• David Makoni

"I'm doing what i love, thanks to Inspire Africa"

Updated: Apr 7

Sadiya Murtala- IGL alumna (Nigeria)

Inspire Africa is part of a supportive community that has helped Sadiya Murtala achieve her mission. When we spoke to Sadiya, it was clear just how much she values her experience with the Ignite Innovation Lab, attributing her success to the pivotal skills, support and mentoring she has learnt and received from us.

Sadiya recalls one time when she and Fatima (a friend) had secured medicinal drugs and other necessities to be delivered in one of the rural communities. The journey to this community involved crossing a treacherous piece of land with bad roads flooded by heavy rains. She had feared crossing it, only to be arm-twisted by Fatima into taking a plunge.

“It was well above my knees, almost reaching my waist. My shoe was swept away and the whole time I was thinking ‘I did not tell my mother I love her and I am sorry if I wronged her’”.

In her mind, Sadiya thought she would be a news headline when her body would be found with one shoe missing. Thankfully she crossed safely and, upon arriving at their destination, she was grateful Fatima had dragged her across the river.

“There was such delight at our arrival and we were so well received it made the visit so special for me”, she says. “This was a moment that motivated me to start going out there and helping these people” she affirms.

From then on, Sadiya realized that she could play the advocate well, and cross even the trickiest of floods to help those in need. This would prove to be the foundations of her not for profit organization, WeCan Africa Initiative.

Sadiya at a WeCan Africa Initiative event. Her organisation delivers women economic empowerement schemes.

In 2019, Sadiya took part in the first Ignite Innovation Lab by Inspire Africa, which was for young women entrepreneurs, and was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria. The program mostly focused on helping young women co-create innovative solutions addressing Sustainable Development Goals. During the program, Sadiya’s determination to succeed was unparalleled and she would go on to become one of the final 25 participants.

Inspire Africa did everything for me, says Sadiya. “Inspire Africa was there for me from the beginning. When you want to start an organization, planning is easy. It is when you want to actually start that all the difficulties come. Inspire Africa prepared me from the start” she says in a tone littered with sincerity.

“I’m doing what I love because of Inspire Africa’s support. I still use the digital skills I picked up at the IGL Digital Transformation to prepare, plan and organize official business documents on G-suite at WeCan Africa Initiative.”

From the digital skills and entrepreneurial leadership training, Sadiya would go on to start WeCan Africa Initiative where she is now the CEO and become a Margaret Ekpo 2020 fellow, another milestone she attributes to the IGL Digital Transformation.

Sadiya Murtala in 2020

“For me it is about helping young girls make the right choices” she says of her organization.

Many women in northern Nigeria have acquired skills that will help them earn a livelihood through WeCan Africa, from sewing to soap making and many other profitable enterprises.

“Currently, we are working to create fifty enterprises for fifty vulnerable young women in the north western part of Nigeria, Kano. We want to see these women become rightfully empowered. This is because the release of women's productive potential is pivotal to breaking the cycle of poverty so that women can share fully in the benefit of development and in the products of their own labor.”

Inspire Africa is not-for-profit organisation that has been delivering entrepreneurial leadership education and digital business skills training to youth in Africa since 2017. Through our flagship program, the Ignite Innovation Lab, we have reached over 3000 youths across Africa and supported over 250 startups to get funding, creating more than 1,000 jobs.

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