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World Food Forum 2022: Solution17 Climate Champion becomes WFF poet

The Solution17 Climate Artist and Poet, Victory Ashaka, has been nominated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as the Official World Food Forum 2022 Poet.

Victory Ashaka
Victory Ashaka

The World Food Forum (WFF) Flagship Event was held at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy, from October 17 to 21, 2022. The WFF’s theme, “Healthy Diets, Healthy Planet”, aims to raise young people’s awareness of the connection between climate change and access to safe and nutritious food and healthy diets to spark action. The Forum convened governments, youth champions, major influencers, and non-profit organisations to support the youth-led transformation of agrifood systems.

Ashaka, an undergraduate student at the Lagos State University, began his impact journey at nine years old under the Vision of the Child platform, a global movement directed by Foluke Michael under the supervision of the 1986 Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, to nurture, train and equip young children for leadership skills, as well as enable them to network, and develop various projects for nation building.

Solution17 Climate Change Champions and artists at COP26 Art for Climate Change Global exhibition and opening of the Virtual Gallery hosted by the Italian Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria

Ashaka’s talent was identified through the yearly programme and initiatives supported by the Lagos State Government and Diamond Bank (Now Access Bank) between 2012 and 2018.

Under the VoTc movement, Ashaka utilised his artistic talent to advocate for nation-building and sustainable change. The multi-award-winning poet graduated from the VoTc platform in 2018 and emerged as one of the Climate Artists of Solution17 in 2020. His Climate Artwork birthed the “Naija Climate Now – Trees from Art project” launched on April 7, 2022, with a goal of planting 10 million economic trees in Nigeria by 2030.

Ashaka’s performance at the opening and closing ceremonies was impressive. His energy, passion, and excellent delivery were applauded multiple times. With anger and urgency in his voice, he beckoned on the human race to rise and take sustainable action to save the crumbling planet.

According to him, the climate crisis is swiftly becoming the world’s greatest catastrophe, with a disastrous rippling effect. As a way to contribute, he mentioned that he collaborated with three other young artists in his community to create 17 artworks on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, to raise awareness and create a fusion with the SDGs, Climate Action and Food Security.

“We must turn away from the energy of death (fossil fuels) to the energy of life and sustainability (clean and renewable energy),” Ashaka added.

Naija Climate Now – Art for Climate Change was supported by UNIC Nigeria, Sterling Bank Plc, the German Consulate in Lagos, the British High Commission, Bosch Nigeria, and the Italian Consulate in Nigeria.

Young artists with Project Director, Foluke Michael (third right), during COP26 Art for Climate Change Global Exhibition and the opening of the Virtual Gallery

CEO and Project Director of CYCDI-Solution17 for Climate Action, Foluke Michael, expressed her excitement about the project outcome of the Vision of the Child and Solution17. She said both projects have produced young stars with the ability and capability to solve global problems. According to her, their foundation was built on hard work, creativity, discipline, and the unending support of Prof. Wole Soyinka and the project’s team.

“I am super proud of our Climate Champions, Victory Ashaka, Oluchi Nwaokorie, Anjola Olanrewaju and Michael Tobi. We have given them platforms to use their talent, creativity, and problem-solving approach to proffer solutions for social impact and profit,” Michael stated.

Solution17’s next phase will build on the success of the past and ongoing projects to implement the Tech-Driven Agroforestry Projects in Nigeria. The journey began on September 24, 2022, with the launch of the “Just Act” Climate Emergency Project (Publication and Movie Series) during the United Nations Global Week to #Act4SDGs.

Just Act Movie series consists of a compilation of action-oriented climate stories that portend the danger of climate change, the effects, solutions, and practical action to protect our planet.

Just Act focuses on Climate Campaigns and the Implementation of Practical, Impactful, Technology-driven Action on Climate Change.

Michael added: “Just Act Campaign shines a light on youths to take the driver’s seat by advocating for clean energy, green transportation, climate-smart agriculture, waste to wealth, and sustainable communities, and, with the participation of everyone, we will achieve the desired future – a sustainable world!”

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