Nneka Chidinma: Igniting the passion for politics
Born and raised in Nigeria, Nneka Chidinma is currently a senior at Sam Houston State University majoring in Criminal Justice. She plans to attend law school in the near future and one day run for office.
Growing up, Chidinma reflects that her political enthusiasm came from watching the news with her father. Although she was uninterested at first, her interest grew as she got older and realized how differently things could be done and how much more efficient the distribution of resources could be. Throughout her childhood, Chidinma remembers how only a certain population had access to resources in Nigeria while so many others were suffering on the sidelines. Because of this, she believes that it is crucial to be able to speak up when you see injustice. To Chidinma, serving justice is her passion and while it can be dangerous at times, she is extremely interested in helping others attain the justice they deserve.
Chidinma is also highly interested in women’s rights, education, and healthcare. She identifies as a feminist and believes that every young girl should be taught the importance of politics and how it can allow you to use your voice to advocate for what you believe in and stand up for yourself and others. In Chidinma’s opinion, the definition of feminism has been interpreted differently over the course of time but what she believes in is the ability of men and women to have equal opportunities especially when it comes to education, employment, and financial security.
Her first time actively participating in politics was in 2018 when she joined IGNITE, an organization building political ambition in young women, at Brookhaven college where she later went on to serve as the President and actively work with others to spread more political awareness and encourage others to be a part of the student government. Through IGNITE, Chidinma organized meetings with city councilors and even went to the capitol to advocate for House Bill 375, a bill adding polling locations to institutions of higher education. To Chidinma, this was not only great exposure for her but an empowering moment where she got to advocate for something she strongly believed in.
Living in Nigeria for a large portion of her life, Chidinma was not exposed to such a diverse population until she moved to the United States, where diversity is almost the norm. The change of environment also opened her eyes to many issues that people back home in Nigeria faced. For instance, so many women, especially in rural areas, are still being denied basic education because of the traditional mindset that a woman's place should be in the kitchen. Chidinma disagrees with this concept and is passionate about all children, regardless of their gender, having quality education. To her, children are the future leaders of tomorrow and educating them is a necessity.
In addition to that, Chidinma also emphasized the importance of having a great support system and having a group of people to be there for you when you need guidance. According to her, family is her backbone and they are always there for her. The advice that Chidinma has for young women aspiring to be in politics is this: “Be confident in yourself and what you want. Passion is your driving force and what will allow you to step out of your comfort zone. While it obviously will be intimidating knowing that there are already so many smart and talented young women advocating for different causes, knowing your path and remaining strong in your cause will allow you to pursue your passion.”