The music artist, comedian, actor and lawyer, Folarin Falana otherwise known by the stage name Falz d Bahd guy was one of the ten youths honoured recently at one of the largest gatherings of youths for this season in Lagos. Falz was on the list of the 2019 Junior Chamber International (JCI) Nigeria’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP).
Falz began his music career in 2009 but shot into mainstream success in 2014. Known for hit songs like “Ello Bae’’ “This is Nigeria’’ and “La Fete’’, Falz is a new voice of his generation as he channels his socio-political messages through song-writing. He was honoured with the cultural achievement award.
Other honorees are Adeola Adefemi, Glory Osei, Naomi Ekpoki, Oluwaseun Osowobi, Temi-Giwa Tunbosun, Bilikis Adebiyi-Abiola, Lauretta Onye, Samson Itodo and Onyeka Akumah.
JCI Nigeria in partnership with the United Nations and the European Union held a spell-binding conference to mark the International Youth Day at the Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The youths, drawn from different ethnic backgrounds, across the country were urged to harness the enormous potentials, boundless energy and creativity within themselves as a launch pad to self-development for effective contribution to the needed socio-economic solutions that are in tune with the present realities of Nigeria.
While acknowledging his role and those of others in national development, the National President, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Nigeria, Adetola Juyitan who spoke on the theme, ‘Transforming Education; Rethinking the Present’ remarked that the youths have significant roles to play in providing the needed solutions to solving the problem of inclusiveness and access to quality education across the country regardless of their backgrounds.
She said: “Youths must begin to embrace a digital mindset if they are really interested in causing any change in our society. They all must rise above their present holdbacks and challenge themselves to take on new actionable ideas that are in tune with the reality of the present age.”
Adetola who commended them for their dedication and perseverance to success despite all odds, presented awards of commendation to all ten honorees in different categories such as Personal Development Award, Scientific and Technological Development Award, Medical Innovation and a host of others.
In her remarks, the wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun expressed delight for being part of the historic celebration and applauded JCI Nigeria for its contribution towards youth development in Nigeria despite the overwhelming challenges.
She equally commended the ‘Ten Outstanding Young Persons’ for their continued belief and optimism in the country and encouraged all to remain committed to Nigeria’s development, continually striving for self-development and finding innovative ways to positively impact on the country.
Mrs. Abiodun expressed her commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 of the United Nation (UN) stating that providing equal opportunities for the education of the country’s young ones is the core of her personal project as well as the administration of her husband, Mr. Dapo Abiodun led-government.
Also speaking at the event, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen made an urgent call-to-action for every youth in the country to contribute their part in ensuring that inclusive and equitable access to education was made possible to everyone especially now that we now live in a digital age.
On a humorous note, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen who heads the European Union Delegation to Nigeria said although his age has disqualified him from being at the gathering, the interest in diplomatic engagements and policies has necessitated his participation at the conference. He, however, regretted the absence of youths representing the betroubled North-east Nigeria at the conference which was created to rethink the present by transforming education.
On his part, Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Nigeria, Robert Kayanda revealed that the commemoration of the historic day, which has been ongoing for 20 years, forms part of United Nations agenda to support the youth. According to him, the choice of the theme was timely given that United Nations as an organization was already making effort to ensure that Nigeria’s education system is fit for the digital age.