Activist Aisha Yesufu has reiterated her determination to motivate the next generation of youths to demand good governance.
A member of the 2021 Global Citizen Fellowship (GCF) advisory council, Yesufu has put Nigerian youths first on several occasions in her campaigns for a better society.
The co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, which continues to bring to public attention the abduction of over 200 girls from their school in Chibok in 2014, fearlessly protested for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the country in 2020.
In an exclusive interview with Development Diaries, Yesufu expressed her unyielding resolve to motivate youths to be challengers of things that are wrong in society as she joins five other Africans in shaping this year’s GCF programme.
‘I hope to motivate the next generation of youth, to motivate them to be great human beings, to motivate them to be challengers of things that are wrong and be unafraid to live life and give their all’, she said.
The GCF is powered by singer Beyoncé Knowles Carter’s charity, BeyGOOD, and financially supported by award-winning American actor and filmmaker, Tyler Perry.
The programme is designed to equip fellows with the skills and tools they need to thrive in any professional environment.
Hamzat Lawal, Charmaine Houvet, Nozipho Tshabalala, Tumi Sole, and Bonang Matheba are the other members of the council.
The advisory council is expected to provide insights to break new ground and guide the execution team on meaningful pathways to develop the 2021–2022 fellows.
‘It is an opportunity for me to learn and also pass on the little knowledge I have to global citizens that we will be mentoring and make a positive difference in their lives. It is about sharing knowledge’, she added.
‘And, most importantly for them, never to wait to be given invitation to speak their truth, for them to always speak their truth and not wait for a seat at the table, that they can also create their table and have their own conversations and bring people in there’.
Young women are increasingly leading the campaign against different forms of injustice in Africa. But as they are vocal in calling for good governance and fighting harmful cultural practices, they face some challenges.
‘There is going to be a lot of family pressure’, she said.
‘If you are married, they will try to get your husband to stop you so if you have a partner it has to be someone who is strong, who will be like a buffer’.
Yesufu also advised young advocates to be financially independent as it is ‘very important’.
‘I worked on my financial independence before going into advocacy on a national scale’, she said.
‘It can actually be a lonely place when you are doing it but at the end of the day, the joy that comes from it is always so amazing. There is a lot of sacrifices involved and always be ready to ensure that you have a life also out of advocacy’.
Photo source: Aisha Yesufu