The Call

Once upon a time, well that’s not the only way every story starts, so jump on our unique opener as we share the untold stories behind the great success of our foundation.


Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest out-of-school children in the world.

According to UNESCO, there are over 20 Million of them.

image source: Southernvoice. org


One would begin to wonder why this is so since we have free UBE across all public schools, and secondary school education is highly subsidized in all regions of the country, so, how did we come about the high rate of illiteracy? Yes, your guess is as good as ours – poverty.


At Karim Adeyemi Foundation, one of our core thematic areas is education, we know that an educated community will easily compete for opportunities. It is a leveler at least in many ways. This is one of the top reasons the Late Chief Awolowo is still being celebrated today the father of free education really changed the lives of many Nigerians.


To tackle the problem of access to education, we decided to embark on a remarkable mission to support some of the young untapped potentials in Nigeria, specifically in Oyo state where we have our HQ.


Our goal was simple – to discover and unleash hidden talents through an inspiring essay competition. It’s inspiring because how many Nigerians have ever imagined that sports can be an enabler of peace, progress, and unity in our country?

We targeted the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace which was globally marked on April 6, 2023. The United Nations set its theme as Scoring for People and the Planet, and as though she saw our plans and everything we do here at Karim Adeyemi Foundation, Amina J. Mohammed, the UN Deputy Secretary-General echoed these words:

“Sport has the power to align our passion, energy, and enthusiasm around a collective cause. And that is precisely when hope can be nurtured and trust can be regained. It is in our collective interest to harness the tremendous power of sport to help build a better and more sustainable future for all.”


These words are the expression of our theme for the day, we named our essay after this as well and told every young person in secondary schools Oyo to put their minds and pens to work on the topic: “Uniting a Nation: The Role of Football in Promoting Social Inclusion and National Peace in Nigeria.”


Little did we know that this journey would be filled with unexpected twists and valuable lessons.

With eager anticipation, we announced the call for applications, hoping to receive an overwhelming response from aspiring writers. However, as the days turned into weeks, disappointment settled upon us. Students went on Easter break, most of them did not even get the memo, and some who did probably focused more on the tasks at hand – devouring chicken and whatever the hand findeth in plates served to them.

The initial deadline approached, but the number of entries received was low. It was a moment of reflection for us, a time to regroup and reevaluate our approach.


Undeterred by this setback, we took bold measures to ensure our call for applications reached far and wide. We strategized diligently, determined to uncover hidden gems of talent all over Oyo state, Nigeria.

Newspapers and radio shows became the stage for our announcement, spreading the news like wildfire.

Social media ads danced across screens, captivating the attention of potential candidates.


Yet, despite these efforts, the turnout could have been much higher.


Refusing to yield to discouragement, we decided to take another bold step, what you would love to call the last straw, that cannot break the camel’s back but that will surely shatter the walls blocking us from getting across to these students. We went to their schools,  armed with vibrant posters that showcased the opportunity at hand.

We requested the assistance of teachers, urging them to share this incredible chance with their students. It was a plea for collaboration, a call to unlock the potential lying dormant within young hearts.


Days passed, and hope flickered as the extended deadline approached.

Doubts arose, but we held onto our unwavering belief in the power of opportunity.


Then, like a ray of sunshine through stormy clouds, a miraculous moment arrived.

Two days before the final deadline, as we diligently checked our dashboard, we were greeted by an astonishing sight.

Several entries flooded in from various schools, each carrying the essence of a young voice eager to be heard. It was a testament to the indomitable spirit of perseverance and determination, a resounding declaration that dreams could be realized against all odds.


With the submissions in our possession, we prepared for the next phase of our journey.


The essays would undergo rigorous assessment by esteemed Nigerian educational judges hailing from every corner of the world.


These wise evaluators would pour over the heartfelt words, seeking the true essence of brilliance.


But that is a story for another day.

Follow us as we unravel the chapters that follow, celebrating the triumphs of young minds and the immeasurable potential that lies within them.


Join us on this quest to unearth hidden talents and transform lives through the power of education.




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