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Opinions of Friday, 19 December 2014

Columnist: Alfa, Abdur Rahman Shaban

The Zongo Dream Mentorship Clinic: When Zongo Rose!

A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained – Shawn Hitchcock

INTRODUCTION
It was largely a social media organized program that was targeted at empowering young people irrespective of their ethnic, tribal, religious, social and cultural persuasion. #Passion

It was also a program that primarily sought to and indeed did empower young Junior High School students to aspire to achieve their professional dreams because under similar conditions as theirs, others (their mentors) braved the odds in much harder circumstances achieve. #Nurturing

Zongos (basically parts of town or neighbourhoods in which Islam is the dominant religion and hausa the lingua franca) are littered all over the country. They are more often than not cosmopolitan areas that embraces people from all walks of life. #Connection

Yet, zongos suffer perception crisis. A crisis that is fueled by the rather roguish and rowdy approach by some zongo folk even when common sense should prevail. This attitude and perception thereof affects even the 'level headed' fellows in most places they go. #Consequences

The Zongo Dream Mentorship Clinic, an initiative of young marketing executive Abdul Rashid Zakari (AR Zakari Mcim) and a few guys sought to rekindle the peaceful side of Zongos by urging young people in zongos to believe. #Aspire


THE ZONGO DREAM MENTORSHIP CLINIC (ZDMC) AND SOCIAL MEDIA
ZDMC was mooted as a platform to facilitate the easy interaction between young people and their older siblings, with the aim of tutoring and nurturing in them innate qualities they long to cultivate into professions in the future.

Indeed, some young people would most likely have made it to the event without any professional ambition in mind, yet the sight of others who have made it and of course their words of motivation, would ultimately result in a plan to pursue. #Kindling


Social media is here to stay and so shall ZDMC. I find that the brain behind ZDMC; AR Zakari Mcim employed an effective social media 'onslaught.' With the support of the many friends on social media platforms especially facebook and whatsapp; who shared the values that he was together with his team championing. #Sharing

Again, the level of acceptance of the ZDMC underlined the fact that a certain void was being filled, one that remained agape in the years gone by but needed to be filled not just for the sake of it but through a conscientious and focused effort as the ZDMC. #Fulfill

The height of the social media blitz was the readiness with which friends of the originator heeded calls to change their profile pictures on social media to the official logo of the mentorship clinic. Social media was a good friend of the event and brought on other media.

Marhaba fm and GH Islamic Radio midway partnered the organizers. Marhaba for their part granted pre event interviews, while GH Islamic Radio did the yeoman's job of beaming the event LIVE on their wonderful app. #Partnership.

May Allah reward them with good.



THE SIGNPOST/MENTORS
Whiles several organizers of mentoring programs would look to bring on board, old people in their respective fields to motivate young audiences, Abdul Rashid and his team looked to challenge the status quo and it worked. #Change

That shift in paradigm was to motivate young people by using their older siblings rather than with persons old enough to be their parents. So all mentors who came on board were people who the young people could realistically look up to. #Wannabe

The deepness that went into choosing respective mentors was shrewd to say the least but most of all admirable. The lineup was star studded and very well thought out especially considering the areas of specialization. #Thought

From the newspaper newsroom to the television studios, the arts gallery to the accounts office and banking hall. From the fashion designer, the IT expert and the businessman not forgetting the medical personnel. #Star Studded.

These were young people who had applied themselves to their professions and worked assiduously to raise their own profiles and over and above themselves, the places that they started from and most live till date - the zongos. #Purpose

The overall beauty of the entire program being that even though there were more Muslims in the lineup, those Christian colleagues who also lived and still live in the zongos and were schooled there, also made the list. #Assortment


THE MENTEES
Young people especially at their school going age, need to be motivated even to learn. Learning comes naturally to only a handful of them, but when motivated by the successes of their predecessors there is a high likelihood of striving a little more. #Push Factor

Question that often comes up is; how did their older siblings manage to excel with zero mentoring and motivation? I dare say that question falls flat. Simple reason; where there is a better option we pursue it as people always seeking to grow. #Progress

So even though they made it, times have changes as much as have circumstances and with the complexities of our times come commensurate challenges; the basis on which systems and structures must be aligned same. #Current





CONCLUSION
The ZDMC is perhaps an initiative that all communities in the country should adopt. Where they employ the use of their own to deploy the spirit and fire of aspiration and achievement of up and coming ones. #Future

As much as every community boasts of young ones in this case at the Junior High level, it can also express pride in its young ones who are beacons for the places that moulded them. A partnership between the two sets of people is without doubt a bright sign for the community's future. #Forward


As a first shot, there are lessons to be learnt in the evaluative process that is most likely to have started by now, as we look to start preparations in earnest for the coming year. #Projection

The clinic I propose in the not too distant future should evolve to a radio and television talk show. It should extend beyond the areas that it tackled and also look to document by text the very inspirational stories of these people and how far they are hoisting the Zongo flag. #Pride

It feels absolutely good to have been involved when Zongo indeed rose. Proud to be a product of zongo upbringing and a champion of the paradigm shift needed to fend off the negatives and consolidate the positives we have so far achieved. #Moving On Up _ ZongoRises2014.

Abdur Rahman Shaban Alfa
newcguide@gmail.com

Pictures

DMC - Logo of ZDMC

AR Zakari Mcim - Brain behind ZDMC