It has been a good couple of days for Nigeria, overall, especially for the persistent advocates for the release of the Chibok Girls. Oby Ezekwesili has been drowning in heavenly exultation, so has Aisha Yesufu, Maureen Kabrik, and the other dogged members of the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaign.
While it is not yet uhuru, both human and material victories have began to accrue. Social media regulars will recognize a certain lady who holds a cardboard with the number of Days since the girls were kidnapped regularly updated. She is Bukky Shonibare, founder of the ‘Adopt-A-Camp’ initiative for helping manage and cater for the settlements of IDPs. For her efforts in humanitarian services exemplified by both, she has made the 30-man honors board of the third edition of Quartz Africa’s Africa Innovators.
The list published on May 5, a day before the announcement of the release of the 82 girls, is sure to provide great encouragement to those who have dedicated themselves to advocacy.
Nigeria had the highest representation by country, four other Nigerians made the Quartz Africa list for 2017.
CEO of LifeBank Nigeria, Temie Giwa-Tuboson, Tayo Oviosu of leading payment platform, Paga, and co-founder of She Leads Africa, Yasmin Belo-Osagie. The fourth is Oscar Ekponimo, whose innovative Chowberry (do you recognize the word ‘Chow’?) is reaching out to end the wastage of food in Nigeria. The software engineer has borrowed from his unfavourable experiences growing up to build a platform that enables big food chains to make their food available for resale to aid agencies if it is likely to be unused and disposed. Ekponimo was also among the 40 recipients of the recent Rolex Award for Young Laureates.
African innovators on the list were drawn from 18 countries, representing various fields of endeavour from fashion, to education, civic advocacy and the increasingly booming African gaming industry. Past Nigerians to be named on the Quartz Africa list include writer Chimamanda Adichie, acclaimed filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, Iyin Aboyeji of Flutterwave, Bilikiss Adekoya of Wecyclers and BudgIT’s Seun Onigbinde.
Feature image: Nigerian Tribune