by Isi Esene
The Future Awards (TFA) winners this year, as always, produced the best young hands in their chosen fields of endeavor. The list spans the fields of business, entertainment, technology, and others.
The Awards event which took place at the Aztec Arcum Events Centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers State unveiled Idris Akinbanjo as this year’s Young Person of The Year.
Young Person of The Year
Idris Akinbanjo (30): Starting with NEXT Newspapers and now as Head of the Investigative Desk at Premium Times, Idris has worked quietly and stealthily to reveal most of the rot in Nigeria’s politics and economy with exclusive revelations in aviation, campaign finance and more. That work has not gone unnoticed, winning him awards including African Investigative Journalist of the Year, Nigerian Investigative Journalist of the Year, Best Nigerian investigative story in print, and second best Nigerian investigative story (online). He was also a finalist for the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist Awards 2012.
Screen Producer of the Year
Clarence Peters (29): Peters is the most sought after director in the industry at the moment. He churns out amazing videos on a consistent basis like 9ice’s Street Credibility, Shayo by Durella, Nobody Test Me by the Choc Squad, Only Me by 2Face Idibia, and Remember by Bracket featuring 2face.
Producer of the Year – Music
Jeremiah Shelika/J sleek (24): J-sleek is presently signed with D’banj’s new record label, DB records. He produced D’banj’s newest single ‘Oyato,’ which dropped on July 14. J sleek has also scored hits with Solid Star (Omotena), Cartiair (Owo ati swagger) and 2face Idibia (Only me, Implication, Outside, Take it back, Jungle don mature, I sing)
Actor of the Year
Tonto Dikeh (26): Dikeh broke into the industry after she left the reality T.V show “The next movie star” in 2005 where she was first runner up. Since then her movies have routinely captured the imagination of the co tinent, pushing the boundaries, taking daring roles and extending her repertoire. Her latest movie is “My life, My damage”.
Musician of the Year
Wizkid (22): In 2010, Wizkid, a bundle of talent and energy, released his first singles, “Holla at your Boy”, “Gidi Girl” and “Ori Mi” with label mate, Skales. Then there was the hit song, “Tease Me” which was just a studio freestyle that got leaked online and turned into a big hit in different parts of Nigeria and among Nigerians worldwide. His debut album, Superstar, was an instant sensation all over the country.
On-Air Personality of the Year – TV
Denrele Edun (28): The eccentric Edun is an actor, dancer, and presenter. He’s come a long way since his days with “Kidivision 101” on NTA. Formerly with Soundcity, Edun took up appointment with Channel O as a VJ in late 2011. His CV boasts of unrivalled interviews with Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Lil Kim, Akon, Snoop Dogg, Cuba Gooding, Amerie, LLoyd to mention but a few, has hosted major concerts in Ghana, Zambia, Dubai, Malaysia, the USA et al and was inducted into the Carribbean Fashion Hall of Fame in Barbados!
On-Air Personality of the year – Radio
Tolu “Toolz” Oniru (30): Oniru is a presenter on the Midday show on the Beat 99.9fm. She has anchored a number of events such as The Juice on Ndani TV, Music Meets Runway Show, P-Square ‘The Invasion’ Album Launch, 2011 Channel O Music Video Awards Nominee Reveal, 2011 Hennessy Artistry Video Launch Party and many more. She has won the following awards; Nigerian Broadcasters Awards (Radio Presenter of the Year), Dynamix All Youth Awards (Radio Personality of the year), FAB Awards (On-Air Personality of the Year-Radio), and many more.
Entrepreneur of the Year – Technology
Jason Njoku (31): Recently named among the 50 Most Influential Africans by The African Report, Njokwu is at the forefront of Nigeria’s digital revolution. With his Iroko TV brand tagged the ‘Netflix of Africa’, he is the world’s largest distributor of African movies. His company raised $8 million in venture capital from Tiger Global Management; a New York based private equity and hedge fund run by billionaire Chase Coleman and has distribution deals with Daily motion, iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo. His net worth is estimated at a whopping $30 million dollars.
Entrepreneur of the Year – Entertainment
Micheal Ajere 28: After the dissolution of the successful Mo Hits Records, Don Jazzy is building again with his new label, Mavin Records which continues to bear his signature of dishing fresh and innovative tunes. Mavin Records has some of Nigeria’s hottest stars signed onto it, including Wande Coal, Tiwa Savage, Dr Sid and D Prince. Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records gave music lovers the surprise of their lives when it released ‘Solar Plexus,’ .
Entrepreneur of the Year – Media/Communication
Uyioghosa David Omokaro (30): Omokaro is head of DM2 advertising agency with a clients’ base ranging from Coca-Cola to Sprite to Tetmosol and Interswitch. His biggest project in the past year is the Coca-Cola Open and Win promo which opened new vistas of opportunities for him.
Entrepreneur of the Year – Agriculture
Ikpegbu Tochukwu (31): In 2010, Ikpegbu came first in the Harambe Nigeria agri-business competition, winning up to N7.5 million in prizes and training with the EDS, Fate Foundation and Ideabuilders. His winning entry which focused on expanding his piggery farm called Emmanuel farms is one which he has continued to build and grow. Starting with just 20 piglets in a small room in 2006, Emmanuel Farms has expanded to four big pens housing over 300 pigs and producing at least 100 piglets every month.
