The Guardian UK talks about young people, the 2011 elections, and Y!

by ‘Damilola Oyedele

We were simply skating past, minding our own business… when we stumbled upon a very recent article by Africa correspondent of the Guardian UK, David Smith (@SmithInAfrica).

In the piece, titled “Nigeria looks to youth, internet and Barack Obama for poll inspiration”, the writer took a look at Nigeria’s upcoming elections – from all indications, the defining election for this generation of Nigerians. He puts it aptly: “Africa’s most populous nation is facing its most important, and most unpredictable, polls in more than a decade”.

Smith discusses the similarities between the campaigns of Presidents Jonathan and Obama, who tactically deployed new media for the benefit of their respective campaigns. He examines how young Nigerians, armed with Facebook and Twitter, seem more than ever to be involved in the 2011 election process.

All pretty solid stuff.

Then, it gets better!

Y! – the premier youth culture brand – gets a mention! Chude Jideonwo, our very own editor, and founder of the EnoughisEnough Nigeria campaign speaks extensively about his views on President Jonathan’s campaign and why it is so important for Nigerians to vote. “If our country continues to drift away, and we all just content ourselves with platitudes about a ‘great nation’, at a point it will no longer be the case,” he says.

In the article, published yesterday, 13 January 2011, Smith touches on political content from Y! Magazine’s Freedom Edition – “Can we trust this man?” (by Amara Nwakpa). It also references our continued investigation of the youth culture with the stories “Meet the mosque-teers: What does it mean to be young, Nigerian and Muslim?” (by ‘Damilola Oyedele) and “50 young people who will change Nigeria”, among others.

We are delighted!

Seriously though, something else strikes us: Smith echoes the opinion of many who are not convinced that the mass of young Nigerians who use the new media will be bothered to go out to the polls to vote. In the article Shehu Sani, senatorial candidate and president of the Civil Rights Congress says: “Facebook and Twitter are most likely young, educated people chatting and expressing their opinion. Many lament Nigeria’s problems but are not prepared to queue and register”.

People, it’s our year to prove the skeptics wrong!

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