by Seyi Lawal
Yesterday, May 29, Nigeria’s biggest youth event ‘The Future Awards’ organised an elaborate media and VIP launch for its seventh season. The event, which coincided with the country’s Democracy Day celebrations, took place at the Koral Reef in Ikoyi, Lagos.
In attendance were past winners and judges of the awards including Tara Fela Durotoye (Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Person of the Year), Uche Nnaji (Style Entrepreneur of the Year) and Tolu Ogunlesi (Journalist of the Year) who interacted with the media on the impact and influence of the awards.
This year, the Awards – unveiled as The Future Awards for Leaders, Entrepreneurs and Innovators – is themed ‘Tear down these walls!’ emphasising how far and how hard young people have worked to build a new system of innovation and values in Nigeria. The event unveiled the TV promos, radio promos, print and outdoor advertising that will drive the media campaign.
“The Future Awards led the charge: presenting over 1000 Positive Role Models (especially outside of entertainment) to young Nigerians and Africans over the past years, we have succeeded in establishing faith in country amongst blocs of young people, fundamentally altered for good the way young Nigerians are viewed as leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs,” said the Executive Director of The Future Project, Chude Jideonwo in his speech. “What do we need? We need for government to get out of the way – to stop being an obstacle to the revolution powered by these young people. We don’t really need government to create jobs; we need government to create the atmosphere for these brilliant minds to create jobs for themselves and for other Nigerians.”
“Where are the investors ready to take risks on our own Facebook or Groupon? Where are the venture capitalists able to drive and to push these young people far and beyond what even they think they are capable of? Where are the hubs structured to give rise to a flurry of ideas that work? Those are the walls that limit many young people from doing all that they can do, from being all that they can be. And we say: it’s time to tear down these walls,” Jideonwo continued.
To emphasise this year’s focus, there are still 21 awards categories, but there are broken into seven broad sections that include categories include change, creativity, innovation, entertainment, and entrepreneurship.
The event was anchored by designer and editor, Ohimai Atafo, who is head of the award’s Central Working Committee. “The season starts immediately,” he said. “We begin the town hall meetings to the six geo-political zones; we will also have special town hall meetings to spotlight innovation in specific fields, there will of course be the Nominees Reception for Charity, all leading to the awards in August – we are excited!”
Also announced were the media partners for Season 7. They include Cool FM, Wazobia FM, Nigeria 99.9 Info, Channels TV, TVC, Hip on TV, BellaNaija.com, Linda Ikeji, NET, Premium Times, FAB, Complete Fashion, TW, and LASAA. Official Media Partners are Africa Magic and Y! (www.ynaija.com).
The Future Awards 2012 will hold on August 26, 2012. Nominations are now on via www.facebook.com/TheFutureAwards. Nominations end at midnight on June 30, 2012.
FULL LIST OF CATEGORIES
Best Use of Advocacy
Best Use of New Media
Creative Artist of the Year
Designer of the Year
Excellence in Service
Excellence in Service – Government
Excellence in Service – Journalism
Excellence in Service – Corporate
Innovator of the Year – Science & Technology
Innovator of the Year – Education
Actor of the Year
Musician of the Year
Producer of the Year – Music
Producer of the Year – Screen
On-Air Personality – Radio
On-Air Personality – Television
Entrepreneur of the Year – Entertainment
Entrepreneur of the Year – Fashion
Entrepreneur of the Year – Technology
Entrepreneur of the Year – Media/Communication
Entrepreneur of the Year – General
The Ultimate Prize
Young Person of the Year