Queer rights activists, journalists, and advocates in the fights against cerebral palsy and autism are among the 15 finalists newly announced by the Nigeria Prize for Difference & Diversity. One of the 15 is Mike Daemon, a contributor to this blog and co-founder of RightsAfrica.com and the African Human Rights Media Network.
Daemon is also the founder of the LGBTIQ+ Nigerian website NoStringsNG.com, the creator of the Qtalk LGBTIQ+ counseling app, and a member of the board of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, the financial supporter of this website.
This is the press release (modestly edited) that announced the finalists:
The Nigeria Prize for Difference and Diversity, endowed by Chude Jideonwo, the co-founder of Joy Inc. and host of #WithChude, has announced the fifteen finalists for its maiden edition. The finalists are set to attend a one-week workshop scheduled for Oct. 12 – 17, 2020.
The finalists are all young people below the ages of 35 who are creating safe, warm spaces for diversity, inclusion and equality.
These are the 15 finalists:
- Queer liberation activist Ani Kayode Somtochukwu
- Emotional and mental wellness yoga coach Michael Nwah Ernest
- Therapist Toluse Dove Francis
- Founder of the Let Cerebral Palsy Kids Learn Foundation Oluwatobiloba Ajayi
- Autism educator Adelola Edema
- Human rights advocate Michael Nwielua, who goes by the name Mike Daemon.
- Founder of Boys Quarters Africa Solomon Ayodele
- Human rights activist and journalist Sada Malumfashi
- Senior editor of Zikoko.com Daniel Orubo
- Editor in chief of ANastyBoy.com Vincent Desmond.
- Cofounder of As Equals Africa Angel Nduka- Nwosu
- Filmmaker and gender equality advocate Ezeigwe Juliet Chioma
- Executive director of the Sustainable Impact and Development Initiative Elizabeth Talatu Williams
- Women and girl child activist Adakole Zainab
- Founder and executive director of The Conversation Café Chisom Ogbummuo
The list of finalists and their profiles can be viewed on the Diversity Prize website.
The finalists were graded and selected by a distinguished panel of judges including actors Nse Ikpe-Etim and Eku Edewor, consultant psychiatrist Dr. Gbonjubola Abiri, decorated journalists Kiki Mordi, Harry Itie, fashion designer Adebayo Oke-lawal, CNN African Voices’ Arit Okpo and consultant Ndukwe Igbokwe.
“The mission of the prize is to open up the voices, hearts and spirits of young people across Nigeria,” says Jideonwo. “For them to embrace their true identities and accept their uniqueness without feeling suppressed, oppressed or misunderstood.”
The finalists are set to attend a one-week workshop — to be held virtually due to Covid-19 — where they will be coached and mentored by a faculty of the brightest minds across media, human rights and governance.
This will be followed by the announcement of the winner in December to commemorate World Human Rights Day, where the overall winner will receive N1 million [about $2,600] endowed by Chude Jideonwo, who has been at the forefront of diversity and difference storytelling and activism across the continent.
The prize is co-presented by The Future Project and Joy Inc.