The Future Awards, Nigeria’s biggest youth event, held its launch event on the eve of Nigeria’s 50th anniversary, Thursday, Sept 30 – at Terra Kulture in Lagos. The event was hosted by Tinsel’s Gideon Okeke and Omalicha of Rhythm FM.
The event, which as usual attracted the crème of young professionals, entrepreneurs, artists and others as well as national media, was different this year. Themed #TheAuthenticCelebration, it was the most prominent youth celebration of Nigeria at 50, it honoured 50 of the past winners of the awards over the past five years who have made sustained impact and who are relevant as role models to young people.
“We tagged them the Face of the Future,” said Shade Ladipo, a member of the awards’ Central Working Committee. “Because we believe that they are icons for the next generation of Nigerian leaders, who will take our country back. And we did this to ensure that young people claim Nigeria’s 5oth anniversary from the old guard of leaders.” The 50 selected winners will also be featured in the special Commemorative Independence Edition of Y! magazine, which hits the streets on Monday, October 11 2010.
Ladipo also made a presentation of the awards’ activities over the past years, which includes courtesy visits to political and economic leaders, post-awards school seminars, helping to found Nigeria’s most prominent political advocacy campaign for young Nigerians, EnoughisEnough Nigeria, partnering and helping to launch several high-visibility projects targeted at developing young people.
Performers included Waje, Omobaba, Christine Ben-Ameh, and new artiste Sagay unveiled an #IamNigeria theme song. Also at the event, this year’s media campaign was also launched. Every year, The Future Awards season is driven by a media campaign. 2006 was ‘it’s about time’, and 2009 was ‘I am the future’. This year’s campaign is tagged #IamNigeria – and promos unveiled at the venue featured 2face Idibia (Musician of the Year 2006), Tosin Otitoju (Young Person of the Year 2006) and Stephanie Okereke (Young Person of the Year Candidate 2010).
“#IamNigeria is a campaign we wanted to run last year for the 2010 edition, but decided to delay because we thought it would be more appropriate as Nigeria marches into the next 50 years of its life,” Ladipo said. “So last, year, the Resource Group and the Central Working Committee decided to launch the #IRepresentNigeria/#IRepresentNaija campaign, which was massively successful and continues to be popular with young people up until now. #IamNigeria is the natural progression from last year’s campaign.”
Explaining the idea behind #IamNigeria, the creative director of the awards, Chude Jideonwo, in a speech delivered at the venue, said: “This year, we are leaving no room for error or ambiguity: we are not just Nigerians, we are not just the future, we don’t just represent Nigeria; we are Nigeria. We are a generation of pioneers, of innovators; we are roses that grew out of thorns, the generation they thought was done for, but the world is now celebrating. We are the generation that will go out into the elections next year and take our country back. We are the generation that, in the last year of Nigeria’s 50 year cycle, finally said: enough is enough.”
Nominations were also declared open for the 2011 awards. The categories for this year range from On Air Personality of the Year (TV) to Best Use of Sceince. A full list of all 20 categories is on the website www.thefuturenigeria.com.
Judges for this year’s event were also revealed including Biola Alabi (MD, Mnet Africa), Kadaria Ahmed (Editor, NEXT), Leke Alder (Principal, Alder Consulting), Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Prof. Uche Azikiwe, Abike Dabiri (Member, House of Representatives), Nkiru Olumide-Ojo, Jimi Agbaje, Hafsat Abiola-Costello and others.
Guests at the event included Ndidi Nwuneli, Toni Kan, Efere Ozako, Banke Meshida, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, Ohimai Atafo, Matse Uwatse, Inyanya, Tosyn Bucknor, Ikhane Akhigbe, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Warebi Martha, Gbenga Sesan, Abiola Aloba, Femi Brainard, Andre Blaze, Carol King, Dimeji Alara, Mosunmola Umoru, Adaora Oleh, Uche Odoh, Debola Lewis, and others. Announced media partners for the event this year include Silverbird, Channels TV, Soundcity, Nigezie, TEN, Excite on TV, Inspiration FM, City FM, NEXT, BusinessDay, Made, Mode, Encomium, Naijatimes, Acada, BellaNaija.com, Notjustok.com, Ynaija.com, Gistmaster.com and Olamildentertainments.com. The official media partners are Cool FM nationwide, Wazobia FM nationwide and Y!
