Chife Foundation fellow, Nkiru Cheryl Onyekwelu attended Ebonyi State University in Nigeria, completing a degree in French Language. One of six siblings, she chose to study French because of her keen desire to see the world. “I have always wanted to be an international translator or air steward,” Nkiru says. Moreover, she hopes to travel outside Nigeria to obtain a master’s degree and then return to pursue a career within her home country.
Nkiru comes from a family of diverse backgrounds and interests. Both of Nkiru’s parents are traders. Nkiru’s older sister was the first in her family to achieve a university degree. Two of her siblings completed degrees in urban and rural development and accounting; two siblings are currently in the process of completing university degrees in mass communications and engineering.
This summer, Nkiru was a regular fixture at the Chife Foundation worksite in Anam, providing crucial feedback and assistance to the Rurban Design Workshop interns on their various projects. Most recently, Nkiru also helped conduct health surveys in Ebenebe, gathering information on urgent health issues facing Anam families and how a future health facility could best meet the needs of the community.
Nkiru envisions a prosperous future for the region: “Anam New City will change…the community [by bringing] development, boosting the economy,…creating an aesthetic environment for both locals and newcomers, and creating jobs.” She also looks forward to serving as an ambassador for the project, raising awareness about the New City and organizing programs to empower youths through a skills acquisition workshop. Much of the groundwork for this outreach began this summer and will continue in earnest as the initiative moves forward in coming months and year ahead.