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Opeyemi is using design as a springboard

By grasping one great opportunity, Opeyemi is now on the road to doing what she really wants, and is showing the way to other young people in Nigeria.

It is never too early to start. At 18 years old, Opeyemi Agbaje proves the truth of this statement. She is already a successful graphic designer and media trainer, and is keen to share her experiences so others can see their way to achieving their goals.

Diving straight into training

Opeyemi, from Lagos state, Nigeria, completed the Ekobit ICT training with the Work in Progress program in 2018. She learned graphic design, UX and UI (User Experience and User Interface design), and Cinematography. “The training really helped me,” she says, “as I did not have any computer knowledge prior to this time; I only used computers for watching movies!” The experience changed her outlook, giving her a new direction, and allowing her to visualize her future.

Making connections

The training also gave Opeyemi experience of designing at Poise Nigeria (a large image consultancy company), which helped to refine her skills and give her the connections she needed for her first job with Oxfam, in 2018, where she worked on their annual report. Now, she is one of the media trainers at Ekobit ICT academy but doesn’t see graphic design as her main career.

Confidence to change direction

Design work gave Opeyemi opportunities and confidence to decide exactly what she wants to do; she is about to begin a BSc in Psychology at university. “The training has given me a certificate that would allow me to return to graphic design and photography upon completion of my study if I want to,” she explains. “The training particularly improved my communication skills and confidence level,” she continues. She wouldn’t have believed that she could go to Benin to talk to young people on Youth Day, but she did, alongside keynote speakers such as Waje (a Nigerian singer) and investors looking for good causes.

Accept support

Opeyemi has been lucky, she did not have any major challenges along the way, but her willingness to seize opportunities has enabled her to achieve what she wants. Her parents were also very supportive, looking after the majority of her needs during the course of the training. “I now know the way forward and know what I need to achieve in order to get to the future I envisage,” she says.

Creating an opportunity for all

Opeyemi is well connected through social media and uses this to broadcast the activities at Ekobits so that others may realize their dreams. She is also working to get more people sponsored for the program, through the Ekobits alumni week.

How would she advise those who have not yet found their career path? “My advice would be that they take a time-out to know what really draws them, before moving on. Also, to create opportunities; such persons should not keep their dreams to themselves but share them so that the right people can help them in achieving such dreams.”


Opeyemi‘s story is part of the multiyear campaign, kicked off on International Youth Day 2019 by the Empower Youth for Work program and the Work in Progress! alliance. The campaign aims to support the national influencing work of the respective programs by joining forces with local role models. The ripples of #Iwasthere are spreading out around the world and these stories are proof that change can happen anywhere – we hope they will inspire you, too, to become an active citizen.

Why these stories?

There are more young people today than ever before in the history of the world; 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24 worldwide, and 90% of them live in low-income countries. . Harnessing the energy and strength of young women and men to become active citizens is core to Oxfam's goal of transformational change.

With their energy, skills and creativity, young people have the potential to be the driving force for social change, strong economies and vibrant democracies. 

Oxfam is working jointly with youth to challenge barriers that prevent them from


Enjoying their rights


Participating fully in society


Being an effective voice in decision-making processes