Victoria Nwanna

In an interview with Women of rubies below, she shares her story;

Childhood Influence

While growing up as a child, I always knew I wanted to be influential. I was very agile and active as a child.
As little as I was in primary school I knew I wanted to study accounting.
I never fancied other professions like being a doctor, lawyer, nurse etc. People said it was because my dad is an accountant… Maybe.

While n secondary school, I was so good at writing. English was my best subject. I loved talking so it wasn’t any news I joined the press club. Fast forward to my SS1 my junior secondary English teacher Mrs Obimma having heard I was going to the commercial arm called me alongside two other teachers. She was heartbroken that I decided to pursue accounting. Why not law? Mass communication? What is wrong with you? I want to talk to your parents! Blah blah blah! My mind was made up a long time ago… As regards profession it was only accounting I saw.
Just to inform you though I never liked maths or account! So what was the biggie? Why the interest in accounting?
Let’s reverse to my primary/early secondary school days.
I love(d) talking and writing. I had the voice and the aura while presenting speeches.
I remember I always picked my dad’s newspaper and pretended to be the newscaster…Oh how I enjoyed it!
I remember holding my hands as the mic and introducing my self. I just spoke(whether it made sense or not but I’m sure it did make sense😉) I hosted all the events at my children church, I anchored news in my school.

But I still wanted accounting as a profession! It was the perfect profession I thought. I didn’t want to put on white coats like the doctors, or wear a robe like the lawyers, and gloves like the engineers. I wanted to wear suit! As little as I was I admired great ladies and knew I could be one, I termed it as ‘boss lady’

I have lost counts of how many times I imagined myself in an executive office. Ngozi Okonji was one of my models.
So despite my not so strong love for maths I opted for accounting because of my childhood desire to be a boss(well as a child I thought bankers and accountants were cool😂😂)

But! I also wanted to talk! Be on TV, inspire people… When I got to secondary school I always wanted to see YOUths do things right, I was Miss adviser.

It’s amazing how far I have come from my desires and dream as a child till now.
How by bits I have started playing out my dreams.
Clarity isn’t gotten in a day! I stand in awe each day and a lot about what I only thought as a child without even knowing how is coming to play.
My dreams are valid, Rome wasn’t built in a day so I will keep moving.

Yes,this is me VICTORIA NWANNA, an ‘accountant by profession’ but a ‘boss lady’ by inherent nature with or without the accounting profession, inspiring others and living purpose. It’s all adding up! Also,I don’t believe I have wasted four years studying accounting it is all instrumental to my build up (although I ‘might’ not use this certificate)Please don’t tell my dad Godwin Nwanna (hahaha) My childhood dreams and plays is all turning out for real. In my book Life’s colour I shared some practical steps I took in turning my dreams to reality https://thevictorianwanna.com/shop/

GET UP YOUTH AFRICA and Life As An Executive Director 

Get Up Youth Africa is a non-profit youth organisation focused on building a generation of changemakers and African leaders who would champion sustainable growth in Africa. Via our three-fold mandate (to Inspire, Ignite Imagination and Provoke Right Action for sustainable nation building), we are establishing avenues for young people to proactively engage in personal and community development to fight unemployment through Quality Education (SDG4), create a positive environment for Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8) and End Poverty (SDG1).

We have executed several projects, the project pad a girl, our girl child empowerment where we trained over 1500 young girls on purpose passion, sex education and financial literacy. We have also taught 700 of them on digital skills in partnership with girl lead Africa and other facilitators in Benin City. We launched the skill Up Academy Last year where we empowered over 700 youths in relevant digital skills like website design, presentation and communication, brand communication, project management and 12 more skills, we partnered with facebook and JCI. Recently we launched our secondary school tour Not Too Young To Make Sense project -This programme is committed to crusading and championing self and purpose discovery, intentional career choices. It is designed to provide the teenagers with the knowledge, skills and network required to effectively lead their lives at young age through our mentorship, career fair,discussion sessions and distribution of books(personal development, business and career books). We cannot afford to allow these kids to be kicked (by whatever reason) into becoming the adults they won’t be proud of so we arm them with the right war tools now for life’s battle.

As A Professional Master Of Ceremony 

Our event is as good as your host. Naturally I am energetic and people wonder how I take on a lot but my skill and experience as an MC has also helped me in achieving certain results.

 My Expectations.

I expect the older generation to create a conducive environment for growth, there is no competition. If the youths are not properly allowed to grow in years from now when the older generations are no longer on the scene what will sustain our dear nation?
Also according to Alvin Toffler ‘For society to attempt to solve its desperate problems without the full participation of even very young people is imbecile.”
I expect that brands increase the active participation and partnership with young people. The more comprehensively brands work with us as service partners, the more we all increase our public value to the entire community because Nigeria need all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that young people can bring to bear down on our difficulties. 

Challenges As A Youth Driver.

A lot of challenges and one major challenge is our value system especially in this part of the world.
It is disheartening that many times youth developmental projects lack funding while heavy funding goes into supporting a brand that sells short of decency and the values we should upload as a nation. I grew up to this fact, hardly do we have good sponsors for value adding events or projects. In my university days huge sum are spent on beauty pageantry and all the sort but hardly on conferences. What we are thereby communicating is that ‘we are ‘only’ interested in the financial returns than the investment on good values and this has affected so many aspects of our lives as a society.
Also I have heard many people say we aren’t loud enough and while sometimes it is important to put our work out there, I personally think it changes the essence of what we stand for if all I am committed to doing is ensuring I am ‘loud’ enough for awards, recognition etc. By loud I mean just vanity metrics. My point is this, while it is great to invest in a good PR when that becomes the focus of all that we do we truly lose the meaning in the long run.

