Probably known for Suh Different, Available and numerous club bangers, Award-winning Nigerian dancehall artist, Patoranking, has already made his mark in the music industry. In 2019, Patoranking met with Founder of the African Leadership University (ALU), Fred Swaniker, at Youth Connekt Africa. Their meeting birthed the ALU Patoranking Scholarship Programme for Young African Leaders. If you thought for a minute that the dancehall star’s reserve was only in music, then you were wrong.
What fueled Patoranking’s desire to support young African leaders
The eldest in a family of 5, Patrick “Patoranking” Okorie, now 29, grew up in poverty, Together with his siblings and parents, they shared a single room in a low-income area of Lagos. From a young age, Patoranking was best known for two things; music and an entrepreneurial spirit. At age 13, with his father, he sold products locally to make a living.
When the young man turned 17, in search of a better life for himself and his family, he relocated to Ghana. While there, hopeful that he will have enough funds to cover for his tuition fee by admission, Patoranking applied to the University of Cape Coast. Unfortunately, this was not to be. Instead, he would return to his home country of Nigeria to pursue music.
Over the years, the artiste has amassed over 200 million YouTube Views and gained a huge following all over Africa. His latest album, Wilmer debuted at no. 5 on the global Billboard Reggae Charts. Earlier in the year, he was featured in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list. Currently living his dream, Patoranking has never quite forgotten where he came from.
He has since taken it upon himself to support more entrepreneurial leaders who will eventually bring positive change to their respective countries and continent. Indeed, this is what fueled his partnership with ALU for the Scholarship Programme.
The ALU Patoranking Scholarship Programme 2020 for Young African Leaders
The ALU Patoranking Scholarship Programme for Young African Leaders is awarded yearly to 10 beneficiaries. The beneficiaries get rewarded with 100% paid tuition at the Rwanda and Mauritius campuses of the ALU. This also covers annual living allowance for the duration of the Undergraduate Programme. In addition, there is a relocation allowance to cover incoming travel and removal for one way, applicable to beneficiaries living outside Rwanda and Mauritius.
Qualifications needed include;
- students exhibiting distinct leadership qualities
- a track record of impact in their respective societies and
- they should be from lower-income backgrounds
This year’s applications closed on March 17th 2020 and saw thousands of entries received from applicants in over 45 African countries. On 15th July, Patoranking announced the recipients of the Scholarship Award for the school year starting September 2020. The 10 awardees were from Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda and Burkina Faso.
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