Hauwa Ojeifo, a Nigerian mental health activist, has won the first-ever MTV EMA Generation Change Award.
The 2018 MTV EMAs took place on Sunday at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre, Bilbao, Spain.
She won the award alongside a 21-year-old Afghanistan, Sonita Alizadeh; 17-year-old Lebanese, Mohamad Aljounde; 20-year-old Briton, Ellen Jones and an 18-year-old Xiuhtezcatl ‘X’ Martinez.
The MTV EMA Generation Change Award was set up “to elevate and empower the fearless, original young people who are changing the world”.
Ojeifo has been described as a vibrant voice in creating awareness for mental health in Nigeria.
She is the founder of ‘She Writes Woman’ and ‘Safe Place’, the first 24/7 mental health crisis helpline and the first anonymous women-only mental health support group in Nigeria.
‘She Writes Woman’ was birthed after she was diagnosed with bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) coupled with psychosis and suicidal idealisations.
Ojeifo’s mission is to positively influence the misinformed narratives mental health and sexual violence conversations have in Nigeria.
In June, she was chosen among two other Nigerians, Isaac Ezirim and Kennedy Ekezie Joseph, to receive the first-ever Queen’s Young Leaders award.
Ojeifo was unable to attend the MTV EMAs as she could not secure a Schengen Visa.