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SPOTLIGHT: Maryam Laushi

Maryam Laushi is a communications specialist and as an activist she has been one of the most vocal voices raising awareness on gender equality, social justice and youth inclusion in politics. This, she has done through writing, projects on advocacy for women and as a pioneer member and one of the leaders of the Not Too Young To Run movement.
Her principled activism has generated debate and dialogue about numerous social issues and has attracted national attention. She volunteers for the non-profit, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) and other causes. The 28-year old holds degrees in Communications, Advertising and Marketing. In 2017, she emerged successful as one of the awardees of the SME100 Nigeria’s 25 under-25 award for Active Citizenry and received the Under-30s CEO award for politics and governance in 2018. Maryam believes in a greater future for Nigeria and that women and young people will play critical roles in building a bright future for the country.
AISHA SAMBO had the opportunity of interviewing Maryam Laushi who was recently spotted on Guardian Woman.


You have been instrumental to the Not Too Young to run campaign, what role did you play all this while?

I am a member of the Strategy Team, originally the group of people who began to push for the bill. From the drafting up until the final signing, we collectively advocated for the bill to become law.

Does Not Too Young to run fund young politicians seeking public office?

There’s no funding for young candidates but there is usually media support and training provided.

Other than the ‘Not Too Young to Run” what else do you do?

I am a communications consultant. I strategize and develop communication and marketing plans. I’m also a part of other youth centered programs and organizations.

You encouraged people to vote during the last elections, however you did not vote, what happened?

Well, INEC did not print my PVC and it was a major disappointment. I found out that this happened to many other people.

Would you consider political position in the future? if yes please be specific on the position or your plans for politics

I’m not certain that I will. Running and subsequent leadership requires a lot of sacrifice and dedication and so it is a decision I am carefully thinking over first

What will be the most challenging thing if you do run?

Probably the emotional commitment. On campaigns, you find that candidates (and their supporters) put in so much of their life and hope into the changes they would like to make. People are aware of the physical strain but not the emotional one. I believe this is the most challenging of commitments for candidates.

Are you experienced and educated enough to currently run?

The educational requirement is SSCE, which thankfully I do have. I’m a bit experienced in the political space but aware that it takes much more to serve people from a political position. I believe I have what it takes.

Do you believe oil is still important to the growth of our economy?

At the moment, yes. But I strongly believe that oil will lose its value in the future and the world seeks to use safer and cleaner energy. Our economy will crumble if we go into the future relying only on oil.

What are your last words for young people who plan to seek political office? What forms should they be attending, what should they be reading?

Consider it carefully, get your finances and network in a row, and be truly prepared. Do it for the right reasons and be the kind of leader Nigeria desperately needs. Read about the things amazing leaders around the world have accomplished – Lee Kuan Yew, Kagame, and even Lula’s Bolsa Familia program. It’s time to get creative and solve Nigeria’s problems. Our generation is the one to spark it.