I am Christine Msurshima Ishanpepe Vihishima. I am a Woman. I am Nigerian. I am Benue
My name is Miss Christine Msurshima Ishanpepe Vihishima. I am 23 years old and hail from Mbatan-Mbayion, of Gboko Local Government in Benue State, Nigeria. I am an entrepreneur, a female photographer, a humanitarian, a literacy advocate and a writer. I am also currently pursuing a law degree at American University of Nigeria, Yola. I am a Christian and a proud Nigerian.
Knowledge opens our mind to a whole world of possibilities and equips recipients with the power to make their dreams possible.
I am currently involved in quite a number of things but all of them are interwoven into pursuing a single purpose, and that is to make a lasting impression on as many lives as I can. As a female photographer, asides capturing the special moments of my clients, I have used and still use my lens to tell the stories of people whose stories have been left untold in the bid to raise awareness about their experiences and also to raise funds to support their cause and/or to aid their plight. I have through my lens, told the stories of children in Samaru-Kataf of Kaduna and through that, raised awareness and funds for their school which was in such a dilapidated state. I have also done a joint documentary with Miss. Nelly Ating, capturing the life and stories of some IDP’s in Adamawa State who had no access to clean water, in order to raise awareness and funds for a borehole to be dug for their benefit, to mention a few.
Our plan is to reach out to one IDP Camp at a time.
As a humanitarian, I have through my NGO, ‘Thinking Cap Literacy Initiative, TCLI’, championed the cause of rolling back illiteracy in Nigeria for six years now. Through this platform, I have been able to work with a team of other vibrant young people to fight illiteracy among the younger Nigerian generation through creative channels such as Spelling and Writing Competitions, Literacy Workshops, Scholarship Schemes and much more. Illiteracy is such a huge challenge in Nigeria and is a burden that I am determined to carry for as long as I have breath. I strongly believe that everyone has the right to equal access to quality education and that through literacy, Nigeria has the potential to be greater than she is at the moment. Knowledge opens our mind to a whole world of possibilities and equips recipients with the power to make their dreams possible. I am currently sponsoring 4 high school girls at a secondary school in Yola, and they will benefit from this scholarship until they are done with their secondary school education. My NGO has been able to reach out to over 650 primary school children across Plateau, Bauchi and Kaduna states since 2012. These children cut across private and public schools and are all given equitable access to literacy programs organized by the NGO.
Additionally, in December 2017, I and Miss Dorcas Bitrus got together to raise funds for our Military men as the Christmas celebrations drew closer. We used the funds raised to put together Christmas hampers for the soldiers across military checkpoints in Plateau State. Our aim was to appreciate these men for their service to their Nation which is a huge sacrifice. It was such an emotional experience as a lot of these men had never been shown this sort of love by the recipients of their service.
Following the recent herdsmen killings that have ravaged our homeland Benue, I am currently partnering with a few friends to raise funds for IDP camps across Benue state. Our plan is to reach out to one IDP Camp at a time. We hope to donate foodstuff, blankets, clothes, and toiletries to the members of these camps and I also plan to document the stories of these people who have been forcefully and unfairly driven out of their homes in a bid to raise more awareness as to the urgency of the situation in Benue state. This is my own way of rising up to challenge of serving my fatherland.
It has not been an easy journey for me because of the numerous challenges, but God’s grace, my passion and vision keep me going. There is still so much work to be done and I am willing to roll up my sleeves and get my hands ‘dirty’ for the sake of leaving a lasting impression on the lives of as many people as God grants me the opportunity to affect. I have grown up in the middle of insurgency, fear, death, and unrest and that I have survived is reason enough to contribute to the survival of others. I, therefore, seek to use this opportunity to challenge whoever is reading this to do what you can, wherever you can, affecting as many people as you can. If we all do our part, we can rebuild Nigeria to become the land of our dreams. We are Nigeria, and the survival and prosperity of our Nation solely rest in our hands.
I am Christine Msurshima Ishanpepe Vihishima. I am a Woman. I am Nigerian. I am Benue.