19 Year Old Activist From Nigeria Honoured By The Queen In England

Kennedy Ekezie, an undergraduate from Calabar Nigeria was chosen as a Queen’s Young Leader in recognition of the work he is doing to promote women’s rights in Nigeria.

He is the founder of the Calabar Youth Council for Women’s Rights (CYCWR), which supports the rights of women in the areas of female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic abuse, forced child marriage and access to education for girls.

The CYCWR is a youth non-profit organisation which works with rural community members to educate them on the dangers of gender-based violence. CYCWR has worked with The Girl Generation to end the practice of FGM in over 200 communities, and has also worked with the government to run safe houses for victims of FGM.

The 19-year-old student is a youth activist from Nigeria. As a budding global leader, he constantly seeks to liberate disadvantaged individuals and groups through positive, empathic social activism.

A senior on the Department of Philosophy at University of Calabar, Nigeria, where he recently completed his research thesis that focused on building an axiological system for African Philosophy based on the principles implicit in Nelson Mandela’s Ubuntu Philosophy, Kennedy is also a member of the National Anti-FGM Network, supported by the Girl Generation and the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID).

In recognition of his work, the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) selected him as a 2017 Global Teen Leader. He is a finalist for the Outstanding Youth Delegate Award at the Youth Assembly at the U.N. this summer.

His extra-curricular passion has been competitive debate. He was the Best Debater in Nigeria in 2015 and was the top-ranked African Speaker at the 2016 Harvard College Debate Championship in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His knowledge and interactions with diverse cultures and people will be crucial to contributing qualitatively to the assembly’s cross-cultural outlook. This is more appealing given h8s debate background. Kennedy’s participation in over 20 debate competitions across Africa, Asia and North America has bequeathed him with the capacity to think about the most complex issues and it has improved his ability to unite the diversity in spaces he occupies.

In his bio, he says he is driven by his passion to learn through his engagements in many debates and communications with different people, which he says have taught him to constantly re-evaluate his principles and convictions.

At the Youth Assembly at the U.N., says he specifically looks forward to connecting with youths from all over the world who share the similar passion to end world problems, and to sharing ideas concerning building a sustainable future for all of humanity.

In the long term, the bright young man aspires to be the youngest President of Nigeria, with a desire to strengthen Nigeria’s foreign policy and implement policies that will enable Nigeria to achieve its full potential in the coming years.

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