Old age myth stifling youths’ inclusion in Nigerian politics — Kelechi, CEO, Guardians Impact Intl
Kelechi Ndieze is the International Director of Programmes and Management at Young African Network for Global Goals (YANGG). In this interview with CRISPNG, talks about YANGG’s vision for fostering good leadership in Africa among others.
Tell us about yourself
I am a public speaker, youth advocate and leadership coach. I am passionate about youth leadership development and inclusiveness in nation building especially in learning and implementing the goals of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDG’s) and Agenda 2063, that is (Africa we want).
I have spoken at many national and international conferences like the 2016 Independent Pan African Youth Parliament Global Leadership Awards at Abuja, University of Nigeria International Youth Leadership Conference and Post ECOSOC youth forum. I’m the Founder/President of Guardians Impact Intl and CEO of a virtual start up, 3MAL(Media Advertising and Logistics).
What are the objectives of Young African Network for Global Goals (YANGG) and what are your activities in Nigeria?
The sole objective of YANGG is establishing new connections for all young Africans to actualize sustainable development. We have created more than 10 teams in different countries in Africa, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Gambia, Lesotho, Sierreleone, Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Namibia, Burundi among others. The Nigerian team activities are peculiar to us especially because of the nature of things here.
The team uses both virtual and offline platform to get things done, especially in engaging youths. This year, our major activities will revolve around young adults like secondary school students. We will be launching a human right campaign in 30 highs schools and many more activities in their jurisdiction. In fact, Nigeria have been selected to host YANGG African Summit on Sustainable Development and Youth Inclusiveness in the first quarter of the year where many participants will be from different countries of the world.
What is your role as an International Director of Programs and Project Mgt of YANGG?
My role as International Director of Programs and Project Management is to ensure the activities that promotes community development, SDG, leadership development in local and international communities are engineered as well as partnerships around them. My division initiates, executes and evaluates programs for effective impact. To some extent, we also engage in growth of individuals especially in ensuring that quality is served in terms of knowledge, resource persons, trainings etc.
Education is considered an essential ingredient needed for any nation to attain growth. Do you think good education is what Nigeria needs to get it right?
Yes. What is, what has and what will become of any nation is its product of education. If you want to destroy a nation, you don’t need missiles of warfare, simply reduce the standard of education. Education is the bedrock for development. An educated heart can only breed innovation and creativity. It is by education that social values are restored, political stability achieved, economic progress gained, law and order maintained. It is possible in Nigeria. The very time we get it right in our education especially targeted towards the training of the mind, heart, hands and actions then we are heading somewhere.
What is your take on the clamour for youth inclusion in politics in Nigeria?
The youthful population of our country is an indication that if the youths are allowed to participate duly in top political and economic positions, we can hope for a better future as a nation. The argument that Nigerian youths are not ready to perform is not true, there are still amazing youth full of passion, courage, intellect, vision and plans who are advocating for inclusiveness.
Our nation needs a quick fix, that can be achieved by allowing these youths to get involved. The myth of age has destroyed and hindered desired outcome. It’s all about competence, knowledge not age. Age is nothing but a limitatio n we put to ourselves. If youths in first world countries are involved and not messing things up..we can still make it happen here. The future resides amongst us. Allow the youths to get involved and live out the future. I believe that there are able and informed youths who are ready to advance social development in this country. When we say no to them, we only cause ourselves pains do brain drains and social disorder.
“The myth of age has destroyed and hindered desired outcome. It’s all about competence, knowledge not age.”
Nigeria is presently grappling with several challenges. Which do you think is the biggest?
The biggest problem of Nigeria is huge leadership deficit. Every nation that is called great today is as a result of good leadership. Most of our leaders are not visionary, their envisioning process needs upgrade. Societies prospers when there’s good leadership. Good leadership is people oriented. Great visions are people centered. By the time we starting having the right set of leaders with right vision, then we can talk about improvement in all sectors.
Our political leaders steal funds meant for the society because they don’t have the people at heart, the people perish and die in forgotten villages just because their leaders don’t have their interests at heart. True leadership is taking the people from where they are to where they are supposed to be. To get right leadership, the system should allow for effective mentorship and training. Do you know that in countries where quality leadership is valued, leadership development is budgeted for, taught in schools ans is a prerequisite for employment and promotions? We can model great leadership. We can rewrite the story and economic structure of this nation by getting our leadership right.
“Our political leaders steal funds meant for the society because they don’t have the people at heart, the people perish and die in forgotten villages just because their leaders don’t have their interests at heart.”
How do you think YANGG) is working towards addressing this problem?
For us, quality leadership is our drive in pursuing the actualization of the SDGs in Africa. We try to achieve this by building network, trainings and practicising a model of leadership that thrives on collectivism, integrity, collaboration, accountability and mentorship. In fact, we believe to model good leadership, the place of membership should not be forsaken. So we as young people, where ever we are, we advocate and model good leadership.
Going forward, what do you think the country can do to achieve the desired change?
To achieve the desired goals of this nation, leadership should be taught in schools, teachers should be trained, leadership should be valued, planned for. As we plan for security, we should also plan for leadership development. This can be broken down into subjects that inculcates values amongst students. They learn and grow with it. Also, our leaders who are in echelons of power should live out integrity so that these upcoming leaders will not think that the wrongs they’re doing is the best way to live