By Deji Aroloye
Popular actor and public relations consultant, Mr. Kanayo Onyekwere Kanayo, has launched a mentoring academy to help young Nigerians to discover themselves and rise to greatness. The academy is known as Kanayo O. Kanayo Mentoring Academy (KOKMA).
Speaking at the formal launch of the academy in Lagos yesterday, Kanayo said Nigerians youths are faced with many societal problems, which pose danger to their dreams and aspirations. He said the academy would provide a platform for the youths to be shown direction and taught proper values.
He said: “Kanayo O Kanayo Mentoring Academy is about mentoring the young ones. It is a way of giving back to the society. The key message of KOKMA is to let the young ones know that they can be whatever they desire to be in life. Therefore, they must be guided in order not to allow any circumstances to limit their desire to excel in life.”
“The Academy is coming to give hope to our youths, realising that Nigeria and indeed Africa’s future lies with the youths. We will try to do so by building attitudes for greatness. Attitudinal change is key and we can do that by inculcating in them the sense of self-worth and I-can-do spirit.
“KOKMA shall build a crop of youths who can predict their future by creating it, discover their in-born potential and harvest them; youths who will realise success begins with them and who will love their society and the environment and consequently impact the world.”
While lamenting the continuously poor student performance especially in WAEC examination, he assured that the new academy will constantly work to equip students in various institutions with life tools and opportunities that will make them rise above difficult situations and challenges.
In his words: “The standard of education, which is the bedrock of youths development is dangerously dwindling, school drop-out ratio is in the increase. Student performance in WAEC examinations is continuously falling. With the nose-diving national economy and the society’s value system perilously tilting to the negative, our youths truly needs a sense of direction via mentoring.”
The actor assured that the new academy will constantly work to equip students in various institutions with life tools and opportunities that will make them rise above difficult situations and challenges.
In his words: “The youths, the 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.
“We want to change their orientation to life through moulding, give free education materials and make them better citizens for the future.” On what inspired him to establish the academy, Kanayo said there are many things Nigerians youths did not experience, which the older ones did. Through mentoring, he said, the youths would know about this and therefore know how to be focused, in order to succeed.
He said that the academy is not a formal school, where people will sit in classroom to be taught, but a project, which would take him and other members of the Board to schools, where they would talk to students, share their experiences and encourage them to inculcate good values, which will help them in life.
He said that the visit to schools will not be concentrated on elite cities or neighborhood but to public schools, in urban and remote villages.
“What we want to is to influence, train and affect people. We will not target going to elite schools, but schools in the remotest areas across the states. We need to identify needs and call attention to them while building strength and equipping the students,” he said.
According to him, when members of the academy go to school in remote villages to talk with the youths, national attention will be brought to such institution and area, which could then serve as an opportunity for government to know the problems and therefore move in to help.
Kanayo said that board of the KOKMA has Mr. Tim Akano, Managing Director, New Horizons; Mrs. Sienne Allwell-Brown, Dr. Maxwell Ubah, Charles Okafor, Mr Alozie Nwokoro and himself as members.
Mr. Akano, who was Chairman of the event, eulogised the actor for the lofty vision of seeking to mentor youths, with the view to adding value to their lives.
Present at the launch were many dignitaries, including Editor, Daily Sun, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh; Managing Editor, New Telegraph, Mr. Laurence Ani; Public speaker and lecturer, Mr. Declan Okpaleke, Dr. Maxwell Ubah, Barrister Alozie Nwokoro and Mr. John Etah.