The Future Africa Leaders Award Foundation has unveiled a galaxy of Gen Y shooting stars in leadership and humanitarian service in the 2017 foundation’s award.
The awardees are just about your regular kids—mostly twenagers from across Africa—conceiving ideas and projects, embodying them in such a way that ranks the originators among global players in the development efforts to save Africa and, indeed, the world.
Their impacts are such you can put a figure to: No fewer than 10 projects, in nine countries, with 55, 630 youths impacted all together.
No kidding stuff.
These youngsters have rescued thousands of girl-children from female genital mutilation, early marriage—and thousands of other youths from malnutrition, illiteracy, falling grades, health emergencies, poverty, and environmental degradation.
Some of these awardees pushed their advocacy as far up as their countries’ legislature—and even partnership with development agencies and NGOs helping in crisis.
Take, for instance, the star winner Naomi Ekpoki Aliyu, an inspiring and innovative 20-year-old with a passion for helping disadvantaged and at-risk youth in northern Nigeria. She has raised a team of several young volunteers who work with her in schools, and on various other community projects.
Through academic bootcamps, as well as art and craft workshops organized in several high schools, she helped many improve their performance, enabling them to pass their exams with flying colors. Naomi pioneered a foundation, which aids financially challenged orphans and other at-risk youth. By organizing campaigns to raise funds for scholarships and school amenities, she kept over 1,700 high school students from falling to crime or delinquency.
She campaigned against various forms of child abuse, rescuing victims of child trafficking and working with several agencies on the enforcement of protective laws against early marriages and female genital mutilation. Sensitive to the peculiar needs of young people living in areas of unrest due to Boko Haram insurgency, Naomi provided trauma services and special counseling to aid their recovery.
TSHEPISO MASILONYANE – BOTSWANA
Tshepiso Masilonyane from Botswana is a 19-year-old Child Rights advocate with a key interests in personal development, esteem building, and leadership training.
As Vice president of the National Children’s Consultation forum, he has advocated for the amendment of the legislation to protect the welfare of children with special needs. He is an activist against the exploitation of children, having prevented instances of early childhood marriages in his hometown.
He has also addressed other community gatherings on society practices that hinder the welfare of the child in the community. He empowers students on rights awareness and on solving issues affecting them in their community.
Some of the issues he has tackled in his nation are early childhood marriages, child abuse, and inclusive education for children with disabilities.
He organizes the annual students’ summit attended by over 300 students from secondary and tertiary institutions around Botswana, in partnership with the Debaters without Borders Organization. Through the annual summit, student leaders have been empowered with essential leadership skills, training and exposure on establishing a developmental program for their own community.
SHARON SAMBAZA FROM – ZIMBABWE
Sharon is a 21-year-old youth leader with a strong passion for youth development and empowerment.
She started over 16 youth groups across different communities, high schools and universities, organizing motivational and academic excellence workshops, an initiative which impacted over 2,000 students.
Moved by the plight of youth living with diseases, she started several campaigns such as the kids with cancer project, which raised over 500 sponsors to pay for medical bills and tuition for these beneficiaries. She also organized epilepsy awareness across 16 high schools for 2,500 students educating them on how to deal with epileptic emergencies. She also campaigned for and raised sponsors to distribute female hygienic products for 3,000 financially challenged female students in rural areas to enable them attend school without disruptions.
She has also partnered with the Harare Parliament to educate over 150 youth in her group about their role in nation building in the country’s new democratic dispensation.
For these laudable initiatives, Sharon has received several commendation awards from institutions as well as corporate organizations.
MUKETE DAVIDSON DIOH – CAMEROON
Mukete Davidson Dioh is an exceptional 23-year-old youth leader who is waxing stronger with each passing day, regardless of varying threats and undesirable circumstances that are prevalent in his immediate environment. Passionate about community and entrepreneurship development, Mukete established a Non-Governmental Organization (N.G.O) called Varl Association of Community Development and Entrepreneurship (VACODEVE).
The organization provides portable pipe-borne water for 2 villages, with 8 youth employed. The organization also distributed 24 packets of agricultural seeds to youths and local farmers. His zeal for youth empowerment caused him to organize 18 seminars and 6 workshops, which impacted over 28,000 young people cumulatively. These seminars have been most impactful, equipping youth for a life of self-reliance. In a bid to enhance agricultural development, Mukete collaborated with the regional supervisor for Agro Farms to arrange a free lease of 24 farm plots to youth and local farmers for a 2-year period. He encouraged and trained 40 youth on how to raise funds through the growth and sales of cash crop seedlings, thus significantly minimizing required capital for the would-be agricultural entrepreneurs.
