A young-world revolution is unfolding before our eyes, rupturing the idea that only experience can change the world. Increasingly, young people are participating actively in all aspects of human life, and changing the way we think, look and do what we do.
At YNaija, we know these stars from across Nigeria – the decision-makers, changemakers, and influencers breaking boundaries in Nigeria; and we’ve made it our duty annually, to celebrate them over the last nine years. In delivering this year’s edition, we have worked with an eminent jury to review and ensure it remains truly ‘powerful.’
Furthermore, to better appreciate the power of these stars, we have chosen to strategically publish the list of various honorees across the various categories on Wednesday, July 29; Thursday, July 30; and Friday, July 31.
We present to you the powerful young Nigerians in Advocacy:
In case you missed it: Davido, Ikorodu Bois, Josh2funny make #YNaijaPowerList2020 for Entertainment
Nigeria appears not to be having enough conversations on climate change, unfortunately. But with young Nigerians like Sipasi, we are on a desired path.
Sipasi is a plant scientist and the founder of ProtectOzone, an organisation committed to training impoverished children, youth, women, and farmers in climate-smart and sustainable agricultural practices to improve their livelihoods. It mobilises citizens to combat climate change through distribution of tree-seeds and training people on sustainable agricultural practices.
He is a dynamic young adult that combined community development work with academics and, is a dogged entrepreneur driven with passion and enthusiasm in community development through sustainable agricultural processes, innovations and appropriate technology. He sees opportunities in turning waste/marginalised agricultural and industrial by-products into economic viable tool to fight hunger, alleviate poverty and increase the socio-economic standard of the communities.
Otto has worked with over 7,000 volunteers across 31 countries to provide educational scholarships and series of support to over 32,000 children from 18 communities across Nigeria, built various early childhood development centres, e-library, health centre and computer development centres serving thousands of children.
Slum2School is giving children in slums free data subscription, mobile tablets and other tools to help them take online classes so that students in rural areas can learn amidst the pandemic.
Over the past 8 years directing the affairs of Slum2School Africa, Otto has worked with over 10,100 volunteers across 35 countries to provide educational scholarships and dozens of development support to over 87,000 children from 42 communities across Nigeria.
His social organisation has built various early childhood development centres, adopted public schools, built e-libraries, health centres, technology and Innovation labs which are serving thousands of children.
Isaac Success Omoyele
Multiple award-winning social activist and child advocate, Isaac Success Omoyele is the founder of Dreams From The Slum Empowerment Initiative – committed to making the dreams of vulnerable persons a reality through access to quality education, empowerment and mentoring.
He has helped hundreds of children living in slums back to school and build healthy self-esteem to realise their dreams and aspirations. The Dreams From The Slum Initiative uses formal, informal and apprenticeship education as a tool for transformation, promoting literacy among the economically disadvantaged.
The Nigerian women’s rights activist is founder of the Stand to End Rape (STER) Initiative.
Ayodeji founded STER in 2013, as a victim seeking to improve awareness on violence against women and provide support to victims of sexual assault. The organisation also seeks to educate healthcare workers about signs of sexual assault. As of 2019, it was estimated by Time that the organisation had reached around 200,000 Nigerians.
In 2019, she was the second Nigerian women to be on the Time 100 Next list, and was the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year for that same year.
STER continues to stand against sexual abuse and the social media space is filled with stories of the social organisation either making intentional efforts to stop a culture of rape, and encouraging victims to always speak out.
Kelechukwu Nwachukwu Lucky
Kelechukwu has strong skills in managing a broad range of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Labour & Migration, Arts, Governance including LGBTI related programming in Africa.
Having put strength and passion towards fighting female genital mutilation (FGM) since 2014, his impact has been felt in over 1,200 communities across six states in Nigeria. Through his work as founder/programme manager at Youth Network Against Female Genital Mutilation (YNAFGM), over 500 communities in Nigeria have public declared their abandonment of FGM.
YNAFGM also secured funding from Amplify Change to fight FGM as well as advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescent girls.
In January 2019, he founded the Youth Network for Community and Sustainable Development, a movement catalysing social change by engaging young people and amplifying their voices to speak for human rights, through targeted advocacy to key players, capacity building and development, communications and media engagements, partnerships and program implementation.
For his work, Kelechukwu was nominated in 200? for The Future Awards Africa prize for Community Action.
Olaseni Cole in January 2017, founded Young Empowered Programmers (YEP); a tech-education firm that trains kids and teens between the ages of 5 and 16 on Computer Programming. The social organisation works with various schools on a daily basis and also have a Saturday Coding Club at its learning centres on weekends.
The platform also holds after-school coding classes, as well as summer coding camps, all towards achieving its aim of raising an army of innovators, inventors, builders and problem-solvers in and from Africa.
