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Award winning Nigerian actress Nse Ikpe Etim made an appearance at Cyprus International University to give a presentation about education and world peace.

Etim was introduced by members of Nigerian Students’ Association President, who stated, ‘it is a pleasure and a great priviledge to have the opportunity of inviting a role model and a woman of distinction to the stage. Not only is she a talented actress, she is also a professional chef.’

Responding to the introduction, Etim said ‘it’s wonderful to be here and truly humbling. Though I always say to people I am no role model, instead I ask that one should learn from home.’ She encouraged the audience to learn from their parents, though if they are to learn from her to ‘only pick up the good habits and leave the bad.’

Etim continued, ‘I am not here to give a speech nor am I here to teach you, I am not an academic, I am just an actor.’

11330852_10206885898972481_3614285_oAddressing the subject of the seminar, Etim stated ‘this is meant to be an interactive session, where ideas will be shared instead of me  lecturing you.’ Audience memebers were encouraged to speak freely. The discussion centered around a statement which Etim put forth: ‘it is primitive to be intolerant, the world has evolved and with that brings dynamism. If you are to engage with the world, you must evolve with it.’

Though the majority of students agreed with the statement, there were those who did not. One student suggested, ‘if you continue to evolve with the world, you lose yourself as an individual. One should rather adapt to some of the changes.’ Etim responded, ‘no one is saying you should lose yourself. Though if you do not accept the changes that come with the evolving world, you will be left behind.’

11264999_10206885898412467_852914271_oShe added, ‘personally I do not see colour. There are some people who are willing to be cocooned in the thought that because they are a different race from someone they shouldn’t be talking to them. Because when you start to see colour, you start to see a reason why you are not. But when you do not see colour, you see another human being.’

Another student stated, ‘one of the causes of conflict in the world, is that we do not accept each other. We feel that because we come from different places, one is better than the other, even if you are from the same country but you are from different parts of the country. For instance I do not understand a person being gay or transgender but we all have to accept who we are and who other people are, because at the end of the day we are all human.’

Story: Amanda Komboni

Photos: Esosa Aiguwurhuo