The Future Awards Africa 2016 Nominees Profiles

The Future Awards Africa & EbonyLife Prize for Acting

 

ADESUA ETOMI 30

Her professional acting career began in 2014 with the release of her first film Knocking On Heaven’s Door. Her brand shows that all you need is talent and the courage to chase your dreams and you will live the life you want and have the career you’ve dreamed of.

Adesua Etomi began 2016 with an AMVCA award for her role in ‘Falling’, pulling a Lupita and beating more seasoned actresses to win a Best Actress award for her very full-feature role, a long, long way from her beginnings playing a supporting role in a stage performance of Jesus Christ, Super Star. With a moving speech and a post award media haze that saw her make the covers of all Nigeria’s biggest magazines, Etomi’s is definitely on the rise.

Catapulted by her win, Etomi has become Nigeria’s sweet heart, conquering screen and stage and television with roles in Shuga, Waka the Musical, Saro the Musical. She rounds out the year with two critical successes, playing the lead characters on the Kunle Akinmolayan directed ‘The Arbritration’ and Kemi Adetiba’s four studio collaborative, Hollywood budget Rom-com ‘The Wedding Party’. Glowing reviews from the Toronto International Film Festival and rumours that Hollywood might be calling, what a year Etomi has had. She won Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards – Best Actress In a Drama/TV Series (2016), Golden Movie Awards – Discovery of the Year (2015), and more.

 

Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama 28

As Yvonne, the mercurial designer with a sugar daddy and a bad boy problem in 2012’s Gidi Up season TV, Somkhele Idhlama (then Iyama) was green and eager to prove herself as a Nollywood actress. Jump three years, a marriage, a baby and several films, Somkhele is all grown into her own.

Idhlama rounded out 2015 with a surprise cameo at the 2015 Lagos Fashion and Design Week in a daring bikini showing off a svelte body just months after giving birth to her first child. She’d taken a break to have her child and after was eager to get back in on the action. What could be more daring than a role in the controversial biopic ’93 Days’ that chronicles Nigeria’s ebola outbreak and the Dr. Adadevoh, the woman who gave her life to quell it. Add that to sterling performances on ‘The Arbritration’ and the ‘Wedding Party’ and a return to familiar haunts for the third season of Gidi Up, Somkhele’s vying for the big leagues.

And what says big leagues better than being selected as the ‘International Rising Star’ for the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival? We’ll wait.

 

Work performed from  last  year  till  date:

PROJECT ROLE RELEASE     DATE
GIDI UP SEASON 3

Dir: Tolu Ajayi

Lead: Yvonne 2016      (Post               production)
FAÇADE [Working title] Dir: Ali Mahmood Balogun Lead: Dr. Tammy 2016      (Post               Production)
THE WEDDING PARTY

Dir: Kemi Adetiba

Supporting: Yemisi 2016
THE ARBITRATION

Dir: Niyi Akinmolayan

Supporting: Omawumi Horsefall 2016
93 DAYS

Dir: Steve Gukas

Supporting: Dr. Ada Igonoh 2016
WHEN LOVE HAPPENS AGAIN

Dir: Seun Babatope

Supporting: Rachael 2016
OJUKOKORO

Dir: Dare Olaitan

Supporting: Sade 2017
BEST FRIENDS

Dir: Dickson

Sub Lead: Uche 2015

 

 

Rahama Sadau

Not many people understand Kannywood, Nigeria’s Northern film industry, but in 2016 we saw double standards and misogyny work against one of its most profilif actress Rahama Sadau. Following a paid appearance in a music video where she held hands with ClassiQ, a Jos based Pop Star, she was publicly shamed and blacklisted from the industry. But they say tragedy can be a blessing in disguise, and it certainly is for Sadau, who has worked professionally in Kannywood since 2013, scoring a career defining turn in ‘Gani Ga Wane’, holding her own beside cross over veteran, Ali Nuhu.

 

Sadau is getting a second first introduction in the Ebony LIfe television drama ‘Sons of The Caliphate’ where she sizzles, and exploring her options in the English film industry with invitations to explore roles in Jeta Amata’s newest film and other projects by american singer Akon. Sadau’s activism has also come to the fore, including her volunteer work in partnership with Medicaid to end cancer and her advocacy for rights of female internally displaced persons. It is the best kind of triumph that Sadau remains Kannywood’s brightest star, now that she has grown past its sky.

 

 

The Future Awards and EbonyLife Prize for Journalism

Fisayo Soyombo

Student activism through monitoring and reporting was how Fisayo Soyombo got into Journalism in 2004, and just one experience was all that was needed to convince him to switch careers. Twelve years and unrelenting curiosity has allowed Soyombo transform himself from Animal Science graduate to internationally lauded, award winning journalist and editor.

As editor of The Cable NG and a contributor to Aljazeera, Soyombo consistently broken news stories and scored important interviews with relevant persons. His coverage of the 2015 general elections was one of the cycle’s highlights and his work during and after won him several awards honours including a nomination for the Thomson Foundation Young Journalists Award and Kurt Schork Awards. He won of the 2014 Wole Soyinka Prize for investigative journalism, cementing his place as one of Nigeria’s best both home and abroad.

In 2016, he emerged winner of the Newcomer of the Year category of the 2016 Free Press awards. Chosen over Zimbabwean Tafadzwa Ufumeli and Albanian Mechman Huseynov, for ‘Forgotten Soldiers’ — a five-part series exploring the agony of soldiers shattered by Boko Haram’s bullets and mines, and what their pains mean for their loved ones. He also received praise for his other two entries: ‘Undercover Investigation: Nigeria’s Customs of Corruption, Bribery and Forgery’, and a three-part investigation into Liberia’s post-Ebola recovery and the embezzlement of funds meant to fight the virus.

 

He currently runs the annual Fisayo Soyombo Inter-University essay competition which began in 2015 and is aimed at developing budding student journalists.

 

Chika Sandra Oduah    

From her base in Nigeria, she has worked for France24 as an international correspondent reporter since January 2015 and has worked as a producer and reporter for Al Jazeera since August 2013. The Medill School of Journalism and Georgia State University alumnus is a 2015 Finalist of the Livingston Young Journalist Award and the 2015 African Story Challenge Winner and Grant Recipient. Telling the important stories about Africans at home and in the diaspora.

In 2016, her article ‘The App That Saved 1,000 Children’ won in the Dow Technology & Innovation Reporting Award at the 2016 CNN African Journalist Award. The story focused on 24-year-old Nigerian computer enthusiast named Hamzat Lawal’s app that saved children in Bagega from dying from lead contamination.

Chika reports from the human angle, capturing the human impact of the issues that affect people’s daily lives and have collaborated with Al Jazeera stories around the world to reporting on global projects 

 

Yemisi Adegoke

Yemisi Adegoke has spent her entire adult career media, bouncing between fashion print, film and documentary production and new media before settling into traditional Print Media at Guardian Nigeria and CNN, She is the kind of journalist others look up to, always ready to proof read her work for accuracy, undeterred by deadlines and external pressure committed entirely to telling the story as truthfully as possible.

With an Arthur L Carter Institute of Journalism degree and a personal platform Briticoyemo.com where Adegoke write extensively about journalism and its intersections with feminism, Adegoke’s culture column for the Guardian Nigeria is quick and witty and often to the heart of Nigeria’s many failings as regards its creative communities.

 

The Future Awards and EbonyLife Prize for On Air Personality (audio)

 

Ayo Thompson      30

 

As the host of  Nigerian Info FM ‘The Woman,’ a weekly show that focuses on the Nigerian woman and everything that makes them phenomenal, Ayo Thompson gets to promote and uplift women distinguishing themselves in their various fields. This is a task she’s taken very seriously, drawing from a wide pool of seemingly ordinary to widely celebrated women and engaging each equally for their personal contributions to their communities, their country and women in general.  Prior to that role, she was a co-host of the popular Breakfast Show on 99.3, Nigeria Info FM ‘Morning Crossfire’ where she garnered a wide following.

 

Ayo gained experience as a speaker hosting events while at university. She anchored Swansea’s Got Talent (Wales), Swansea Refugee Week and All Wales Race and Equality Seminar among others.

 

An avid blogger, she runs the 1 + The One blog that focuses primarily on love and relationships with a Christian focus with a weekly YouTube video touching on a variety of topics. She is also the host of ‘Hello Nigeria Show’ and ‘The Blog’ on Cool/Wazobia TV.

In addition, she co-hosts a daily show on TV, ‘Hello Nigeria’, a live magazine show where topical issues are intelligently discussed with guest interviews from a variety of industries and expertise.

 

 

 

Muhammed Yusuf Suleiman

 

Muhmmed Yusuf Suleiman, popularly called Mowiz is a sports broadcaster at Liberty FM, in Kaduna. An on air personnel and presenter in Liberty Radio breakfast belt handling Liberty Sports Ride 7-8 am. (Mon-Fri)

 

His moniker Mowiz a combination of “Mohammed the Wizard.”  He is known for his speedy and smooth delivery of sports news and gist in tennis, boxing, golf, athletics, cycling and football. He is the anchor, producer and presenter of ‘Liberty Sports Ride’, ‘Sports Ride Reloaded’ and ‘Fixture Analysis.’ 

