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Creative Feast: Helping To End Youth Unemployment

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Recently, the Eugenia Abu Media Center organised a creative entrepreneurial workshop for Nigerian youths in order to make them self-reliant. HENRY TYOHEMBA and BLESSING BATURE write on the impact of the programme in the fight against unemployment in Nigeria

Unemployment remains a key issue upsetting the lives of Nigerian youths, which in effect, is causing increased militancy, violent crimes and other vices in the country.

ccording to a recent data by the National Bureau of statistics, over 22.64 million persons aged between 15 and 35 years are either jobless or underemployed. While this is worrisome, the training of youths with an emphasis on financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills may have significant effects on the growth of the nation.

This is because youth entrepreneurship is known to be an important tool in stimulating a country’s economy and ending unemployment.

To achieve this, experts at the recently concluded Creative Feast, organised by the Eugenia Abu Media Center in Abuja, agreed that there is an urgent need for the mindset of youths to be geared towards self-reliance. They also agreed that one of the greatest ways of solving unemployment is preparing the youths to become self-reliant.

The experts were worried about the high rate of youth unemployment and aimed to change the mindset of the youths from overdependence on government jobs to becoming self-sufficient.

The aim was to further create more employment opportunities, promoting entrepreneurship by encouraging self-employment and self-reliance and also encourage youths to take skills acquisition programmes that would benefit them and the country.

Speaking at the workshop, a veteran broadcaster and convener of the feast, Eugenia Abu, also called on the government to empower persons with creative initiative in order to encourage them to put their innate abilities into economic use that will bring ideas to realities.

“Sense of initiative and entrepreneur is to turn ideas into action which involves creativity, innovation and risk taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage business in order to achieve objectives that support individuals not only in their everyday lives at home and in the society, but also in the workplace, in being aware of the context of their work and being able to seize opportunities.”

That notwithstanding, a multi-talented multi-disciplinary award winning artiste, Yinka Davies, advised up- coming entrepreneurs to be focused and do everything they do well. “Don’t be who you are not, honour whoever is before you because respect and honour are key for a successful entrepreneurship.’’ She  added that ‘‘the fear of failing keeps you down like some people have to learn in a hard way, never give up and always learn to listen and be willing to receive instructions and to carry out the instructions  and the sky will not only be your limit but your starting point.’’

The Creative Feast was a  mentorship and training programme to prepare young Nigerians who have innate creativity that is yet to be developed and be transformed into literate citizens to enable them become innovative entrepreneurs that will take advantage of the various government intervention funds to boost the economic development of the country and reduce unemployment.

Abu further said the intentioån of entrepreneurship can be nurtured from an early age through education. According to her, as the child’s first and main educator, parents play an important role in the process. They also can foster entrepreneurship intention in children without forcing them by using theories of planned behavior, time management and paying attention to their ward’s self-efficacy.

She added that the feast was to also encourage young entrepreneurs to be patience and known that the only way they can do that is by knowing other people’s journey and learning from celebrities who are role models and who have been there for a long time, succeeded through hard work and consistency.

“We want to let the young people know that when there’s pain there’s gain. We are teaching them to slow down and learn to be patient in difficult times. To learn the ability to conquer and to know that sometimes when there is pain there is gain is what makes the difference.”

The renowned journalist stressed that the cardinal objective of the feast was to bring out the best talents in the lives of the young ones, through mentorship, training on skills and crafts and packaging to fit into the world demands.

“We are trying to make it a monthly affair and we intend to track the people that we are training so that in two to five years, we can be bold enough to make recommendations if for instance, somebody is looking for a photographer, you know we have photographers we just trained so you contact us and we refer one. Or tomorrow if another person comes to me and say he/she is looking for an event planner, same thing can happen. We want a situation where people will have the opportunity of using my name, using the creative feast if they register with us here, we can be proud to send them if anyone needs their services because we trust that anyone who is trained by us will definitely deliver.”

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