Plans About Unemployment through Skill Up Academy 

It absolutely makes sense to skill up. In present days emphasis is laid on performance not just certificate. We are interested in your ability to do, not just in saying you know and this is where skilling up comes in. Our educational system is faulty to an extent, real life skills and even practical relevant skills are not taught but it is our responsibility as youths to take charge of our life and create what we want.
My coach always says your competition isn’t your neighbours or village person but global. If we must stand tall in the global stage then we must level up in terms of relevant 21st century skills.

I always ask the youths I have been honoured to speak with, What skills do you have that you can be paid for?
What skills do you have that can upscale your business? What skills do you have that can be an extra source of income?What skills do you have that can add value to your employee? What skill do you have that can make you a better person and extra buck of money?
The challenges just like any worthy movement is real. One major challenge is getting to partner with organisations that can provide job(full time or contract based) opportunities to our students to use the skills learnt. We also are running on a snail pace instead of on a jet speed because we do not have the support from many yet. Most of our projects are self funded, which isn’t really sustainable in the long run. Project that are focused on human capital development is really capital intensive.
Despite the seeming challenge, Get Up Youth Africa in line with the SDG 8 aims at promoting development-oriented projects that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises.
We are ready to take immediate and effective measure towards dealing with unemployment. Step by step we will get there. We refuse to allow the process mapping cripple our present efforts however little.

The consequences of high unemployment rate in Nigeria affects each and everyone of us as members of the Nigerian Society. The rate of crime…

This is a fight we are interested in engaging in at Get Up Youth Africa and we do hope more people join us in this fight.

As a two time Amazon bestselling author, I want you to know this
Don’t be in a hurry to just blow focus more on growing than blowing, growth is sustainable, ‘blowing’ is fickle. Commit to Process!

Would I consider a Senatorial/ House of Rep position 

I have always been ‘interested’ in politics as a child, and I just have this special love for my country,I want us to get this right ..
But, my involvement in politics so far hasn’t been an active one in terms of taking ‘positions’. I want to be a leader in my own right who influences certain decisions for the good of my country but I am not sure yet if it is via the active political platform.

As a Woman of Rubies
First of all I appreciate this platform for celebrating, inspiring and being a sounding board to many women.
I am a woman of rubies because I understand that I was not created as an experiment,I was not created as a test to see if I would function/work properly or not. The moment I realised who I am the game changed, I am a detail oriented being creating with every specificity only I possess and this has empowered my many actions. I am committed to being the best version of myself per time and act with the conciousness that lives are connected to me, my failure to raise and live my beet best is and hindrance to those lives. So this isn’t just about Victoria, but the generation tied to my existence.

5 women who inspire me to be better and why?
Udo Okonjo. She has built a business…a successful one, is committed to investing in others as well and her relationship with God remaining unshaken. I am glad to know a successful woman can balance it all…I actually believe in having it all.

Esther Ijewere…she is fierce in a good way! She is the definition of support and even though I really don’t know any toxic person in my corner I am aware there are lots of them out there, having a woman who doesn’t hold back in helping is really commendable.

Dr Yolanda(Aunt Landa) for a long time right from my child hood this woman was my woman crush back to back. Her outreaches are amazing , she is in fact love personified! She daily shows that love is an action word. To think of it now, maybe this unconciously influenced my community actions.

Oprah Winifred and Michelle Obama. No way would I leave them out of this hahaha. Sweetly enough we are January born and I look forward to hosting them to a diner event sometime in the future(January). These women are epitome of strength and more, they operate at a dimension I marvel at and this all the more makes my dreams look possible and valid! If they can grow into a delight we all applaud I sure can too. I shouldn’t be the one to say this but allow me toot my own…Let’s watch out for Victoria Nwanna.

Final word for young female change makers 
I know while starting out it could be overwhelming trying to balance a lot and prove a point, the need to always do is heavy. Hello hero, learn to pull down your mountains one step at a time. Be careful of analysis paralysis, yes drafting out a full plan is great but sometimes you can not see the next turn until you make the move. It is also important to understand the place of being and not just doing (Low current no dey carry iron). You can’t give what you don’t have, grow, learn, volunteer. You can be a change maker not necessarily by starting out your NGO, sometimes by working with someone’s vision too you are part of the solution. It is an honorable thing to be a midwife birthing others babies and so the title of executive director or CEO shouldn’t be the motivation. Be careful not to be the problem you are trying to solve for others. In this journey called life it is you and your assignment, no one before you or after you. Finally God has left the creation process to you, you have been given the power to create the reality you want on your life. Life is by design not fate…live as such god! You are the real deal…unapologetically so.

Further information 

Get Up Youth Africa is open to collaboration, partners and sponsors for our projects. We are dealing with the seeds (Teenagers and Youths) of our country and so investment must be made in their lives. We are planning skill up Academy again but this time a physical one and this would cost a lot financially and getting experts. We trust that you can come in and help on skilling up the youths of our dear country.