7. EVEREST EKONG, 20
School: University of Bath
Course: Mechanical Engineering (MEng)
Grade Avg: 2:1
As a teen growing up in Nigeria, bi-monthly visits to the Arrows of God Orphanage in Lagos to tutor orphans in Maths and English didn’t do justice to the kind of positive impact Everest always wanted to have on others.
But one day a teenager from the orphanage told him and his friends that she got admission into Bowen University (one of the top private universities in Nigeria) to study Mass Communication but unfortunately was not able to attend because she couldn’t afford to fund it. Within days, Everest and his friends took the initiative to offer her a full scholarship.
But it wasn’t as if they had a scholarship or the money to hand. Instead, they set about calling up everyone they knew who could possibly help and ended up organising a benefit concert. They were able to sell about 700 tickets, raising £2,500 from ticket sales and other fundraising activities.
Everest was the project’s marketing and artist liaison officer and he contacted artists such as Wiz Kid, Iyanya and Davido, as well as promoting the show, which was held in Leke.
That was three years ago now, and the same young lady has just concluded her second industrial training at the Africa Independent Television (AIT) as a graduate from Bowen.
What began as a one-off act of compassion has become a regular thing, as during subsequent visits to the orphanage Everest and his team came across other opportunities to help young people. Joseph is another example of this. He is now in his third year of studies at the same private secondary school Everest attended in Lagos and once again financial support for his education was generated through the hosting of an annual benefit concert organised by Everest and his team.
In his spare time, Everest runs a web design business and has around 15 regular clients.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In Nigeria working on various projects.