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Yiaga Africa utilises entertainment to spur political participation in youths

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Yiaga Africa, a Civil Society Organisation, on Monday utilised arts, culture and music to spur political participation and promote political inclusion of young Nigerians ahead of the 2023 General Elections.

Ms Cynthia Mbamalu, Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, told our reporter at the Not Too Young To Run Festival in Lagos, that entertainment was relevant to politics.

The festival which had the theme: “Should We Vote or Not”, was in partnership with TASCK creative agency and supported by UKAID.

Mbamalu said: “Entertainment is powerful in Nigeria. In fact, it has taken us to the global map.

“Many people in the world know a lot of things about Nigeria through our music, movies and arts.

“That is what takes us out there and a lot of young people are interested in this conversation when it is led from this space.

“While entertainment is making us global, it is also needed to help us change political outcomes, especially among the youths because they make up the numbers.

“In 2019, youth registered voters in Lagos, that is 35 years below, was about 14.8 per cent but the turnout on election day was barely four per cent.

“That is a far cry from a state that has millions of registered young voters.

“So, this time around, we want to change the game by leveraging on entertainment- music, arts and culture, to reach out and spur youths
to participate massively and actively in the 2023 general elections.”

Mbamalu, also one of the leaders of Not Too Young To Run Movement, urged young people to participate and vote in the 2023 General Elections.

“And for every young person, your vote matters.

“Votes are beginning to count, come out and vote, our numbers need to matter and the only way is to come out to vote on election day,” Cynthia told NAN.

Also speaking, Jude Abaga, popularly known as MI, a Nigerian rapper and the founder of TASCK creative agency, also urged youths to be actively involved and take the political process seriously.

“The context of the conversation here is about how we can move this country forward, using the tool of democracy, using our Permanent Voter Card, registering to vote, and standing out to be counted as active citizens,” Abaga.

It was reported that the festival brought together no fewer than 200 youths from different local government areas, tertiary institutions in Lagos state and members of Not Too Young To Run hub.

Guest artistes including Oludemilade Alejo, popularly known as Ycee, a Nigerian rapper;, Khloe and Valarie Ike performed at the event.

The Not Too Young To Run bill was signed into law in 2018 with the idea of getting younger people in political offices as well as reduced the age to contest for elections.

Mistura Adeosun And Lucy Osuizigbo-okechukwu

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