In a world where age often dictates opportunities, 16-year-old Shania Muhammad from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is rewriting the narrative. At just 16 years old, Shania has achieved what many can only dream of—holding three college degrees and becoming America’s youngest full-time salaried teacher. Her story is one of passion, determination, and a commitment to following her dreams.

Shania’s Journey of Academic Excellence

Despite her young age, Shania is no stranger to academic accomplishments. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Child Development, which is a remarkable achievement on its own. But Shania’s thirst for knowledge propelled her even further. By the age of 14, she had earned two associate degrees from both Oklahoma City Community College and Langston University, an impressive feat by any standard.

Embracing a Passion for Teaching

Beyond her impressive list of degrees, what sets Shania apart is her genuine passion for teaching. Currently serving as a third-grade teacher in her hometown, Shania’s journey from student to educator is a testament to her dedication and love for the classroom environment.

Elijah Muhammad, Shania’s father, couldn’t be prouder of his daughter’s accomplishments. He shares, “I’m super proud of my daughter for being bold and brave and stepping out on her faith and into her purpose. She doesn’t allow people’s opinions of her to dictate the reality of her dreams and passions.” Elijah’s unwavering support has been instrumental in Shania’s success.

Overcoming Criticism and Making History

Shania’s accomplishments have not come without their fair share of skepticism and criticism. However, her family’s determination to stay focused on their goals has allowed Shania to overcome these challenges. Elijah shares, “People will always have criticism and negative things to say but we are used to it. And not one negative comment has slowed down our family’s history-making progress.”

Charitta Smith, the Director of Young Achievers Christian Academy where Shania teaches, echoes the sentiment of pride and admiration for Shania’s efforts. She notes, “It is a privilege and honor to be this young lady’s mentor, helping and guiding her teaching journey… We are a few days away from week one, and let me just say, she’s doing an amazing job with her third graders.”

A Growing Presence on Social Media

Shania’s story has not only made waves within the education community but also on social media. Her Instagram account (@SmartGirlShania) and TikTok page (@SmartGirlShania) have garnered significant followings, with over 36,000 followers on TikTok alone.

As Shania continues to inspire both young and old alike with her dedication to education, her journey serves as a reminder that age is not a limitation to achieving greatness. Shania Muhammad is a beacon of hope, showing the world that determination and passion can propel individuals to reach heights beyond their wildest dreams.

It’s easy to underestimate the power of social media to negatively influence our thoughts and desires. We scroll and like and scroll and comment and keep scrolling and liking all day, but we leave with our minds loaded with all that we had just seen and read.

Today I posted some pictures on social media. I looked good and took some “Instagram-worthy” pictures I thought would make sense to share. I wanted a befitting caption to accompany the photos, but also didn’t want to put something pretentious or some other unrelated inspirational quote. The only thing that came to mind and was quite apt for how I felt at the time were lyrics to the song, Anchor by Bethel MusicHolding onto hope, holding onto grace, fully letting go, I surrender to your will. Though still unrelated to my pictures, I paraphrased and posted.

As I edited my pictures, I got the guilty feeling that I was posting pictures that weren’t necessarily reflective of my mood, upholding the fact that social media promotes a façade and the idea of keeping up appearances. I honestly wasn’t in the brightest of spirits, but still wanted to drop one for the ‘gram. As the likes and comments poured in, it occurred to me that someone out there would see my photos and be led to think that I have it good, with no serious worries. Who knows, someone struggling with a difficult situation may have seen my picture and sniggered, thinking Oh, she’s chilling and living her best life. If only that were true. But this is the reality of social media and, admittedly, I am an enabler.

It’s easy to underestimate the power of social media to negatively influence our thoughts and desires. We scroll and like and scroll and comment and keep scrolling and liking all day, but we leave with our minds loaded with all that we had just seen and read.

Ah this person is getting married too, na wa o.

When did he relocate to Canada? Everybody is leaving Nigeria.

Wow, I remember when this girl started this business and now she has blown. Me I’m still here saying I want to start something.

See how pretty this girl looks and she lost so much weight.

Aww, they look so in love. When will I get my own love like this? *Types comment*: Couple goals <3 <3

This one is always travelling up and down the world, living their best life, she must have plenty of money.

These are some of the many thoughts that flow through my mind when scrolling through my Instagram feed, and I know I am not alone. But what this does is that it feeds our insecurities, creates a feeling of dissatisfaction such that if we’re not strong and self-assured, our insecurities soon come to the fore. It’s a black hole, and if you’re not careful, you’ll fall into the trap of developing feelings of envy, inadequacy, unhealthy comparison, and feeling sorry for yourself based on what you see. These feelings could grow into an ugly monster.