Mukete also teams up with the Mentors’ Foundation to host ‘Education Today’ on 5 Television and Radio stations in Cameroon. The program teaches 28 different academic subjects, and also addresses some social issues. This has helped mitigate the adverse effects of the current ‘Anglophone crisis’ that caused the closure of schools in Southwest and Northwest Cameroon for 10 months running. Today, we specially recognize the amazing Mukete Davidson Dioh as a pacesetter and a trailblazer that is implementing changes, transforming and renewing minds, rewriting history and setting high standards for his peers and for the world at large.
EVELYN OPOKU APPIAH – GHANA
Evelyn Opoku Appiah is a 23-year-old dynamic youth leader who has risen to the challenge of raising more leaders and inspiring the next generation for better exploits. Evelyn’s motivation propelled her to establish the New Africa Initiative – a non-governmental organization that has championed several laudable projects and impacted thousands of lives.
Seeking to improve leadership potential amongst young people, Evelyn initiated ‘Youth In Governance’ – a forum for awakening youth to prevalent issues in the society, and provoking change through youth development. This opened more doors for Evelyn, and she is recognized as an ambassador for democracy in West Africa. She was also invited to the Future World Center’s ‘Reinventing Democracy Conference’ in Nairobi, Kenya, and has been opportune to make a difference through tours to Rwanda, Cyprus, and Kenya.
Youth For Peace Campaign is a project in collaboration with the United Nations Development Projects and the Future World Center designed to address the various sustainable development goals by the UN. The event took place at the Ghana School of Arts and Sciences, with about 430 participants. After the meeting, a lot of youth groups stood up for the various sustainable development goals. Some of the international delegates have started making massive impact in their respective countries.
BRENDA MWALE – MALAWI
Brenda Mwale is a 23-year-old youth leader from Malawi who is involved in various community building projects. After identifying the needs of her community, she decided to embark on several projects to inspire and empower the youth. She started a farming project to raise funds to assist less-privileged children with school fees, as well as their basic upkeep. She has been able to send 87 children back to school.
Brenda voluntarily takes out time to teach primary and secondary school students who cannot afford paid classes. Apart from helping them with their schoolwork, she also teaches them on positive attitude, computer lessons and personal hygiene. She currently has 57 students in her class.
In partnership with a private company, she organized a cleaning day for her community with over 300 youth in attendance. She went further to establish the Mponela Cleaning Campaign with 45 members who took time to clean up the community. This has inspired other residents and vendors at the flea market to join the campaign on Saturdays to help clean the community.
She launched the Tree Planting Project to address a pressing environmental concern. She bought 20,000 tree seeds for a start and distributed them across 30 villages under the Mponela District. When the government heard of her exploits, they came on board with other sponsors, and as a result she was empowered to distribute over 150,000 tree seeds across 50 villages.
Brenda is a phenomenal and inspiring youth who has inspired socio-economic development in her community and changed the mindset of its resident
Samuel Mirady Kwamaka – Congo Brazzaville
From one of Africa’s Francophone nations hail amazing 21-year-old Samuel Mirady Kamwaka who displays exemplary leadership by virtue of his total commitment in service to humanity. With a clear-cut vision of his power to lead, and with unwavering commitment to serve, he runs very successful initiatives that cut across health, education, sports and other spheres of human interest.
Driving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4 (i.e. quality education), Samuel saw the need to aid several students who faced difficulties with their studies. He founded the Success Club, where he successfully impacted over 500 youth, and distributed Christian materials to help their spiritual and intellectual development. Several of these young people improved with the benefit of receiving lessons in Chemistry, Physics and English lessons and are performing well in their respective schools.
As a coordinator for the Volunteer Medical Corps chapter in Congo, Samuel and his team of medical officers and medics, reached out to an Old Peoples’ Home in the town of Caritas, where the residents became beneficiaries of donations such as drugs, mosquito nets, and toiletries, and were also treated to free health services.
Samuel is afire, and reaches different categories of people with the investment of his personality. Desiring to help young people identify and develop their innate talents, he pioneered ‘Discovering Yourself’ – a sporting event organized alongside professional coaches where over 44 youth were reached and impacted. He also organized the ‘Save A Life’ campaign where he gave motivational talks in buses and at Marche Plateau Brazzaville, a central market that caters to over 4,000 citizens.
Over time, Samuel has impacted thousands with his unique vision and message. He is an icon of transformational development for young people in Congo Brazzaville and all over the world. There is no doubt that his great works and amazing personality will make history and change the course of nations. His ability to see the needs of those around him and meet those needs, and his unfathomable impact in many lives through various life-changing initiatives, distinguish Samuel Mirady as a Future Africa leader.
