June 30, 2022

Who says students can’t equally be changemakers?

Oluwadamilola Akintewe is a typical example of a definitive student-leader.

Oluwadamilola Akintewe was born in the West African nation of Nigeria. The 22-year-old is a student of Adekunle Ajasin University, in Akungba Ondo state.

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Oluwadamilola’s childhood was largely engulfed by social and societal problems. Her father was a farmer who forfeited university to provide for the needs of the family. Akintewe’s village was also incapacitated with educational provisions. The consistent bad blood between farmers and herders residing in the community, coupled with the high rates of violence and kidnappings, caused Oluwadamilola to travel and reside with a relative at the tender age of 8. Responsibilities were added when she became her sister’s guardian at 14.

Oluwadamilola Akintewe curiously observed that the girls living in her community frequently became pregnant at a rapid rate. She, therefore, made an innate vow to change the narrative often linked to women. Consequently, with a much-needed scholarship from the Zenith Club of Nigeria, she was able to enter Adekunle Ajasin University to pursue a study in law.

Oluwadamilola Akintewe’s academic excellence is unmatched and could serve as a motivation for young girls and women. She was the first Arts student in a decade to be appointed a Senior Prefect (the highest student) at her school. Damilola puffed life into the school’s debating wing and clubs, eventually leading them to countless laurels. She finished as the highest-performing student (valedictorian). Her university grades have been attractive with a 4.3 CGPA.

HER WORK TO AID SOCIETY

Oluwadamilola Akintewe launched LetGirlsLead to render mentorship and assistance to secondary school girls in her Ondo home state.

Partnering with youth organizations, they teach girls entrepreneurial, financial, and digital skills, so that they may grow up to be self-sufficient. Oluwadamilola formulated a scholarship list to help them apply for slots at universities to gain further knowledge and qualifications.

Oluwadamilola initiated Project Rebirth, which uses entrepreneurial action to provide financial equality and inclusion for low-income and rural women in Ondo.

Over 140 women were touched by the Project and also acquired loans to buy sewing machines and kickstart their businesses.

With her rising popularity and exposure, Oluwadamilola contacted an Instagram Model who she suspects supports social impact projects. She told her a whole lot about Project Rebirth. As a result, Oluwadamilola was able to secure a $2,ooo grant to deliver the training project to young women.

Furthermore, a $3,000 grant from Ford enabled Oluwadamilola to expand the implementation of Project Rebirth to women in agriculture and food combating in a bid to battle hunger.

Oluwadamilola has once been a victim of gender-based violence and knows exactly what the aftermath of mental health issues and trauma looks like. The wild rate of sexual violence in Nigeria during the Covid lockdown led Oluwadamilola to set up the Forbidden Topics Facebook platform, now with over 1,100 followers. The purpose of the platform is to amplify female voices against social injustices and break the silence on topics relating to gender-based violence, which hardly gets spoken about.

Oluwadamilola secured a $2000 Wishwall Foundation grant to provide internally displaced and struggling girls in Northern Nigeria with the provision of free digital skills in coding with Python, JavaScript, graphics design, and digital marketing income generation to further improve their lives.

IN 2020, Oluwadamilola Akintewe became the youngest person to make the list of Top 100 Women creating a better Africa. Around 2021, she was recognized as one of 30 under 30 global changemakers by Opportunity Desk and also won the inaugural Samantha Singh Award essay for young people aspiring to careers in development policy.

Africa is proud of Oluwadamilola Akintewe!

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