Heineken Announces ‘City Shapers’

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In its ongoing attempt to enhance the cities of the world, Heineken, the world’s leading international premium beer, brings the third edition of its Cities campaign to Nigeria. This year’s campaign tagged ‘Shape your City’ is aimed at transforming great cities while broadening the imagination of the new generation city dwellers, inspiring them to contribute their quota to improving their cities.

To achieve the #ShapeYourCity campaign, Heineken Nigeria partners with City Shapers, individuals known for using their skills in creating one-of-kind experiences to make their cities more enjoyable for dwellers. They are urban visionaries who have by small actions of their own, contributed to shaping cities across Nigeria.

The selected City Shapers include: Bolanle Austen-Peters, Founder of Nigeria’s foremost cultural hub, Terra Kulture; Theo Lawson, Architect of the acclaimed Freedom Park and Kalakuta Museum; and Kenneth Gyang, Director of award winning films Confusion Na Wa and Blood & Henna.

“Globally, Heineken is committed to making great cities even greater and we are glad to include Nigeria in this movement.” said Ngozi Nkwoji, Senior Brand Manager, Heineken Nigeria.

“This year’s theme of shaping cities is focused on encouraging people to contribute to their city as Heineken believes that the smallest of gestures have the potential to bring about unexpected transformation to our Nigerian cities.”

As part of the campaign, Heineken has also launched a series of limited Heineken City Edition bottles and cans, each bearing the name of renowned cities across the globe including 10 Nigerian cities namely Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Enugu, Benin, Warri, Kaduna, Aba and Onitsha. The brand is reaching out to city dwellers across Nigeria to share their ideas for improving great cities. At the end of the campaign, the winning ideas will be executed by Heineken Nigeria while engaging City Shapers and other passionate urban explorers across the country to help make the project a reality.

Driving Change in Nigeria

Mary Ekah

Driving Change

Leaving school at the age of seven after losing her parents, Roshida (not real name) was taken in by her aunt and uncle. She is one of many girls in Nigeria forced to abandon her studies due to economic challenges and poverty. Roshida is now a successful entrepreneur living in Lagos, who has managed to make a significant change in her life and is helping other women in her community who face similar challenges. A determined individual, Roshida was introduced to the Accelerating Savings and Strengthening Entrepreneurship Training and Skills (ASSETS) programme which is funded by MasterCard and implemented by leading global organisation, Mercy Corps. Taking the opportunity to learn as much as she could from the initiative, Roshida chose to pursue beadwork in line with her passion of making others feel and look good.

“I chose bead making because I really love fashion. I love to dress people well and that is why I chose the makeover, the cosmetology aspects of it and if I can dress people and sell my beads at the same time, it goes hand in hand,” she explains.

Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of the economy, and in Africa women are turning to this as a solution to secure a better future for themselves and their families. In Nigeria, MasterCard and Mercy Corps have partnered to ensure young girls and women receive the necessary financial literacy and entrepreneurship training required to start their own business. The programme has resulted in many stories of inspiration, and we look at one such story of a young woman determined to change her circumstances.

By enrolling in the programme, these young women are automatically registered for a National eID (NeID) card, which recognises them as citizens. The NeID card is not only a form of identification; it also enables electronic payments, which offer access to a wide range of financial tools and services. To date, over 6000 girls from across Mercy Corps programmes have been registered for the multi-functional eID.

“Without saving, I would have not been able to start my bead business. I am saving because in emergencies when people come to me and ask for a design, then I have the beads for it. So this money helps me to go to the market and get whatever I need to make my pieces. When I see people wearing my beads, I feel proud of myself because I am the one who did it,” Roshida said further.

With aspirations of opening her own future shop and achieving her childhood dream of owning a house and car, Roshida is on the path to achieving this and is empowering others on her journey. “I have trained five people, whenever I am working, I call them to come and see so that they can learn and one day start their own business,” she noted.

Mercy Corps is a leading global organisation powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, it partners to put bold solutions into action—helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.