Voices of African Youths
For too long have we repeatedly mentioned and reiterated that youths have the potential to drive change and make positive impact in the world. This is of course true, as we can back it up with statistics from the United Nations, and other well accredited institutions around the globe. Young people around the world are not only vibrant and energetic, but are also innovative, creative and passionate about several issues within their community and the world at large. I’m not just saying this, believe me. I have experienced it.
One of my main hobbies for 3 years now is cinematography (creating videos and photos through which I share stories of my community and life with the rest of the world). I have created more than 100 videos and 500 photos which I have uploaded to YouTube and other social media platforms to share with the rest of the world. I have created videos for Open Dreams, charity organisations and even religious organisations. Currently, I own and run a YouTube Channel with more than 1000 subscribers and several thousand viewers. While exploring the ins and outs of my hobby, I found the responsibility to create a wave of impact that will affect the entire African continent, and after several hours of thinking and planning, I decided to create a platform through which African youths could unanimously drive positive influence. I called it The Voices of African Youths. Over a period of 2 months, I have invited young leaders, change makers, social entrepreneurs and young community stake holders and college students from 7 African countries to participate on the program, answering questions that help them recant the stories of their personal experience as impact creators in their various countries.
Young people from Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Tanzania. Kenya and Ghana have participated, representing institutions like the African Leadership University in Rwanda, The University of Dodoma in Tanzania, Ashesi University in Ghana, Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA, Youths Inspiration in Cameroon, EYECI (Enhancing Youths Empowerment for Creative Innovations) in Cameroon, Project Exponential in Kenya amongst others. Some topics discussed in these collaborations are:
- Understanding how potentiated young people are;
- How to make community impact;
- How to use hobbies to create positive influence;
- What it means to set up and manage a youth-driven organisation;
- How important civic engagement and youth participation are;
- How youths can come together to create more effective transformation.
Through these collaborations, young viewers across the African continent have been inspired not only to take action, but to make informed decisions in taking action that will elevate their communities and create impact right from their own lives, to those of others and their communities as well. The content of the comments I receive on the channel is evidence that I have not only pioneered a movement that has brought change, but one that has inspired and transformed the minds of 1,193 young people (who have watched the videos), by exposing the stories of other young people to them.
Being passionate about cinematography has opened me to a whole new world both of opportunities as well as scope of possibilities. As I decide to use my hobby to make impact amongst young people in my continent, I keep asking myself this question: “Do young people not have the potential to change the world, or do our African countries pay no attention to that potential, and lose sight of opportunities”?
Abongdoh Titus, Open Dreams Scholar.