The Arts

January 24, 2022

Bamgboye Foundation fostering youth involvement in nation building

Bamgboye Foundation fostering youth involvement in nation building

By Prisca Sam-Duru

As count down to 2023 general elections begins, it appears the wheel of recycling politicians who have dealt ruthlessly with the country is getting stronger, considering that this same set of politicians are the ones indicating interest to run for presidency.

Young Nigerians on the other hand, seem to be intimidated by these politicians as they get trapped in their shadows. What is not clear though, is whether the youth have learned their lessons from the hardships they’ve faced so far hence, their readiness to shun selling their future for a morsel of bread. The urgent need to assist young Nigerians to understand the importance of creating value and, launch themselves into the process of nation building, informed the unveiling of the Dola Bamgboye Foundation, DBF, in Lagos.

DBF which was set up in memory of former MTN Events and Sponsorship Manager, late Okundola Bamgboye, who passed away in 2020, has the mandate to create a culture of creative transformation of the youth through mentoring, sponsorship and education programmes that focus on assisting most vulnerable young Nigerians as well as empower young people to build creative skills while tapping into available opportunities to fulfil their dreams.

During the event which doubled as occasion to launch the Foundation’s logo and, Youth Summit tagged, ‘Youth Power 2022’, held at Lekki Leisure, Lagos, wife of the DBF’s patron, Mrs Vivienne Bamgboye, advised Nigerian youth to learn to create value in spite of their situation.Mrs Bamgboye who is also member, Board of Trustees of the Dola Bamgboye Foundation noted that without the youth being able to create value, it will be difficult for them to be given a chance to get involved in national discourse and development.

According to her, the “foundation is designed to empower the young people and the focus is mainly informal education. We are looking at helping them to develop their creative talent to be able to have self-direction and use that talent to transform themselves from within”.

To achieve their set goals, DBF held the Youth Summit tagged, ‘Youth Power 2022’ which as Mrs Bamgboye hinted, “the whole idea is for young people to come together and have a conversation around the things that they want to see happening in the future particularly in 2022 and beyond. This is also an opportunity to hear the young people and listen to what they want and use that as a background for redesigning our programmes that we want to introduce this year”.

Following the discovery of a huge disconnect between the dialogue across generations, Mrs Bamgboye stated that the Foundation initiated a project- intergenerational dialogue, a panel discussion of members of three generations, to help bridge the gap.“In October 2021, we had an intergenerational dialogue where fifty young people connected another set of young people, participated. The reason we did that is that we realised that young people want to have a voice. We saw that in the #EndSARS movement.

“One of the things we discussed is to highlight the reasons behind why the movement did not achieve what it was originally meant to achieve, which was to contribute to national development. We recognised that there was disconnect between the dialogue across generations.

“We agreed that the way to do that is to do so in a non-confrontational way. We must start within our community and have a say in what is happening within that community. Youths must find out how they can create value no matter how small that value is,” she explained.

In addition, “One of the programmes we are trying to launch this year”, she revealed, is tagged ‘Food is Power’ which focuses on how food plays a role in knowing where power lies.

She stressed that, ‘‘Whoever can feed himself or herself comfortably has got power. Whoever feeds one has control over one. If we begin to look at food as the most basic self-sufficient tool, we would use that experience and knowledge to begin to look at other sources of self-sufficiency and self-direction.”