A civic education film recently released in Nigeria asks the question, in Nigerian pidgin, “Aftercount, I Vote Wetin?” or “I Voted, Now What?” It was made by the Youngstars Foundation, a Nigerian nonprofit organization, with the goal of encouraging younger Nigerians to stay involved in the political process between elections. The group is run primarily by young people and has reached tens of thousands of youths in rural and urban Nigeria.
Approximately one-third of Nigeria’s 170 million people are between the age of 10 and 24, according to the United Nations. The foundation seeks to inspire this large youth population to become community leaders.
The film tells the story of a young man named Jairo and his journey from citizen to activist as he attempts to bring water to his village after his sister is injured carrying water home across a dangerous intersection. With help from a local civic group, Jairo lobbies his state representative to address water access problems. In the process, he gains a better understanding of cooperation and about the power of citizens to bring about positive change.
Watch the film
Produced with technical and financial assistance from NDI, the film stars two popular Nigerian actors, Ali Nuhu and Lilian Esoro, and Nigerian musician Jeremiah Gyang, who donated their time to the film. Esoro said she joined the project because she wanted young Nigerians “to learn that it’s actually easy to communicate with the people they voted into power because their votes actually count.”
Youngstars released an accompanying handbook to help aid discussions about political engagement at viewing parties across the country. To further promote the film, the movie’s theme song will be released to radio stations across Nigeria.
“I Vote Wetin?” is the second film collaboration between NDI and the Youngstars Foundation. The first film, “My Vote Can Change Nigeria,” (“My Vote Fit Change Naija”) highlighted the importance of voting. The film reached an estimated 45 million Nigerians around the country and abroad through social networking sites, television broadcasts and youth-initiated viewing parties.
NDI has been actively supporting Nigeria throughout its recent election cycles, which have seen significant improvements over previous polls. NDI fielded a long-term international observation mission for the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2011. The Institute also provided financial and technical assistance to two coalitions of Nigerian civil society organizations that deployed more than 30,000 Nigerian domestic election monitors. NDI’s partnership with one coalition, Project Swift Count, included the use of a statistical observation method known as a parallel vote tabulation (PVT), or “swift count,” which the group used to verify the accuracy of the official results for the presidential and 11 gubernatorial elections that took place in 2011 and 2012.
- Project Swift Count Observes Five Gubernatorial Races in Nigeria»
- Election Commission Head, Observers Highlight Progress and Remaining Challenges in How Nigeria Conducts Elections»
Published April 12, 2012