26-year-old Hauwa Ojeifo is a young Nigerian woman who is not letting age and past struggles come in her way. If anything, she is using them both as a catalyst for change in the space she finds herself. Even the Queen of England, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has had to acknowledge her impact and hard work at such a young age.
At the just ended MTV Europe Music Awards in Spain, Hauwa Ojeifo picked up the prestigious first-ever MTV Europe Music Generation Change Award. The award is the first of its kind to honour, elevate and empower original young people who are changing the world. Hauwa took the award for the night beating other equally empowered youth around the world from Lebanon, Afghanistan, Britain and the USA.
The award has quickly elevated Hauwa Ojeifo into more popularity despite being the only female to receive the 2018 Queens Young Leaders Award earlier this year among other awards.
Hauwa Ojeifo is a Fashion Designer, Financial Analyst, Life Coach, women empowerment activist and mental health activist who manages to make time and achieve great progress in everything that she sets out to do. But her work in mental health stands out as a passion and a very important activity in her life.
In 2015, Hauwa was diagnosed with bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder coupled with psychosis and suicidal idealizations, a diagnosis that changed her life forever and brought her to the realization of how Nigeria and Africa greatly neglect mental health issues.
She attended Bells University, Ota in Ogun State where she studied Business Administration with a focus in International Businesses. Right after obtaining her degree, she went on to do her master’s degree at Henley Business School, ICMA Centre, and University of Reading in the UK. After her master’s degree, Hauwa moved to Malaysia to pursue her fashion dreams and obtained a professional certificate in fashion.
In April 2016, she set up ‘She Writes Women’ which serves as a platform where other women and Nigerians could pour out their struggles dealing with mental health issues.
In an interview with Guardian Nigeria, she said, ”With the creation of She Writes Women, the conditions addressing mental health issues in Nigeria have greatly increased and with its success, Hauwa went on to establish Safe Place, Nigeria’s first anonymous and 24/7 mental health helpline which receives several calls every day.”
Despite giving much attention to her mental health care initiatives, she still makes time to practice her financial profession and has also ventured into the digital marketing field while making fashionable clothing upon request. In her free time, she gives talks to young women encouraging them to chase their dreams, be true to their feminity and always be themselves.