Youth Activist Award: How Imo State Govt Mistake Modeling/BBNaija For Activism

On August 8, 2020 the Imo State Government through its office of Youth Affairs gave some awards to certain individuals within and outside the state.

The award tagged ‘Imo Distinguished Personality Award’ had two famous male models of South East extraction receiving awards on the ‘Youth Activist of the Year’.

One of them is Prince Enwerem Nelson. He was Mr. Nigeria 2018. According to his profile, he is an entrepreneur, a fashion designer and an interior decorator. Prince is currently a contestant of the Big Brother Naija 2020 Lockdown edition.

The second is Emmanuel Somto. Somto eon Mr. Teen Nigeria 2016 and has gone ahead to represent Nigeria at Mister Model International 2019 in Bangkok Thailand.

Why these wonderful young men whom I admire have achieved fame and success for themselves and their states of origin, deserving recognition, I find it hard to understand the rationale behind the Youth Activist award.

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I had to go back to dictionaries to find out if the word activist has been redefined.

Cambridge Dictionary defines an activists as “a person who believes strongly in political or social change and takes part in activities such as public protests to try to make this happen“.

Dictionary.com in its definition describes an activists as “an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause, especially a political cause.”

For Longman Dictionary, an activist is “someone who works hard doing practical things to achieve social or political change.”

There are political activists, environmental activists, human right activists, animal and gay right activists, etc. What cause has these distinguished young men fought for that defines them as activists?

I do not have any problem with these guys but it is very important I addressed this because it makes it clearer how these nation is governed by people who do not understand what they do.

People are appointed into offices but they do not understand what that office stands for. Today we have FIRS and NIPOST in a show of shame over who ought to collect stamp duty revenue.

There is so much mess going on from Local Government to the Federal Government.

How on this earth does winning a beauty pageant or being a BBNaija contestant translate to being an activist. It is an insult yo activists out there and a disorientation of the younger generation.

The award should have just been left at ‘Distinguished Personality Award.’ I have no doubt they are deserving and are an inspiration to many young men working hard legitimately to be successful.

Mr. Nigeria 2018, Prince Enwerem Nelson

Prince is one of my favourites in the BBNaija contest. Somto is a personal friend and his story is an amazing one that inspired me yo not give up. He is of humble beginning, one with a dream that he worked so hard to see come true.

Emmanuel Somto, Mr. Teen 2016

He never let the obstacles he met along the way stop him from taking the next step and he is decades away from his peak.

I commend the Imo State government for the recognition but hope they will redefine the content of their awards in 2021 to fit the right description.

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