Entrepreneur of the Year – General
Ola Orekunrin (25): Orekunrin started Flying Doctors in 2010 when she realised that one of the most fundamental problems that the Nigerian healthcare system faces is getting the right patient, to the right facility within the correct timeframe. With Flying Doctors, urgent air ambulance services are provided to leading health institutions, insurance companies and private individuals throughout West Africa. Flying Doctors has literally become a life saver, as it ensures that critically unwell patients are flown from areas where there’s an insufficient level of care available to them, to somewhere else with a more appropriate level of care. Orekunrin is a TED fellow.
Innovator of the Year – Education
Otto Orondaam (25): Orondaam is a social crusader, a developmental worker, an analyst, and a social entrepreneur. He is the initiator of the Slum to School Project and Net a Child Project, which are both geared towards lending a voice and offering a platform to bring to the fore the educational, health and social needs of disadvantaged children, and providing succour for them. His Slum to School Project provided complete educational scholarships for 118 orphans and vulnerable children in Makoko community and also provided school uniforms, sandals, canvass, school bags, books and other psychosocial support. Orondaam was winner of the Lagos State Honours Award 2012 as the most outstanding corps member and is a nominee for the MDG Presidential Award.
Innovator of the Year – Science & Technology
Oluseun Onigbinde (27): Most Nigerians are genuinely interested in the country’s yearly budget but find the document a huge mass of non-readable jargon. Onigbinde saw this and came to the rescue. BudgIT has contributed in promoting transparency through human capacity building. The Budgit.com website has had over 650,000 website hits in just nine months. During the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest, Onigbinde developed a Budget Cut App which was used by over 3000 Nigerians within 72 hours. Onigbinde got an Ashoka Fellowship Award in 2012 and was a winner in the Nigeria Internet Group Awards for Social entrepreneurship.
Excellence in Service – Corporate
Ngozi Chinyelu Nkwoji (29): She is a Brand Manager in Nigeria Breweries Plc. Nkwoji presently works for the Maltina Brand, with a brief to effectively manage and ensure its equity brand growth. She successfully executed the 5th Season of the Maltina Dance All competition, the successful relaunch of the Maltina brand and the execution of the Maltina Sharing Happiness promo. In 2011, she was runner up in the Heineken Global Brand Building Awards under brand activation.
Excellence in Service – Journalism
Alkasim Abdulkadir (32): Abdulkadir has been practising journalism for the past seven years. In the past year, he did a world exclusive investigative piece for CNN International, in which he revealed the identity of the bomber behind the UN headquarters bombing via a phone call to the Boko Haram spokesperson; produced and directed two series of ‘Story Story’ for BBC London; produced 24 episodes of radio content ‘Nebo-my-nebo’ for BBC Nigeria; several live reports for CNN, BBC, France 24 and co-reported Boko Haram attack on Kano for The Times of London with Jonathan Clayton. He’s also a news editor for Citizens Platform. His brand of citizen journalism has oftentimes forced government agencies like the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to act swiftly.
Excellence in Service – Public
Hadiza Abdullahi (31): As a part of the team with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Abdullahi’s brief is to assist the government in a national effort to improve local government planning, project management, and monitoring capacity to catalyze new projects. Through her efforts, she has helped set up key structures so that the 113 LGAs participating in the MDGs Conditioned Grant Scheme (CGS) can access their grants. As technical assistant domiciled in Kaiama LGA of Kwara State, she helped catalyse new processes, working practices and prioritise development needs of the local council.
Designer of the Year
Toluwaloju Olowofoyeku (23): Olowofoyeku has come a long way since she began professional designing in 2008. Her label, Toju Foyeh (abbreviation of her name), deals with women’s wears. Foyeh’s work is bold, creative and colourful. Her designs have been showcased on some prestigious runways, including during the AriseFashion Week in 2011 and 2012. Mavin first lady, Tiwa Savage, is one of the proudest and most prominent fans of Olowofoyeku’s work.
Creative Artist of the Year
Omoboriowo Adebayo John (25): Omoboriowo is a freelance photographer and photo artist. He is also a photo coach who has trained over 30 young people. The University of Lagos Chemistry graduate was second-runner-up at the AAF-Etisalat Amateur Photography competition 2012 and was winner of the NACCP Climate Change photo contest, also this year. He loves street/documentary photography. Some of his documentaries include Life at Makoko, the NYSC diary, Ileya Festival and rainy Lagos Story. A graduate of LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Programme and Fate Foundation’s Samsung Real Dreams programme, Omoboriowo’s client base include Leap Africa, FansConnect Online, MTN Nigeria, Dell Nigeria, LaMediafritiq, Alliance Francaise, the Spanish Embassy, and Wamco Nigeria (makers of Peak Milk).
Best Use of New Media
Gidi Traffic (22): Lagos was long overdue for a service like @Gidi_Traffic. Even though limited to twitter, where he has about 30,000 followers, @Gidi_Traffic adopts crowdsourcing (a type of participative online activity) to help ease the stress that comes with Lagos traffic. It provides on-the-go traffic updates and responds to inquiries on anything that has to do with traffic in Lagos.
Best Use of Advocacy
Babafemi Oyediran (29): Oyediran is the Initiator of the Rural Enterprise Development Project (Project RED).Project RED trains artisans, small and micro business owners in organisational development using pidgin English or local dialects. Project RED also provides leverage for their businesses. Oyediran’s vision is to help reduce poverty in the locality where Project RED operates (mostly Niger and Nasarawa States,) by 20% by the year 2015. In the past year, over 34 artisan associations have been trained by Project RED, four of which were founded by the initiative. Oyediran was selected as a Young Global Changemaker in 2011 by British Council and was Winner of the Nigeria Youth Leadership Awards 2011 by LEAP Africa.