 

Prior to joining Liberty FM, Mowiz was part of Nigeria’s crew to the 2010 World Cup and ran commentaries on the Broadcasters Organisation of Nigeria (BON) network and SuperSport Africa champions League coverage.

 

Following his successful work, he is nominated as a match delegate at the League Management Company of Nigeria (LMC). In the space of one year he has been promoted four times rising from an OAP to Chief Programmes Officer of Liberty FM, Kaduna

 

On Advocacy, Mowiz led 1000 volunteers on a 10KM walk which terminated at the Government House, with a speech from the Governor of Kaduna State Mallam Nasir El-Rufai on Cancer awareness day.

 

He recently won Nigeria Broadcasters Award for Best Sport Presenter (North, South & Eastern Nigeria). Three times winner of Kaduna State Entertainment Award for Best Radio Anchor. Gangariya Radio Award for Best Sports Presenter in Northern Nigeria.

 

Mowiz is holds an HND in Electrical Engineering from the Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State.

 

 

Oluwakemi Itari Owatemi  28

 

Many might not know this, but before Oluwakemi Itari Owatemi popularly called Kemi Smallz fully committed to the radio she had a small stint as a print journalist. Good thing she left behind because the ‘Voice of Lagos’ has parlayed her small stature and immutable voice into a career as an On Air Personality at City FM Lagos.  The petite presenter has been dubbed the ‘radio rat’ is known for her vibrancy, fun spirit and infectious smile. The English Literature graduate from the University of Lagos once auditioned for the MTV Base VJ Search in Nigeria and made it to the finals.

 

Kemi started her career at the age of 7 presenting Tales Africa, Kiddies Island and GenerationNext for DAMSA Communications. The shows aired on MBI and MITV. In 2016, she won Radio Personality Of the Year at the MAYA Awards.

 

She recently concluded shooting her Reality tv series which will air in January 2017

 

The Future Awards and EbonyLife Prize for On Air Personality (visual)

 

Bolanle Olukanni   

 

Women in media have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously as relevant conversation starters in their fields. They have to shake the now term ‘media girl’ often used as dismissive identifier. New comer Bolanle Olukanni has chosen to reclaim the term, bringing a vivaciousness to her positions as host of the music reality show MTN project Fame and one of three presenters on Ebony Life’s Moments and charming Nigeria’s audiences in the process.

 

Olukanni’s star power isn’t just limited to television, she has become Nigeria’s new it-girl, constantly referenced in style blogs and fashion magazines every single week for her adventurous style. The Communications and International Studies graduate from Loyola University Chicago shot into the limelight after she won ‘Search for Mo’s Co-host’ competition in 2013. Her prize landed her a co-hosting job on ‘Moment with Mo’ alongside Mo Abudu and Dolapo Oni. Now rebranded ‘Moments’, she still co-hosts the Nigerian show alongside Toke Makinwa and Michelle Dede on EbonyLife TV.

 

Bolanle has interviewed influential personalities such as Oscar nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, Grammy award winning singer Brandy, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, and does red carpet interviews at the country most glamorous events. Girl, what a life!

 

Chuey Chu  

It is hard to imagine Chukuebuka Okoye of Pulse Strivia as anything other than the hide headband wearing, microphone wielding bane of the unsuspecting Nigerian. Tripping both pedestrian and celebrity, Chuey Chu has turned catching Nigerians at their most self-effacing into an art form, churning out videos that rack up hundreds of thousands of views and keep Nigerians laughing. But Okoye is actually a Civil Engineering graduate from the North Dakota State University returned to pursue a career in the media as a media expert after working unsuccessfully as an engineer.

 

He is currently Pulse TV’s most successful video experiment, anchoring the popular ‘Pulse Strivia.’ He has interviewed notable celebrities on the red carpet and everyday people on the street asking them seemingly simple questions which many times, they fail by providing ridiculous answers.

 

There’s something about Chuey Chu that screams ‘viral’ and it seems he’ll follow that rabbit hole down to its possibly controversial end.

Victor AMA’AMBIDI Mathias         29

 

Television is rife with stories of hopefuls rising from desk job removed from the action to fronting their very own television shows, and Victor Mathias of Channels TV has one of his very own. Joining Channels TV in 2011 as a remote web content developer, Mathias groomed himself, working his way into the production team and finally into a small role as news reporter and a star turn as a news anchor. Mathias’s stage craft, baritone voice and intelligent reporting has made him a fan favorite.

 

The Political Science graduate from the University of Maiduguri is the pioneer presenter and producer of the social media powered show, ‘Channels Beam’ and in 2016, he began casting the news in Hausa. He is a reporter, producer, news anchor and anchor of Channels TV’s flagship social media show, Channels Beam. Victor also manages the award-winning online/social media section of the station.

 

The Future Awards and EbonyLife Prize for Screen Producer

Mary Remmy-Njoku 31

 

Mary is a Nollywood TV and Film actress and producer, based in Lagos, Nigeria. She is also the CEO of ROK – a film studio and TV network, with channels on Sky in the UK and DStv across Africa. Cumulatively, that’s a potential audience of over 20m people.

Having producing films and TV series since she graduated from the London Film School in 2013. Her first production was Festac Town, a 13 part TV series based around the lives of real people in Festac. Since then, it has been non-stop, and have worked with some of Nigeria’s leading actors, including Mercy Johnson, Annie Idibia, Mercy Aigbe Gentry, Rukky Sanda, Jackie Appiah, Alexx Ekubo, Patience Ozokwor, and many more. Remmy-Njoku has exceeded the expectations of everyone producing (independently and in partnerships with third party investors) over 25 Television shows and movies of intelligent storylines and decent plots.

 

In 2016, Remmy-Njoku launched Iroko World and Iroko Play, two linear TV channels broadcast on terrestrial cable network StarTimes.  Rok TV was also launched on the United Kingdom’s Sky TV and on DSTV, digital off shoots that leverage on the licensing deals that Njoku’s Iroko TV has brokered. The television channels complement the popular online Nollywood portal, Iroko TV established by her husband, techie-turned-media entrepreneur, Jason Njoku.

 

In 2016, Rok shot 88 movies and x10 TV series (13x30mins per series) in total

 

Usman Ahmad Kabara 31

Usman Ahmad Kabara, the only nominee on the list from Northern Nigerian is helping shape perspectives in Northern Nigeria through language based literacy and education programmes.

The presenter, associate producer, audio editor and sound designer cut his teeth on local Nigerian raido before moving to work as a translator and transcriber with the BBC World Service Trust, Nigeria (Now BBC Media Action). He is currently a Principal Producer and Supervisor Programmes (Hausa) with Liberty FM.

He received a recognition award from Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) and Gangariya Radio Award’s Producer of the Year (Hausa). The Youth Program he presented with BBC WST on HIV Called ‘Ya Take Ne’ won the Nigerian Media Merit Award’s Best Hausa Program of the Year for its unvarnished approach to education and advocacy around HIV and deconstructing myths and internalized stigma towards sufferers.

 

Adeola Osunkojo 30

Transitioning from a career as a child/teenage actress, playwright and dancer is hard on most adolescents but not for Adeola Osunkojo.  Osunkojo shifted focus to television/film writing, producing and directing cut her teeth heading the content development team at MTN’s music reality show Project fame, working with the show for six years before she left to pursue other interests.

She create concepts/ideas, write, produce and direct content for television, online and screen mostly in the genre of comedy, drama, reality and documentary.

 

Since then she’s leaned in to television, earning directing credits on serialized shows like Tales of Eve, So Wrong So Wright, Binary Unit and the popular The Life of A Nigerian Couple on Ebony Life TV which she also created, wrote and produced to rave reviews. The Life of a Nigerian Couple was included in the first African Short Film Festival, hosted by the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University in September 2016. She has worked on What’s Hawt, Own your own, The squeeze and many more.

 

She is currently working on a reality show with Ebony Life TV, a documentary on the Nigerian Coup of ‘76, a feature length movie, the second season of The Life of a Nigerian Couple and conception of other television shows.

 

She won the Film and TV Director of the year Award for the EbonyLife TV Sisterhood Awards. The Short film version of the Life of A Nigerian Couple was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Awards in the short film category in 2016.

 

Support Information:

What companies/clients/partners have you worked for with/jobs you have done from last year till date

S/N      Project           Company      Role    Year

1          The Life of a Nigerian Couple        8thDay Production  Writer/Producer/Director  2015/2016

2          What’s Hawt Ultima Studio Writer/Producer/Director              2015/2016

3          Own Your Own        Frontiers Limited       Producer/Director   2016

4          The Squeeze Ultima Studio Writer/Producer/Director              2015/2016

5          76:The Documentary           8th Day Productions            Writer/Producer/Director 2016

6          Moving Up: The Squad       Ebony Life TV Producer/Director   2016

 

The Futures Awards and EbonyLife Prize for New Media

Tosin “OloriSuperGal” Ajibade 

 

If it concerns new media, Tosin Ajibade is on top of it, literally. Through the lifestyle and entertainment website, Olorisupergal.com which Ajibade founded in the late oughts, Tosin breaks the news and offers much needed perspective on pop culture and happenings. But Olorisupergal has transcended the restrictive web formats and flourished on all the new media platforms, especially Instagram and Facebook, reaching thousands through a relentless feed of freshly gleaned information and opinions.  Ajibade’s work has seen her feted by the South African Tourism Board in 2016, chosen for her influence as part of group of influential Nigerians who tour South Africa as a way to dispel xenophobic stereotypes and mend the bilateral relations between the country.