We have made social media into this virtual reality where we view the world through tinted lenses, leading to false aspirations and triggering a fear of missing out, or the feeling that life is passing you by.

This leaves me wondering why we are comfortable keeping up appearances and showing off the good times to convince others that we are indeed living our best lives, but aren’t comfortable showing the other side – the glamorous, dishevelled, anxious, unhappy, dissatisfied sides to us. For those who are brave enough to, they are ridiculed for putting their business out there and for not hiding their dirty laundry. On the flip side, I don’t think the ridicule and shaming, especially from people who barely know you and know only your online persona, is worth it, as it could take its own emotional and mental toll on you.

At a time in my life when I was very unhappy, I took to Twitter to vent about my frustration. My tweets reeked of sadness and a cry for help. Some folks reached out, which I was very grateful for. Others asked me about it months later. In hindsight, I cringe when I think of what it must have been like reading my tweets, as I must have come off as a very sad person, which is not a pretty look, and certainly not one that is reflective of who I am today. When I see similar tweets on my timeline, I wonder if the tweeter is doing well. But if I’m being honest, those are not the kind of tweets I expect to see when I open my Twitter feed, and I don’t think I am completely wrong to say that others feel the same way.

I realise that social media, for a lot of us, is somewhat of an escape from our reality. We don’t just check-in from time to time to see what others are up to, we also check-in for entertainment and to share snippets of our lives. So, my conclusion is that we don’t necessarily want to see the sad parts of others’ lives and know about their struggles, especially if we don’t know them personally. The same way we wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing the not so glamorous parts of our lives online for everyone to see.

That is, we don’t like to put ourselves out there, which is fine. Unless it’s a success story where we share the challenges we have faced after the fact. In that case, maybe we might be more receptive to posts like these. I am all for sharing on social media, after all, it’s a great way to keep up with friends. But where I start to see a problem is where people go out of their way to prove a point and portray an image that isn’t necessarily reflective of their reality. I honestly wish people would not put up pretentious and deliberately misleading posts to garner likes and comments. I believe the extra attention promotes a false sense of importance and an unhealthy reliance on internet strangers for validation. This ignores an underlying internal issue that needs to be addressed. Social media has its good sides, but this is one of its darker sides.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this. How do you stunt for the ‘gram but keep things “real”? How do you strike a balance in your social media usage to avoid going over the edge and crossing the thin line between being your authentic selves and altering the appearance of your reality for validation? You are welcome to share your opinions and leave comments.

Source: Bellanaija

The CEO of Instagram has expressed his disappointment that Selena Gomezdeleted the app after it made her ‘depressed’.

Gomez, once the most followed person on the platform and now the third (after Cristiano Ronaldo and Ariana Grande), has been honest about her struggles with social media, Instagram in particular, and mental health.

She recently announced she’d stopped personally using it after it left her feeling low and affected her self-esteem.

‘I used to use it a lot but I think it’s become really unhealthy for young people, including myself, to spend all of their time fixating on all of these comments and letting this stuff in,’ she told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on their show. ‘It would make me feel not good about myself and look at my body differently,’

Gomez has now deleted her Instagram account on a colleague’s phone instead of hers, so she can just access it when she wants to share something with fans.

In the past, she’s also spoken about taking regular breaks from the platform and even deciding not to know the password for her account. At Cannes Film Festival last month, she told reporters ‘social media has been terrible, for my generation specifically‘.

selena gomez instagram

Selena at Cannes Film FestivalTONY BARSONGETTY IMAGES

In response to her latest comments, Adam Mosseri – the CEO of the app – has said the singer’s criticism of Instagram left him feeling ‘disappointed’ but would love to talk to her about it to collaborate on ways to improve the platform.

‘I would love to hear from her,’ Mosseri told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat. ‘If there’s something specific that she thinks is working or not working about the platform, I’d love to hear. We like the criticism, we like to have the conversation.’

However, Mosseri also questioned whether Gomez’ experience of Instagram – where she currently holds 152 million followers, is inundated with comments and likes and looked to as a role model – can be compared to the average user’s experience.

Adam Mosseri instagram

Adam Mosseri at a Facebook conferenceJUSTIN SULLIVANGETTY IMAGES

‘She has over 100m followers,’ he said. ‘It’s a whole other world.’

