Proudly taking her place amongst Africans doing outstandingly well in the diaspora, Nigerian-Scottish teenager Amanda Amaeshi in 2020 was named Glasgow Times Young Scotswoman of the Year.
At just sixteen, Amaeshi, has earned repute as an activist, speaking against racism, sexism, and injustice across the UK, she as well channels her energy into advocating and inspiring young girls to take on STEM subjects in school.
Announcing her win, Callum Baird, the newspaper editor, in a virtual ceremony stated:
“I am delighted to announce that our young Scotswoman of the year is Amanda Amaeshi. Amanda is an inspiration. She has taken on business bosses over gender bias; she is an award-winning writer and has a track record already of speaking out on racism and injustice wherever she finds it. We’re delighted she is our 2020 Young SWOTY,” he said.
Amaeshi in reaction to emerging winner of the coveted award expressed hope that her work would inspire those from minority ethnic groups to make a positive change in society.
“Winning this year’s Scotswoman of the year award means that I can be a positive role model for other young women. I know that there are many talented young women out there, so hopefully, the work that I’ve done will inspire others especially those from ethnic minority groups to contribute positively to society in their way. After all, everyone’s voice, regardless of who they are or where they come from, is important and deserves to be heard. I believe that if we all work together to fight injustice in the world, we will leave the world in a better place than how we found it,” she said.
In an interview, she spilled her thoughts on how equality can be achieved, according to her:
“We need to stop trying to fit people into specific boxes or labels. We need to challenge any preconceived biases we may have about different groups in society – gender, race, class etc. It’s especially important that children are taught from an early age about the dangers of stereotypes so that they grow up to be more empowered and less judgemental individuals.”
In 2017, she won the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) competition, writing about problems concerning food waste and solutions .
The 16-year-old from Dunfermline, speaking on her drive into advocacy says she overcame shyness and a ‘lack of confidence in herself’ to make her voice heard on a range of issues which matter to young people.
The Dollar Academy pupil is a member of the Girlguiding Advocate Panel, a group of 18 young women from across the UK who speak out on issues that matter to girls and young women.
As a writer for her school’s student magazine, The Galley, also becoming one of the editors in August 2019, she has raised awareness on different societal issues.
Amaeshi, a Year of Young People 2018 ambassador, is also a member of the YSHealth Panel, a youth-led panel who focus on health and wellbeing issues concerning young people in Scotland.
She lives in Dunfermline, Fife.
“Injustice is a big issue for me. When you see something happening locally or in the wider world you have to do something about it.
“I think it’s up to everyone, whether you are young or not, to try to make the world a better place.”