 

Ajibade uses her influence at home too, convening the inaugural New Media Conference to discuss the challenges and possibilities of doing business and creating sustainable brands through new media platforms. Exceeding its expected capacity was one of the highlights of Ajibade’s year, well documented on her personal profile LifeOfALagosGirl. Ajibade uses her reach to promote causes close to her, including gender equality, embrace of natural hair and sexual assault. She is one of 2016 YNaija Power List.

 

 

Femi Bakre

 

It is impossible to consume Nigerian content in 2016 without coming across the influence of Femi Bakre. –            Following his achievement as the overall Best Graduating Student – University of Lagos (2014), The founder of video aggregator Kraks.tv have an almost unrivalled hold on the data and attention spans of Nigerians. In two years, Kraks.tv has become the foremost aggregator of African slapstick humor and ‘reality interviews’ a sub genre of vox pop television that aims specifically give the interviewee the slip and sleight of hand, finding humor in the most inane of situations. With hundreds of millions of views, social media accounts that boasts millions of followers and a website that allows registered users share their own submissions, Kraks.tv has stumbled on a mine of crowd sourced content and spun it into gold.

 

Bakre are quietly investing in other new media platforms, expanding their reach through easily downloadable mobile applications that allow young Nigerians engage their interests.

 

Furthermore, KraksTV as a medium to support and promote upcoming talent in the entertainment industry. These include and are not limited to comedians, singers, rappers, producers, etc.; many of whom have gained recognition and boundless opportunities through our platforms.

KraksTV has aided numerous business owners in various countries connect with potential clients and grow their businesses by providing a platform for them to advertise and creating custom content tailored for their target market.

 

In the last one year, Kraks TV has moved from just an online media platform, and grown into a Digital Marketing Agency, started our e-Radio, e-food channels and now have a full Ltd company with a growing workforce and clientele.

 

 

Bashir Ahmed 25

 

The next time someone asks you what your social media accounts can do for you, point them in the direction of Personal Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmed.  Ahmed did the unthinkable, parlaying an enthusiasm for new media communications strategist and a career as journalist into a national appointment.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that Ahmed is anything but competent, his portfolio  includes stints as the online editor of and a reporter for Rariya Hausa newspaper and a role as Personal Assistant on New Media to Sam Nda-Isiah, the publisher of Leadership Newspaper. Bashir also worked with the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) before the president incumbent’s win at the polls in 2015.

Ahmed’s social media savvy and unwillingness to compromise his ideals no matter the platform led to his appointment as the online editor for the Hausa version of the northern owned Leadership newspaper and Ahmed continues to use his new position as a springboard for issues about gender politics, patriotism and governance. Mutun mai Kirki ne wannan.

Before President Buhari won the elections in April 2015, as a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, he managed the All Progressive Congress (APC) media message.

 

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Education

 

Arese Ugwu 31

 

In 2016, Arese made the leap from board room to screen as she joined Tunji Andrews to discuss financial issues on Analyse This, an Ndani TV web series. She also hosted the eight-episode Your Life, Your Money sponsored by Zenith Bank Aspire. This was the culmination of years building a lifestyle that promoted fiscal responsibility and good financial habits her financial start up, Smart Money Africa. S.M.A provides content, advice and action tools tailored to help Africans understand financial matters, finding unconventional but accessible ways to translate complex economic principles and policies through contemporary storytelling and visual illustrations.

 

She is the author of the best selling personal finance book, Smart Money Woman launched in late 2016. Arese has read to audiences across Nigeria and beyond, breaking the mold for what is considered a ‘self help’ book in Nigeria.

 

An alumna of the of the Lagos Business School, INSEAD Abu Dhabi and The London School of Business executive education programs, Arese sits on the boards of Partnership Securities Ltd and House of Tara International Ltd as a non-executive director. She is an associate member of WIMBIZ.

 

Godwin Benson

 

Lesson teachers and private tutors are an ubiquitous part of any middle class childhood, often accompanied by a generally feeling of ennui and resentment. But perhaps we remember lesson tutors so badly because they were forced on us, instead of being sought out. Godwin Benson, the founder of Tuteria, is taking a roundabout approach to tutoring in Nigeria by matching tutors and potential students using an online platform. By allowing students seek out potential tutors and schedule lessons based on their personal preferences and needs, and opening tutoring to full time and part time tutors; Tuteria democratizes the education process, making learning fun again, while providing alternate sources of income for young graduates.

 

A system engineering graduate from University of Lagos, Godwin was one of the winners of Microsoft Passion to Empire campaign. He was part of the winners of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2016 and was congratulated by Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg during his trip to Nigeria.

 

 

Izunna Okafor 21

 

In 2016, the East African literary magazine Jalada Press, put out an globally lauded feat, it took one of Kenyan writer Ngugi Wa N’thiongo’s short stories and translated it into thirty African languages, a statement on the validity of African languages a voice and a medium for fiction from the continent. This is a cause that Izunna Okafor identifies strongly with. Okafor has always written in Igbo and English and strongly promoted the use of the Igbo language in fiction and non-fiction. For his efforts he was honored with 2015 Nigerian Writers Award for The Indigenous Writer of The Year.

 

Izunna has featured in several writers’ workshop, conferences, seminars and other major literary activities. His fourth novel, Ajo Enyi won him The Society of Young Nigerian Writers Award/2015 Pita Nwanna Prize for Igbo literature.

 

In 2016, he organised one day literary programme in the memory of Late. Prof Chinua Achebe. Tagged ‘Remembering Chinua Achebe: A literary icon’, the event which was the first of its kind, was held by the Anambra State Chapter of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, in collaboration with the Anambra State Library Board. It coincided with late Prof. Achebe’s date of birth, November 16 and was held at the auditorium hall of the Prof. Kenneth Dike E-Library, Awka, Anambra State.

 

Izunna who is passionate about indigenous literature is the National Auditor, The South-Eastern Zonal Info. Sec. as well as the coordinator of the Anambra State chapter of the association.

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Advocacy

 

Wadi Ben-Hirki                      

 

Adolescence is often marked by an all-consuming absorption with self-identity and a limited world view, so discovering teenage Nigerians already actively involved with changing their immediate community and the larger world is always challenging. Nineteen year old Wadi Ben-Hirki is a living, breathing challenge. Through her non-profit, the eponymous Wadi-Ben Hirki foundation, Hirki stands in for disadvantaged teenage girls, sparking public conversations through the #Street2School, @GirlsNotWives and #LITMOW (Love In The Midst Of War). But she isn’t just a digital voice, she raises funds for her physical drives through Sapphire by WBHF, selling merchandise and seeding the proceeds into future projects.

 

Already Hirki has been invited to participate at the 2016 African Union Regional Youth Consultation on Human Rights and has been honoured with plaques for Choice Philanthropist of the year at the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Nigerian Teen Choice Awards, nominations for Choice Humaniatarian of the year at the 2016 African Youth Choice Awards, West African philanthropist of the year by the CNBC All Africa Business Leaders Awards.

 

In her final year of university, Ben-Hirki is a shining example of exemplary student leadership and grass roots advocacy.

 

 

 

Bukola Bolarinwa

 

Every sickle cell warrior in unintentionally drawn into the fight for the eradication of Sickle Cell Anaemia through advocacy, proper health practices and counselling. Bukola Bolarinwa’s journey however has been voluntary, spurred by a need to eradicate a condition that has threatened to diminish the quality of her life and bring despair to her loved ones.

 

She is at the head of the fight against generational transfers of the sickle cell gene through her position as the president of Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF). The foundation which was created to improve awareness on Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD) has grown to be a recognised advocacy organisation in Nigeria. And Bukola knows how to argue a case, her oratory skills helped her become the vice president of the organization while she was studying at the Nigerian Law School, Bwari.

 

Bukola champions SCAF’s humanitarian initiatives, partnerign with donors from around the world to promote campaigns to increase awareness of the sickle cell gene, its mutations and the possible consequences of its transfer by birth through the The Know Your Genotype Campaign (KYGC). SCAF offers free genotype testing, awareness and counseling the six area council of the FCT. She also inititated the SCAFlympics, which promotes good health practices among Sickle cell warriors and draws attention to the physical limitations sickle cell eventually imposes on sufferers.

In 2016, Bukola was selected for the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in recognition of her work encouraging thousands of new people to give blood. This year, award winners are leading projects tackling global issues including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.

 

 

 

Toks Bakare

 

In a country with only ten professional behavioural analysts, the default to response to developmental neurological disorders for many young parents struggling to make ends meet is denial, prayer and ostracization. Toks Bakare, a British trained Nigerian Behaviour Analyst isn’t content to wave off aberrant behaviour under anecdotal quotes and deliverance sessions.

