By Victor Gotevbe
We live in an age when to be young and to be indifferent can be no longer synonymous. We must prepare for the coming hour. The claims of the Future are represented by suffering millions; and the Youth of a Nation are the trustees of Posterity.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) British politician and author.
Yasmin, who is only 19 years old from Minna, Niger State is on the spotlight for her simplicity, dedication to serve and love for humanity. Saturday Youthful Vibes communicates her story in this interview.
You seem very disposed to making a difference. Would you say it is as a result of your privileged background?
I don’t think even if you are born with a silver spoon that makes you independent of life’s dose of challenges. I have a humble background. I grew up in Niger State, in the Middle Belt part of Nigeria Known to many as the Northern part that is bliss!
A lot of people consider Minna as the most peaceful city in Nigeria and I couldn’t agree more! I have so many wonderful memories of my childhood. I grew up with a lot of people around me: aunties, uncles and a lot of cousins. I definitely feel a lot of love and warmth in the atmosphere being around these people. It also makes me understand how lucky I am to have a close knit family.
What pains me most is that I see a lot of beggars around the area where I come from, what we northerners call ‘almajirai’ walking the streets with no food or security. Having a close knit family means that I have shoulders to cry on, moments to share with family but most of all, it gives that sense of belonging!
It saddens me to know that some of these beggars are orphans. There are also a lot of youths that are idle who are vulnerable and more prone to corruption.
However, I am glad to know there are serious Non Governmental Organisations that have started making positive impacts towards giving orientation.
Are you related to Senator Zainab Kure, former first lady of Niger State?
O yes! She is actually my mother. She is my role model.
So, it is like my mother like daughter?
Well if you say so. Senator Zainab Kure is driven by her passion to affect lives positively. Her commitment to the progress and development of young people is unparallel. Touched by the economic reality of some of these young people, my mother Senator Zainab Kure became the initiator and motivator of a non-governmental organisation called Project YES (Youth Empowerment Scheme) which aims to improve the lives of youths economically and socially by training them to acquire vocational skills. She successfully assisted numerous youths, who today, are on their own.
Going to graduation ceremonies and workshop events by Project YES or just simply witnessing the hustle and bustle my mother goes through concerning the NGO has opened my eyes to so many things. It has helped me realize how important it is to give even in the smallest ways.
Corruption is not a recent phenomenon in Nigeria; it has made me aware that a lot needs to be done to salvage the country from pervasive corruption. My mother’s passion to make better the land she calls home has definitely fuelled my passion to do the same. I desire to be greater than her in my service to humanity.
How do you intend to do this?
It is said charity begins at home. I have started as a child from my own little corner.
I strongly believe that most of what people fear simply do not even exist because fear is only a state of mind. Naturally, human beings have fears of faltering. Some of us are privileged enough to have loved ones around us encouraging us that the sky is the limit and that it is okay to falter but the most important thing is standing up after faltering.
privileged enough to get education: the type that allows us to push boundaries. Imagine what it must be like for children out there, on the streets! As a Muslim, I believe that even a smile is charity! It takes as little as that to make someone feel welcomed, appreciated and worthy.
It is very important to give back to the society because that society cannot grow with individuals having the mentality that it is every man for himself. It is also important to do so because it makes one realize that the perfect bubble some of us live in and deem to be normal is actually pretty much extraordinary to other individuals.
I have been interested and passionate about what I can do to help better the lives of children who are less privileged. I hope to achieve my dream of creating a haven for children in need of education and proper health care.
Please tell about your educational background?
My primary school Education was in Minna. I started my high school at the prestigious El-Amin International School, in Minna. Later on, I continued and finished at Queen Anne’s School, Reading, England. There is a huge contrast between going to boarding school in Nigeria and going to boarding school in England and I’m glad I got to experience both worlds.
Not only did it make me appreciate my parents’ efforts but it made me realize how privileged I am to receive the best education. Queen Anne’s allowed me, as an individual to reach my potential and it made me interact with different people from different countries.
Being an overseas border I spent most of my weekends in school. Though homesick, I looked forward to the weekends because there was always an event/activity going on. I took part in as many different activities as I could!
