A Message To All Girls: How To Remove Constraints To Personal Growth

20141009_130450Whatever you want to be, you can be. It might sound like a cliché but it is real… I am motivated to believe that I can change the world… Each time I try to remember when I was like you, I say to myself, it is amazing- if I knew that all of those dreams could just come to pass, maybe I should have dreamt more. This is your moment. Everything that says to you, ‘I cannot push myself, I cannot accomplish it, I cannot become,’ say to it ‘shut up! I can!’ Meaning that for you to make that decision, you are making a choice. Every choice involves an opportunity cost… If you are making a choice for greatness you have to work for greatness. You dare not be a part of a society that function on ignoble ease. So the girl-child wakes up and says, ‘you know what, if they think that hard-work is going to be the basis of accomplishing this thing, I even more so! I am just going to work so hard that nobody will look me in the eyes and say she did not give her best.’” Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Senior Economic Adviser for Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative at Open Society Foundation, while speaking during a one day programme organized by United States Consulate General Public Affairs Section to mark this year’s day of the girl-child.

Jennifer Ehidiamen is a tech-savvy journalist based in Lagos. She reports on global health and development issues in Africa for Voice of America (VOA News). Jennifer also serves as a photojournalist and communications consultant. A 2013 Innovative Young Journalist Award recipient, 2013 New Media fellow for International Reporting Project, 2010 LEAP Africa award recipient and a 2009 Atlas Service Corps Fellow, Jennifer recently founded the Rural Reports project [http://www.ruralreporters.com], a news portal dedicated to grassroots citizen-reporting. She serves as an Advisory Council member for Washington DC-based One World Youth Project (OWYP). She has published three books: "In Days to Come" (2004), "Preserve my Saltiness" (2011) and "Half A Loaf And A Bakery" (2013). Jennifer graduated from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism with a degree in Mass Communication. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @Disgeneration