Wadi: The Phenomenal Woman!
“You can never ask a fish to climb trees or ask a monkey to swim and expect success; It is very important you follow your purpose in life in order not to fail”- these were the wise words the star for this blog post shared with me on the 29th of April, 2018 at Newton Park Hotel and Resort, Abuja during a brief but insightful CIB session.
I warmly welcome you, my pleasant one, to the growing world of CIB. As they say, variety is the spice of life hence, this blog post comes with a different style. Nonetheless, it promises to be exciting and of course, inspirational!!! I hope this meets you and yours in absolute good health.
Below is the interview with an amazing young lady, who is an intense God-Lover, one of my greatest blessings this year, initiator of #Street2School, #LoveInTheMidstOfWar (LITMOW), #EveryChildIsYourChild, #ProjectOneMillionSouls. She is the meticulous, courteous Wadi Ben-Hirki (WB-H). A minute with Wadi leaves you in awe. I secretly call her “Queen Solomon”. Kindly allow yourself to be inspired.
CIB: In detail, who is Wadi Ben-Hirki?
WB-H: Wadi Ben-Hirki is a 21 year old Nigerian who was born on the 29th of January in Lagos State. She hails from Adamawa State but currently resides in Kaduna. The third in a family of seven. She is a recent graduate of Covenant University and the Founder of Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation, an award-winning humanitarian and advocate.
CIB: You once told me that passion could lead one to purpose. At what point did you discover purpose?
WB-H: I discovered purpose at an early age when I realized what I loved and what made me happy. It was a life-changing experience for me.
CIB: Share your ONE Campaign story from scratch till date.
WB-H: I have been a ONE Champion for over a year now. My key responsibilities have so far been: organizing youths to be a major part of our street campaigns on Nationally and Internationally recognized days such as Children’s Day (May 27th), Women’s Day (March 8th) and International Day of the Girl-child (October 11th). I also represent ONE Campaign at some conferences and public functions. I am responsible for encouraging people to sign our petition cards to support our campaigns such as #GirlsCount and #MakeNaijaStronger. I leverage on social media platforms to inform people about the amazing work which we do and inspire passionate young people to join our community.
I was a ONE Youth Delegate at the Global Partnership for Education Replenishment Conference 2018. I was selected as part of the young people who formulated the Youth Solidarity Statement which was presented to Heads of States and Governments, other dignitaries and participants. Our statement was simply to plead with Governments, International Organizations and Agencies across the World to pledge to support and invest in 12-year free, qualitative and inclusive education for all.
CIB: Who inspired you to start up WBH foundation?
WB-H: I was inspired by God, myself and the number of people who suffer every day.
CIB: WB-H foundation is over two years old, what has the journey been like?
WB-H: The journey has been amazing yet challenging; filled with ups & downs, celebrations, laughter, disappointments and breakthroughs among others. I am grateful for the privilege to serve humanity and be a change agent. Thousands of lives have been positively impacted so far and this gives me so much joy!
CIB: What are your challenges so far?
WB-H: Raising funds could be challenging, balancing work with personal life and other things, being a girl-child fighting for gender equality.
CIB: What are the highlights of following your purpose?
WB-H: Reaching out to thousands of people, inspiring people of different backgrounds, age groups, races and religions. Being recognised for good at both local and international levels and being a voice to be heard and a young leader.
CIB: Kindly share your achievements so far.
WB-H: My key achievements include-
- Top 100 Most Positively Inspiring African Youths 2017
- Her Network Woman of the Future Award 2017
- The Ebony Life TV Sisterhood Award People’s Choice of the Year 2017
- The Ebony Life TV Sisterhood Award Advocate of the year 2017
- Top 10 young people in Africa working towards achieving Gender Justice and Reconciliation Award (Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, South Africa)
- Covenant University Class of 2017 Philanthropist of the Year & Top 10 Influencers list
- Civil Society Award 2017 for Peace Building
- Impacting Young Female Leader in Africa 2017by One World Foundation
- Future Awards Africa 2016 prize for Advocacy finalist
- 2nd runner-up Africa Peace builder Award 2016 by World Peace Initiative Foundation
- Covenant University Humanitarian of the Year 2016
- Nigerian Teen Choice Awards Choice Philanthropist of the Year 2015
Other major nominations are:
- 2018 Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria: Contribution to Children, World Peace and/or Human Rights
- Global Peace & Humanitarian Award 2018
- Commissioner for Peace and Security 2017-2019 of the African Youth Commission (I had to withdraw my candidacy as a result of inability to attend the elections)
- Africa Youth Awards Social Entrepreneur of the year 2016 & 2017
- African Youth Choice Awards Choice Humanitarian of the Year 2016
- West African Philanthropist of the Year 2016 (CNBC All Africa Business Leaders Awards)
CIB: What do you think you do differently that has made you successful?
CIB: Where do you see yourself in five years?
WB-H: I can’t really explain it but I believe I wouldn’t be where I currently am. I see myself reaching out to many more people and using my influence/ voice to advocate for a better, fairer, safer and more sustainable world.
CIB: You are quite young, what advise would you give to youths as it concerns discovering purpose?
WB-H: Life doesn’t give you what you desire or deserve. It gives you what you demand so if you want to make a difference, you must put in work. You need passion, focus and determination to keep you in motion. People are counting on you so if you don’t stand up, you’ll all be hushed and at the mercy of an adversary. It may not be smooth and easy but I promise, it’s going to be worth it in the end. Lastly, stories will be told about the heroes and sheroes of your generation. Make sure you’re one of them.
Living a life of purpose is the reason why we were created by God. Stay on your lane and use your gifts and talents to make a change.
You have read it all and I am certain you are marveled at such young wonder. If there is one thing I think you should hold on to, it’s the fact that you should never delay fulfilling purpose once you discover it. Do not be discouraged by people or place, just persevere and you would be glad you did.
I sincerely hope this post has touched you in a great way. Please, remember to tell a friend to tell a friend, no one knows where inspiration could be drawn from.
Till the next blog post, guard your time fiercely.
With love from yours truly,