INSPIRING AFRICANS: Making a case for political engagement

16 Apr 2018

From a young age, Sinead Rose has been
troubled by political apathy among her peers.

“I found that 18- to 24-year-olds in the UK, instead of voting, were using their votes for television shows such as The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent,” says Rose. “It was crazy to see that this demographic was using their votes, but not in a way that could change and impact their lives personally.” 

That realisation led her to write and self-publish the book Why Vote?, which has sold through Amazon, WHSmith and independent bookstores and has been catalogued at the British Library. 

The book, in which she interviewed 40 MPs on the importance of political participation, was purchased by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and ex-Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in a show of support on the topic, and has been handed out in some UK schools.

VIXEN VS REALITY TV STAR
VIXEN VS REALITY TV STAR

Rose’s interest in social issues, particularly inclusion, stretches back to her childhood. Born and bred in Battersea in south-west London, an area with limited opportunities and prone to high crime rates, the British-Ghanaian encountered a dearth of black role models and mentors. 

On social media, the choice was even more scarce.

Women of colour were either a hip-hop video vixen or a reality TV star,

she says.

I could not accept what social media was showing me: what my environment was showing me was my reality, and what my future was going to be. I couldn’t accept that.

After several years in Dublin, the 26-year-old e-commerce consultant and former Google account manager has now moved back to her first home in London to become a youth delegate for the Commonwealth, after she was selected for the UK Prime Minister’s Global Fellowship programme investigating culture, language, education and global enterprise. 

OPPORTUNITY CALLS IN GHANA

Rose has a penchant for Accra, however, which she visits regularly. She was recently named the most influential person under 30 by Future of Ghana, a youth charity showcasing talented individuals from the
country. 

While continuing to campaign for British youth in the Commonwealth in London, Rose is equally exploring development opportunities for her native Ghana as an ambassador. 

I’m trying to find ways in which I can help with the flooding system and education on how to dispose of waste,

she says.

I’m focusing on how I can make an impact within the country and maybe settle there.

Sinead Rose was invited by Queen Elizabeth to attend the Commonwealth Reception in February
Sinead Rose was invited by Queen Elizabeth to attend the Commonwealth Reception in February