DIASPORA organisation the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (Canuk) will be hosting a youth session in London on November 14 as part of a renewed attempt to engage young people. Titled the Canuk Youth Engagement Panel Session 2015, the event will meet periodically and is designed to attract young Nigerians in the UK and get them more involved in the community’s activities. Among those who will be leading discussions at the event are Afrobeat musician May7Even, City entrepreneur, Prem Goyal OBE, one of the Queens Young Leaders 2015 Tijani Zayyad and Onyi Anyado a motivational speaker.
Due to take place at The Arc Centre on St Paul Street in north London starting from 2pm, the event will be attended by the acting high commissioner Ambassador Olukunle Bamgbose. Canuk is hoping that all the Nigerian diaspora youth organisations in the UK will send delegates to the event.
Bisola Babalola, in her early twenties currently undertaking an LLM in international law and a member of a youth committee arranging the session, said young people are willing to serve and actually give their best so long they understand the relevance to them. Tijani Zayyad 19 one of the speakers expecting to lead one of the discussions on the day, added that the opportunity to represent is unreal and every opportunity to represent community and country is precious.
Councillor Mable Ogundayo, 23, the shadow councillor for children services in Bexley, added: “Young people are apathetic towards politics as they feel they are not welcome in the field, they are not listened to and that politics is boring. If Canuk wishes to have more youth engagement, they need to look at their streams of communication.
“They also need to question whether what they offer would appeal, starting with the language used in discussions. Similarly, they need to question whether the topics discussed relates to young diasporans and what efforts and forms of engagement they have made to reach out to the younger generations.”
Yemi Soile also working on the youth committee organising the event, said: “For too long affairs have been organised without effectively involving the Nigerian youth. There are many young Nigerians who lead and participate in a range of activities in their communities but we have not really facilitated them effectively to shine within the Canuk umbrella.
“For instance, many Nigerians are involved in their students’ unions in universities across the UK but we are not getting the benefit of their expertise and creativity. This event will be a start and that in the future we will engage the youth and get them more involved.”
Organisers say the purpose of the event is to among other things engage with all young people, nurture tomorrow’s leaders, recruit passionate youth ambassadors and address pressing and key issues affecting young persons in the UK. This inaugural session will also look to explore the entrepreneurial and employment prospects for young persons, address the issue of criminality and radicalisation as well examine mentoring opportunities for young people of Nigerian extraction in the UK .
Canuk is targeting Nigerians in the UK aged between 16 and 25 and is encouraging diasporans to urge their children and young persons to attend. Anyone interested in attending is being urged to register Here