JULIET AMINA MOSES- FROM NIGERIA
Juliet Amina Moses is a 23-year-old inspiring youth leader who has motivated and empowered hundreds of youth in her community.
She obtained the consent of her state government and started several youth groups across 3 high schools in Kano, Northern Nigeria, and organized motivational and educational workshops, directly impacting over 500 students. She also distributed over 500 copies of motivational and educational materials to the study. This feat was especially commendable given the historic resistance to female and non-Islamic initiatives in the city. Combating the societal ill of early child marriages in her community, she specially engaged the young women, encouraging them to transcend cultural barriers and societal pressure to marry early and commit to finishing high school. Her efforts yielded significant results commended by the governors of the Schools as well as the State government.
Ever resolute in her commitment to female empowerment and education in her community, she raised sponsors who paid for the school fees and welfare packages of over 200 female students, some of whom had not attended school for over a year due to lack of funds. Worthy of note is the fact that Juliet courageously undertook some of these youth outreaches despite risks to her personal safety, as has been the case in her Northern Nigerian community.
Juliet Amina Moses is indeed a bold and dynamic youth leader who has empowered many in her community and beyond!
THEOPHILE LASSEY-ASSIAKOLEY – TOGO
Theophile Lassey-Assiakoley is a 22-year-old young and inspiring leader who has caused changes in the lives of many youth in his city and in many localities in his native Togo.
He has organized several success motivation programs, as well as Back to School campaigns for indigent children.
As an astute leader, Theopile coordinates purpose-driven youth groups in Togo and Senegal.
Recognizing the need for proper education and mentorship of young people, Theophile regularly gives success motivation and inspiration speeches at one of the most-listened-to radio stations in Lome with over 15,000 young listeners.
This year, he organized 13 motivational and developmental programs in Lome, targeting the importance of education, youth empowerment and entrepreneurship. These programs have impacted a cumulative of 22,000 youth. He has also reached out to refugees in his community by sharing to them clothes for adults and also for children.
As a software engineer, Theophile also created a mobile application available in English and French, that avails young minds of motivational resources and content for excellence.
MINA KHALEED – EGYPT
Mina is an exceptional 20-year-old leader whose many initiatives and programs has changed the lives of thousands in his country, Egypt, and has caused many to join the Global Youth Leaders’ Forum (GYLF).
Passionate about making a change in the nation of Egypt, Mina organizes conferences, seminars, workshops and other life-transforming programs for different categories of people, thus providing solutions and meeting needs.
Every week, he organizes 5 specialized programs for different categories, namely children, youth, ladies, families, and refugees. These programs provide enlightenment and impact the hundreds of participants with knowledge for improving their lives. Due to the high percentage of illiteracy in Egypt, especially in the upper region, Mina organized Arabic and English classes where kids learn to read and write in these languages.
Mina set up a training school where he teaches young leaders to be effective and productive citizens. He also held a 3-day conference in multiple locations, with a focus on helping the attendees build and develop an all-round successful life. Physical and spiritual activities during the program uplifted over a thousand young people who participated. He also creates short videos on Christian teachings and uses them for propaganda on social media.
Emboldened by his conviction of the truth in his message, Mina shares the Word of God everywhere – on the streets, in homes, shops and offices, despite strong opposition from the government and law enforcement agencies. In addition, he translates Christian materials from English to Arabic, helping many apprehend the truth of God’s Word.
Moved by the dire state of refugees in his country, Mina set up a Refugee Relief Camp to aid and improve the standard of living of these refugees. He raised a team of young people who are devoted to this cause, and they adopted more than 50 of these indigent families, catering to their needs with the provision of food, clothing, furniture, financial aid and other essentials.
Through his initiatives, Mina has impacted over 5,000 lives in the nation of Egypt.
Mina comes from one the most hostile places to his professed faith: Christianity. But he has been able to demonstrate this leadership in spite of the odds against him. The grits—his and nine others, and even forty other winners’ so far—are the success of FALA, an initiative founded under the auspices of the Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Foundation in 2012.
FALA, as conceived by Pastor Chris, the president of the Believers’ LoveWorld, is a nursery for spotting, inspiring, and nurturing the germ of leadership in Africa’s youth.
Every year, ten youths that execute brilliant initiatives that advance mankind in any way are selected, out of many entries, and graded based on their project impacts. A star winner emerges thereafter.
The rewards are mouth-watering—on the face of it. The star prize stands at $25,000. The nine others get $10,000 each.
But this is no pocket money. The winners understand this—that it os to allow them take in bigger and more impactful projects they can ever imagine