It allowed me to stretch my abilities in different fields such as playing lacrosse and public speaking in particular. This boosted my confidence in orating and I soon became brave enough to read at Dorchester Abbey and at the famous Westminster Abbey.
I also immersed myself in different discourses by different authors, poets and philosophers and writing quickly became another passion of mine. During my last year at school, I became Company Secretary for a Young Enterprise Company. I learnt a whole lot from the experience!
What would you recommend to other young people?
I advise other younger Nigerians to think and act in the direction of their dreams. Also I advise that They should always have positive energy because with that comes positive possibilities! We, the youth of Nigeria need to keep reminding ourselves why it is important to excel in whatever we do and bear in mind that we are the leaders of today and tomorrow. It starts now. And finally, to enjoy the supreme beauty of being alive! Life is too short to think small, ‘Carpe Diem’.
Young Nigerians making the difference
IYERE ERNEST AHAMIOJE
Iyere was born in 1982 in Benin city, Edo state, where he attended both Primary and Secondary School eduation in Ilorin , kwara state . In 2003, he proceeded to the prestigious University of Ilorin,Kwara state where he obtained a Bachelors of Science (Hon) in Political science.
Later , that Year, he migrated to the United States of America to further his educational career In International Affairs/conflict management at Kennesaw State University ,Atlanta Georgia where he took some credits. He is currently taking his Masters degree in Public Administration at Ashford University, Clinton Ohio.
He is the Founder and CEO of Positive Nigeria International , A non Profit Organization that is set up to Motivate and Equip The Nigerian Child with the readiness and capacity to take up the challenges of Leadership through Value re-orientation , with Emphasis on Education ,Healthcare, Women’s Right Advocacy ,Youths and Sports, as well as Research and Anti – corruption . Positive Nigeria Inc. Is also A member of The Alliance of Nigerian organization of Georgia(ANOG).
His organization has participated in different Leadership Summits both at Home and Abroad even at The Youth Assembly, United Nations. Iyere is also a Sports philanthropist; he has in his little way supported Sports and Education through Youth Soccer competition and outstanding Youths Educational Scholarship.
His dream is to see a greater Nigeria free from corruption and a healthy and greener environment as well as the protection of women rights.
Amb. Emmanuel Gabari is a journalist. He is a Presenter/Producer of several programmes on Radio Kano FM, Kano State and also a youth-based Television programme called NEXT LEVEL and SHAGALINKU shown on Africa Independent Television (AIT) Kano State.
He is from Oghara in Ethiope-West Local Government Area of Delta State. His love for writing articles, conducting interviews and reporting events also made him veered into the print media as well. Emmanuel has written for so many national newspapers and magazines, reporting events from the North.
He was the Senior Correspondent of an all-gloss Abuja-based NATIONAL WAVES MAGAZINE. For performing excellently well, he got promoted to the position of Bureau Chief (North) of the same magazine and also write for a London-based celebrity online magazine.
He has been a consistent volunteer for several Non-Government Some of his community works include polio vaccination of children in rural areas, capacity building for young people on democracy and good governance, drug abuse, vocational training/empowerment of commercial sex workers, encouraging youths with talents in the entertainment industry and so on. In June, 2010 he was appointed one of UN International Ambassador for Peace at the ECOWAS Secretariat, Abuja.
Yemi is a graduate of Chemical and Polymer Engineering from Lagos State University. He graduated as one of the best five. He was very passionate about learning that during his internship at NNPC Warri Refinery he would go to work on days he was supposed to have his off days.
Not too long he was noticed by the a senior management staff who offered him a life changing opportunity to work in his office which changed his professional perspective to Chemical Engineering. Volunteerism has given him various opportunities.
His turning point and how he got involved in Social work was from a digital divide existing in schools. After School, he was selected and trained for the Samsung Real Dreams project by Afterschool Graduate Development Center. In April 2010, he returned to Warri and he started THE
Visionaries Academy focusing on ICT, Entreprenuership and Environment. So far, he has directly helped over 2000 young people in Warri to find their voice. Recently, his Team was selected to meet with the Minister of Youth Development in Lagos, at the AfterschoolGraduate Development Centre Awards 2011, where he was given the award for the best use of Advocacy. He is presently running a travel agency.