 

Bakare through her online platform, asktoks.com, offers a decade’s worth of behavioural research to families with small children suffering from developmental disorders like Asperger’s, Down’s Syndrome and disorders across the autism spectrum. She has offered professional consultations, support and treatment, relocating to Nigeria in 2014 to better serve the families that seek her out.

 

Bakare believes it isn’t simply enough to treat isolated cases, so she offers consultation services to Nigerian organisations in Lagos and Abuja, teaching cutting edge behavioural modification treatment and Applied Behavioural Analysis. She utilises social media platoforms like Youtube channel Batta Box and social enterprise platform Social Media Week Lagos’ reach to spread the message of asktoks and encourage parents to seek consultations.

 

Through Asktoks.com, Bakare has been able to comprehensively access over 200 children and create tailored behaviour treatment plans for a fourth of the assessed children. There can never be enough advocacy for child mental health and development and Bakare’s efforts are worthy of recognition.

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Beauty

 

THEODORA MOGO

It is impossible to talk about the rise of the new wave of beauty in Nigeria without referencing Theodora Mogo. As the creative head and co-founder of uber successful beauty empire Doranne Beauty Theodora Mogo has risen to become an avatar of the new media movement, influencing millions of young women one social media post at a time.

Mogo’s rise through the ranks is even more impressive considering she is self taught and began her business offering free make up services to her friends and family. In four short years, that humble rolodex has grown to include renowned celebrities like Toke Makinwa, Eku Edewor, Victoria Kimani and Osas Ojibade and recognition in the form of a City People Magazine award for Upcoming Make-up artist of the year.

In 2016, Mogo expanded her empire, introducing the ‘Beat by Doranne’ master class series, a service that grown to include sessions in Ghana in partnership with Sparkle and Shine and The Beauty Technicians, some of the country’s finest professionals. Partnerships with international brands like Guerlain Paris, Phillips, Vane, BeautyRevNG and Hair by Ucan speaks to Mogo’s growing influence both as an individual and a brand and she uses this influence as a force for good, through awareness campaigns for breast cancer and women led SME’s at the COPE Foundation and Wimbiz.

 

Support Information:

The Beat By Doranne master class series; although this initiative was launched this year on a test run model, refining the model to make it even more successful and different. Thus far we have run three series; the Abuja edition, the Ghana edition and the exclusive cancer survivor edition.

  • Expansion into creative (makeup) content development for corporate brands i.e Guerlain Paris, Philips Nigeria, other brands in the making

 

KEHINDE SMITH

How does a new media finally brand come of age? It goes offline.

Kehinde Smith, the co-creative lead behind My Extensionz, Nigeria’s premium wig, lash and extensions brand opened her very first physical store in Lagos in mid-2016, finally rooting her business, which began while she and her twin sister Taiwo Smith were undergraduates at the University of Illinois, Chicago in her ancestral home. It was the kind of triumphant return, every diasporic business started by young Nigerians dreams of.

Because of her high profile relationship with  angel investor Marek ‘Chinedu’ Zmyslowski, not many have been able to move past tabloid fodder to truly to appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit which Kehinde brings to all her interests and just how much she loves the beauty industry. Smith has worked with international professionals to create a specialized brand of wig care products, launching them in 2016 as well as the My Extensionz exclusive brand of mink eyelashes, becoming only one five Nigerian brands that offer the service. Add to that two studio in Chicago, an robust online store, specialized beauty related services like My Celebrity Teeth and Her Blingz and a vibrant social media following, Kehinde Smith personifies the #GirlBoss in every way.

 

IROGHAMA B. OBUOFORIBO

For a Nigerian woman, hair is identity. And Iroghama B. Obuoforibo is a leading voice in that conversation through Hairven. Established in 2010, Iroghama’s passion for hair in all its states has led to her create specific products for natural and textured hair as well as extensions and other accessories. Starting her brand in 2009 straight out of her flat in London, Obuoforibo’s Hair Hairven began as an answer to her own personal struggles with finding affordable accessible extensions.

Before long, Obuoforibo realised it was enough to sell hair to Nigerian woman, there was a vacuum for specialized, all around service. So she moved her business home and set up her first physical store, a Port Harcourt hair care bar, created to allow potential clients experience Hair Hairven as a lifestyle instead of a service. It’s been 8 years and Obuoforibo’s won the MTN sponsored business reality show ‘The Next Titan’ with Hair Hairven, opened a second Hair Hairven bar in Lagos, found retailers across the country and most of West Africa and been awarded two consecutive Eagle Awards for Entrepreneur of the year. It really is Iroghama’s world, and we’re just living in it.

 

CATEGORY 13: The Future Awards Africa Prize for Arts & Culture

 

Emmanuel Oyeleke 28

 

You’d be hard pressed to talk about fashion, editorial and celebrity photography in 2016 without mentioning Emmanuel Oyeleke. His photography work, especially for Guardian Life has been part of the pull out magazine’s rebrand as one of Nigeria’s most relevant digital and print voices and Oyeleke brings a humanity to his subjects be they a budding social media artist or a seasoned financial matriarch. Oyeleke has worked on fashion magazines, editorial look books, beauty and life style campaigns for international brands, high profile events and portfolio work for Non-profit organizations.

 

In 2016, Oyeleke began to teach photography masterclasses to aspiring photographers, sharing his hard earned experience and mentoring a new generation of self taught innovators. His photography work predominantly reflect elements of Art, Fashion, Beauty and Documentary photography. Emmanuel has had the opportunity to work with amazing individuals and teams to produced several stunning campaigns and look books for

local fashion designers like: Deola Sagoe Ejiro Amos Tafiri OUCH Couture Savvy Chic Hair Beauty Keem Harun Meena Grey Velvet Chidinma Obairi Orange Culture Alter Ego Lagos

He shot handful magazine covers and editorials for magazines like: TW Magazine Genevieve Magazine WOW Magazine Beauty Box Guardian Life Zen Magazine Africa and real estate:

BMPRO Taos Cosmetics Zaron Cosmetics Black Opal Nigeria Solo Phone Close Up – Unilever Hairfinity USA Suji Moto Properties. He has worked with GTBank at the GTBank Masterclass series where I was able to train and empower about 200 individuals with necessary photography skills. The program ran in two cities Lagos and Abuja. Worked with GTBank as the official Photographer for GTBank Food and Drinks event and also GTBank Fashion Weekend.

Emmanuel Oyeleke Photography is committed to empowering youths and imparting knowledge and also organized a number of successful workshops and Masterclasses.

 

Ndidi Emefiele

 

Talk about a woman with a signature flourish. Ndidi Emefiele’s forays in art have spawned a fan base of emulators and started conversations about the place of feminism in art and how women artists give permission for young girls to explore identity and sexuality through creative mediums. Emefiele herself is an avid adherent of the message she preaches, working as a mixed media artist and fashion enthusiast out of her studio in Abuja. Her distinctive art, that features portraits of haughty girls and women in various states of motion and repose, constantly watching through glasses fashioned from scratched Compact Discs, mirrors and plastic plates offer commentary on female relationships, domesticity, identity and womanhood.

 

Her work has earned her acclaim in and outside the country, with several exhibitions at the Nike and Omenka art galleries in Lagos, The Africa Art Fair in London, the Expo Chicago, with work finding homes in a growing number of private collection. Emefiele signifies agency, and when is that never not a good thing?

 

 

Adenrele Esther Sonariwo  30

Adenrele is a Gallerist and Art Curator in Lagos, Nigeria, founder and director of Rele Art Gallery, Onikan Lagos – an unconventional, contemporary art space that has been and is on a mission in various capacities to trigger a newfound appreciation, engagement, and followership with the arts; exposing a larger, global audience to African contemporary art. It has been successful thus, and is the leading destination for a younger, aspirational art audience.

Rele Art Gallery showcases unconventional exhibition and uses art as a tool to contribute to societal discourse. She has been able to overcome many challenges as an artist because she uses innovative ways to drive the importance of art, more promotion and branding for artists; and made it exciting for people to appreciate art.

Adenrele has worked with companies such as Samsung Mobile, Laurent Perrier, Aluko & Oyebode, The Presidency, Sterling Bank, Diamond Bank, Literary Industry, Cassava Republic, LiveSpot, Cointreau, Hugo Boss

Her mission is to keep emphasizing the importance of the arts, to find newer ways to elevate the art sector despite the financial changes, to solve our infrastructural deficits and to create an enabling environment for our arts to thrive.

 

A Gallerist and Art Curator in Lagos, Nigeria, founder and director of Rele Art Gallery, Onikan Lagos – an unconventional, contemporary art space that has been and is on a mission in various capacities to trigger a newfound appreciation, engagement, and followership with the arts; exposing a larger, global audience to African contemporary art. It has been successful thus, and is the leading destination for a younger, aspirational art audience.

 

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Business

 

Seun Sangoleye

 

When you think of high rollers, you don’t necessarily think of baby food, but Seun Sangoleye is a woman with many tangential ideas and the drive to turn them into viable successes. A self-actualized nutritionist, Sangoleye ditched her computer science degree to potter in agronomic and horticultural fields, indulging her green finger and her interest in harnessing locally produced grains and vegetables. Her research narrowed to one often overlooked need, locally sourced nutrition for infants and children.

