The United Nations-endorsed Generational Voices (GenVoices), a project driven platform to harness the energy of young Nigerians for nation building, held its historic 100,000 Voices Telethon hosted by Channels Television, and aired by EbonyLife TV, Beat FM and Nigerian Info. The event was broadcast to over 25 million viewers and listeners across Nigeria, 22 African counties and numerous locations across the globe.
Hosted by OAP, Gbemileke ‘Oscar’ Oyinsan and Executive Director of the Yahyay Foundation Maryam Augie, the event, broadcast live from Koga Studios, Lagos witnessed some of Nigeria’s brightest entrepreneurs, innovators, advocates and youth leaders.
Former World Bank Vice-President and Senior Economic Advisor to the Open Society Foundation, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili who spoke at the event said, “The most important office in any democracy is the office of the citizens and not the executive or the judiciary. So, I task you today to seek for change and I am sure you’ll see it delivered.”
Chairman of APC Youth Forum; Ismail Ahmed said “…as a generation the future is inevitable, the only way you can determine events is when you are part of the process. If you want to see something different, you have to be willing to do something different.
81-year-old Dr. Christopher Kolade, Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Pro-chancellor of the Pan-Atlantic University delivered a sharp charge to a new generation: “You can’t expect me to transform this nation. I have no need for transformation. The power of transformation is vested in your palms, and the young people are the generation for transformation.”
Ohimai Amaize, executive member of PDP Youth Circuit said “We are responsible for what we want to see and we are responsible for what we become. I believe that Nigerian youths are not a problem to be solved but a resource to be harnessed”
Speakers included Director General of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group Frank Nweke Jnr, Executive Director of Sahara Group Tonye Cole, Chief Executive of EbonyLife TV Mo Abudu, Chief Executive of the Private Sector Health Initiative Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, actress and activist Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Creative Director of Mai Atafo Inspired Ohimai Atafo and Executive Director of EnoughisEnough Nigeria ‘Yemi Adamolekun. There were also panels of distinguished Nigerians from across sectors, including Flying Doctors Founder Ola Orekunrin, The Future Awards Africa Prize in Business winner Dr. Saeed Jumah, amongst others. There were representatives and contributions from major political parties in Chapter events across Nigeria.
There was a live Google Hangout featuring Diaspora Chapters of GenVoices as well as a live broadcast from the Abuja Chapter at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre with speakers including Chief Executive of Chocolate City Group, Audu Maikori. Viewing Centres were set up across the 30 chapters of GenVoices in and outside Nigeria including at least a gathering of over 4,000 people in the Ogun State Chapter.
“We are gathered today for one reason only and that is change. A new Nigeria begins today,” said Kola Oyeneyin, Convener of GenVoices. “So, I hereby deliver this simple announcement to you today that you are the ones Nigeria has been waiting for. Today is the day that Nigeria has been expecting; for it has fallen upon a generation to be great and you are that generation”.
He went on to say, “No single man is responsible for where Nigeria is today, we all are as a collective. And we know, that if Nigeria works, Africa will work. There is a chance for legacy to be created, so I ask if not us, who? If not now, when? Tweet it, post it, paint it, let the world hear our simple creed, WE ARE THE ONES!” – He concluded.
The event ended with the upload of the GenVoices charter on www.genvoices.org and performances by Omawumi and Timi Dakolo.
Watch some videos below:
Click here to watch to Omawummi’s performance
Click here to watch to Timi Dakolo’s performance
Click here to watch to Mo Abudu’s speech
Click here to watch to Tonye Cole’s speech
Click here to watch to Omotola Jolade Ekeinde’s speech
Click here to watch to Kola Oyeneyin’s speech
Click here to watch to Mai Atafo’s speech
Click here to watch to Ismail Ahmed’s speech
Generational Voices (GenVoices) is a growing global movement of 18-40 year olds supported by a dynamic group of older mentors. It was conceived as a means to convert the online and offline energy of young Nigerians into practical efforts for national development. It is clear that without positive participation in governance and policy, this generation will be availed little opportunity to make widespread and definitive impact – so we focus on birthing innovation, fostering dialogue, encouraging acts of service and driving change. GenVoices will support projects, platforms and individuals to deliver social, technological, economic and political (S.T.E.P) solutions to our country’s problems. With a humble sense of responsibility, we will guard the hopes of young Nigerians as we help to build this nation. For more information, visit www.genvoices.org or follow @genvoices on Twitter