THE SELECTED 50 FOR FACE OF THE FUTURE
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Writer of the Year 2006, Young Person of the Year 2008)
Toyin Sokefun-Bello (Artist of the Year 2006)
- Tara Fela-Durotoye (Entrepreneur of the Year 2006, Young Person of the Year 2007)
- Adedayo Osholowu (Professional of the Year 2009)
- 2face Idibia (Musician of the Year 2006)
- Ikpowusan Osakioduwa (On-Air Personality of the Year 2006, On-Air Personality of the Year 2007)
- Cobhams Asuquo (Producer of the Year 2006)
- Bright Okpocha [Basketmouth] (Comedian of the Year 2006)
- Adeolu Akinyemi (Professional of the Year 2006)
- ‘Gbenga Sesan (Best Use of Technology 2006, Best Use of Advocacy 2007)
- Oluwatosin Otitoju (Young Person of the Year 2006)
- Modupe Adefeso (Professional of the Year 2007)
- Funke Bucknor-Obruthe (Entrepreneur of the Year 2007)
- D’banj (Musician of the Year 2008, Young Person of the Year 2009)
- Denrele Edun (Producer of the Year 2007)
- Ali Nuhu (Actor of the Year 2008)
- Bamidele Odufuye (Best Use of Technology 2008, Best Use of Technology 2009)
- Toyosi Akerele (Best Use of Advocacy 2008)
- Bukola Adubi (Entrepreneur of the Year 2008)
- ID Cabassa (Music Producer of the Year 2008)
- LEAP Africa (NGO of the Year 2006)
- Banke Meshida-Lawal (Style Entrepreneur of the Year 2008)
- Abdulkareem Baba Aminu (Journalist of the Year 2008)
- Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi (On-Air Personality of the Year 2008)
- Funke Akindele (Actor of the Year 2009)
- Linda Ikeji (Style Entrepreneur of the Year 2010)
- Emmanuel Etim (Best Use of Advocacy 2009)
- 9ice (Musician of the Year 2009)
- Onye Ubanatu (Screen Producer of the Year 2009)
- Uche Nnaji (Style Entrepreneur of the Year 2009)
- Funke Adetutu (Journalist of the Year 2009)
- Omobaba (Comedian of the Year 2009)
- Mosunmola Umoru (Business Owner of the Year 2009)
- Stephanie Okereke (Young Person of the Year Candidate 2010)
- Asa (Young Person of the Year Candidate 2010)
- Knighthouse (Team of the Year 2009)
- Kemi Lala Akindoju (Actor of the Year 2010)
- Tolu Sangosanya (Best Use of Advocacy 2010)
- Ify Aniebo (Best Use of Science 2010, Young Person of the Year 2010)
- Adebola Lewis (Business-Owner of the Year 2010)
- Fatima Zara Modibbo (Excellence in Public Service 2010)
- Tolu Ogunlesi (Young Person of the Year Candidate 2010)
- Warebi Martha (Model of the Year 2010)
- MI Abaga (Musician of the Year 2010)
- Maste Uwatse (On-Air Personality of the Year, Radio 2010)
- Andre Blaze (On-Air Personality of the Year, TV 2010)
- Omoyemi Akerele (Style Entrepreneur of the Year 2007)
- Ifunanya Maduka (Professional of the Year 2010)
- Kenneth Gyang (Screen Producer of the Year 2010)
- Yagazie Chukwumerije (Sportsperson of the Year 2009)