“I want to see young people taking the world by storm”

A Theirworld Global Ambassador in Nigeria talks about her background, her social enterprise’s work in six countries and her hopes for the future.

Amarachukwu Nwokokoro is passionate about improving the lives of others and helping them reach their potential.

She is a social development advocate, content creator, business owner and one of Theirworld’s network of 2,000 Global Youth Ambassadors in more than 120 countries.

Born and educated in the United States, Amarachukwu now lives in Nigeria, where she launched IRUKA Africa in 2018. Over those five years, the organisation has touched the lives of more than 20,000 people. Last year alone it impacted hundreds of girls in six countries, including getting Nigerian girls enrolled in school.

In the latest of our Spotlight On… series, she tells us about her work and the issues facing young people in Africa.

Tell us about yourself and your journey to becoming a social development advocate.

I value dedication, excellence and impact. Creating impact and inspiring passionate minds is what drives me daily. I am dedicated to making an impact in the world and most especially in Africa.

I am your go-to creative machine and strong professional, with a Bachelor of Arts focused on Political Science and History from Texas Southern University. I’m currently a student at the School of Politics, Policy and Governance in Nigeria and will be pursuing a law degree in the coming year.

These passions have motivated me to create several platforms such as IRUKA, NaijaWave, Lilies Africa and plenty more. These tools allow me to create transformations in the world that fall under the Sustainable Development Goals of quality education and peace, justice and strong institutions.

As a content creator, I use my platform of over 23,000 followers to entertain, educate and inspire the masses. The brand “Ammychi” has been built to a safe space where limits don’t exist.

This mission is everything I am passionate about. I believe as a young leader and changemaker I had to tell myself the hard truth that I could not change the world alone because it takes different leaders from different walks of life to come together and do that.

Tell us more about the social enterprise IRUKA.

I started IRUKA in 2018 as something fun, I wanted to contribute to the issues I saw in Nigeria. Iruka is a Nigerian word that means “The future is bright”.

My father was in Nigeria at the time, so I sent him some money I saved and he donated it to an orphanage in Lagos. That was how we started.

The mission for IRUKA is to build the Africa of our dreams. We go to different communities and create projects that cater to issues in the countries. I have been able to build 300-plus volunteers and now we are in six countries – Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ghana. By the end of 2024 we want to reach 10 countries or, honestly, 20.

What are some of the biggest issues facing young people in these regions?

The biggest issues facing young people in Africa is the lack of access to the available resources. The power is in the wrong hands. A lot of people have decided to leave their countries because they see no hope in the current state of our nations. I may not be able to change the world but I would like to give it a try while I am still here.

What are some of the highlights of your work?

I truly enjoy getting in the field and making these ideas come true. It’s always a joy seeing the smile on the faces of the people we help.

I really enjoy working with my team as well. Interacting with people from different countries and backgrounds really has contributed to my growth as a leader.

I have learned that I cannot do this work alone so building an effective, diligent and future-minded team is important to me. So we work on building ourselves along with building the country we want to see.

Why is empowering young people across Africa so important to you?

Being an African who was born in America, I understand the sacrifice my parents made to go to America looking for a better life for themselves.

My family are not the only people who do this – it’s because our nations have failed at making things work for us. I believe that it’s our responsibility to be a part of the change we want to see in Africa.

Africa is a powerhouse of not only resources but exceptional minds. Africa needs to be better showcased to the world. I would be a part of making sure this happens.

I want young girls and boys to see myself or the work I do and know that they can make a difference too. I want to see more young people in policy, governance and just taking the world by storm.

Why did you decide to become a Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador?

When I saw the post about Theirworld I knew it would be something that I would love to be a part of. Having a network of other passionate individuals as it pertains to making an impact always makes this work easier. I am grateful for such a network and I look forward to more impact to be made.

What is the greatest lesson that you’ve learned outside the classroom?

That issues do not mean you need to quit. I have had so many issues in life and my career but I have learned to change my perspective. Issues will always come but if I decide to view things differently, I will always win.