Behind Teachers’ house, Katsina
IGNITE Chapter Leader: Abdulraheem Abdulhakeem
Latest IGNITE new & events:
- Interview With Cynthia Mbamalu, March 2015
- Youth Summit Event Report, January 2015
- IGNITE Event at University – November 2014
- New IGNITE chapter - Golden Gate International School, Nigeria-February 2014
- IGNITE - Nigeria Gallery-February 2014
- Government Girls College – January 2014
- Computer Skills Presentation - January 2014
- IGNITE Katsina Interview with ICT Director - November 2013
- Katsina Chapter IGNITE meeting - 9th November, 2013
- Katsina Chapter IGNITE Meeting - July 2013
- IGNITE Katsina Interview with Principal Consumer Education Officer - January 2013
- Inaugural event in Katsina, Nigeria-October 2012
Globalisation remains a driving force in the governmental and economic development across the world and developing democracies. The concept of participation and revolution were once restricted in practice to either the right to vote or plots to violently overthrow government as the case may be.
As countries began to lose their “boundaries” to globalisation and advent of technology, the concept of participation broadened with events in one part of the world affecting activities in other parts of the world and peaceful revolutions without arms and ammunitions. Marginalised groups also learnt that participation was not a prerogative of a certain class of people but human rights.
Technology provides an entry point to both national and international discourse. As a young girl you do not have to wait till you are elected into government to speak up or influence change. With technology, you can live in your community and yet have your voice command change in different parts of the world. It could be with writing your life experiences and struggle to challenge an oppressive status quo or a simple picture shared on daily lives ofyoung girls in your community. You don’t need to run after media houses to make your voice heard, you can start up a discussion on a social media platform and have friends participate in the discourse, that to me is participation. Participation is simply our ability to utilize every opportunity and platform to engage issues that affect our daily lives for positive change. The story of Malala Yousafzai for instance did not begin from the day the Talibans attempted to take her life. She started quite early by passionately yearning for education and girls right with her blog stories on BBC Urdu under a pseudonym. She wrote simple but real stories about her experiences as a young girl living under Taliban attacks in Pakistan and progressed from there to a young female activist for education. Today the world knows who Malala is. In Nigeria, we had the #ChildNotBride social media campaign against a constitutional provision which would be implication justify girl-child marriage and presently, the ongoing #BringBackOurGirls campaign demanding the return of our sisters abducted from school by the insurgents in Nigeria.
As we approach the election as young girls and as young women it is important we engage the electoral process either by voting if we are 18years and above or encouraging voters to vote for candidates that will protect the rights of women when elected into office. Like I said Participation is not restricted to a certain group of people but for all citizens. I cannot over-emphasis the power of technology in promoting participation and for effective advocacy. With technology you do not have to rely on only the knowledge gained in the class room, you can research, read and build your capacity. The world is fast changing and people will only listen to you if you have some quality information or knowledge to share. Being a girl makes you powerful but being an informed girl is the greatest power of all. What are you passionate about? What do you want to influence in your community? Step out from your world of impossibilities and embrace the power of technology. Become your own media speak up for yourself and others, report human rights violations or abuse, educate your peer or just speak on an issue. Whatever it is, use technology to be the difference.
Now you have no excuse, as simple as an SMS, a tweet, a status of facebook or picture on instagram or message on WhatsApp or 2go etc, whatever form of technology you have access to, USE IT and MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.
Cynthia Mbamalu is the Program manager of Youth Initiative for Advocacy, growth and Advancement (YIAGA), a human rights advocate and a passionate Nigerian. She tweets @DCynthiaM.
Cynthia Mbamalu, a young girl and a lover of IGNITE programs added “Nigerian Youth Say No to Electoral Violence, Impunity and Hate Speeches” Cynthia will be our next guest in the IGNITE Katsina GUEST OF THE MONTH.
Abdulraheem Abdulhakeem O.