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MTV EMAs 2018: Nigeria’s Hauwa Ojeifo Up For Generation Change Award  

By Chuks Nwanne
27 October 2018   |   4:04 am
Ahead of this year’s MTV EMAs, organisers have announced the first-ever MTV EMA Generation Change Award to elevate and empower the fearless, original young people, who are changing the world.

Hauwa Ojeifo

Ahead of this year’s MTV EMAs, organisers have announced the first-ever MTV EMA Generation Change Award to elevate and empower the fearless, original young people, who are changing the world.

Already, five change makers from around the globe, all under the age of 26, were nominated for the award, which will be presented during the 2018 MTV EMA red carpet pre-show in Bilbao, Spain on Sunday, November 4, 2018.

The nominees are among a generation of young people who are tackling the world’s toughest problems through music, storytelling and digital media. MTV International will elevate each powerful story across the brand’s social and digital platforms in nearly 180 countries, and ask fans to support each change maker’s cause by posting on Twitter and Instagram through till midnight on October 30, 2018, in order to help them win the MTV EMA Generation Change Award.

Notable amongst the nominees is 26-year-old Nigerian, Hauwa Ojeifo, a bold change maker, who founded a movement of love, hope and support to give mental health a voice in Nigeria. She is the creator of walk-in clinic called Safe Place, the first 24/7 mental health crisis helpline and the first anonymous women-only mental health support group in Nigeria, which provides support to help alleviate the complex life issues young Nigerians deal with. Hauwa is giving mental health and sexual violence a voice. She is taking back the misinformed narrative and normalising the mental health conversation in Nigeria.

Commenting on Generation Change, Hauwa said, “Generation Change means that we are the generation that does not keep quiet. We are the generation that takes action and we are the generation that rises above stigma and misinformed narratives’’.

Speaking ahead of the awards ceremony, Alex Okosi, Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Viacom International Media Networks and BET International said, “Young people around the world are stepping up and playing a huge part in driving solutions to make the world a better place. We are excited for Hauwa Ojeifo to be representing Africa among this amazing group of nominees for this powerful and important award’’

Other nominees for the 2018 MTV EMA Generation Change Awards include Sonita Alizadeh, a 21 years old Afghanistan. Sonita uses her rap lyrics and powerful voice to help end child marriage, support girls’ rights to choose their destiny and inspire people everywhere to dream bigger dreams.


Mohamad Aljounde, a 17-year old from Lebanon is an advocate for child rights. Mohamad built a school in a refugee camp in Lebanon to give children access to an education, all while using the power of storytelling to shine a light on their realities in the wake of an ongoing war.

Ellen Jones, a 20 years old, UK native is an activist and content creator, who focuses on LGBTQ+ rights, mental health, disability rights and feminist issues, using digital media to effect change.

Xiuhtezcatl “X” Martinez is an 18 years old climate activist, hip-hop artiste and powerful voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement.

According to Viacom Consumer Insights, over 95% of young people globally believe it’s important to collaborate with other young people to make the world a better place, and four in five believe their age group has the potential to change the world for the better.

Viacom’s Generation Change is an audience-inspired and audience-led global initiative designed to elevate and empower young people driving change around the world. Built to be fluid, Generation Change will be tailored by brand and by market, and informed every step of the way by young agents of change, who are passionate about making a difference.