ADDRESS DELIVERED BY ENGR. NOAH DALLAJI, PRESIDENT, AFRICAN CHILDREN TALENT DISCOVERY FOUNDATION (ACTDF), AT THE INAUGURATION OF “ACTDF UNLEASH YOUR TALENT 2017”, HELD AT SHERATON HOTELS & TOWERS, IKEJA LAGOS ON MONDAY, AUGUST 7, 2017.
When we set out to form the African Children Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF) in 2008, it was our passion to touch human lives in a most spectacular and humane way.
We have worked to empower the downtrodden so much so that we walked up the ladder and today are graded UN Grade C status as it relates to NGOs. In 2012, we participated in the Rio 2012 UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit which held in Brazil. I am particularly happy that our brand ambassadors like Jim Iyke, Abubakar Yakubu, Emeka Rollas, Thelma Ojiji, and others who are here with us this morning were all part of that trip to the beautiful city of Rio for that UN gathering.
I am happy to state that across the nation and beyond the shores of Africa, we have reached out touching lives in very astonishing ways and are being recognised for that.
For instance, aside been the only NGO in Africa to have gotten accreditation by the United Nations to officially hold side events at the UN, we are also on record to be the only NGO in Africa to have established the sister - city linkage programme between Oakland City in the United States and Bauchi State in Nigeria. And I remember Segun Arinze, Yemi Blaq, Thelma, Rollas to mention a few were part of that trip to the US when we consummated that agreement. This led to well over 1000 students cut across Bauchi and other states of the Federation gaining scholarship to study both in the United States and here in Nigeria.
In Kurudu community, a suburb of Abuja , an empowerment scheme we launched few years ago has continued to see us help that community with bountiful talents through provision of boreholes and some basic infrastructure. As at today, no less than 2,500 Nigerian students are on scholarship on the bills of the ACTDF across the country and beyond.
Whether in scholarships, community health care services, talent discoveries and infrastructural empowerment across states in Nigeria , we have continued through thick and thin to uplift human lives. And so today is one of such days.
Gentlemen of the Press may I on behalf of the ACTDF welcome you to yet another of our life - touching event - The ACTDF UNLEASH YOUR TALENT 2017.
Purely a talent hunt initiative which seeks to expose raw talents in singing , dancing and acting , UNLEASH YOUR TALENT 2017 will hold in zonal regions of Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Nasarawa, Ibadan/Ekiti, Bauchi, and Kaduna before the grand finale which takes place on September 1, 2017 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The zonal competitions will take place on the 17th, 18th and 19th of August 2017. We expect at least 3 winners to emerge from the zones before slugging it out at the grand finale in Port Harcourt.
The first prize winners at the grand finale in Port Harcourt in each category of singing , dancing and acting will win respective contracts of one million naira plus cash prizes and also join us on the trip to New York for the UN Summit while the first and second runners up will get varied contracts in their respective fields worth millions of naira as well as cash prizes also.
This event is cued into this year's United Nations General Assembly Summit which has tagged this year the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. We shall hopefully be in the United States come September to depict the potentials in our youths and practically show how we could use it to drive the tourism sector in Nigeria through our various slated side events and general meetings. Just as we go round scouting for talents and helping them earn a living we also believe that harnessing these human resources could help improve tourism whether in sports, singing, acting, dancing or even sheer gift of craft- making.
At the grand finale in Port Harcourt, we look forward to hosting a most successful event that will give our teeming youths a chance to celebrate life and enjoy it to the fullest. When we see our efforts impact positively on the needy and watch them in turn use their God- given talents to influence the larger society positively, we become satisfied as this is just the only way great nations evolve - investing in their human and material resource as depicted by the ACTDF logo: Talent Is Great Resource.
This is a noble cause. And so as we thank you - our friends in the media, who have turned out en-masse despite the short notice, it is also my obligation, on behalf of the ACTDF Board, to thank all our esteemed guests and my beloved ambassadors. Your presence here has again manifested the sacrifice, good heart and bond that have existed between us over the years.
On behalf of the ACTDF, I hereby inaugurate "ACTDF UNLEASH YOUR TALENT 2017 and say if you got talent then come and unleash it. ACTDF is here.
Thank you and God bless.
ENGR. NOAH DALLAJI