Leaders Voices with Dimeji Ayanwale · A conversation about diaspora activism and the arrest of Sowore

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Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore), the founder of Sahara Reporters, ran for president last year in Nigeria’s general elections. Sowore has a legacy of activism dating back to his role in student activism on the campus of the University of Lagos. Similar to other countries, activism during one’s university years can have a profound influence on a life of engagement and activism. The spark of activism in university also shaped Dimeji Ayanwale’s interest in holding a seemingly unaccountable Nigerian government accountable. Dimeji joins Leaders Voices to speak about his experience in activism in the diaspora and comment on the recent plight of his personal friend Sowore. When it comes to diaspora activism, there is a debate about how the diaspora should contribute, if at all, to affairs back home. In this conversation, Dimeji defends his view that the diaspora should play a direct and constructive role in shaping positive change back home, including contesting for political office. The conversation also reveals the ideological and personal loyalty that friends of Sowore have for the activist even as he faces another set of challenges.

Photo Credit: Dimeji Ayanwale

The views expressed in this episode are the guest’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Leaders of Africa.

About the Author

  • Jelili Adebiyi is a development scholar-practitioner and system dynamicist, with a scholarly background in planning, sustainability, agri-food systems, and environmental policymaking.

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