A social entrepreneur, Sonnia Agu is a devout believer in the Nigerian dream. She is a strategic and diversified professional with expertise in Social Work, Media, Aviation, Oil and Gas as well as Business Development.
Sonnia was part of the team that hosted Nigeria’s Centenary project during President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration.
In 2019, Sonnia represented Nigeria in Gambia at the African Youth Commission’s 3rd Pan African Conference hosted by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA to discuss how to achieve the UN’s 2063 United Africa Goal.
In this interview, Sonnia who won the 2018 West African Leadership Summit Awards for community development for her exemplary leadership, selfless service and dedication to the socio-economic development of West Africa speaks on her community project and passion to the Nigerian project.
Can you briefly describe who Sonnia Agu is?
Sonnia Agu is a Nigerian. She is an indigene of Okija in Anambra state. She is a transformational leader whose plan for Nigeria can be seen in her pet project called the Sapio Club.
Sapio Club started while I was in Cambridge for my PhD when my professor told me that the next revolution is that of the mind.
When compared with other continents of the world, Africa is somehow behind. As a transformation leader, I see myself as striving to change the developmental narrative of Africa, Nigeria in particular.
I am so passionate and enthusiastic about Nigeria. I have done a lot of capacity building seminars, women empowerment etc. that has brought me international recognitions.
I was invited in June 2018 to participate in a roundtable discussion themed “Not Another Nigerian Idea”, a project geared towards countering violent extremism.
The project was hosted by NERI (North East Regional Initiative).
For my immense and outstanding contributions to the growth and development of education in the Ajegunle area of Lagos state, I received the 2016 Lagos State Award of Excellence.
Also In 2015, I was elected and invited to sit on the round table hosted by Mrs Amina Saliuh to discuss issues of education and gender mainstreaming at the National Assembly, Abuja.
I was awarded and recognized in Nassarawa State for my immense contribution to the educational sector by offering scholarships to first class holders. In 2013, I was called to work under the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Morals, Mrs. Sarah Jibril where she co-founded the initiative called YES – Youths on Ethics and Social Responsibility.
So I would say I have done a lot for the development of Nigeria as a whole. That is who Sonnia Agu is.
Before embarking on this project, where have you worked?
After my youth corps in Nasarawa State, I worked with HipTV. From there I moved to the Emirates and a few other consultancy firms after which started mine.
How did you the Sapio Club come to be?
The Sapio Club was founded in August 2015. The Sapio Club was established to prepare the African mind for the next revolution.
The idea is to create a society that is non-political and free from all racial or religious distinctions, ready for the next revolution which is that of the mind.
There has been different kind of revolution, and Africans sadly missed it. Hence the creation of The Sapio Club will help to connect, empower and prepare great minds for the next global revolution of the Mind.
The Sapio society welcomes people from every walk of life whose mind, passion and IQ is in the top 2 per cent of the population, with the objective of enjoying each other’s company, supporting community development, growing clientele, network and participating in a wide range of social and cultural activities.
What does “Sapio” mean?
The word “Sapio” means “Wise/Intelligence” in Latin. The word Sapio is of Latin root, sapiens, which means wise or intelligent.
It has to do with intelligent/wise female or male. Being sapiosexual simply put is one who finds intelligence the most attractive feature in a person.
The Sapiosexual community is an intelligent, loving society, where race, color, creed, national origin, age, politics, educational or social background are irrelevant
What are your aims?
Our aims are to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence to promote and stimulate intellectual and social opportunities for its members. It is also to support, promote, and prepare Africans both home and diaspora towards the UN 2063 United Africa goal.
What impact has it made on the youth and the community as a whole?
To be honest with you, I’m beginning to lose count on what we have done so far, as every day brings a different task with a need to share my talents and gifts by God’s Grace from building libraries, to IT hubs, to starting and supporting other SME’s.
We have built libraries, play grounds, and we are currently building a school and learning hub in Makoko. The Sapiosexual Club happens to be Nigeria’s first social association which is open to both local and international membership, driven by intellectual capacity and social enterprise.
Since inception, the Sapiosexual Club has grown in bounds and has membership strength of over 10,000 young professionals. The mentoring program has birthed a vibrant community of high achieving entrepreneurs, civil society leaders and public servants.