Credit: ELLE

Like a phoenix, Jennifer is rising from the ashes of adversity and inspiring others to do so through her story. As a survivor of Domestic Violence, she believes that girls and young women access to education and health service is fundamental for sustainable development in Nigeria. Jennifer grew up in a broken home with rough experiences of abuse and neglect. Her parent divorced Nine months after her birth in Eastern Nigeria. Her Father showed no interest towards her education.

She was raised by her single mum, grand mother, uncles, aunties, and people. As a girl filled with many ambitions despite her experiences. she was determined to further her education. Today, Jennifer Umeh is a graduate of Mass communication from The Federal Polytechnic Offa. The pioneer of Hope for African Girls Initiative (HAGi) an organisation founded to Educate Girls to be empowered enough to stand up for themselves and to discover their self-identity through quality education and empowerment. She is also the founder of a fast-growing clothing brand that has received massive support from Nigerians on social media since inception .  A vision that was born out of her bullying experience as an undergraduate. She shares the story of her rise from the ashes to glory in this interview

Growing up

I was raised by my single mum, grand mother, uncles, aunties, and people. As a girl filled with many ambitions despite my experiences. I was determined to further my education. With my decision making ability, i believed that if i could go to school, I could gain knowledge and skills access limitless opportunities and reach my potentials in life. As a survivor of Domestic Violence, I believe that girls and young women access to education and health service is fundamental for sustainable development in Nigeria. I grew up in a broken home with rough experiences of abuse and neglect. My parent divorced Nine months after my birth in Eastern Nigeria. My Father showed no interest towards my education, Coping With the Status Quo. I must say that even though my background is not pleasant, it stirred up such compassion for those from similar backgrounds. When I was 10years, I finally went to stay with my mum and her husband (step father) supporting her with my siblings as the eldest. All of this built a resilience within me, strengthened my heart and reminds me daily that ‘I can’! I can do anything I set my mind to. I can be the best version of Chinonye that there will ever be. I can achieve. I can inspire. Regardless of my background. We know that seeds grow best in the dirt. My background may have been messy, dirty, whatever we want to call it, but it provided the best environment for the seed within me to grow and produce more seeds to encourage others! I learnt never to allow my circumstances to inhibit my growth as a person at all! If I have a goal, I will go for it.

Meet Me!

I am a 23 year old lady,  I recently graduated from The Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara with a Higher National Diploma in Mass communication. I am now a corps member serving at Umuokanne Comprehensive Secondary school, Ohaji, Egbema in Imo State.

I am the pioneer of Hope for African Girls Initiative (HAGi) an award winning Organisation founded to Educate Girls to be empowered enough to stand up for themselves and to discover their self-identity through quality education and empowerment.

My skills include Public speaking, Teaching, Writing, Counselling and Leadership. I am a Campus Correspondent with The Nation Newspaper and  Mentor a Girl Child Fellow , Educate a girl Scholar and a fellow of  Nigeria students leaders program. In 2016, my projects won the best community development project of the year organized by SLAM initiative. Recently, I was awarded the African Youth Academy Service Award, for my selfless service and  contribution towards the development of young African Leaders and was granted the designation of a FELLOW of African Youth Academy. I recently launched a clothing line called Blinky Creative Collections.



I started a non-profit organization called Hope for African Girls Initiative in 2016 to transform the lives of marginalized community girls through quality education and empowerment.  Our work is to promote creative learning by providing platforms for girls and young women to explore and develop their innovative ideas. Since inception, we have been able to groom young women to be responsible citizens who can actively participate and communicate with the world in a spirit of compassion.

My mission is to foster an educated and compassionate new generation of young African Girls who will use their education to improve their lives, help their country and contribute to the world to help maintain peace and prosperity for all. My focus is on educating the girls and also educating their families and communities and improving their support system.


My Inspiration

The inspiration was after I attended the ‘Educate a Girl Nigeria’ workshop in Lagos. The workshop was an eye-opener for me as I became aware of too many illicit behaviours bedeviling the girl-child around the world such as child marriage, sexual assault, violence against girls, and lack of access to education, among others. I saw the need to help young people, I desired to speak out so that my voice to be heard. I said to myself, if only my voice could change the status quo of girls in Africa, why should I hold back. I approached some NGOs indicating my interest to serve as a volunteer. But to ensure I have a louder voice and a wider reach, I founded Hope for African Girls Initiative (HAGi) at the beginning of this year. As an undergraduate then, I was motivated to work in places where I could contribute and provide value. I have performed excellently in different roles like taking care of children in my church, and taking up leadership positions in my school and any organization I found myself.

