Several and diverse stories come out of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria covering various issues with the most reoccurring ones around; the vandalization in the oil and gas sector, community issues, kidnapping and lots of other stories that cast a negative shadow on this richly endowed geographical area. While this narrative seems to be the image which is portrayed to the world about the Niger Delta Region, there is still some good left in this region and we think these stories ought to be told.
Amongst the stories to be told, is the impact being made by several young people in their various fields of endeavor. Their stories and what they do within the region does not always get the media attention like their counterparts in other regions. These brave individuals pay the price every day to make the lives of people better in the Niger Delta. Many of them have Ivy League degrees and have travelled widely, yet have chosen to stay in a place where some others project as a ‘danger zone’. They are involved in various community and humanitarian projects in education, health, technology, agriculture, among many others.
We introduce to you, our Niger Delta influencer of the week;
Ebenezar Barisua Wikina
At just 23, Ebenezar is a United Nations Online Volunteer and the deputy curator of the Port Harcourt Global Shapers Hub. He is also a digital journalist and storyteller, covering both local and international stories via his work in the Huffington Post, and managing City News Port Harcourt’s transition from print to new media.
In November 2014, Ebenezar organized the only TEDX Youth event ever held in West Africa. The event which was targeted at providing solutions to challenges facing Niger Delta youths drew over a hundred participants and featured nine key note speakers; It also helped put the region on the map of Global TEDX Youth events and positioned West Africa in the global spotlight for an entire year.
Ebenezar describes himself as a digital diplomat; his globally-read interview column, the Stroll which he started in 2013 using just a mobile phone has engaged over 100 global leaders and change makers around the world to talk about different days on the UN Observances and how these days can be translated to tools for global development.
Some of his guests include Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi (The UN Youth Envoy), UN Under-Secretary-General Gyan Acharya, Under Secretary – General Babatunde Osotimehin (Exec Director, UNFPA), Assistant-Secretary-General Lakshmi Puri (Deputy ED, UN Women), Richard Wurman (Founder of TED), The CNN Freedom Project, Stephen Sackur (Host of BBC HARDtalk), Ndaba Mandela (Grandson of Nelson Mandela)
He is also the co-founder of Write Paragraphs; an online hub that leverages social media to nurture and connect young writers to opportunities on the internet. In June 2015 he was one of the outstanding 80 youths/Global Shapers from around Africa selected to represent their hubs and countries at the 25th Anniversary of the World Economic Forum on Africa which held in Cape town, South Africa, where he was also a speaker at a public session on “technology and media consumption”.
Know any social entrepreneur based in the Niger Delta? send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will let the world know too.