By Victor Gotevbe
Being youthful is unquestionably an asset and Nigeria has over 60 percent of its populace blessed with youths. Francis Anyaegbu (27) has over the years been selflessly impacting his generation. He is not stopping and do not intend to relent any time soon in his efforts in delivering a New Nigeria.
Francis has been a strong voice both locally and globally. At the just concluded YALDA Press Conference which he serves as head of logistics, he lets Youthful Vibes in on what inspired and motivated him to become a change agent. Excerpt:
A peep into his background
I am clearly what you can best describe as a story of meteoric rise from grass to grace. 27 years ago, I was born into the family of Mr and Mrs V.E Anyaegbu. I am a graduate of Environmental Biology from Yaba College of Technology and I also received training on non-profit management at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA.
Growing up for me was quite interesting, I moved from the beautiful ambience of Ikoyi at age four to Mushin, another environ with a totally wide contrast and that was really a defining moment of my life. This gave me a first hand experience of seeing a lot of young people with tremendous potential waste away, due to nefarious acts and influences within the area.
Consequently in my later years, I saw the need to provide a platform to equip, inspire and empower them to help charter a better course for their lives with my wealth of experience and exposure. This in way was also responsible for the start-up of my Youth organization- Youth Pioneers for Development over five years ago to help proffer solutions to this anomaly.
Many strong memories of my childhood still comes to me, such as being the Class Prefect from J.S.S 1 through SS2 where I became the Timekeeper and finally the Senior Prefect of my set. More so, getting into the Presidential Villa (Aso Rock) before I turned 18 is also one of themany other fond
memories that I still relish. I am grateful to God.
Motivation for volunteer work
I soon realized my passion to help out my peers with tasks and also to reach to persons in discomfort at a very tender age. This soon spurred me to join the Nigerian Red Cross Society while in Secondary School and I soon rose through the ranks to become a Youth Leadership Certificate Holder and trainer. Then I started getting interested in Child Rights advocacy and soon got involved with UNICEF through my friend’s organization and subsequently my involvement with other youth groups and network.
Based on my involvement in volunteer work, I was privileged to be elected as the Chief whip of the inaugural Childrens’ Parliament which was inaugurated by President Olusegun Obasanjo at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
The most interesting part is by God’s grace I have been privileged to have wined and dined with Presidents and royalties from around the world and have participated on various projects on five continents to date, just because of one thing –Volunteerism.
Francis on world stage
I am very privileged as one of the many young Nigerians making wave at the global stage and I have achieved a level of success so far. Based on all of the experiences I have garnered over the years, I have been privileged to have delivered papers and presentations in various international meetings on five continents to date.
Yes, I have just been elected to serve as Africa’s Representative on the UN-HABITAT Youth Advisory Board till 2014 where I am joined by my female colleague, Stella Agara from Kenya . My work is basically to represent the interests of youths from African region.
In line with the mandate of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), members of the Youth Advisory Board, are expected to bring a much-needed perspective of youth to the agency’s work. Part of my work involves providing the UN-HABITAT with strategies to engage young people in sustainable urban development and to support with the design and implementation of urban youth platforms and also address cross-cutting youth issues on the continent and around the world.
I was part of a Policy group that produced documentation on the meaningful participation of young people in International Decision making at the London Youth Policy Symposium on the invitation of the Commonwealth Youth Programme Office, British Council, DFID and OSI in May 2011.
I also helped developed a publication with the World Bank Institute on Youth and engagement with Parliamentarians as one of the Commonwealth Youth Parliamentarians having attended a Special Debate Session at the House of Lords Chambers, Houses of Parliament UK which saw young people sitting in the hallowed chamber for the 1st time in over 100 years.
I also recently attended the 8th Commonwealth Youth Forum which was held in parallel with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth Australia in October 2011 on the invitation of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
At the moment, I run Outbox Consulting, a small firm that provides provide tailor made consultancy services to non-profit organization, small businesses, international development agencies and organizations working in the Development sector.
This covers an array of services including new media trainings, project development and management, entrepreneurial development trainings and also my personal speaking engagements. This also provides the much needed life line for some of my non-profit related work with my organization.
My advice to every young Nigerians out there is that we contain the critical mass of this country and our role in the development of our great nation cannot be dismissed with a wave of hand. There is a need to make conscientious effort to create that change we desire to see in our country.
Though the task may be daunting and the environment not favorable but with tenacity and hard work our dreams can be achieved. I would also like to reiterate that our country would be a better a place to living if we all can shun violence and channel our energies from all forms of nefarious acts to other profitable ventures. Then we can go places.
YOUNG NIGERIANS MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
ALEX KUNLE EGBEDUN, LAGOS STATE
Alex KunleEgbedun is a man with diverse leadership talents. With numerous titles – Entrepreneur, Publisher, Photographer, Speaker, Writer, Media contents Producer, Brand and Human capacity development expert.
Born April 24th 1983, in Oshogbo to the family of Prince and Chief (Mrs.) Adebayo Egbedun of Asi Town in Odo-Otin LGA of Osun State, Nigeria. Trained as Electrical Engineer at Osun State College of Technology Esa – Oke in Osun State. But later found his passion in events photography and creative media entertainment. He is an alumnus of The Edge Business School and Daystar Leadership Academy both in Lagos, Nigeria.
Kwesi as fondly called by friends and associates as pseudonym, dropped a Banking and Insurance job at the defunct Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc, a sister company of the Guaranty Trust Bank in 2010 to pursue his dreams in events photography and infotainment.
Alex is the Vice President and Chief Executive Officer at GistAfrika International communication Limited, a service provider in entertainment Webcasting, Telemarketing and Publishing. He is the publisher of GistAfrika continental magazine and Africa’s foremost entertainment Web based channel, GistAfrika.com. Also a Founding/Principal partner at Vintage partner at Vintage Managers Inc.An events and protocol services company based in Accra, Ghana.
Kwesi is driven with a passion to see Africa fully attained her global potentials and occupied her rightful position as the World’s second largest continent and for this; he is committed to seeing young Africans discover their purpose in life, live to accomplish that purpose and make Africa and the world proud of their innovations and skills.
Yemi as he is fondly called by his clients, has a glow and a vigour that belies his age.In his 20’s, Yemimi runs Dawn Photography, afirm that helps individuals to put up indelible masterpieces and everlasting memories. Every aspect of wedding photography is his passion, and this is evident in the amount of commitment and creativity he puts into his works.
He holds an Ordinary National Diploma (O.N.D) in Accounting from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY). Being an ardent learner, and always on the look out for opportunities to sharpen his craft, Yemi has attended various photography courses from various giants in his industry like Boddylawson, Albriphotos e.t.c.
Indeed for most young Nigerians,the names of Feladurotoye, Ty Bello, evokes inspiration and patriotism.Yemi calls these individuals his role models, as a result of their contributions to the society, and by extension, the Nigerian project. Yemi looks back at his early days as a wedding photographer, when he was usually paid a paltry sum of money. But today, he is fast becoming a force to reckon with-an epitome of enterprise.