Launching a clothing line

As an undergraduate, life was good. I was more extroverted, I made new friends. Although, it was also a time of bullying for me. I blink frequently when I speak. I never got bullied over it. People who know me or have met me before understand how my eyes work while I talk, even if most times, I try to control it.

In my 300 level in school, I was faced with the challenge of speaking up for what is right, even when over 200 students in my class refused to talk because of fear and intimidation from lecturers. But I decided to speak up that day to the chagrin of the naysayers even if my voice made no difference to the situation.

After that, the friends of the guy who was involved in this case formed a gang against me. They made mockery of me in class. I couldn’t walk in peace on campus without being bullied by those guys. And as days passed, their gang multiplied with fans. The bullying continued in different WhatsApp groups and while lectures went on.

The group dissed me right in my face. I was heartbroken and I didn’t know what to do. But it was only the beginning. The group tormented me. They named me Blinky-Blinky. They called me terrible names – some, curse words – and spread sexual rumours about me. I almost became insane that when I got back from school one day, I ran to my room and cried. I stayed in my room and drowned in tears for hours. That was when I decided to take the law into my hands with the help of a friend who stood up for me whenever I was bullied. He encouraged me to report to the security unit before it went out of hand. I did so and the guys were picked up by the school security. It was never intentional but these things were out of my control. Many students face trauma like this but they have no way of handling it; they end up becoming losers.  I finally felt good knowing that I had a voice. Most of my course mates were so proud of me for the move. I was with new friends who liked me for who I was. But I knew the fight was not finished. One day the worst happened; I was bullied right in the lecture hall when a lecture was going on. As one of them shouted ‘Blinky,’ they laughed and distracted the lecture. I could do nothing but allow the tears from my eyes. When I got home that day, I thought of the best way to deal my bullies.

I customised T-shirts and wore them to school. I gave some to my friends to put on. On the T-shirts read, Blinky Smart, Blinky Beauty, Blinky Money, Blinky Blinky, Bullying Ends With Me, Blink Against Bullying, etc.

My T-shirts garnered some fans. I sold them not only to my course mates but to my friends on Facebook. Boom! It became a business. I was happy as I was making money from it. I started helping people to customise their shirts for free. I did both free and paid jobs depending on who I was dealing with.

I went the market where they sold hand-me-downs and selected the good ones. At home I washed them, ironed them, customised and sold to friends. The demands got higher as people asked for something better. I pitched my idea on Facebook about my interest in shirts business and I was lucky to get selected by Edu Shine Foundation. I was funded with fifty thousand naira to support my business. I registered for printing training where I learnt more about shirt printing and branding. I graduated from using hand-me-down T-shirts for my customers to using jersey. But today, my shirts are brand new, 100% cotton material with warranty.

The business helped me a lot to overcome my bullies. I did not just overcome them; I have made money to pay my remaining fees and for my needs as a student. I have assisted two of my friends to pay their tuition, too.

When I got bullied then, I got offended and asked God to take my life. Do you know how it feels to be bullied by the same group of people with a specific motive? Most nights I felt like crying my eyes out. I asked myself, Just because I blink my eyes frequently when I talk, does that mean I am not equal to others?  I tried to control the blinking but I can’t cheat nature. I never created myself. God did.

Blink against Bullying Project

I recently launched a campaign Blink against bullying. It’s a campaign to eradicate all forms of bullying and empower the victims with knowledge as weapons to fight back against oppression. I am currently running a 30 days self-esteem challenge for Students of Umuokanne Comprehensive Secondary School in Imo State, the program is designed to raise the self-esteem of young females in Africa and around the world. It is aimed at emboldening females to self belief, imagine and pursue a future of greatness. To achieve this goal, we have developed a 30 day self esteem handbook containing 30 inspiring stories of African Females from different ages, background and cultures who defied odds and societal stereotypes to achieve greatness and their dreams.


My brand in the next five years..

In five years, I want to be able to get bigger contract from big companies and organisations. I want to own a big fashion house, where I can print all kind of T-shirts, Polos , Hoodie with no restrictions. I want to champion the war against bullying by making different designs of beautiful Tees that people can order on our website and rock to promote the fight against bullying.



I had many challenges running my new enterprise, from being confused about if my business was worth focusing on to how to get new customers and grown the business larger, to dealing with branding with people’s feedback on what I was going.


 Tara Durotoye is my biggest Inspiration

Tara Fela Durotoye inspires me. She started house of Tara in 1998 at the age of 20 from her living room, as an undergraduate at Lagos State University. Sometimes she would go from house to house to makeup for brides. But today she has one of the biggest and the first makeup  school in Nigeria. She worked hard for it. I am really inspired by her story.


