By: Emeka Alex Akwaeze
With the prevailing circumstance in which the most Nigerian youths find themselves, it becomes necessary for both the private and public sector partner together into finding lasting solution to lack of unemployment opportunity and waste of untapped talents, it is in this light that the founder, of face of made in Nigeria, Mr. Rikki Chinedu Nwajiofor explains the difference his foundation is out to make by providing the enabling environment for Nigerian youth to showcase their talents and also the discovery of wasted talent littering round the streets.
He noted that the entertainment industry in Nigeria has contributed immensely in ameliorating the menace of unemployment and has given a considerable sense of direction to the teeming talented Youth of Nigeria. It has contributed immeasurably to the growth of our nation’s GDP.
Unfortunately, these highly condensed and untapped talents are being wasted daily as some of these talented youth take to social ills and misdemeanors, sequel to joblessness and unavailability of “Entertainment Hubs” that are ready to extract these talents, sieve and showcase them. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop, they say. When these youth are idle and unengaged, they take to the negative way of life, along which some of them lose their lives.
There is no gainsaying in the fact that no government in the world can provide employment for every one of its citizens. What a people-oriented government does, aside from providing sufficient employment opportunities as much as it can, is to provide support and an enabling environment for private sectors and entrepreneurs to thrive.
Suffice it to say that, aside white collar jobs, citizens can fend for themselves through their given talents and skills. So many talents and skills abound, however, there is a goldmine in the entertainment-oriented talents. The entertainment industry is a goldmine and has the capacity of meaningfully engaging millions of people, especially the Youth.
In line with the above thought, Face of Made in Nigeria has embarked on a Talent Hunt across the Nation. It intends to go round the country on Talent Hunt in the fields of Creative Arts and Entrepreneurship, to fish out those talented Youth who are languishing in waste, because they have no means of reaching out to some record labels or production houses that would help to nurture and shoot them to limelight, and those aspiring to be Entrepreneurs but have no one to mentor them.
The Search and Development of Young Entrepreneurs, Actors, Artistes, Comedians and Dancers, is our aim. When we discover the talented Youth, we intend to have training sessions where the “Music Stars”, “Nollywood Veterans”, “Renowned Comedians”, “Professional Dancers” and some “Entrepreneur Technocrats” would train, mentor and groom them to stardom and into financial independence. This will be done in collaboration with the African Youth Entertainment Hub and National Youth Council Of Nigeria.
This project will reduce the rate of Youth’s engagement in criminal acts such as banditry, kidnapping, thuggery, drug abuse, rape and other social vices and crimes as the Youth will be meaningfully engaged, giving no room to be used as the “devil’s workshop”. When the Youth are meaningfully engaged, their minds will be too occupied to tilt towards crime and other vices. When the Youth are idle and unemployed or unengaged, they take to the negative way of life along which some of them lose their lives
It will curb the menace of illegal migration and “brain-drain” syndrome. Some highly talented Youth have lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea because they believed that their talents would have been well harnessed, and greener pastures found, if they crossed over to Europe or other developed countries. Some are still on their way to that point of no-return-journey, even amidst all warnings. Yes, according to some of them, “it is better to die trying to crossover than to languish in nothingness and idleness in Nigeria.” Thus, this Nation-wide talent hunt will give these Youth a hope and a future.
It will engage the young ladies and will serve as a means of sensitization and re-orientation against prostitution and related vices. It will give the young ladies the encouragement to be more creative and toe the path of Entrepreneurship as against being dependent, which makes them vulnerable. This project will save the young ladies from the assaults they meet while trying to find a connection that will showcase them in the entertainment industry. Often times, in their zeal to join the entertainment industry, most of them are abused and an undue advantage is often taken over them. In this project, they will have an equal fair playing ground to showcase their talents and get shot to limelight.
As the Youth are empowered and groomed into financial independence, the economy of our dear nation will grow stronger and better, invariably.
“We beckon on well-meaning Nigerians, both at home and in diaspora, to be part of this patriotic vision and life-saving project! We need your voice, support and encouragement! Be part of this epoch making salvation of the Nigerian Youth and save the Youth from perishing in the Mediterranean Sea and wallowing aimlessly in the streets. If the Youth see opportunities of getting themselves positively engaged here in Nigeria, nothing will instill the ugly desire of crossing the desert and Mediterranean Sea, in their minds.”
Paraphrasing Kofi Annan, the 7th Secretary General of United Nation, “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies”.