French, Arabic, English, and Spanish and also happens to have a good grasp of Chinese, was always a little controversial. “Some people said I was crazy, other called me a role model,” she explains unfussed. Her travels gather the media’s attention, first through her Youtube channel, and then through a documentary series on Morocco’s 2M channel, “Travelling with Leila Ghandi”. For Ghandi, it was always a question of discovering new cultures. “Travelling was about sharing people’s experiences. It was about sparking debates on sexual harassment in Egypt or Islamism in France, or even gender equality in Norway,” she says.
L’Oréal’s muse really is worth it
Throughout her career, Ghandi has won numerous prizes. Most importantly, in 2014, she was awarded France’s highest cultural recognition, the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. “Awards are encouraging, but for me the greatest reward is when people write to me saying how I’ve impacted their life,” she says. Her latest career milestone? Joining the L’Oréal family. When the brand contacted her, she was incredulous. “You want me? Are you sure? I’m five foot three,” she apparently told them. Along with eight women from the Arab world, Ghandi will advocate for women’s emancipation, for solidarity, and for fighting against injustices, all while wearing impeccable make-up.
Monaco: a cosmopolitan’s headquarters
“My husband is Monégasque. We’ve studied and worked abroad. We’ve traveled the world. But once we had children, we decided to settle down in Monaco,” says Ghandi, who has a six-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy. “Monaco has the advantages of a village – it’s a friendly place and getting around is easy – while also having the cultural offer of an international city. And there’s the weather of course,” she says, holding back a smile. Following her nomination at Monaco’s 2019 Influencer Awards in the “Philanthropy” category, Ghandi has set herself a new challenge. She founded Monaco Impact, a network of Monaco entrepreneurs to mentor the younger generation – “Role models who can be a source of inspiration and change,” she says.
View this post on Instagram
Always a great honor to speak at the United Nations and for United Nations agencies. My job as a public speaker is a gift because it enables me to try to have an impact and impulse change. My job as a moderator and master of ceremony is a gift because it enables me to meet very inspiring and committed people from across the globe. 🙏 Life is a journey, when you believe in yourself and work hard, you might get rewarded. .. .. #leilaghandi #un #unitednations @unfoundation @unwomen @unaoc @unitednations #monaco #morocco #speaker #piblicspeaker #moderator #masterofceremony #newyork #photography #photooftheday #women #empowerment #leadership #leader#change #changemaker #conference #summit #inspire