 

Her passion for agriculture and child nutrition intersect in a number of interesting ways, including Naija Baby Food TV, a campaign that teaches through easy to follow youtube tutorials how to prepare healthy, locally sourced meals for infants to dissuade force feeding and infant starvation. Not one to tell and not show, Sangoleye also started Baby Grubz Nigeria, that packages meal services for children aged 0 – 5. With two accompanying e-books on child nutrition and an online mentoring service that reaches 40,000 nigerian mothers, Sangoleye shares her passions with Nigeria’s mothers, creating a safer, healthier world for our children. A real superhero.

 

 

Affiong Williams

Through her start up Reel Fruit, Affiong Williams has positioned herself as an independent alternative to the multi-national food and beverage startups that have choked out indigenous cottage industries. Williams’ is primarily interested in the processing and export of dried fruits, indigenously sourcing her raw materials and employing local labour in the production process. She has recently launched two new products in the industry and is seeking financing to situate a manufacturing plant in the country.

Her work has been recognized locally and internationally with honours from the Inaugural IDB Business plan competition where she placed among the top ten finalists and wins at the 2013 Creative Focus Africa SME Competiton and the Netherlands based Bid Network Women in Business Challenge.

 

 

Ifeanyi Orajaka

 

‘Powered by clean energy’ is the kind of quip you’d expect from a politician or a dodgy snake oil sales man, but from Ifeanyi Orajaka’s lips those words taken on a whole new meaning. Through GVE projects, a company Orajaka founded and runs, and drawing on connections from the Global Shapers initiative, Orajaka turns his talents as an socio-entrepreneur and his expertise as an engineer into an opportunity to enrich the lives of others through clean energy.

 

Ifeanyi seeks to bridge the supply and distribution chasm that kept many Nigerians disconnected from power through innovation through GVE projectts and small scale projects in collaboration with the US Power Africa Initiative, IEEE, USADF, USAID, GE, DFID, GIZ, Bank of Industry Nigeria and Deloitte etc. They have installed a cumulative capacity of 500kW, generated 1GWhrs of clean, reliable and affordable electricity impacting 1320 households, created 500 jobs, trained 260 young people and created N16 million in wealth in these communities.

 

When he isn’t providing clean energy, Orajaka devotes his time to community development, mentoring young and aspiring African entrepreneurs, in preparation for the business environment. He is working with 18 protégées from 6 African countries.

 

The Clean-Energy Access industry in Africa which Ifeanyi is a part of is currently valued at US$100 billion.

 

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Creative Professional

 

Obi “DJ Obi” Ajuonuma

 

A world record is a great way to announce yourself as a new voice in African music and after ten grueling days and a 240 hour marathon set djing at the Sao Cafe in Lagos in 2016, Obi Ajuonuma fulfilled a life-long dream of joining the elite crowd of Nigerians individuals with an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, bringing glory to the country through personal pursuits. Smashing the previous record of 200 hours set in Dublin by Polish DJ, Norbert Selmaj in November 2014.
When he’s not breaking world records DJ Obi has a day job as the official DJ at Syndik8 Records, a new direction in a career that has spanned eight years and seen share a stage with or open for Lupe Fiasco, 2face, Lynxxx, Banky W, M.I and Naeto C and win an Nigerian Entertainment award for ‘Best World DJ’. Ajuonuma uses his career as a DJ as starting point for his various interests, and has hinted a proper LP sometime in the future.

 

 

EVANS AKANNO

What do you do with a decade of combined experience in digital design, marketing and startups? If you’re Evans Akanno, you take a breath and plunge right in with yet another design agency. Looking for a fresh challenge, Akanno started Lagos based design agency, Cregital to provide digital solutions for businesses looking to capitalize on growing digital markets, and providing creative services and web products for individuals and organizations.

Cregital (coined from Creative Digital) helps brands make smart impressions. Launched in April 2015, the company already has in its portfolio work for high profile clientele such as Africa Magic, Africa Courier Express, Zenith Bank and Globe Motors. In 2016, Cregital organised a training on web design under its educational arm, Cregital Academy.

 

He is also behind Zegist.com – a forum for open conversations on anything and everything.

Evans is a self confessed addict to the computer screen but also finds time to recreate with family, friends and his team at Cregital.

 

The company also won the ‘Best Web Development Company of the Year’ category at this year’s Nigerian Technology Awards.

 

 

Isioma Osaje

There are few women like Isioma Osaje in Nollywood, period. With a passion for creative management and an encyclopaedic understanding of Nollywood’s old and new school, Osaje has spent nearly a decade cultivating relationships and studying the industry she intends to dominate someday. But for today, Osaje is content with strides as the creative director of Agency 106 & Co, a boutique firm that provides talent management, agency and consultancy services for film practitioners. The company mainly represents talent working in Nigeria’s film industry.

Nollywood favourites Adesua Etomi and Blossom Chuks Chukwujekwu have had their careers actively managed by Osaje, and veteran Ireti-lola Doyle recently joining her agency, Osaje is starting to prove her mettle. Mettle that has been toughened by seven years of experience in journalism, radio broadcasting and public relations and tested by studies for a degree in Medicine and surgery, Osaje is adept as juggling several balls in the air, with ease and professionalism.

Her hands-on approach and commitment to her acts was publicly recognized when Blossom Chuks Chukwujekwu invited her on stage while giving his award speech after winning his first AMVCA in 2015.

Isioma is also a budding film maker and works as an Associate Producer with The Audrey Silva Company.

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Media Enterprise

Bidemi Zakariyau

Bidemi Zakariyau is a girl boss through and through, rising through the ranks in Public Relations and brand management through impeccable service, innovative ideas and a no nonsense attitude to excellent public relations executive and social entrepreneur. Through her boutique public relations brand, LSF PR, Zakariyau has built an international clientele that includes Cointreau Africa, Laurent Perrier, Jack Daniels, Nigerian lifestyle brands Stranger Lagos, Studio of Mode, IamISIGO and Diesel Nigeria. Running a bespoke service that tailors PR and brand management services to match each client’s specific needs and tailor them to Nigeria’s unpredictable socio-economic climate, LSF PR communicates, subtly but effectively.

 

Zakariyau understands not every brand is multi-million dollar franchise and has created LSF|SME to focus exclusively on small brands and emerging talents seeking guidance and representation in a volatile ecosystem. Zakariyau marries old world values with cutting edge technology, the result a world class service always at the cutting edge.

 

Asides from the business side, my business also run a summer internship programme from July – September every year. It takes 6 people and train them for 8 – 10 weeks. The interns also receive a small stipend.

 

Fatima Togbe

 

Don’t be suckered by her hijab, Fatima Togbe is not here to feed your stereotypes about muslim women. An accomplished media publishing specialist, Togbe has made a name for herself as Editor-in-Chief of pop culture pulse MADC magazine and Executive Founder of Hayati magazine, Nigeria’s foremost fashion and lifestyle platform the muslimah woman passionate about fashion. Hayati serves as a Hayati’s answer to the question of specific content for muslim women, and it’s reach has grown to include a dedicated website, social media platforms and an online store to help promote indigenous muslimah brands seeking to fill the vacuum for stylish conservative fashion. Hayati currently has over 5k unique visitors monthly on the site, 1k+ subscribed readers, and a growing combined social media following of 23k+ (Nigeria making up over 85%). Following the success of the online magazine, a shopping section was added which allows readers to shop through the mag and having a turn over from last year to date as 4.3M. Hayati donates 10% of earnings to charity organizations throughout the year. In addition to this, Hayati is presently preparing for the launch of its quarterly print issues, which will debut in April 2017 at our first ‘Hayati Fashion Week’ event.

 

Togbe is smashing stereotypes about Islam and Muslim women and doing in an expertly draped turban. Fatima has ran Hayati for four years, a e-magazine which started off as an Instagram account, grew into a small blog, and eventually turned into a magazine with periodic issue releases in addition to the daily content on the site.

 

 

Samuel Ajiboye

As businesses move ship to entirely virtual platforms, they face familiar problems in new guises. How do you decorate? What stays, what goes? How do you make a potential client feel at home in front of pixelated one and zeros. You call Samuel Ajiboye. Ajiboye is a vanguard in the field of user experience and digital communications. The country manager at the Nigerian arm of Alpha and Jam, a full service creative digital agency with offices in Nigeria, Ghana and Paris, Ajiboye works to craft immersive digital experiences that simplify the process of interaction with digital platforms and ensure visitors stay after interacting with a virtual business or portfolio.

 

He has worked on various multinational and local brands in the country and regionally. As a member of the global leadership team, he is responsible for the overall creative business digital offerings and technology of the Alpha and Jam Nigeria. The areas of focus are technology, inspiration, collaboration, team growth and great creative work.

 

Prior to his current role, he was country manager at Tribal Lagos which was a regional role for the company’s multinational accounts across west, east and central Africa. In that position, he helped brands and senior management client team in the dynamic and ever increasing space of content, technology and new media. He was also director at Chatad Niger, a full service digital marketing agency in content creative and interaction.
Alpha and Jam is a full service creative and digital marketing agency, with cutting edge global solutions on digital strategy, media planning, search engine marketing, E-commerce technology, creative mobile apps and VAS.

