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To the Church in Nigeria
Krystal Okeke Chanchangi:I will Continue to Uplift, Encourage Next Generation
Model, mentor, actress, philanthropist, Dr. Krystal Okeke Chanchangi is very passionate about a new Nigeria where things work. And as a young diaspora leader, which she really takes a pride in, has continued to pursue her goal of empowering and uplifting the next generation through diverse humanitarian projects and leadership programmes. Chanchangi talks to Ferdinand Ekechukwu, about her various projects and activities with regards to culture, new generation, youth orientation and politics
As a Nigerian female diaspora and the National Peace Awards holder, how have you been able to project this status and recognition?
Award is recognition of good doing and it’s more or less recognition of things that people do. In my case, I have continued to pursue the goal of bettering cultural unity, peacekeeping and empowering next generation. I have continued to host various multicultural shows, humanitarian events and leadership programmes to uplift the next generation through my Kids Multicultural Word Organization and America Nation Multicultural Inc. + Africa Multicultural World Foundation to better all communities I am associated with, meaning the northern part of Nigeria, the eastern part of Nigeria and the United States of America – Chicago Illinois Las Vegas, Nevada area and so many other places. I continue to uplift the next generation not to earn more awards but to encourage them to have a leadership skill & well cultured mindset for the future.
Tell us about your humanitarian work within rural communities in the country with regards to some of the projects you have embarked
So, my Africa Multicultural World Foundation, we are solely focused on empowering the underprivileged community and supporting them with the necessary human needs. We have made sure that we have given money to a few kids both in the north and the east to empower their journey for education. To also empower youths to be in businesses and for me that is the biggest thing we can do and that was the main initiative in creating a foundation called Africa Multicultural World Foundation. We make sure we raise funds from where I’m stationed in the United States and help this youth to start a business, send the little kids that cannot afford school fees to schools, provide educational supplies. And to be honest with you, sometimes it’s hard because putting it out there that you are a non-for-profit and that you want to do these things there are other people there that are non for profits not for the betterment of the society but for the betterment of themselves.
What projects have you had on the platform of your Kids Multicultural World Organization? And what’s the essence of the America Kids Multicultural show?
We have held over thirty programmes; leadership, business initiative, cultural event and fashion shows in 2022. We have an annual programme every Saturday where we have close to 50 kids come on and we talk about leadership. And we talk about setting up businesses, allowing these kids to explore their talents through acting, through modeling, through public speaking, through their interest. The main idea of Kids Multicultural World Organisation and mission is to unite a diverse nation, to build leaders of the next generation and to empower our next generation. To unite a diverse nation through tribes, ethnicity, and to also, you know, create a better world for our kids to stay safe and to stop committing crime.
Would you say you have been able to promote cultural inclusiveness with your several initiatives and in what ways?
Promoting culture and inclusiveness is one of the things I am known for here in the United States of America, and hopefully in Nigeria. Because as someone that comes from a multi-cultural background – northern and eastern background – originally from Taraba State and Anambra State – I have found peace in promoting unity, in promoting culture, uniting a diverse nation which is known to be a mantra affiliated with my Kids Multicultural brand here in the United States. I have created programmes over the years. In fact, on October 31st, 2022, we hosted our Las Vegas Kids Multicultural Show, attracting close to 75 cultures globally. Under my brand, I have mentored thousands of kids because we have a weekly seminar where we educate and empower kids about their heritage and where they come from and taking pride in who they are and raising them to be leaders from speaking to the way they talk and to learn different languages. This year only, I have hosted close to thirty programmes plus shows that has to do with culture and inclusivity. So, that will tell you a lot about the kind of person I am and about the kind of passion I have about culture.
Most times, we see people who engage in philanthropic initiatives using it as a vehicle launch pad into politics. Would we be seeing you delve into politics?
(Laughs)…okay, well nobody knows the future and nobody knows what the future holds. We are giving a chance to potential people to run the country next year. If they go in and they don’t make Nigeria great again, a lot of us young Nigerians based in and outside Nigeria would eventually have to step up and be the change we want to see in the world, politically you know. But if you ask me, I don’t believe you have to be a politician to make a difference in your country of origin.
How can we change these narratives and make it more inclusive for people like you that have made appreciable and admiring efforts in growth development and humanitarian activities?
