by Wilfred Okiche
It is easy to sit back and complain about how the big bad government is not doing enough. In fact, most are experts at merely talking about the problems: the health sector is in a pitiable state; education has failed; infrastructure development is non-existent; the poor become worse off every day. Everyone knows the problems, but there is a small group of people who are not just about the talk – they put their money where their mouth is. In spite of the odds, these ones go all out to effect the change which they want to see, one sector at a time. We present to you the Power 10.
Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba
Ikemba holds a BSc in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University, a master’s degree in International Public Health from Harvard and a doctorate in Medicine from Tufts University. She is the founder of Friends Africa (Friends of the Global Fund Africa), which was set up to combat the trio of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. A winner of the 2012 Stevie Award for non-profit of the year, Ikemba serves on a number of boards including the Global Health Council, Roll Back Malaria and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. To date, Friends Africa has mobilized over $560 million for African countries to tackle these deadly diseases and has trained over 2700 SMEs across Africa.
25 year old Okechukwu is a radio presenter and human rights activist, as well as vice-president of the Sickle Cell Foundation (SCAF), a non profit organization established to amplify awareness on sickle cell anaemia, and to raise funds for medical care for affected persons. He is also the host of ‘Talk Your Own’, a BBC Media Action talk show highlighting issues which pertain to governance in Nigeria.
Oyeneyin is the convener of Gen Voices, a United Nations-endorsed project-driven platform that presented the epoch making 100,000 voices telethon event which held in February 2014. The event attracted some of Nigeria’s finest leaders, including Dr Obiagaeli Ezekwesili, Dr Christopher Kolade, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Tonye Cole. A believer in the power of advocacy, Oyeneyin founded Sleeves Up Nigeria, a youth empowerment foundation which participated actively in the Occupy Nigeria protests and manages Venia Consulting limited, a business consulting start up and strategy consulting company.
Rewane is the founder and CEO of West African Vocational institute (WAVE) a social venture that trains unemployed youth and places them in paid technical apprenticeships with employees in the hospitality and retail sectors. A graduate of Stanford University, Rewane also holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and is passionate about creating solutions to social challenges through education.
Augie founded the AYAHAY foundation, which focuses on rendering quality health care and providing affordable education and counselling. Operating mostly in the northern states of Kano, Kebbi and the FCT, Augie’s AYAHAY has successfully carried out projects like construction of water boreholes, renovation of schools and production of grinding machines to a women’s centre. In February, Maryam Augie co-hosted the Gen Voices telethon which was viewed by over 25million people across the globe.
Kosoko is the founder and CEO of the Employment Clinic, an employment solutions company whose goal is to redefine Africa’s employment profile. With over 40million Nigerians unemployed, most below the age of 35, the clinic faces a daunting task. However its founder isn’t deterred. Her employment summits have become the go-to event for high level discussions on job creation, and she is active on Twitter where she regularly dishes out tips and lessons to potential job seekers.
Though Ryan-Okpu is the daughter of Governor Uduaghan of Delta State, that is the last thing she wants to be known for. Her Pink Pearl Foundation represents a consistently growing force against breast cancer, with over 50 programmes, seminars and health checks organised since its inception in 2007. Last year, the Pink Pearl Foundation took its breast and cervical cancer screening and awareness campaign to neighbouring Cameroon, where over 100 women participated. What she did next? Fixed her sights on Nollywood and produced the AMVCA-nominated film ‘Living Funeral’ which starred popular actress-turned-evangelist, Liz Benson.
Tonye Rex Idaminabo
The Africa Achievers Awards is a 4 year old set of annual honours bestowed upon some of Africa’s distinguished fellows in business and politics. Previous recipients include Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Channels television founder John Momoh, and funding has come from Kings College London. The organiser of this high profile gig is a 29-year old Nigerian lawyer, Tonye Rex Idaminabo, who hopes that rewarding the leading lights of the continent today will spur coming generations to follow in their footsteps and maybe even achieve bigger results.
The tough talking, speed walking Akerele is the founder of RISE, organisers of the country’s biggest youth conference. A distinguished manager, youth advocate, public speaker and entrepreneur, Akerele has been nominated for The Future Awards for five consecutive years, winning in the Best Use of Youth Advocacy category. An alumnus of the United States Government’s International Visitor Leadership program for emerging African youth leaders, Toyosi has been described by the first lady of the US Michelle Obama as one of her personal inspirations. Who can beat that?
Governor Rotimi Amaechi knows Adamolekun by name. As the executive director of Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), a coalition of persons and youth-led organizations tasked with instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria, Adamolekun brings the heat to lax public officials. EIE has been at the forefront of the push to make government accountable with regular town hall meetings, seminars, rallies and the country’s first youth-led presidential debate ‘What about us?’