 

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Music

 

YEMI ALADE
It takes guts to lay claim to the title ‘Mama Africa’ and Yemi Alade, Nigerian performing artist has that in spades. Starting her career in 2005 as part of Noty Spices, an all girl group, Yemi Alade went solo, won the inaugural edition of the Peak Talent show and got signed to two labels, wresting control of her career with 2014’s stellar King of Queens, spearheaded by the runaway success of Johnny, the album’s first single.

After unmitigated success through a series of thought out foreign language cross overs, Yemi Alade put out ‘Mama Africa’ her sophomore album and a joust for the title of most influential female musician in Africa. Her joust has gone unchallenged, her album was critically recieved across the continent with singles like Kom-kom and Ferrari becoming national anthems and her third single Tum-bum debuted on international youthzine Fader, joining the ranks of Wizkid and Davido. But nothing was as affirming to Yemi Alade’s status as a continental superstar than her nominations for a BET award for best African act and her win as the best female act at the MTV MAMA’s.

 

Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade

Life really is Eazy if you’re Oluwatosin Ajibade, the biggest musical revelation of 2016. As Mr Eazi, Ajibade has conquered English speaking West Africa, doing what many have tried and failed to do; musically unite Nigeria and its cousin Ghana.

After three years an independent artist honing his craft in Ghanaian highlife and its attendant iterations as hip-life following two years as part of music group Code Red, Ajibade finally caught the practiced eye of hit making genius Wizkid, and together Ghanaian songstress Efya, became the first singings to Wizkid’s Star Boy Records. Using the elevated platform Wizkid’s fame provided, Eazi quickly proved himself, gaining a rabid fanbase with hits like ‘Hol’up’ and ‘Skin tight’ and headlining shows in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and the UK.

He is set to release his ‘Lagos to Accra ‘Life is Eazi” EP in December, promoting it with a concert in December, just in time to compete properly for the 2016 Headies where he has nominated in the Next Rated category alongside contemporaries Tekno, Aramde, YCee and Humblesmith.

 

Folarin Falana

Folarin Falana is a Nigerian rapper, actor, and songwriter.

Popularly known as Falz, he started his musical journey as a member of ‘The School Boys’ while in secondary school.

He captured fans with his track ‘Marry Me’ which featured vocals from Poe and Yemi Alade. The song earned a nomination in the Best Collaboration of The Year category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. He was also nominated in the Best Rap Act of The Year and Best New Act to Watch categories. Founder of the independent record label called Bahd Guys Records, Falz has released chart topping tracks such as ‘Bahs Baddo Baddest,’ ‘Chardonnay Music’, ‘Soft Work,’ ‘Karishika’ and ‘Soldier’ featuring Simi.

In 2016, he anchored a new season of popular comedy TV programme, ‘The Bigger Friday Show’ on MTV Base. He also won the Best Actor in a Comedy award for his comic role in Jenifa’s Diary.A proper new media rapper, Folarin shook off a tepid debut album and reinvented himself through a shrewd social media campaign rife with unforgettable characters like Uncle Taju, a pidgin speaking perennially single perv, on a constant search for a bae. It didn’t take long before Falana translated all his social media buzz into an offline career with a critically acclaimed sophomore album and a nomination for song of the year at the 2015 Nigerian Entertainment Awards.

Trending songs and hashtags with beguiling ease and dropping one of the most visually challenging music videos of 2016, the fifteen minute long ‘Soldier’ in collaboration with singer Simi, Falana shows that there is more than one way to critical success and commercial acclaim. An AMVCA for his work on Funke Akindele’s Jenifa’s Diary and hosting duties for the 2016 Headies proves there’s nothing he really can’t do.

His third album ‘Stories that touch’ released just a year after 2015’s Wazzup Guy’, continued his victory march and his much anticipated collaborative EP ‘Chemistry’ with long time collaborator Simi cemented Falana’s status as a prolific hit maker. What’s even more impressive is that there are so many ways Falana can and chooses to apply himself, he’ll be here for a long time.

 

 

Augustine Miles Kelechi (Teckno)

You might not know this, but Miles Kelechi, or Tekno to the musically inclined began his career as a producer in the 2000’s. It’s hard to imagine Tekno, prolific singer-songwriter, prone to spontaneous bouts of dancing and entertaining social media clips that question gender roles and our obsession with western endorsed social norms, hunched over a mixer, levelling output volumes.

That would mean we wouldn’t have, Duro and Pana, arguably the biggest dance hits of 2015 and 2016. Tekno’s songs spin pop culture references faster than internet meme’s and his infectious brand of afrobeats has seen him catapulted to stratospheric success in two short years. Pana is so popular, it was the most played song on Nigerian radio for fifteen straight weeks. Mind boggling stuff, we know. Well, the world knows too, because in addition to a weird nomination for ‘Next Rated’ artist at the Headies and a win for ‘Best Breakthrough Artist’ at the 2016 MTV MAMA’s, Tekno joined heavy weights Davido and Wizkid in signing recording and publishing deals with global music giant Sony ATV.

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Technology

 Sola Akinlade

In 2016, technology in Nigeria became what sports was in the 90’s and entertainment was, a platform for young Nigerians with more than a university degree and insatiable drive to better themselves through self-education to distinguish themselves. And few have become as distinguished as Shola Akinlade. Akinlade’s enthusiasm for financed based technology is the latest incarnation of his decade long attempts to resolve Nigeria’s problems with tech based solutions and Paystack, which he helped found and currently runs is his biggest achievement thus far.

An an online payments company facilitating commerce in Africa by enabling frictionless payments, Paystack is an answer to the question of how to move Nigeria’s businesses and economy to a more cost-efficient cashless system.  And the global tech industry seems to agree; the startup, only a year old, is the first Nigerian company to be accepted into Y Combinator, the prestigious Silicon Valley accelerator. But Akinlade hasn’t always been so cash oriented, he helped create Precurio during his time at software company Klein Devort, an open-source collaboration platform downloaded over 150 thousand times and available in 6 languages.

 

Olaniran Abiola 27

In the great Nigerian tech rush, some argue that the startups that will gain buoyancy the fastest are the ones that manage to marry technology and innovation. Olaniran Abiola is gambling on that premise and winning. Listed in Forbes Africa’s 2015 ‘30 Under 30’ power list, Olaniran, a former Google Ambassador found Gamsole, to test out the theory that much like diverse voices are needed in entertainment and media, Nigeria and Africa was ready for games created by and for Africans. And the company’s first full prototype game to reach mass audiences, Gidi Run, a play on the Olopa scenario, has hit  a staggering 9 million downloads on the Windows phone playstore, even more impressive when you consider Windows is a platform that has struggled to find and keep users since it’s switch from it’s primary Symbian OS.

As computer programmer, he started developing for the windows platform and today, Gamsole has over 10 million downloads, through the revenue from this, Gamsole was able to expand to other platforms (Android) and partnered with big telecom (MTN, Safaricom , Tracfone) companies for distribution.

Abiola has received more than just platitudes in finance magazines. Kenyan Seed fund 88mph was so impressed with Abiola and his company, they chose to offer Gamesole venture backing, making Abiola Nigeria’s highest paid Game developer.  Gamsole have over 10 million downloads on the Windows platform world wide.

We are a gaming and animation company, using technology to share African stories with the rest of the world. We create mobile games & animations, and develop distribution partnership across the world. Its our way of exporting African content to the world.

He won best Entertainment app at the 2015 edition of Apps Africa

 

 

 Andrew Airelobhegbe

 Recession or no, Nigerians do not play with their owambes, and Andrew Airelobhegbe is a tech entrepreneur, cashing in on our collective need to gather together and celebrate, at the most frivolous occasion. Airelobhegbe’s idea is simple, aggregate all the available venues in one online database, sort them out by pricing, square metres, amenities and adjoining services and find a way to let people make reservations online, and he does it through ogaVenue, a portal he co-founded and runs. OgaVenue is a radical enough idea that it has secured $45,000 in seed investment from Jason Njoku’s investment company Spark, money that the startup put towards expanding their service across Nigeria and improving their user experience.

A top 10 visionary fellow from the IndiaAfrica exchange programme, Airelobhegbe’s ideas prove it is never not a bad idea to solve a simple problem or take it virtual.

 

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize in Agriculture

Julius Adewopo (Ph.D)

Geospatial analysis and Geographic information Systems have changed the way we monitor climatic, tectonic and topographic changes and Julius Adewopo (Ph.D), and agricultural academic and geospatial analyst is a bridge between this high tech information and rural subsistence farmers. He is currently leading new frontier for agricultural development and facilitating partnerships to broaden opportunities for Farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, implementing the geospatial aspects of a $12 Million project funded by Gates Foundation which is focused on improving the maize yield among African smallholder farmers.  He is co-leading the Africa-wide Weather Data Initiative, which is currently being piloted in Nigeria.

Julius was appointed by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a reviewer for the competitive Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant. Also, in recognition of his unparalleled expertise, he was enlisted by the globally renown Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) to evaluate the institute’s staff research portfolio.

He serves as the Principal Strategist for the Face of Agriculture Africa, an initiative which enlisted 1000 students from different Universities across Africa and focused on promoting the values of Agriculture as a rewarding profession.