Being a Woman of Rubies

I am a woman of Rubies because I share similar stories, challenges, pains and scars with other women in Africa trying to make a difference and live a life of true meaning. I am a woman of rubies because I care about helping girls and young women to be better


Advice to young  women

I just want to encourage women who are going through some similar experience. It gets better. It can be hard. You want to give up. But you have to be confident. Don’t let it get to you. If you’re suffering, it will get to the time that you’ll be proud of yourself for all that you’ve been through. If anyone judges you, it is their own problem. They have no idea what you go through. Do they even care? They probably can’t even handle what you deal with. But you can. And you’re still here going on with your life. That’s why you can be proud of yourself.





Business line : 08139743651

Facebook : Blinky Creative Collections

Twitter and instagram : @Blinkycollections

Email : Blinkycollections@gmail.com

Website : www.blinkycollections.com


This actor and campaigner’s story is an inspiring one.

Sarah Gordy, 40, with Down Syndrome has become the first person with the condition to receive an honorary degree from a UK university.

The University of Nottingham on Wednesday honoured Sarah with a Doctor of Laws degree at a ceremony at University Park campus.

Sarah had earlier in November, became the first woman with Down Syndrome to be made an MBE.

She’s starred in British TV show “Call The Midwife” and is a very active campaigner for people with learning disability.

“If I believed all the things that people said I couldn’t do, I would not have done any [dancing, acting and campaigning],” she said during her acceptance speech

She adds: “Don’t listen to doubt… believe in yourselves.”

Sarah’s mother, Jane Gordy said of her daughter: “As far as I was concerned Sarah was going to have every experience there is and if she wants to do something, just do it.”

Watch Sarah below:







You may remember that last June, the social media platform introduced advanced comment filters intended to wipe out hurtful remarks. Instead of just filtering out words and phrases that are seen as offensive, Instagram uses machine learning to take context into account, both helping to erase more offensive comments while flagging fewer false positives.

Now, that technology is expanding, just in time for October’s National Bullying Prevention Month. Here’s a rundown of the new features:

Detecting bullying in photos

Instagram will now apply that advanced machine learning to photos and captions so its Community Operations team can more “proactively detect bullying,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in a release. He also expressed concern for protecting the platform’s youngest users, since teens experience higher rates of bullying online than others. (A 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 14.9% of high school students were electronically bullied in the 12 months prior to their survey.)

This new feature is rolling out to all users in the coming weeks.

Bullying comment filter on Live videos

The advanced comment filtering techniques mentioned above, which previously were only used to hide bullying comments in your feed, profile page, and Explore tab, are now globally available on Instagram Live as well.

Kindness camera effect

If you’ve played around on Instagram Stories recently, you’ve probably found yourself LOLing to a funny face filter-and now you can share the good vibes with all your friends. Instagram partnered with Dance Moms phenom Maddie Ziegler to launch a new camera effect all about spreading kindness.

In selfie mode, you’ll see hearts filling up your screen, and you’ll then be encouraged to tag a friend to show them some love. Your friend will be notified, and they can share it to their own story or spread the kindness to someone else. When you switch camera views, you’ll get an overlay of kind comments in languages from all over the world. (If you follow @maddieziegler, you should have the camera effect automatically. If you aren’t a follower but you see someone else using the effect, tap “try it” to add it to your camera.)

Credit: Pulse

Instagram influencer and comedienne, Gloria Oloruntobi popularly known as Maraji isn’t big on interviews and event appearances and she tells her fans her reason on the latest edition of Rubbin’ Minds with host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu. 

Maraji, who is popular for her comic multiple personality video clips on Instagram reveals that she began her now 2-year, million-naira business as a way to deal with boredom.

In the interview, she also talks about the challenges of creating her videos, how she makes money off content creation, and future plans.

Watch the video:

Credit: Bella Naija

Singer and actress Selena Gomez has announced that she will be taking a break from social media for a while.

She made the announcement on her Instagram page, after posting a selfie to her Instagram account.

The 26-year old star had first captioned it with “Mood lol (I was looking at myself in the mirror -like an idiot!)”

Later, Selena updated the post with the caption:

“Update: taking a social media break. Again. As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember- negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”


According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Instagram might just start letting users post videos that are up to an hour long.The move, described as tentative – which means they could back down on the move – would have users post videos longer than 30 seconds, like on YouTube or Facebook.

The feature, the report said, “will focus on vertical video” like is the type seen on stories.
It’s unclear if the feature will be allowed only in the stories section, or if the vertical video will be brought to the feed.