Chibueze Ofobuike: With the right motivation and mentorship we can get our teens on the path of success


Chibueze being interviewed in Rome in 2013 at an International Conference

Every year, thousands of school leavers graduate from secondary schools in the remote parts of Nigeria with little or no direction about the next step to take. More worrisome is the fact that the majority lacks the requisite force that should lift them from negative beliefs to the thoughts of possibilities. Nothing inspires them. No one motivates them. With the seemingly unending economic crises that besieged Nigeria, it is difficult to blame these young boys and girls for not measuring up with their counterparts in highbrow schools. They do not possess the esteem and belief that distinguishes achievers.

Therefore, the only hope for these set of individuals is to be assured of the power that lies within them so that they think and see above their immediate environment.

Chibueze believes that this tide can be change, if only we can push the teenagers to start on a path of motivation and inspiration through the proper aid. He believes that by sharing stories of personal success of some individuals, these teens can break the restrictions of personal and environmental limitations and launch into the world, by striving hard to achieve their aspirations

Born of royal blood from the ancient Umuchu Kingdom in Anambra state Southeast Nigeria, this kindhearted and noble gentleman is the quintessence of humility, generosity and knowledge. He continues to exude simplicity despite his many travels to Europe and other parts of the world. He is the Convener of the African Association of Political Science Students , (AAPSS)  having served as President of the National Association of Political Science Students, (NAPSS) Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra State and recently participated in the International Association of Political Science Students IAPSS in Berlin, Germany. He was pioneer Secretary General of the International Model United Nations, Nigeria IMUNN in 2015.

He shares his thought and plans. Please enjoy

Tell us a bit about you and your involvement with young people.
My name is Chibueze Lawrence Ofobuike. I am a Masters Student in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria, where I am studying Political Science with a special emphasis on Conflict, Peace and Strategic Studies. I am 26 years old.

I spent the most part of my childhood alone with my Mother who is an educationist and has a well defined passion for teenagers. As a result of her dispositions, I always find myself in the midst of other young boys and girls listening to her inspirational admonitions. It is therefore not a surprise that I grew being deeply involved in youth development. As an undergraduate, I was involved with groups and associations that is interested in human capital development. Spearheaded by ROTARACT Club (a youth arm of Rotary International), these groups provided viable platforms for my contributions in this sector.
 What is the inspiration behind the Project and how do you intend to sustain it?

Classroom learning alone cannot guarantee a motivated and strong-willed Nigerian kid. Our society today is bedeviled by difficulties that easily discourage hard work, determination and perseverance. An extra effort is highly indispensable for an average Nigerian school boy/girl to get past these hurdles. I aim to see that young person saying “I am determined to achieve success”, especially that kid who resides in the interior community and who lacks access to the New Media and hardly sees individuals they he/she should look up to.
The Push to Start Project therefore is poised to identify these teens living in the hinterland and consequently provide them with the push that they need to break forth. They will not only receive powerful teachings by distinguished young individuals who are from the same poor and disadvantaged background, they will also be given powerful motivational books, as well as be placed on timely monitoring and communication with the resource persons.

Listening attentively to a presentation at the IAPSS Conference in Berlin . April 2016
Over the years, I have built a network of friends of like minds. I trust in their belief in this Project as well as their support and encouragement. However, I hope that in the near future, firms, organizations and private individuals who are passionate about this vision will get involved, thus ensuring its sustainability. 

On Monday, September 12, 2016, two hundred (200) students of Community Secondary School students of Community Secondary School, Ebenebe (an agrarian community dominated by poor households, located in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria) will listen to three outstanding individuals who have a success story to tell. They will also receive books from authors who systematically presented the steps to greatness especially when the odds are not favourable.

 How would you measure the impact of your intervention? What are the tools available for monitoring progress?

When we begin to see increased number of the target population recording landmark achievements in academics and/or business, it will no doubt indicate that our efforts were not in vain. A lot of these young boys and girls actually secure admissions into the university, but you find out that all they care for is just to pass their courses and eventually grab a certificate. The vision of the Project is to push their targets beyond grades.