 

Joseph Abamu

It is easy to get so caught up in forecasting, statistics and grand international donor funded projects that we forgot that progressive development is often small scale, with impact that ripples across generations. Joseph Abamu, a younger Jos based farmer is example of this kind of progress. He began his farm with meagre resources, focusing on poultry, swine, maize and cotton. In five years, he has become the largest producer of carrots in his community, his swine farm growing exponentially too. Abamu, boldened by his success is expanding his farm, with a one thousand plant guava farm in Mazah village, Jos, Plateau state.

Joseph’s growth has allowed him, spread his good fortune, impacting his community through employment opportunities for thirty unskilled workers. Abamu is the kind of development Nigeria needs, spurred by personal determination and aspirational.

 

Shola Ladoja

Not many people will see the correlation between an artisanal juice company that caters to Lagos and Abuja upper middle class and agriculture, and that’s fine, it’s not easy being Shola Ladoja. Under the umbrella company of Simply Green Limited, Ladoja has created an agricultural collective that employers it’s workers and gives them a way to grow vegetable products that fall outside the conventional staples and are usually considered commercially unviable. One of the ways that Ladoja does this is through Simply Green Juices, a simply green subsidiary that combines unusual vegetable and fruit combinations to make cold pressed juices that are eco-friendly, healthy and ethical.

Sustainability is a big part of Ladoja’s creed, and Simply Green honours sustainability through collaborative partnerships with local farmers and local sourcing of materials.

Shola started Simply Green in May 2014 after falling in love with the versatility, freedom and flexibility of agriculture. His first brush with farm came when he took over his father’s cassava business.

He also runs Real Livestock, a company focused on the commercial cultivation of grains and meat production.

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize in Professional Service

KENNETH OKWOR

First Class Honours from the Nigerian Law School, Council of Legal Education star prize, honours for Best Student in Corporate Law practice, best overall performance and student of the year all awarded to one person; Kenneth Okwor is exactly that guy that your mother swears has two heads. And now, he is putting those two heads to good use as an adjunct lecturer of Corporate Law and Practice at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus and an Associate at Templars.

Not just any Templars by the way, the premier Nigerian law practice.  Okwor is such a maven at corporate law, he has advised on issues relating to banking and different financing structures, capital markets, corporate insolvency, winding up, mergers and acquisitions, projects and infrastructure, real estate, divestments and foreign direct investments.  Others include legal due diligence, regulatory compliance, dispute resolution, business development and general corporate and commercial matters.

With such a diverse portfolio and such a storied history in corporate Law that includes international references and consultations and honours that most lawyers two decades his senior have only imagined, it behooves the mind that Okwor is only twenty four.

 

Dr. SALIHU DASUKI NAKANDE

The youngest PhD holder in the Northern Nigeria is quite the achievement, but Salihu Dasuki Nakande makes it all look so easy. Nakande makes a lot of things look easy, including First Class Honours in Information technology from the Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus, a master’s degree a year later in Information Systems Management and a PhD in three short years from the Brunel University Centre for Information Systems Research, all before 25.

What do you when you have a PhD at twenty five? You go home and put all that knowledge to use. Nakande spends his time in Adamawa state, one of the state’s worst hit by the Boko Haram crisis imparting his knowledge to a new generation of Northern Nigerians at the Developmental University offshoot of the Atiku-run American University of Nigeria.

 

Teacher:

At the undergraduate level, the courses include introduction to computer science, business process modelling, and systems analysis and design. At the

MSc level, he taught Information Systems Security and at the PhD level, I taught Auditing and Information Systems Security.

He has supervised over 15 undergraduate dissertation, 5 Masters Dissertation and currently supervising three PhD students.

 

 

CHIDIOGO AKUNYILI

 

Many would be intimidated to build a career under the shadow of a mother like the late Mrs Dora Akunyili, earned over 400 honours and achievements for excellence in her lifetime but her daughters Njideka-Crosby and Chidiogo seem up to the task. Especially Chidiogo, who leads the World Economic Forum’s non-profit Global Shapers Initiative’s members across 125 countries. With accolades that include a World Economic Forum Global Leader’s Fellowship, an executive masters in Global Leadership and experience as a management consultant with Roland Berger Strategy, Dalberg Development Consultants and the Frontier Strategy Group in D.C to name a few.

 

Akunyili is a genius level polyglot, literate and fluent in seven languages including Chinese, English, French, German, Igbo, Italian and Spanish and boasts a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Political science from UPenn, a masters in International Relations and Economics from the SAIS John Hopkins Executive Leadership Program and a Masters in Global Leadership from the W.E.F.

 

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize in Public Service

ASUQUO EKPENYONG 31

 

A state commissioner for finance seems like the pinnacle of career in public service but it seems thirty one year old Asuquo Ekpenyong is only getting started. Ekpenyong already has professional expertise as an academic, lecturing at the Banking and Finance Department of the University of Calabar, invaluable field experience as a financial analyst in Lagos. This confluence of real world experience and theoretical knowledge is what he brings to governance and policy making at Cross Rivers highest financial office in one of the country’s most trying economic epochs.

 

With stints as the Managing director of Iquasu Ventures Ltd  and Chamley Bureau de Change Ltd and a run as the Executive Director for finance at Pearland Energy and Non-Executive Director at Ekondo Microfinance Bank Ltd, Ekpenyong has had more opportunities than most to hone his leadership skills, backed up with an MSc magna cum laude in  international Banking and Financial services from the University of Reading and programmes at the Key Executive programme at the Harvard Business School, the Executive Management Development Program at the University of Pretoria and the Euromoney Oil & Gas School London.

 

It’d be interesting to see how he turns all that knowledge and expertise to sound fiscal policies in 2017.

 

Support Information:

In the area of Recurrent liabilities: Under the leadership of my principal, I have been able to implement fiscal discipline and block leakages such that Cross River State is able to meet its recurrent liabilities such as monthly wages, pensions and overheads in full and as at when due. Cross River State – under the Ben Ayade Administration – has never paid its workforce later than the 25th of every month. This seemingly simple achievement is better assessed when juxtaposed with several states in the federation that have multiple months backlog of salaries outstanding to its workforce.

In the area of financing capital expenditures: I’ve had to think outside the box; develop strategies and leverage private sector efficiencies and effectiveness while utilizing the public sector broad customer base and enabling environment to raise funding to execute major infrastructure & capital projects.

 

 

 

Aliyu Giwa 31

 

Like many nominees on the T.F.A.A roster this year, Aliyu Giwa found his voice in public service on social media. After a series of Instagram and Twitter posts went viral, Aleey Giwa as he is more popularly known became an unofficial mascot for the Lagos State Police Force, a humble, charismatic, approachable man in uniform, eager to help, ready to serve. The Lagos State never looks a gift horse in the mouth and before long, Giwa was made the state’s Deputy Police Public Relations Officer. In spite of a few missteps, Giwa is changing how Nigerians view police officers by providing anonymous digital channels through which the Police Management can be directly reached and complaints assuaged.

He has also effectively headed about 450 Police Officer for Election duty in Anambra State.

 

 

He is also championing a more transparent police force, through active documentation on social media. He speaks openly and with fervor about his love for his profession and the commitment of Nigerian Police Force in ensuring the safety of all. Helping trend hashtags such as #PoliceIsYourFriend #Police #Ekelebe #Dansanda #Olopa #NigeriaPoliceForce #NPF and encouraging young tech savvy Nigerians are beginning to engage and join the conversation online.

 

Support Information:

 

As the Deputy PPRO for Lagos state I have created a reputable impression and great sense of communication and approach between the citizens and the Police. Using social media as a device to tell some day-to-day intriguing stories of a Police officer that doesn’t get to the social media, responding to online emergency calls or complains. More also recreate the mindset of numerous today’s youth to look at the police as a career they can explore.

From Police college I got my first posting to Apapa Area command (Area B) as a Crime Officer, then transferred to Area B the Apapa division where i was the Crime Officer. Due to how dynamic the job seem to be after a few months I was taken to FESTAC division then became the Officer in Charge of surveillance, after I gained loads of experience as a Surveillance Officer I was transferred to Ogba Area Command (Area G). at Area G , I was in charge of Human Right desk. While serving in Ogba I was then given a signal to head about 450 Police Officer for an election duty in Anambra State, Onitsha to be precise. Few days after I returned from Anambra State to my surprise I was given a signal transferring me to SEME Border division as the Crime Officer. After which I was served another signal to the PPRO’s Office as the Deputy Police PRO.

 

Dr Ruqayya Nasir Sani  28

A 2015 YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship is the kind of international recognition every young professional dreams about, and Ruqayya Nasir Sani is living out every one of her dreams. Unrelenting about the possibilities for qualitative healthcare delivery, disease prevention and healthy living in Nigeria, Sani is currently a resident medical doctor specialising in Internal medicine and aspires to be among pioneers of Interventional Cardiology in Nigeria. Prior to this, she worked as a Research Clinician at the CAPIBD Project, a research initiative – being carried out in partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center – that seeks to generate credible local data on the causes of pneumonia and other invasive bacterial diseases in Nigerian children.
She is a member of the Kano hub of the Global Shapers Community and is actively involved in planning and executing the hub’s annual Blood Donation Drive in commemoration of the World Blood Donor Day – in addition to other projects carried out by the hub. This year, the Blood Donation Drive was carried out in partnership with the Samira Sanusi Sickle Cell Foundation.
Ruqayya developed an information pack on cervical cancer for Project PINK BLUE, which will be used to create awareness and educate women, especially rural women, on its prevention and treatment.

