Queen Nimat Siaka is a Nigerian Youth on a mission. She is taking the stride in a terrain that’s fast taking shine off plenty youths and she is doing so well, on the expedition. She spoke with Ademola Ajibola on her dreams. Read!
Over the years, you’ve sustained a foundation that’s continued to create value adding activations across the country. What informed the birth of the foundation and when did it begin operations?
The Evergreen Global Initiatives for Youths and Women Development (TEGI), a humanitarian NGO is what I represent. The spark that ignited my decision to found this initiative was my uncompromising drive to impact lives and more importantly, the painful death of my uncle who ignorantly lost his precious life to substance abuse: he was an unrepentant drug addict!
As a youth, weren’t you initially discouraged by challenges and maybe attitude of would be beneficiaries and patrons alike who might not be totally on the same page with your aspirations?
As a graduate of sociology (a social researcher), it became imperative for me to actively forestall the recurrence of the gory tale of my uncle and save million lives like his, who are toeing the path of ruin. Consequently, after my compulsory one-year service to my fatherland in 2015, the first step to impacting change in my immediate society and of course, Nigeria as a whole, was taken. I travelled to 24 states in Nigeria to carry out a well detailed research on major social issues we combat in various communities in the country and I found out that there were several forms on social vices and illicit acts in Nigeria with substance/drug abuse at the peak.
Is your foundation created to eventually drive a political ambition? And why did you choose to focus on the drug abuse sector of human race?
I don’t affiliate with any political party because it would ultimately distract my determination. My driving force has been the inborn passion I have for humanity; so, no matter the pressure of discouragement or frustration, I only take some rest but never stop working! I dream of a world that will be drug free some day and my initiative has been working rigorously to achieving that. We have created hundreds of drug free clubs in Nigerian secondary schools and we are still doing so. We have engaged women in rural communities in several sensitization projects on health and child care; we have done several campaigns and sensitizations across the states of Nigeria; we have organized several youth empowerment programmes and we are not stopping. We have achieved resounding successes from our various activities far and wide.
Who is Queen Nimat Siaka?
Queen Nimat Siaka is a patriotic citizen of Nigeria, a Social Entrepreneur and an Advocate, actively fighting against drug abuse among Nigerian youths and teenagers.
What’s being the motivating force for the foundation inspite of the myriads of obstacles that you must have encountered over the years?
My findings in turn helped me make informed decisions and this promptly propelled me to do everything humanly possible to help tackle the menace of substance/drug abuse in Nigeria. Prior to my advocacy journey, I attended a Beauty Contest: (Miss Curvy Nigeria) because I was looking for a platform that would help project my passion for advocacy. Surprisingly, many did not believe in me when I started out, they probably thought I was going to be a regular Queen who would reign for a while and end up doing nothing afterwards. But it was not so. I remained consistent and kept working until my visions started paying off and people began to support my projects.
We all know the role funding takes in the execution of whatever thing in a climate like ours. How do you manage, finance, promote and project the structure you are building for the foundation?
Sometimes, the state government supports us but most of our projects are self-sponsored. We are, however, working toward accessing international funding and it is our hope that very soon, we will be getting their supports as well.
In Nigeria today, we can’t have less than 100,000 if we are to do a census. Is it really all these foundations that are service oriented ? Or just self servicing ? And what makes yours different in the pack?
Interestingly, we have records of people who have successfully shunned addiction to substances through series of our campaigns/sensitization programes. Sustaining the initiative has remained a major problem but it hasn’t deterred me in any way because I work relentlessly, and I have few people who believe in my cause. They have been very supportive and understanding.