On Thursday, September 13, 2018, Mrs Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin was featured as Nigeria’s first CNN Hero — a television special created by CNN to honour individuals who make extraordinary contributions to their communities.
Ten people are selected and after a month of voting, one is selected as the CNN Hero of the year. Asides the spotlight received, this individual will get a prize of $100,000 to continue their work.
Abisoye has earned accolades within and outside Nigeria for her efforts to use technology to educate girls in Makoko, a slum in Lagos.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari, Omoyele Sowore, Publisher of SaharaReporters, are just a few of the notable personalities that have thrown their weight behind Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin for her efforts.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who received Abisoye, the founder of Pearls Africa Foundation at a meeting recently, urged Nigerians to vote for her.
In his remarks on meeting Abisoye, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo tweeted: "Last week, I met a delegation from Pearl Africa Foundation led by Abisoye Ajai Akinfolarin. This foundation helps disadvantaged girls in Nigeria gain necessary technology skills and confidence. I honestly believe the work the foundation does is outstanding. Incidentally, Abisoye has also been nominated as CNN Hero of the year. To win, she will need our help. Follow the link and vote for her and the outstanding work she is doing with young ladies in Nigeria".
In a post on her Instagram handle a few weeks back, Mrs. Aisha acknowledged the efforts of Abisoye, an IT specialist who had to quit her job in order to fill the gender gap to see more women participating in IT development. She congratulated Abisoye for her efforts in promoting “the well being of the [underprivileged]”.
Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate for the African Action Congress (AAC) also urged his teeming supporters on social media to vote for Abisoye.
Praising her efforts, Sowore said: “We cannot keep having people like you out there doing amazing work and it is like the stars of people like you are being dampened. Please vote for this lady. She is doing amazing work”.
Fela Durotoye, presidential aspirant of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) was also full of praises for Abisoye, whom he described as the kind of person he would like to honour with a national award when he becomes the President of Nigeria.
In an interview on Arise Television, Fela said: “It is when we have more people like us that are holding hands together that is when we will build a great new Nigeria. It should not be CNN that is coming to recognise our own. We recognise and honour Abisoye Akinfolarin. We thank God for her. Thank God for what she is doing with the Pearl Foundation, but it should not just be CNN.
On his part, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governorship candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) said: “We see you, we hear you and we appreciate you. Met Abisoye-Akinfolarin, a CNN Hero who is making her mark in our society by empowering young girls to turn their dreams into reality”.
Voting is still on and you can vote today and tomorrow by following this link: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/vote/