KOK foundation offers young ones renewed hope
In a period of dire economic conditions the sort Nigeria is currently undergoing, youth easily becomes the worse hit group as they struggle against many odds just to survive and find their feet. Indeed, charting a wholesome direction may prove difficult, especially these days of instant, questionable wealth and tainted, dubious stardom. So, from where can youth get help to forge ahead? Who provides them role models to emulate?
This is where notable actor, Mr. Kanayo O. Kanayo, has taken the challenge to provide himself as a dependable ally of Nigeria’s young people. He has volunteered to provide young people mentorship that would steer them into their dreams so they don’t derail. The actor launched his foundation, Kanayo O. Kanayo Mentoring Academy, last week in Lagos, as a way of giving back to the society he said gave him opportunity and made him a beloved star on the silver screen. Also known as KOK, the actor was accompanied by his friends at the launch who pledged commitment to the initiative that would provide direction for young people to excel in their academics and later in life.
The four cardinal objectives of the academy, he stated, would be to “change youth’s orientation to life through attitudinal moulding, help raise better citizens for the future, help them to rediscover their potentials and excel in life and benefit them via the provision of free educational materials to support their studies”.
According to him, “Today marks another historic day in my life as I formally make public my longtime dream to give back to the society having also received so much from the society.
This longtime ambition to give back to society is what has given birth to Kanayo O. Kanayo Mentoring Academy (KOKMA). KOKMA is about mentoring young ones – the youths, young adults, the generation X and Y who constitute about 40 per cent of our population, who, unfortunately, are under-privileged or have been negatively influenced with wrong orientation and therefore may have lost hope in themselves and the future. Incidentally, majority of these categories of young people fall within the secondary school cadre and other institutions”.
He explained the key message of his foundation, letting them “know that they can be whatever they desire to be in life. Therefore, they must be guided not to allow any circumstances to limit their desire to excel in life. This also requires that they must take their education very seriously as the stepping stone and one of the key prerequisites toward achieving their dream in life”.
KOK cited the instance of the poor scores recorded yearly in national examinations as indication that young people were experiencing difficulties, adding, “With the nose-diving national economy and society’s value system perilously tilting to the negative, our youths truly need a sense of direction via mentoring. Youth unemployment, which can never be over-emphasised, is another cankerworm that requires the attention of the intensive care unit of the government and private sector”.
The founder of KOKMA said Nigeria’s future lies in its young people and stressed the need to give them hope in spite of prevailing circumstances. According to him, “We will try to do so by building attitudinal change for greatness. Attitudinal change is key and we can do that by inculcating in them the sense of self-worth and Can-do spirit. KOKMA shall build a crop of youths who can predict their future by creating it, discover their in-born potentials and harvest them – youths who will realise that their future and success begin with themselves, and importantly, youths who will love their society and the environment and impact the world”.
He stated that the humble background he emerged from to the peak of stardom in Nollywood should provide inspiration to Nigerian youth to aspire to be the best they could be. He noted that all a child needed to succeed were ‘support, encouragement and mentoring (SEM),’ adding that the academy would not be based on physical structures, but that it would reach out to as many young Nigerians as possible, particularly those in the rural areas and public schools.
Present at the launching were Dr. Max Uba, Alozie Nwokoro, Mrs. Nkiru Umeh, Lawrence Ani, KOK’s son, Montel Onyekwere Kanayo, Mr. Tim Alao who chaired the event, Mr. Declan Opaleke among others. Sienna Allwell-Brown and former PDP chairman, Adamu Mu’azu are in the governing board of the foundation.
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