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Bukky Shonibare, the uncommon pathfinder
Bukky Shonibare, the uncommon pathfinder

Bukky Shonibare, the Uncommon Pathfinder Who is Giving the African Girl Child An Identity

Bukky Shonibare is the Founder, Girl Child Africa, an organization that is “focused on promoting girls’ access to quality education in critically affected rural communities across Africa where girls’ education is empirically proven to be hugely challenged.”

She is also the CEO, SheTV, an online TV platform that is focused on girls and women. It is due for launching on October 11, International Day of the Girl Child.

In 2016, she granted an interview in which she narrated her ordeal as a teenager: “… as a teenage girl, I really wanted to be a lawyer, I wanted to go to school. Unfortunately, my parents could not afford it. I had to go from people to people and ask them to just send me to school but no one was willing to invest in me. I see a lot of those young girls today, in poor communities. So when I see these girls, they remind me of who I was.”

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Bukky is on Quartz Africa’s 2017 Innovators list; she’s one of the 30 Africans picked from 18 countries whose influence is changing the continent of Africa.

In April 2014, the kidnapping of over 270 schoolgirls in Chibok, a town in northeastern Nigeria, made global headlines. Three years later, while some of the girls have been released and rescued, a majority remain in captivity.

And Bukky Shonibare remains at the forefront of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, demanding the government does more to ensure their safe return.

Shonibare’s activism has also seen her take initiative through social impact programs like Adopt-A-Camp, a collaborative effort to provide amenities to the thousands of Nigerians displaced by a seven-year insurgency led by the militant group Boko Haram.

Last year, having raised $28,000 through donations, Adopt-A-Camp built learning hubs, toilet facilities, and a health center at a camp in Borno, a state with the highest number of displaced people. Adopt-A-Camp says over 6,000 displaced people in three camps have benefitted from its donations.

Last year, Shonibare was named a Mandela Washington fellow. Alongside Adopt-A-Camp, she is working on a project to push for better access to education for girls in Nigeria’s rural areas.

Credit: Quartz Africa and Presidential Precinct

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