Award winning 11-year-old Daniella Soje, a young artist from Nigeria who uses toothpicks, matchsticks, beads, and other household materials to create artistic designs, has set out to inspire young people in her community to embrace art as a tool for wealth creation and effective waste management.
Daniella has championed the conversion of turning every day trash into beautiful works of art and through her project, Trash to Art, and is set to empower over 100 kids and teenagers in Lagos Mainland by equipping them with the skills that will enable them to become financially independent, while motivating them to care for their environment.
To ensure continuity and sustainability, participants of Daniella’s two-week summer art classes, participants will become members of the Daniella Art Studio Club, offering them a platform that provides networking opportunities and exchange of resources and ideas among kid art entrepreneurs.
Besides juggling school, homework and art classes, Daniella will definitely help save the world before bedtime by raising an army of young art and environment ambassadors.
We had a chat with her to find out how she feels about winning the award.
How does it feel to win the PPGA?
I am so excited, this has been a fun experience for me and it’s nice that I could make friends with girls from other countries
What was your first experience with Trash to Art like?
For me it felt inspiring, I could do something great with what people saw as waste.
It makes me feel like anything is possible. Helping the environment while creating beautiful art.
In what way do you think the award will empower young girls everywhere to see art as a money-making career?
I think the award will inspire girls to just go out there and make their dreams come true. Whatever those dreams are and see that art is just important as any other career choice because we make the world more beautiful.
What was your biggest motivation to win this award?
My family, they always believed in me. They have always celebrated my talent.
What was your inspiration for taking trash and turning it into art?
I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I love art and I’m lucky to have found something I enjoy doing and it’s also good because it means I’m helping to clean up the environment
How long did it take you to decide and carry out your creation?
I decide on new creations all the time and it takes me a few days to complete a project, but it depends on what it is.
What influenced your decision to make use of household materials like toothpicks, matchsticks, beads and other house hood materials to make your artistic design?
It was stuff that was already available, things that people do not care for and throw away, but I want to show that you can make beautiful things from what trash.
Who is your favourite real-life female superhero?
My mother and my aunt Bisola, they are always there for me
Which DStv channels do you enjoy the most when you are inspired?
I enjoy watching Cartoon network. Some of my favorite shows are Teen Titans and Powerpuff Girls
Helping young girls in Lagos make money by turning waste into money is a big deal. How does that make you feel?
On top of the world. I get to do what I love, inspire other young girls and make some money
For girls who want to win this award next year, give them one piece of advice.
Enjoy exploring your talent and don’t let anyone kill your dreams
Which of the Powerpuff girls do you think will be most fascinated by your creation?
Did you think you were going to win this award?
No. I was surprised and very grateful. I thank God for this moment to be able to choose out of thousands of girls.
What would you like to be remembered for by girls all over the world?
For my love for art and helping others.
Who is your favourite PowerPuff girl and why?
Buttercup! She is very confident and a go.