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Melvin takes AU to task over hunger

18 October 2013, 16:32

Lagos - Melvin Oduah, the local representative in the popular reality show, Big Brother Africa: The Chase, has won the African Union
(AU) video competition following a campaign housemates participated in for charity.

Oduah’s video called on the African Union (AU) and African governments to end energy poverty on the continent.

The accolade coincided with International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which was commemorated earlier this week.

The Delta State-born entertainer's message followed a collaboration between Big Brother Africa and ONE Campaign during the show’s Charity Week, which took place from August 5-9.

As part of the week, housemates undertook a series of tasks centred on educating viewers about the most pressing poverty issues facing the continent, while highlighting possible solutions. Each housemate also taped a short video message calling on the AU to do more to eradicate extreme poverty on the continent.  Viewers then voted on the best video using Big Brother Africa’s online platform.

Oduah’s video highlights the problem of energy poverty, which affects at least 70 percent of African citizens. This severely hampers life-saving hospital services including refrigeration of vaccines, job and educational opportunities, agricultural production as well the safety and security of women and girls. A total of 82 474 Big Brother Africa viewers from across Africa participated in the voting where Melvin emerged the winner with 42 170 votes representing 51 percent of the vote.

Commenting on the video, Dr Sipho Moyo, ONE's Africa Director said, “Melvin’s message supports this year’s call to action for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which is to raise awareness about the fight against poverty and the need to accelerate action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It is, therefore, exciting to have African youth taking a lead on continental issues and to have the AU and the world listen.”

Melvin, who was present at the function, said he was elated that his video was chosen as the one to be presented to the AU but would only have a sense of fulfillment when he sees the demands being put into action.

“During charity week I was surprised to learn that, not only can extreme poverty be virtually eliminated, but we can actually do it by 2030 if we get our priorities right. This is why I am excited to do my part by personally, making this call on the AU to do more to eradicate extreme poverty.  I hope others will join the movement by becoming members of ONE,” he said.

– CAJ News


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