Like I said, power is not giving, power is taken. We the youths have to step up. We need to be the voice of ourselves. This is not even being about the voice of the voiceless because we have been out there tirelessly fighting. So, we need to step up and fight. Fighting doesn’t necessarily mean going out and protest, no. Fighting means doing exactly what I’m doing, going ahead to be the change you want to see in the world by creating your own journey, by creating your own success. And it’s very important for us to, you know change our thinking first; that’s number one. Change our approach to the government, elect the right people. I think we definitely need to create a way that we can actually see the numbers. We have to make a decision of who actually gets empowered. I’m not sure how that works; I have never been in politics. But I hate the fact that people lose their lives and a lot of youths have lost their lives in the process of trying to better Nigeria again. It’s also very important for us to frame our country in a better way.
What leaning or affiliations have you regarding politics and the new generation?
Well any affiliations with politics… I believe if I have a friend in politics that is currently a leader, I do not think my decision comes from the individual being my friend. Making a political decision on my site is based on what you have done for the people with the previous positions you have gotten. So, that is the first answer. The second is that the new generation, well like I said I am all for that you know this is our time, season, and this our time for youth to rise. I definitely want to see more new generation coming in not with a corruption mindset to eat their own money, get into politics take money and feed their family. I want to see people that are hungry to see the country excel and see the country prosper, eager to rise our youth and next generation to a greater height. That is what I want to see.
Looking at your engagements and from a mindset of a young person and interest in the activities of the new generation, can we say they are really the future of the country?
Most definitely the youths are the future of the country. Teach them the right thing and encourage them, don’t discourage them, don’t tell them politics is not for them. Let us relinquish that power of godfatherism going on. Let us accept the youth are the future of tomorrow. Have you thought about when you depart from this world that who is going to lead? It’s not going to be your children. You need to set up the next generation. So, yes I truly believe that the youth of Nigeria are the future of tomorrow. We have way too much talent in Nigeria. Every time I’m in Nigeria, which is almost half of a whole year; six months out of a year you see a lot of kids on the street selling oranges. These are kids that are very talented because I have conversations with them before ever even thinking of giving them anything. We have kids fixing phones, technology young kids their talent is not to be compared with anything. They are so passionate for the world and themselves and their families. Why don’t you think they can lead the country?
Every election cycle in Nigeria portends new possibility and hope for a positive change with a new government. But after election things remain the way they are, even worst with the order of things. What do you make of this?
You know what I feel like we citizens of Nigeria are responsible for the actions of any leader elected into political office. A lot of political leaders come in and they promise a lot; to do a lot of things and make a lot of changes and they promise heaven and earth to better the economy, the educational structure, and roads and the lights…things like that. They lie just to get into the office. I don’t know if these leaders actually don’t have the capacity to lead or they just come in being deceitful. According to my ideology, I believe that every citizen is responsible to vote for the right person to be in an office. How we know the right people is by researching and checking the pattern of what they have brought to the table all through their time been a politician or I guess being an individual. If you do your research very well you will definitely know if that person is capable or not capable of being the good leader because little position of being the chairman determines you leading in the smaller chamber which shows how well you led. For example, we do have so many people that are running right now to become the Nigerian president for next year. I don’t want to mention names. It’s time for us to look at these people their history what they have done and see how well they have served the people. But like I said, we do need more avenues for youth. We don’t need people that have led to keep leading. I’m hoping that Nigeria would allow us youth to lead.
Can you share with us the general perception of Nigerians living in the diaspora regarding Nigeria’s next election?
To be honest with you, a lot of Nigerians leaving in the diaspora that I have had conversation with, I think the pool is really high a lot of people are really having hope in that Mr. Peter Obi coming administration; they think he is going to be the change, the voice for the youth. Some other people also think that Mr. Atiku is going to the change and the voice of the youth and the country. To be honest with you, my political views remain unannounced because obviously over the years we have had promises and we haven’t got the real… I mean whatever they have promised us; we haven’t got a result from the promises they made in the past. As a young diaspora leader which I really take a pride in, my mind is open and I am praying to have the wisdom to be able to make a decision on whom to vote for at this election. I am tired to see Nigeria fall and I am tired of seeing Nigerians deceived. Nigerians are being deceived to be honest. Our country is being deceived by the leaders and our country is been cheated by its own leaders; if you Google the highest paid senators in the world is Nigeria and the poverty capital of the world is Nigeria. Honestly does that make sense to you? I guess it doesn’t.