“The concept behind YEP! is to energise, encourage and empower students, in their current state with the power to code. The power-to-create is strong within every young person and our mandate at YEP! is to teach our kids and teens to begin creating through code.”
Olaseni is the Winner of The Future Awards Prize for Education, 2019.
Nigerian lawyer, LGBT rights activist, writer and editor, Richard Akuson is the founder of A Nasty Boy magazine, Nigeria’s first LGBTQ+ publication, a two-time Abryanz Style & Fashion Award Best Fashion Writer nominee.
In 2019, Richard was named one of Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 change-makers for challenging rigid notions of masculinity, gender, and sexuality in Nigeria where same-sex acts can be punished with 14 years in prison.
He authored a tell-all essay for CNN in April 2019, detailing the circumstances that led him to flee Nigeria for safety in America and in July 2019, he wrote another essay for The New York Times‘ “Sunday Review.” The essay, “This is Quite Gay,” was prominently published in the Times’ web front page and appeared on a similarly prominent position in print, the next day.
This year, Richard started a campaign demanding ‘looters’ of Africa’s treasured artifacts are returned, and that the British own up to taking responsibility for lives that were taken when the arts were taken.
Priscilla is a Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Advocate. She is community driven and promotes young people’s health as well as development and has worked with various local NGOs to conceptualise and implement community-based projects that challenge stereotypes and forge sustainable partnerships.
Her passion lies in working with grassroot women and ensuring that women and young people especially those at rural communities have access to quality, youth and women friendly primary health care services. Her work focuses on the needs of young people living in socio-economic settings in Edo, Nigeria.
Priscilla display high commitment in addressing the root causes and structural issues that lead to women’s rights abuses at every level. She strongly believes that the economic empowerment of women is integral to the sustainable development of any society.
Her advocacy issues include Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Community System Strengthening, Gender Equality, Integration of Youth Friendly Services into Primary Health Care, Sexual Abuse Interventions, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, Youth Participation in Leadership and Good Governance.
Simi is Founder, ESFAJ & Partners. Member of the Board, Silver Lining for the Needy Initiative, an Abuja-based NGO focusing on orphans/vulnerable children and providing free HIV/VCT testing in rural areas.
The founder of Read2Succeed (R2S) Africa, a non-profit organisation committed to improving the state of public school education in Nigeria, is also a distinguished visionary offering a diverse career in driving significant and profitable growth via high volume projects in the management-consulting sector. She stands at the forefront of policy advocacy having spent the last decade supporting various arms of government and MDA’s in Nigeria.
Sitting on several boards of profit and non-profit organisations, Simi is committed to building smart communities and has spoken at several international and local events such as the World Economic Forum at Davos and Africa, Africa Union, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), British Council and Architecture and Design Conferences.
She runs simifaj.com to change the game in politics and has a major interest in improving the image of the Africa by highlighting its potential and telling its success stories.
Moe Odele is a startup lawyer, academic, investor, and creator of digital products. She is a writer and personal development nerd, who often gives practical tips that help people improve on their everyday life on social media. She is unapologetic about gender-equality.
She is also an international finance and technology attorney experienced in Technology, Business and human rights, innovative financing, Impact Investing, Gender & inclusive finance, ESG Advisory (Due diligence & Intergration), Startup advisory, and Social entrepreneurship.
Over the years, she has worked with technology companies, funds, family offices and foundations dedicated to solving some of the most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges in the world today.
You will sometimes find her talking about how revolutionary technology like AI, Blockchain and VR can be leveraged for real social impact.
Hon. Munira Suleiman Tanimu
Fondly called ‘The Northern Sweetheart,’ Munira is an entrepreneur, a politician and philanthropist who has braced the odds against the limitations of cultural tenets to break-even in her business and political career.
She owns different businesses, and had started business at the age of eighteen. Hon. Munira is the CEO of Green Garden Farm, a poultry farm in Kano which currently houses well over five thousand chickens and also runs a transport service, ‘MSTS ventures’ with several inter-state buses, and cabs operating in Abuja.
She runs a social enterprise – Green Heart Impact Foundation – which focuses on rehabilitating out-of-school girls. The foundation currently has over one hundred representatives across the country who help it locate such vulnerable girls in the states they represent.
So far, Green Heart Impact Foundation has helped well over fifty girls in five different states in Northern Nigeria and is still doing more, including the empowerment of their mothers.
Hannatu Fibemi Makka
Hannatu is a ‘voice from North East Nigeria’, a Lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic, Taraba, a humanitarian and a Fellow with EAI and KGIS respectively.
She is the Founder of Project 1k – an initiative that has helped teach young underprivileged girls financial literacy, independence and has empowered them to get an education through the initiative.
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram