15 September 2016

My Stroll with Michael Møller, Director General, United Nations Office Geneva

“Luck is something that you create.” – Michael Møller

UN Photo

The World Economic Forum has really become a huge part of my international life and exposure, seeing that the two occasions I’ve had to travel out of Nigeria has been for WEF events—Last year in Cape Town for the World Economic Forum on Africa and last August for the Global Shapers Community’s Annual Curators Meeting (ACM) in Geneva, Switzerland.

ACM was explosive. It was the bomb! (Pardon my millennial vocab) It was a lot of sparks and a lot of learning. Meeting Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum, one-on-one for the first time and discussing with Mr David Nabarro, Adviser to the UN Secretary General on the 2030 Agenda, on the work we’re doing at the Government of Rivers State SDGs Office in Nigeria, were top on the list of high points for me. However, the icing on the cake came on August 23rd, when I had a 12 noon appointment with Mr Michael Møller, Director General of the United Nations Office Geneva (UNOG).

Mr Møller is such a cool guy. I can’t even say that enough. He embodies humility and that curiosity to learn new things which he actually described as one of his core values in course of our conversation. For the first time, I streamed a stroll to the global audience in real time, thanks to Facebook Live. Shout out to Alessandra who volunteered to act as a tripod because my selfie stick got broken one day to the interview :( Alessandra saved the day! Lol

We discussed how the over 12,000 meetings held at UNOG annually affects the lives of people all around the world as well as his thoughts on the Selection of the Next Secretary General, the SDGs as well as exchanged gifts :) Which was the coolest part!

You can watch, download the podcast, or read the summarized transcript below. So right now you don’t have any more excuses :)

13 September 2016

My Stroll with Jennifer Uchendu, Founder, SustyVibes

Credit: Anny Roberts
Born on the 10th of August 1992, Jennifer Uchendu hails from Umuopara in Umuahia, Abia State. She is a graduate of Biochemistry from Covenant University and has developed herself to a sustainability analyst passionate about improving sustainability action amongst African youths, an unapologetic ecofeminist who continues to relate women development and empowerment to Sustainable Development via the work that she does.

She is the founder of SustyVibes, an organisation positioned to change the conceptualisation of Sustainability in Africa especially amongst Youths, via innovative features and projects like Susty Parties – where she hosted a gathering with over 60 youths to discuss major sustainability issues over movies, food and games. Her Susty Schools campaign has till date trained over 350 school children on the SDGs, her Susty Places project promotes African Ecotourism. Jennifer has experience working with government, NGOs, Farms, Multinationals and E-commerce companies.

I take a stroll with this beautiful young woman to share her story so far, and look forward to the bright and green future ahead!!

I hope you enjoy our conversation. Happy Birthday Twinny :)

26 April 2016

#iSaveNigeria: A Young Nigerian Speaking To Fellow Young Nigerians -- Osaze Isesele

Amidst the present challenges facing the Nation at this time, we launch this social media campaign video that encourages young Nigerians to use their craft in advancing the nation.

Young Nigerians have the most powerful voices. Let’s use it to secure our future and save our fatherland. ‪#‎Jointhemovement ‪#‎Addyourvoice

We have a target of reaching at least 5,000 young Nigerians with this visual material.

13 April 2016

#Youth4SDGs: A Stroll with Siamak Sam Loni, Global Coordinator, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network-Youth

“I feel strongly about Goal 10, Reduced Inequalities, as that goal reflects on a lot of my experiences that I had in Pakistan with poverty and inequality. I think a lot of our issues stem from that problem of inequality…” 

~ Siamak Sam Loni 

By year 2030, I will be 38 years old. This statement doesn’t make any sense until you realize that 2030 is the deadline we set for ourselves to actualize the ambitious 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The results of these goals will be inherited by today’s young people who by then will be in their 30s and 40s. Will it be a richer, cleaner, and more equal world? Or will it be one filled with death and decay? Our actions today will determine that to a large extent. So, considering this don’t you think it is important that we involve today’s young people into the implementation of the SDGs considering that the results of this process will be borne by them in the next 15 years? 

These are some issues I discussed with Siamak Sam Loni, Global Coordinator of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth. Siamak, a young Australian who is originally of Iranian descent, shares with me different steps young people can take to contribute meaningfully to the SDGs implementation process in their countries and communities; his thoughts on the 2016 World Happiness Report; as well as a political secret about his family. 

I’ve been “strolling” around the world since 2013 but it’s the first time I’m strolling with a guest from the other side of the Equator, so in case you hear us say “Good Morning” and “Good Evening”, we mean that literally (Lol). It’s 9am in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and 7pm in Melbourne, Australia, and we had this wonderful conversation. 

Listen to this interview on the #StrollPodcast or read a summarized transcript below

7 April 2016

Explore Nigeria's New Fashion Capital at The Port Harcourt Fashion Festival, June 4th-5th, 2016

The Port Harcourt Fashion Festival is an experience. It is a colourful mélange of inspiration, clothing, glamour, creativity, glam, people and entertainment. World-class designers, design enthusiasts and a huge fashion community gathering in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s new fashion capital.

5 April 2016

80 Global Shapers & Future African Leaders, Over 30 Countries, 1 Book, 1 Foreword by Ashish Thakkar, 1 Goal: Transformation through Collaboration!

One year ago during the 25th Annual World Economic Forum on Africa Summit in Cape Town South Africa, 80 young Africans were exclusively selected to have a seat at the big table alongside Africa’s Presidents and top business leaders. During this prestigious gathering, these 80 young Africans from the Global Shapers Community came together to co-author a book which symbolizes the transformative ability that collaboration amongst Africans can be achieved. I wrote something about our collective experience last year in, #Africa80—Meet the Shaping Army.

2 April 2016

Financing Africa's Agenda 2063 and the SDGS -- Sadiqmabeko Oyinkansola

Credit: Luckystar Miyandazi
A while ago I wrote an article on youths and our wellbeing, you can read here if you missed it. In the article I said enough is enough. We cannot continue to have youths on the streets with no plan for the future.

By stroke of faith I happen to be at this year’s African Development Week being held in Addis, Ababa-Ethiopia from 31 March to 5th April, and good enough Growth and Development of Africa is the main focus. Themed, Towards an Integrated and Coherent Approach to Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs, we are just again reminded how much poverty and underdevelopment has marred our continent that we have to gather experts to seriously discuss the possible way out.

A Stroll with Kola Tubosun, Teacher, Writer, Linguist and Founder, YorubaName.com

“Because of my field Goal 4, Quality Education, is very important to me, and I am equally passionate about ending hunger, Goal 1, and gender equality, Goal 5. Education should be equitable and it should be done in a language the children can understand” 
~ Kola Tubosun


Kola Tubosun made history in January 2016 when he was named 2016 recipient of the Premio Ostana International Award for Scriptures in the Mother Tongue—the first African to win this prestigious award. Also in 2015 he received the Culture Award at the CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards 2015 for his story on “Abeokuta’s Living History”.

I got really interested in his work when I came across his project YorubaName.com, a website that can tell you the meaning and pronunciation for over 3,100 yoruba names and counting, and when I got to read about his exploits and activism for Nigerian Indigenous Languages and the Yoruba language in particular. 

Kola, who had also previously translated the Nigerian constitution and the SDGs to Yoruba, shares with me some ideas to revive the Nigerian indigenous languages; his work with Google, and how his background and family influenced his current career path. 

Listen to our conversation on the #StrollPodcast or read a summarized transcript below

29 March 2016

#MWF2016: A Stroll with Dehab Ghebreab, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate Lagos

“Goal 4 and 5 are very important to me and they are connected. I believe if there’s good and equal education in a country, and if there are fair laws that protect women & girls and give them equal opportunity to excel, I think the overall political and economic situation of a country will change” ~ Dehab Ghebreab

I was not so lucky this year with my 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship application, and I know a couple of young Africans who are feeling quite disappointed because they didn't make it too. Not too worry, today's stroll has good news for you.

The US Government’s diplomatic mission in Nigeria—and Africa in general—provides a lot of developmental opportunities via exchange programs for young people who are passionate about impacting positive change in their communities. Dehab Ghebreab, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate Lagos, told me about the Mandela Washington Fellowship and other exchange programs by the US Government in Nigeria and Africa and how young people can take advantage of these opportunities.

Dehab and I also discussed #Africa4Her, International Women’s Day 2016, her journalism and political science background, and how she’s personally contributing to the SDGs in her corner of the world. You can download our conversation on #StrollPodcast, or read a summarized transcript below.

5 March 2016

A Stroll with Amina J. Mohammed, Honourable Minister for Environment, Nigeria & Ex-Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Post-2015 Development Planning

“I see the SDGs as my 17 children, and every single one of them is special in a different way, but together they are amazing…” ~ Amina J Mohammed

Two decades after the struggle started for the cleanup of Ogoni land and other areas of the Niger Delta polluted by oil, there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel—and that light is carried by Nigeria’s Environment Minister, Amina J Mohammed. 

Before her current role as Nigeria’s Environment Minister, Ms Mohammed played a key role in the post-2015 development process as she served as the Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on post-2015 development planning. Some other previous roles she has played include; Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals—serving three presidents over a period of six years; Founder and CEO of the Center for Development Policy Solutions, and Adjunct Professor for the Master’s in Development Practice program at Columbia University. 

On this episode of #TheStroll Amina, a proud mother of 6 who considers her children as her greatest achievement, shares more details about the cleanup process of the Niger Delta and President Buhari’s commitment to this project, an advice on how partnerships can make the SDGs work, as well as her personal success recipe. 

As always, you can listen or download this interview on #StrollPodcast or read a summarized transcript below

24 February 2016

A Stroll with Chude Jideonwo, Managing Partner, RED Media Africa (For World Radio Day 2016)

“My favorite SDG is Goal 8, decent work and economic growth, and my contribution to the SDGs is to use the media as a bridge between these goals and people who can help with achieving these goals”  
~ Chude Jideonwo 

World Radio Day is commemorated on 13th February every year, and it’s a day set aside to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves. The 2016 UNESCO theme for World Radio Day is “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster”. 

In this episode of #TheStroll, I speak with Lawyer, Journalist, and Media entrepreneur, Chude Jideonwo, on the rise of RED Media Africa, his book, "Are We the Turning Point Generation?", and in the sponsored segment , #MySDGs, he shares what his favorite SDG is and how he plans to contribute to its achievement by 2030.

Hope you enjoy our conversation. You can listen or download this interview on #StrollPodcast below or read a summarized transcript below:

22 January 2016

Beyond COP21: My Stroll with Wanjira Mathai, Director, wPOWER Hub, Wangari Maathai Institute & Chair, the Green Belt Movement

I am not living in my mother’s Shadow, I am basking in her light…~ Wanjira Mathai 

SDG 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, and 15 all have to do with preserving the environment and putting measures in place to combat Climate change. COP21 was one of the most anticipated events of 2015, and it ended with a high as, after much negotiation, an agreement was reached by member states with targets to drastically cut down on carbon and mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Wanjira Mathai, Director, wPOWER Hub, Wangari Maathai Institute & Chair, the Green Belt Movement and daughter of Late Prof Wangari Maathai (first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize) was one of the delegates at COP21 as Head of the Green Belt Movement delegation, and so we discussed amongst other things, her takeaways from that conference, her mother’s legacy, and her work to take renewable energy technologies to the grassroots in Africa. 

You can either listen to this interview on #TheStrollPodcast, or read a summarized transcript below.

5 January 2016

Port Harcourt Global Shapers 2015 Newsletter

2015: Shaping Port Harcourt Begins!

The Global Shapers Community (GSC) is a network of hubs founded and led by young people who are exceptional in their potential, their achievements and their drive to make a contribution to their communities. The GSC is a constituent and an initiative of the World Economic Forum. The Port Harcourt Global Shapers Hub is one of the over 450 Global Shapers Hubs around the world.

We are grateful to our donors, partners, volunteers, founding curator and shapers for their contribution towards making Port Harcourt—and the world at large—a better place for all of us in 2015. This newsletter is a summary of the different ways we started shaping Port Harcourt in the past 8 months.

4 January 2016

Merit Gogo-Fyneface Authors Second Novel, White Places

Rivers born Merit Gogo-fyneface has released a second book, WHITE PLACES. The author, who hails from Emohua Local Government Area, was born in the early nineties and holds a first degree in Law from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt and currently practices law in Port Harcourt where she resides. The author had previously published a first work, Shores of Despair in 2012.