Our #OnePerson for the month is Bright Jaja, a 33-year-old Social Entrepreneur and Youth Leader.
From the age of 10, Bright grew up in Abuja following his mother who was a trader to the market, and spending more time helping her out than he did in a classroom. He drew inspiration from his experience and set out on a mission to rebrand vocational and technical skills, to make them more appealing to young people.
He initially founded an NGO in 2012, called Redance Africa, a dance studio to encourage young people develop whatever skills they have. Through this organisation, he mobilized over 6,000 children across 50 schools in Abuja to dance for peace at the National Stadium.
In 2014, Bright became one of the youngest national winners of Naija Diamonds, a project by Diamond Bank and Ebony Life TV to celebrate heroes in Nigeria.
In 2016, while studying, he set up a summer school to teach students garment-making, bead-making, art, make-up design, graphic design, 3D animation, web design, cooking and music, at no cost. During this time, he considered and realized that the Ministry of Education was lacking any new innovative ideas to tackle the skills gap and unemployment problem. Given the change in times, the old systems seemed outdated and undependable.
The following year, he decided to establish iCreate Africa, a hub to solve the problem of unemployment by raising the profile and recognition of people with vocational and technical skills.
That same year he attended and emerged as the youngest speaker at the first TEDx in Abuja; and in 2019, he was invited to the first German-African Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) forum in Berlin to present iCreate’s impact on skill development and youth employment.
iCreate Africa has hosted Skill Fest, a technical and vocational skills competition, every year since it was founded. The competition has been hosted in states like Abuja, Kaduna, Enugu, and Lagos in partnership with some companies like Sterling Bank and Bosch, leaving winners with cash prizes, equipment and training opportunities.
So far, the organisation has trained over 38,000 people with vocational and technical skills; matched 24,000 people with jobs; and supported 5,000 others with start-up capital.
Bright is committed to breaking the stereotype that vocational and technical skills are only for people who are uneducated and empowering professionals to become entrepreneurs and eventually, employers of labour.
Awards and Recognitions
Bright Jaja has caused some platforms to take notice of him.
Due to his work with Redance Africa, his effort was recognized in 2013, when he was given the Abuja Young Entrepreneurship Award. In the same year, he was given the Nigeria Advancement Award for the most effective concept in the FCT at the Conference in Abuja by the Foundation for Economic Advancement Advocacy.
He snagged up about three recognitions in the year 2019. Avance Media, an African PR Organisation shortlisted him among the 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians. He was nominated for the Future Awards Africa. He was also shortlisted among the Forbes Under-30 Face of Skills, that same year.
In 2020, he received the Award for Innovation and Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Digital Influence by SoundCity MVP.
Well done Bright!
Keep up the good work.
To join the ‘ONE PERSON’ campaign:
Submit the link to the upload in the form below, whether it’s your own or a nomination for someone else who is making a positive impact.