As I said earlier, we intend to institute one-on-one and established communication channel with the target population. This will ensure continued monitoring and mentoring.

  You once worked with the Anambra State Government under the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth Mobilization and Empowerment. What legacies did you leave behind?

Before the commencement of a Masters Degree in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, I served as the Head of the Technical Team to the Special Adviser to the Anambra State Governor on Youth Mobilization and Empowerment. One of the many responsibilities we handled was to initiate programs and activities that is aimed at enriching the quality and uniqueness of the Anambra youth,

I really had an interesting spell serving in that capacity as it provided me with the golden opportunity of expanding my reach viz-a-viz youth development. Thus, through the H³ (Head, Heart and Hand) Initiative, we were able launch a holistic and well thought-out idea that had tremendous positive impact on the budding youths of the State.

Why did you choose to commence this Project in Ebenebe. Did you do an assessment of the needs of the Community?

The target areas of The Push to Start Project are the remote and the difficult-to-access communities where the teeming young population finds it difficult to compete effectively with those in the high brow environments and schools. They do not have access to the internet; neither do they interact with people who brings out the best in them. The effects of these lacks informed the nature of this Project.

Ebenebe is an agrarian Community located in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria. It lies several kilometers from Awka, the State Capital, and is largely made up of peasant farmers. My preliminary visit to the Community exposed me to the huge population of teenagers who are really interested in going to school but my interaction with them clearly showcased the confusion in most of them. They want to go to school because everyone wishes to. It is therefore my duty as a concerned citizen to redirect their focus and mindset

  Anambra State continues to lead other States in Secondary School education going by the recent statistics from WAEC. Is this not a misplaced Project? Don’t you think there are other more deserving States?

Yes, Anambra State has been in the news in recent times by producing the best students in the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) examinations. This is a great stride by the State government and we hope they maintain the pace. However, a simple check on the particular schools that achieves this feat will show that those are the ones located in the urban and semi-urban areas of the State. And so, we cannot comfortably generalize the performance of these students. Thus, we are particularly interested in the hinterland-located schools. This is the reason why this Project cannot be said to be a misplaced Project. 

Also, Anambra State do not stand to be a sole beneficiary of this initiative. The intent is to start from locations within the State in view of the logistics involved, and then enlarge the reach as more and more passionate Nigerians supports and encourages its drive.

As much as every school child in Nigeria deserves to be empowered to succeed, every State in our federation will be touched.

   Are you open to partnership?

Of course, Yes. I tell my friends and school mates that I cannot do this alone. A good number of them are already donating the books that will be shared to the students while others have pledged their support.

I look forward to more individuals, firms and organizations coming in for partnership in view of widening the scope and reach of the Project.

What are your final words for young people out there?

I believe in the Nigerian teen. I believe in their prospective ingenuity to weather all storms and record breakthroughs.

I would want to tell the young Nigerian out there to remain steadfast in his/her dreams. There is no limit to what you can achieve. Do not allow the societal ills to overwhelm you, rather, be strong in character, and resolute in hard work.

For more enquiries on how the project and how you can help, please contact

Chibueze Lawrence Ofobuike.
M. Sc. Candidate, Department of Political Science
(Conflict, Peace and Strategic Studies)
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
Facilitator, Push to Start project.

Phone:           +234 806 330 6798
Twitter:           @chibueze08.

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  1. Welldone Chibueze! Am delighted to know that young people really care about the welfare of their fellow Young people. Am glad that we have genuine love for the moral growth of Nigerian youngsters. More grease to your elbow dearie. Congratulations and God's continued blessings and support.

  2. My dear Chibueze I am sincerely encouraged that a young man like you who should be thinking of how his country can help him achieve his personal goals in life is burdened about how to contribute to National development by motivating young people to make the most use of their lives. We pray for more young men like you in Nigeria. Kudos. Ifeanyi Agu.