Imrana’s business is peace. He does this in war-torn Northern Nigeria where people die every other day; also where people have gotten used to ‘…die as gunmen attack villages‘ and care less. He is a Nigerian social entrepreneur and activist who founded Youth Coalition Against Terrorism (YOCAT), a volunteer-based organisation in northern Nigeria working to unite youth against violent extremism through peace education programs in schools and villages.
Let’s tell you those 10 inspiring things we are talking about:
- Imrana attended the University of Maiduguri and graduated in 2015 with a First Class degree in Political Science. ‘Education is indispensable‘.
- In 2016, he was selected as one of 3 Nigerians and 21 African changemakers in the Commonwealth for the Queen’s Young Leaders Award by her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, in recognition of his work around peace building in northern Nigeria.
- In 2017, he was selected for the JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World, in recognition of his effort to counter violent extremism and promote a culture of peace in Nigeria.
- He was part of the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship program for Young African leaders in Washington D.C.
- He was nominated for The Future Awards Africa prize for Advocacy in 2017 – an award that recognizes individual contributions to ensuring that their work influences decisions within political, economic, social systems and institutions for the development of the country in their chosen causes.
- He was a speaker at the 2018 United Nations International Day for the Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism and the 2018 One Young World Summit. Call him a ‘peace fellow’, add, a speaker.
- He says his parents are his role models and they have been supportive through it all. Is this you? Nigerian parents or you allow fear of the unknown overwhelm your ward’s desire to change the world?
- “In the next ten years, I see my organisation as one of the top peace building organisations in Africa. We will have so many programmes to promote a culture of peace and tolerance among young people,” he says. He is already on this path – “I feel tremendously inspired to continue organising peace education programmes in schools and offer skills acquisition training for unemployed young people in villages” – and we know he will get there. This is a challenge to us all to join in to advocate for peace.
- The 27-year-old is also a mentor and dedicates his time to educating young people on developing “clear vision and mission statements and use same to guide their life.”
10. “My advice to youth is to focus more on addressing challenges within their communities, no matter how small it may appear to be. In doing so, they will get respect from the people in their communities. You should also acquire valuable skills, because it can earn you global recognition.”
Imrana Alhaji Buba is the future!