It was a brilliant night of glitz and inspiration as some of Nigeria ’s most prominent citizens gathered to celebrate youth who are making the nation proud in sections including science, technology, business, the media and others at the 2010 edition nation’s premier youth event, The Future Awards.
The event held on Sunday evening, at the prestigious Shell Hall of the Muson Centre in Lagos. With a rousing keynote address by Managing Director of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who called the event “grand”, the guests were asked to refocus their efforts on nation building with a strong eye on the youth of the country who, according to Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, “have, at today’s event, shown immense potential that gives me hope.”
Guests at the event, held in partnership with HiTV and the Federal Ministry of Information, included a high profile delegation from Lagos State that had the First Lady, Abimbola Fashola; the Deputy Governor, Sarah Bisi Sosan the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth, Dr. Dolapo Badru, who represented the Governor.
Other guests were Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr. Reuben Abati, Mr. Toyin Subair, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the former first lady of Osun State Yeye Olufunke Agagu, former High Commissioner to Britain Christopher Kola, the representatives of the Governors of Ondo and Ekiti, the MD of SAHCOL, Chike Ogeah; the MD of Nigerian Breweries, Peter Stevenson from the British High Commission, Celine Laoder, Yinka Akande, Obi Asika, Ali Baba, Gbenga Adeyinka, Tee A, Mo Abudu, amongst other The night was anchored by a high profile team of young people that included musician Naeto C and former MBGN Munachi Abi, with surprise take over mid-event by Idols West Africa finalist Omawumi and Big Brother Africa winner Kevin Chuwang.
Performances were a major highlight of the event, with spectacular themes that the audience hung on to. Even more remarkable was that most performances were by a live band. One was a rehash of songs that defined the nation in a nod to Nigeria ’s fiftieth anniversary. Vocalists Waje, Timi Dakolo, Nene and Essence. The other was themed The Future of Rap and had young hip hop artistes Lil H, Willy Bang, Mo’Cheddah, Scales and Whizkid revving the crowd up. There was a dance fest that had the nation’s hottest dancers; StreetHood and Dance na the main Thing. Kefee electrified the crowd with her hit song Kokoroko, and a collabo between Djinee and Bez had the crowd screaming.
The awards also saw interesting takes on pop culture moments that included a recap by Dr. Reuben Abati and musician Banky W of their controversial articles over the state of the Nigerian music industry, Toni Payne, wife of 9ice in a humorous take on recent news about their marriage, amongst others.
The winners were then announced across categories. The winner for actor of the year was stage actress Lala Akindoju, for Best Use of Advocacy was Tolu Sangosanya, a young woman who runs a foundation that teached children of the dustbin estate, the Best Use of Technology prize went to ‘Bade Adesemowo, one of Nigeria’s open source technology gurus, Style Entrepreneur of the Year went to magazine publisher and model manager Linda Ikeji and Music Producer of the Year saw Jesse Jagz beating J Martins and K-Solo.
The big winner of the night was a young lady called Ify Aniebo, a malaria research scientist who has won a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant. She won the award for Best Use of Science and also beat other nominees like award winning journalist Tolu Ogunlesi, musician Asa, music producer Cobhams Asuquo, youth advocate Toyosi Akerele, movie producer and actress Stephanie Okereke, dance professional Qudus Onikeku and Big Brother 5 host, IK Osakioduwa who were all present at the event and were called on stage to be honoured. Her plaque was handed over by last year’s Young Person of the Year, D’banj.
All the winners are aged 18 to 31. “Every year we continue to make the point that we are not one of those people who say Nigeria is a great country as a cliché,” Chude Jideonwo, who is the event’s creative director, said. “We are ready to show anyone that there is a new generation that has integrity, that is not corrupt and that is ready to build this nation. We are proud, immensely proud to present a group of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and others who are ready to contribution towards the development of their country.”
After the awards, the winners will be taken on a tour of secondary schools in Lagos and across the country to contribute to the education. The First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, has promised to partner with the initiative with her pet project which focuses on career seminars for students.
Actor of the Year
Kemi Lala Akindoju
Best Use of Advocacy
Tolu Sangosanya (Dustbin Children Foundation)
Best Use of Science
Best Use of Technology
‘Bade Adesemowo (Bincom Solutions)
Business Owner of the Year
‘Debola Lewis (Yvent Kouture)
Creative Artist of the Year
Adekunle Samuel Owolabi
Excellence in Public Service
Fatima Zara Modibbo (Human Institute of Virology)
Journalist of the Year
Aruona Agbroko (NEXT)
Magazine of the Year
Model of the Year
Musician of the Year
Music Producer of the Year
On-Air Personality of the Year (Radio)
Maste Uwatse (Wazobia FM)
On-Air Personality of the Year (TV)
Andre Blaze (Nigezie)
Professional of the Year
Ifunanya Maduka ( Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls)
Screen Producer of the Year
Kenneth Gyang (“Finding Aisha”)
Sportsperson of the Year
Janet Dung (Athletics)
Style Entrepreneur of the Year
Linda Ikeji (Blackdove)
Team of the Year
Africa Youth Unite for Change (Afyuch)
Young Person of the Year
~Review by TFA