About Us

The Youth Culture and Human Dignity Initiative is an NGO registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria; We hold the rare attribute of initiating and organizing Nigeria’s first ever Music Video Awards (NMVA) in 2007, a program that has held annually at the Eko Hotels, Lagos. Also very notable of our production is the annual Peace Icons/Violence-free World Initiative. Our trustee members are drawn from the field of academia, law, cultural activism and media. The NGO is led by Mr. Cally Ikpe veteran broadcaster of repute and culture activist. He holds an MSc in Media and Communication from the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos and presently a doctoral student, researching on the culture of violence from the same institute.

 

Redirecting the mindsets of youths towards more beneficial ventures is at the core of our ideals as enunciated in our program, Road to a Violence-free Nigeria Initiative. Being a neutral and an independent body, with a pedigree of an enduring relationship with the youth population through our educational and entertainment programs, spanning over a decade, we are in a good position to communicate the genuine hope for a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria as held by the Government. We accordingly hope to point at existing and potential opportunities to which participants may leverage on in the course of the program.

OUR GOAL

Our goal is to promote the culture of non-violence amongst youth by communicating hope and pointing at existing and potential opportunities. This is in line with efforts towards a positive redefinition of the mindset of Nigerians.

OUR VISION

We envisage a society where the need for peace overrides every venture in the course of our coexistence. Every youth sees himself as a peace ambassador. No youth accepts to serve as a thug for any politician or political party. Youth are less inclined to joining banditry, militancy and insurgency. Artistes are less inclined to glorifying violence in their works (music, videos, movies).

OUR OBJECTIVES

To project the philosophy of non-violence among youth, using youth inclined programmes so that the beneficiaries can manifest it in their works and actions within a year from when the programme is held.

To redirect media focus on the positive occurrence and discredit the use of violence in achieving public sympathy within an election season.

To encourage the emergence of new peace ambassadors through their participation in the talk shops and dedicated training sessions within a year from when they get involved with the program.

To encourage the local media to refrain from publishing and broadcast of incendiary reports before and after an election.

To encourage a culture of tolerance amongst likely political opponents through controlled rhetoric within the period of an election.

BACKGROUND

The recent incidents of violence in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Rivers States and many other places reemphasizes the growing distrust amongst citizens that has characterized our existence as a people over time. We reckon that these acts of violence have been carried out mostly by the youth, owing to their cheap availability. This is evident from the obvious role they often play in most violent incidents either as victims or perpetrators.

We acknowledge the efforts being made by the authorities to address the situation, just as we reckon that there are political undertones to some of these situations. It is our belief therefore that relentless constructive engagement amongst the concerned will remain an invaluable step towards the solution.

We acknowledge the efforts being made by the authorities to address the situation, just as we reckon that there are political undertones to some of these situations. It is our belief therefore that relentless constructive engagement amongst the concerned will remain an invaluable step towards the solution.

The disturbing state of violence everywhere and the corresponding reflections on our various media platforms cannot be countered by simple censorship and state control. An organized mass and individual rejection of that order are strategic to stemming the tide. The same media platforms, therefore, can be deployed to respond creatively to the menace. This can be done through attractive and interactive programs promoting positive values of non-violence, tolerance and mutual understanding. Literature, theatre, cinema, graphics, music, symposia, and talk-shows are therefore very important to this program.

All of these crises situations, but for the involvement of youth would have been relatively minimal in effect. Our initiative, therefore, aims to involve all in the peacebuilding efforts anchored on trust and continuing efforts to keep people gainfully engaged. The initiative will encourage people to consistently and vehemently speak out against hateful tendencies.

THE CAMPAIGN

This, therefore is about conscious and sustained engagement sessions with youth and the general public at select locations within particular localities. The program will entail advocacy visits on some iconic individuals and opinion leaders, before and after the event sessions. Participants at the sessions will include traditional rulers, select security analysts/consultants, human rights activists, youth leaders and members of the press. The focus here will be to proffer alternatives to violence as a lifestyle and as a quick means of resolving conflicts. Where practicable, some of the participants will be selected and given vocational training and a start-up. Celebrities will be engaged to buttress the peace campaign, climaxing with peace concerts, themed: SMILE NIGERIA that will be held at the end of the year.

OTHER PARTICIPANTS

1. Student union leaders, representing the tertiary institutions within the zones.
2. Traditional rulers within the zones.
3. Heads of vigilante groups within the zones.
4. Religious leaders from the major denominations.
5. Representatives of trade unions like the NURTW, and Miyetti Allah.
6. Major artistes (musicians and actors) and
7. All notable peace ambassadors.
8. Leaders of political parties within the area.
9. Speakers and other principal officers of states houses of assembly.
10. All heads of Local government Councils.

THE ADVOCACY TRIPOD

Talking Violence is a television show that features interviews with opinion leaders, victims and perpetrators of violence as well as highlights of related developments to help douse tension in the country.

The annual Nigeria Music and Video Awards, which aside rewarding artistic excellence provides an exciting platform for youth to assemble while we further promote the mentality of nonviolence in our everyday lives.

The Engagement sessions which are in the form of town-hall meetings, concerts, series of symposia and media tours to aggregate and reinforce the areas of convergence.

AUXILIARY MEASURES

The violence-free world academy: vocational training and empowerment for victims of violence.

Advocacy to the ruling class/elites who will be required to give public endorsements to the cause.

Deploying the attractiveness of select celebrities as peace ambassadors to gain and sustain attention.

© 2019 | Youth Culture and Human Dignity Initiative