A Social Entrepreneur in Nigeria
People can start making a difference from a very young age, using their education and experiences to benefit others. Olanrewaju Daodu has an excellent example of a social entrepreneur in Nigeria who did just that.
It takes more than a megaphone for a young person to be heard and taken seriously. It seems to become more daunting in a country like Nigeria, which has a population of more than 170 million.
Like every other African country, the level of engagement and participation of young people in governance, policy development and implementation is sadly low.
As most young people have to sweat it out to survive amidst most socioeconomic conditions, it would be daring for any young person to dream big. The few successes recorded in this demographic are often attributed to sheer luck or outrageous dishonesty.
However, we must recognise the feats achieved by honest, selfless and forward-thinking young people who not only played by the rules but also created new paradigms to encourage other young people to reach greater heights while creating positive change in their communities.
One such young person making a positive difference in their community is Abayomi Rotimi Mighty, the founder of the Group of Advanced Leaders (GOAL). GOAL was created in January 2012 as a group for intellectual discussion and an actionable platform for the transformation of Nigerian and greater African society.
Abayomi Rotimi Mighty is a social worker of the 21st century who started his work when he started advocating for “equality amongst secondary school students no matter the uniforms” at the tender age of 11 in 1996. By 1997, he was discovered and trained by the Youth Action Project (YAP) as a peer health educator, which enhanced his knowledge base of social work.
In 1998, he was trained as a Child Rights Activist by JDPC, and by then, Abayomi Mighty gained the respect of people in his community as an eloquent speaker for the rights of children, adolescents and youth. A staunch believer in female empowerment, in the late 90s, he also started training girls of his age to build self-confidence and not to get cheated by boys.
At 14 in 1999, Abayomi Mighty led a serious campaign against excess physical abuse of students by teachers within his school through a speech that won the heart of his school principal. Thereafter, beating was reduced to just two strokes of cane for an offence, and six for a serious offence.
By 2001, at the age of 16, Abayomi Rotimi Mighty spoke at the African Leaders Summit in 2001 as the United Nations Youths Spokesperson (Ambassador) for African Youths and children. His speech brought a great breakthrough for youth participation in Africa. He was privileged to meet President Bill Clinton in person at the conference as well as other world leaders.
As a staunch Advocate for grassroots development, Abayomi Mighty left the luxury of urban Lagos, Nigeria and returned to rural Ijebu Land in Southwest Nigeria, where he started training young people in effective tools for advocacy with his own resources.
He formed, at the age of 16, Caution and Moral Filled Adolescent Group (CAMOFAG), through which he has inspired many young people. By 2002, at the age of 17, he changed the name of CAMOFAG to AMEN, meaning Adolescent Moral Encouragers in Nigeria. Through AMEN, he trained and influenced even more of his peers.
Over the last 10 years, he has trained over 800 youth leaders and inspired thousands of young people across Nigeria and abroad.
Now, Abayomi is still training several individuals and organisations in community development, personal development, business growth and effective leadership. He is the Project Manager of AdeGrange Child Foundation, an NGO that is making waves in the country through project C.R.A.Z.Y.
Abayomi Rotimi Mighty is also the founder and executive president of NOVOHUB, Lagos, Nigeria. NOVOHUB is a business development and a knowledge hub that is dedicated to creating and introducing cutting-edge innovations in businesses, governance and social works.
Submitted by Olanrewaju Daodu, Task Force member and the founder and principal consultant for Rural Youth Voice of Nigeria. Check out his other guest blogs Africa Series: Young Empowerment & Sustainable Development, The Media’s Role in Sustainable Development and Population Boom and Economic Busts.
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