Leading Woman

Nigeria’s Under 25: Pressing for Progress

by Kemi Ajumobi

March 9, 2018 | 12:35 am
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OMOZINO EGUH

Organisation: YUDIMY

Industry: EDUCATION

Omozino Eguh is an experienced career guidance counsellor with over 3,000 hours counselling students and young adults. She is passionately committed to redefining education in Africa through career guidance and educational psychology; a mission she discovered after realizing she had picked the wrong university course to study: like many children and teens still grappling with the concept of self-awareness, identity and little knowledge of viable career options that match their talents. This stirred her curiosity to set up “Yudimy” a career guidance solution adapted for the African context but globally relevant. Yudimy works with children and teenagers to discover their talents and match same to viable career options and courses to study. Each child is taken through a process of career assessment, exploration, planning and counselling to discover their career best-fit and make smart decisions in a fast changing world. Yudimy impacts the lives of hundreds of students collaborating with parents and learning institutions.

Her mission is to redefine education in Africa through early career guidance and education psychology. Asides her work in education she has worked as a project and product manager with different technology start-ups like BookAid, Genie games, Afriteach and Akada. She’s a member of the Young Education Reformers Fellowship by Incubator Africa, Carrington Youth Fellow Initiative by the US Consulate Lagos and Enterprise Development Centre -Pan-Atlantic University Alumni.

WHAT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MEANS TO ME

The International Women’s Day theme for this year is very significant for me. For me #PressforProgress means to continually push against stereotypes that women can’t have it all. Women are life giving engines, a woman steps into any environment and chaos turns to order, dull aesthetics turns to bubble colours and dark days turn to sunshine. From building passionate careers, to raising well-rounded children as responsible adults, supporting other women, embracing our beauty in our differences and taking risks to create a sustainable world for our generation. IWD is a day for all women regardless of age, race and cultural background to stand united in heart, goals and aspirations to give all women equal chances to thrive.

As millennials, our 20’s and 30’s are the most vibrant, energetic seasons of our lives to dare, to experiment, to fail fast and forward, to learn and determine who we are and aspire to be. No other time is best! In 20 to 30 years’ time, we would be in our 40’s and 50’s and at that time you want to look back feeling fulfilled that you left no stones unturned, you pushed yourself beyond your limits and this sets the road map for the next generation to follow. Therefore, get started on those plans, get started on the future. Ben Franklin captures it best ‘nothing ventured nothing gained.’ If you don’t risk anything, you won’t gain anything.

 Her business was inspired by her personal experience as secondary and undergraduate student and also serving as a teacher during her NYSC. Many of the students in her class had aspirations different from the subjects they were taking; she had aspiring engineers as art students and aspiring accountants in science class. The gap between their aspirations and the subjects had an adverse effect which showed in their attitude towards their education, low motivation and concentration, high dropout rate, and low academic performances. “It was like teaching a class of walls with human features. Because I had walked in their shoes not so far back, I could totally relate, this realisation led me to organising my first career guidance workshop for students at that school which led to 100 students who were tagged eminent failures with no future ambition getting promoted to the next class.” She said. The results of the workshop prompted her to settling on career guidance counselling as a career path. After working with organisations like Career Development Network, ErudioHub and a host of others with professional training and certifications, organising several career guidance workshops and establishing there was a real problem to be solved, birthed my business.

Our dream is to build the next generation of Africans human capital, minimize unemployment rates as we believe that early career guidance is a sustainable approach to tackling unemployment, because learning a skill is superb but applying that skill in an area of passion and interest (which is where most people are confused) is one of the ways to develop a productive, self-driven and innovative workforce as a catalyst for national development.

JENNIFER UCHENDU

Industry: ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY

Organisation: SUSTY VIBES

Jennifer Uchendu has developed herself as a sustainability analyst passionate about improving the lives of African youth and women via innovative features and project. She is the founder of SustyVibes, an organisation driving the cause for greener environment in Africa. SustyVibes is just a cool way of saying “Sustainability Vibes”. We are a Nigerian enterprise positioned to deliver trends and engagements on sustainability and development in Africa.

WHAT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MEANS TO ME

International Women’s Day is one of the numerous opportunities the world makes effort to acknowledge and appreciate women.

As mothers, colleagues, activists, political leaders and so on, I look forward to every year’s International Women’s Day with optimism that the world is getting closer to gender parity and that more men and women are understanding the ways women enrich their societies, economies and environment and why their empowerment and development is critical.

As a young girl, I always dreamt of future of impact, in the world of numerous challenges, I am constantly developing myself to become a major actor and thought leader in my chosen area of impact.

Millennials and even younger people must first take time to know themselves and decide the sort of future they want to have. I understand this may be difficult given the Nigerian social-political and economic context, but having a dream and plan is the first step to success.

I was inspired to start SustyVibes when I couldn’t find a job in the sustainability space in Nigeria; I knew there were young people like me who shared similar frustrations and I chose to found that network of young people who can independently engage in sustainable development.

