Name: Jonah Obajeun
Jonah Obajeun is an renowned activist from Nigeria committed to strengthening the social fabric of his community and working against the spread of violent extremism.
After losing a business associate to a communal clash in 2008, Jonah started his journey to become an activist for peace, security and tolerance. Indeed, this painful experience triggered his passion to learn about inter and intra-ethnic relations in Nigeria. Having researched extensively on social integration and the attendant impact of stereotypic messaging and extreme narratives, Jonah founded Tolerance Academy as a response to the widening gaps created by socio-economic, cultural and religious biases.
The Academy has seen more than 200 peace advocates graduate and reached more than 33,000 young people in Nigeria. Jonah has facilitated workshops on peacebuilding, especially on prevention of violent extremism. He has also written extensively on multiculturalism and socio-cultural civilisations. He has shared his experiences as a growing up Christian child who was trained by Muslim families. At a forum organised by the Tony Blair Foundation in Nairobi, Jonah shared personal stories of how his cross-breed values impacted his life choices in many positive ways. An MBA holder, Jonah is an Associate Fellow of Nigeria Leadership Initiative and Finalist of Echoing Green.
Open to: Mentoring, speaking engagement, solicited Op-Eds, training
Areas of Expertise: Education (formal and informal), interfaith and intercultural dialogue and messaging, social media evolution
Geographical Scope: East Africa, United Arab Emirates, West Africa
Media Coverage – Huffpost: With Rising Combustible Intolerance, Nigeria May Become World’s Hate Capital
Media Coverage – Huffpost: Identity Crisis and the Underlay of Social Cohesion
Media Coverage – Huffpost: Arts Education and Interculturalism
Media Coverage – Huffpost: In Southern Kaduna, Nigeria Generates More Dead Bodies Than Electricity
Blog Post – Hope Field Network: A personal Experience at 2014 Tolerance Academy
Media Coverage – Punch: Be your own competition