2014 American University of Nigeria (AUN) Alumna, Ulan Sango’s self professed love for Nigeria is spurring her social activism. She tells stories in the hopes that the powers that be will take notice and action.
In an era of amplified youth voices on social media backed with little or no action, Ulan Sango is optimistic she can change Nigeria’s socio-political narrative. Armed with a YouTube channel, a short film and a sprightly vigor in her heart Ulan Sango is taking social activism seriously. She established The Rain Hub in 2018 as a platform for open conversations. Her short film Radio is an expose on personal responsibility in furtherance of her personal philosophy; be the change you want to see in the world. Having graduated in 2014 with a degree in International & Comparative Politics, true to the American University of Nigeria’s liberal arts philosophy, she has delved into film production and script writing. Here is an excerpt of our conversation with this social activist who uses storytelling and film as a medium for advocacy.
AUNTW: Tell us a bit about your family background
Ulan: I come from a highly educated and exposed family. Growing up, my parents instilled strong principles around faith, integrity, and good governance. I was raised in a home with political affiliations which began to shape my ideologies and carve the path on which I am today.
AUNTW: As a young female leader how much has your education influenced your life choices and contributed to your success?
Ulan: My father always says that, education is the best gift that anyone should be given. Let’s just say I understand why. It has shaped me in so many ways and given me the confidence, exposure and the platform to be where I am today. If I didn’t get an education, this interview would likely not be happening. The value of education is priceless.
AUNTW: How did your journey to AUN begin?
Ulan: To be honest, my journey into the American University of Nigeria (AUN) did not start with me. It started with my father, who saw the potential of the school and its ability to deliver quality education. My older brother was one of the earliest students at AUN. With firsthand testimony of the standard of education my brother was exposed to, my older sister equally went to AUN. At this point, my father and I were convinced that AUN would also serve me well.
AUNTW: You are currently into the media and social activism, how did a liberal arts education help you dive into other lines of work outside your core course; ICP?
Ulan: The flexibility of the academic structure was remarkable. It allowed me to take courses outside of my core major. With this liberty I did not hesitate to explore my artistic side. I took courses in communication and multimedia (CMD) and public speaking. Some of the social events hosted in school also allowed people to tap into their creative side, I took advantage of this as well.
AUNTW: Social activism is currently overpopulated with many amplified voices yet there is very little action and even fewer results how are you contributing to the solution and not the problem?
Ulan: I would not want to use the word overpopulated. I believe that there is power in numbers. Especially when it entails standing up for what is right and speaking against what is not. If more people are joining the struggle, it means its working, no matter how little the result. This is what motivated me to establish The Rain Hub; It is to get more people involved in national building, governance and opening the minds of people to what it is meant to be as opposed to what it is.
Do you mean little action on the path of the activist? If yes, then I believe this is not for lack of trying or ‘overpopulation’ as you earlier stated. Rather, it is due to limited resources. If people like me get the support and resources we need, I believe the action will be more visible. When it comes to results this greatly lies with the government’s ability to implement the changes the people are asking for. Unfortunately, institutional corruption has not allowed for proper development. This is infact why corruption is a big problem we face. However, we must not throw in the towel. The fight must continue.
AUNTW: Let’s talk about further studies you have since undertaken?
Ulan: I studied International and Comparative Politics as my first degree. As you can imagine, this only strengthened my passion for good governance and social activism. With the threat of terrorism ravaging the country security became one of our biggest challenges. It still is. I wanted to contribute in returning stability to our nation. Fortunately, I earned a full scholarship to study a Masters of Policing, Intelligence and Counterterrorism with a degree in International Security Studies at Macquarie University in Australia.
AUNTW: Please recount some fond memories from your time in AUN
Ulan: Some of my best memories at AUN were in my classes with Professor Kimberly Sims. Her classes were always engaging. It forced me to think critically, analyse and defend my position on topics. Conversations and debates would always get heated that she would have to step in to mediate. This gave me a glimpse of what parliament was like. It was exciting. My other fond memory includes times I spent as the Vice President of the Campus Activities Board (CAB). We would spend a lot of time planning and executing events for students. I felt responsible for the social life of the students and that was purposeful. Finally, every moment I spent with my friends is something I will always cherish.
AUNTW: Final words encapsulating your philosophy of life
Ulan: A few philosophies continue to take me through life. If you can dream it, you can achieve it, treat everyone with kindness and be the change you want to see in the world. I am excited about the journey God is taking me through life and the role I believe I will be playing in making the world a better place.
by Office of Communications