Adeola Shasanya

Cofounder, Afrotech Girls

Industry: Technology

The African Girls in Science and Technology Initiative, popularly known as “Afro-Tech Girls”, is private non-profit initiative for the advancement of young African women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. We aim to break down barriers facing women in Africa in these fields including gender stereotype, social anxiety and a lack of regional female role models. Our mission is to encourage, educate and empower African girls of secondary and university levels interested in the STEM fields through mentorship, teamwork, creativity and innovation. We envision a world where there is a gradual but consistent reduction in the gender gap in the STEM industries and there are increased numbers of women actively involved and attaining top positions in these industries, whilst being recognized for their achievements.

Afro-tech Girls was created to help reduce the gender gap in females studying STEM related courses in university. We find that not a lot of female students are encouraged to pursue STEM careers despite the interest and capacity to do well in them. At Afro-Tech Girls, we create programs for the girls to develop their skills through technology boot camps including science and maths quizzes. There are also avenues to encourage and empower the girls through mentorship programs and career fairs. We strongly believe girls can do whatever they set their minds to, and should be able to rise and succeed in the STEM field.

 

WHAT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MEANS TO ME

I believe IWD is a day specially set aside to recognize and appreciate the wonderful work women all around the world do. Women from different parts of the world doing different businesses in various sectors from education, healthcare, tourism and even technology. Celebrating women helps encourage them as well as inspire other women to break down gender barriers in succeeding in their various spheres of work and life activities.

 I believe there’s no better time to start than now, especially with little or no commitments such as children and partners. Time would be easier managed to start whatever business of interest any millennial is keen on. Planning early allows room to possibly fail early, provides learning curves while discovering what works and improving on whatever processes necessary to fulfil their purposes in life and succeed in their businesses.  

SIKEMI IFEDERU

Organisation: TAMBOLLO

Industry: TOURISM & HOSPITALITY

Sikemi Ifederu is the Founder and CEO of TAMBOLLO. TAMBOLLO was founded with the aim of inspiring Young Africans to travel more, leave their comfort zone and immerse themselves in new cultures. It has grown from a travel blog to a travel company that creates authentic and life changing experiences through personalised private, group trips and retreats in Nigeria and across Africa. TAMBOLLO is committed to making a positive impact through travel by giving back and supporting local communities. This philanthropic aspect has made their trips very unique. Sikemi’s ultimate goal is to expose and encourage people to appreciate the various cultures and destinations in Africa rather than limiting yourself to the familiar. She is at the forefront of creating a community of people that Travel with a Purpose.

 

WHAT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MEANS TO ME

International Women’s Day to me is a day to celebrate women doing great things . A day to celebrate yourself as a woman and also a day to let the world know women are strong and very powerful!

We live in a world where having an education is no longer the yardstick for success. Times have changed and we live in a competitive and uncertain world. Looking at my experiences and encounters with a lot of achievers, you have to start early, find a path and stick to it consistently in other to benefit and live the life you have always desired.

For as long as I can remember, traveling has been a hobby. As a child, I signed up for every school excursion. During my university days, I planned trips and consulted for people. TAMBOLLO started as a travel blog where I featured the experiences of travelers, so young Africans can be inspired to travel more and immerse themselves in new cultures. As time went by, it evolved into a travel company that organises private trips, group trips and retreats as a result of my burning desire to promote tourism in Nigeria and Africa. We are committed to making a positive impact through travel by giving back and supporting local communities. This philanthropic aspect has made our trips very unique. We travel with a purpose and make a difference wherever we visit.

JEKEIN LATO-UNAH

INDUSTRY: ARTS, CRAFT & CULTURE

Jekein Lato-Unah is a Nigerian multidisciplinary artist whose vibrant paintings celebrate women, and frown upon society’s maltreatment of women. Her primary interest is the monstrosity of social constructs in our society. By breaking down her pieces into patterns and fragments of both colour and monochrome, Jekein aims to tackle and break chains of patriarchy and entitlement that dominates the Nigerian state. Jekein trains female artists aged between 6 and 21, thereby developing a new age of female Nigerian artists.

WHAT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MEANS TO ME

International Women’s Day means nothing to me really because we ought to be celebrated every single day. I have never understood the concept behind dedicating one day to women who are referred to as the lesser sex when in fact, we are the superior sex, for recognition  and celebration.

Millennials must plan for their future now because time waits for no woman. I mean, if not now, when else? You will be left behind if you don’t start protecting yourself and your future right now.

My passion for telling untold stories through my paintings inspired my business; it wasn’t up until much later that I realized I could make millions from being an artist. There’s so much to talk about and it will not hurt if paintings start such conversations because from talking about issues that we face constantly, we will find solutions to said issues.

Kemi Ajumobi

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by Kemi Ajumobi

March 9, 2018 | 12:35 am
12893  |   93   |   0  |   Start Conversation

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