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize in Sports

 

 

Bose Omolayo

 

While many griped about Nigeria’s disappointing performance at this year’s Olympics, there was no contention that Nigeria’s oft ignored paralympics team showed up and showed out at this Paralympic games, and none was as impressive as Power lifter Bose Omolayo. Coming into the competition as a dark horse, with a surprise silver at the 2014 Common Wealth games, Nigerians feared that Omolayo wouldn’t best herself. But she surprised everyone when she not only won the Gold for her weight category, she went to set a new world record.

 

A champion for differently-abled women, Bose Omolayo’s triumphant return to Nigeria, her name a part of history is the kind of news that we will always cape for.
Kehinde Paul 28

 

After losing his Mum about 8 years ago, the biggest challenge faced was the just was not only having enough to feed or support himself or get signed up to pursue his career but he kept encouraging himself and spoke positively that one day he will represent Nigeria in the Olympic. For the past 4 years, a trains himself at the National Stadium Surulere, 3-4 hours four times a week

 

The Paralympics were a proving ground for many Nigerian paralympic athletes, often ignored or underfunded in favour of athletes in flashy sports like football and basketball. But Kehinde Paul, Nigerian power-lifter, already an Olympic record holder with his most recent win just two years ago at the Common Wealth games, took yet another opportunity to demand Nigeria’s attention. He dominated the -65kg category at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, winning the gold medal and helping Nigeria place impressively at the games.

He GOLD in Common wealth games in Glasgow London, won gold in 2015 IPC powerlifting Asian open championship in the republic of KAZAKHSTAN. Paul also won GOLD in all African games held in Congo Brazzaville 2015..also won GOLD in 2016 IPC powerlifting World Cup Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia and MORE.

 

Consistent, excellent and a world record holder, that’s the kind of role model we’re in the business for. A world record holder in the just concluded para Olympic Games, he broke the world record in the 65kg men category. Breaking the world record twice, lifting 218kg and 220kg respectively.

 

 

Kelechi Promise Iheanacho 

 

With a name like Promise Kelechi Iheanacho, it would be criminal to not expect great things. And Iheanacho, a Premier League club Manchester City striker and Nigerian National team regular always delivers. Winning the Golden Ball award for his six goals and seven assists at the 2013 FIFA U-17 tournament was how Iheanacho announced himself to the world. And Manchester City took notice, signing him officially in 2015. He quickly racked up an outstanding fifteen goals and thirty five assists in his first season, ending the season as the league’s third highest goal scorer and part of an elite league of premier league players who have scored ten goals before turning 20.

 

For his efforts, In October 2016 Iheanacho was nominated for the FIFA Golden Boy award, one of the most prestigious awards in football as whole. To think he’s only 20.

 

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Fashion

Adebayo Oke-Lawal (26)

Not many independent Nigerian designers can claim to have been invited to show at two international fashion weeks, and not many Nigerian designers are Adebayo Oke-Lawal. To be fair, no one is Oke-Lawal. The crowned prince of Nigerian fashion, the designer’s label Orange Culture has predicted and dictated menswear and fashion trends for nearly have a decade, always a smidge ahead of the curve and miles in front of the competition.

But 2015 and 2016 is when Oke-Lawal truly showed his mettle. The strength of his designs saw him represent Nigeria alongside four other indigenous labels at the 2015 International Fashion Showcase in London, after which he was invited to show at the 88th Pitti Uomo under the umbrella of the Constellation Africa project rounding out the year with a nomination for the coveted Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Prize for innovative design. He continued this streak of international acclaim by debuting his Spring and all Fall 16 collections at the inaugural and second South Africa Menswear Weeks, and has become a regular there. 2016’s biggest honour came when Oke-Lawal’s Orange Culture was invited to show at the prestigious London Collections: Men, the first African designer to accorded this honour.

 

But what truly sets Oke-Lawal apart is his willingness to use his platform as a spring board for other designers. He is easily the designer with most collaborations, including iMo, Rokus London, Maxivive, Neon Zinn and Tree Fair Fax to name a few.

 

 

Ogugua Okonkwo (30)

Its a huge gamble to launch a luxury couture fashion house away from Lagos, Nigeria’s style and entertainment capitals, but that’s exactly what Og Okonkwo, the creative director and CEO of couturier label Style Temple did. Launching her label in country’s political capital, Okonkwo has slowly grown her brand, leveraging the exclusivity of her designs and the craftsmanship that goes to each piece she creates into a loyal and growing client base.

Where Okonkwo truly separates herself and her brand is through tailored customer service, replete with an Experience Centre that allows potential clients immerse themselves in the philosophy of the brand. Further education in Fashion merchandizing and a bespoke bridal service have kept Okonkwo in the black and Style Temple in the news.

The heart of the business is responding to the needs of its customers. In 2015, StyleTemple opened its doors to aspiring fashion designers for a 3-month intensive training in fashion illustration and designing. In 2016, Ogugua launched a diffusion line, OG by Style Temple with its debut Cruise Collection tagged Ipseity to cater to a different segment of the market. The ready to wear collection featured sartorial styles and fluid designs at affordable prices but with the same quality.

 

Jane Michael Ekanem (30)

 

Design might bring the big bucks, but stylists like Jane Michael Ekanem have elevated styling to an art and progressive viable career option. She has parlayed her eye for unconventional pairings and a professional air into long term contracts styling as one of the head stylists for music reality TV show MTN project name.

With over 8 years of fashion enterprising, her expertise spans styling for music videos, magazine covers, campaigns, runways and weddings; with a slew of celebrity clientele, collaborations and accolades attesting to my achievements in the fashion industry. As Head Designer and Creative Director of the Jane Michael Brand, she is part of a movement of fashionpreneurs with a goal to revolutionize home grown quality of designs, creativity and ultimately, the business of fashion.

Jane also teach how to save costs especially during this current economic recession period through my project called ‘Revamp Your Style’. It’s a DIY project aimed at showing people that they don’t have to throw their old clothes away.

Some of her achievements include co-head stylist for the Airtel Trace Music star 2015, she was nominated for the Eloy awards in October 2015 (did not win), was awarded the City people stylist of the year in October 2015, in March 2016, she was interviewed by the CNN African voices. She launched her website to share more about her work

More recently, she was the Assistant Head Stylist for the GTbank Fashion Weekend (and eventually acting head stylist) November 2016 and more.

Her work can be found in editorials and majority of the fashion blogs and websites in Nigeria. For the clothing line she has built a personal relationship with clients and has over 15 premium clients for the line which includes the likes of Linda Ikeji.

But Jane’s true passion is her work image consulting for celebrities such as Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Seyi Shay, Mo’Cheddah, Tolu Oniru, and Waje. There is also her forays into design with her first label Easy Wear by Jane Michael, a mix of formal and casual pieces in line with needs of her client base, her Youtube Channnel and blog where she offers DIY styling options and her video work for Access Bank’s Accelerate TV. Ekanem continues to morph to the needs of her brand and a woman who adapts is one we respect.

 

The Future Awards Africa Prize for Young Person of the Year

Mark Okoye

In a surprising turn of events Anambra’s Willie Obiano has turned Anambra from a flailing South Eastern state struggling to connect its economic policies to its vibrant but often vilified independent manufacturing industry to a progressive example of government/private partnerships. And Mark Okoye, the Honourable Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget Development in Anambra State is at the helm of this change. At thirty years old, he became the youngest member of the Governor Obiano led cabinet in 2016 and one of the youngest government officials in the country.

 

Okoye brings tenure as a senior member of the investment banking division at Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited where he was instrumental in executing numerous capital raising and financial advisory transactions to his new position, leaving  an illustrious investment banking career, to join the Anambra State Economic Think-Tank. This led to his appointment as special adviser to Governor Obiano on economic planning, budget and Investments in 2015. His role involved him running the day-to-day activities of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget. In addition, he had operational and strategic oversight over Anambra State Investment Promotion & Protection Agency.

 

Through his work in the last one year, he has been able to achieve the following:

Over 10,000 jobs created as a result of investment inflows into key sectors of Anambra’s economy such as Agriculture, Trade & Commerce and Manufacturing.

Over 50,000 households impacted as a result of economic stimulus package

Over 78,000 pupils in government-owned primary schools are fed a day as part of the Homegrown School Feeding Program.

 

The Harvard Kennedy School and Euromoney, Dubai alumnus has experience in governance, policy formulation, public sector financing, public budget analysis and corporate finance.

 

 

 

Ayodeji ‘Wizkid’ Ibrahim Balogun

 

Many people first encountered Wizkid, singing a smoky hook on Drake Aubrey’s One Dance 2016 alongside Asian indie singer Kyla. The song is great, phenomenal even, but that is such an underwhelming way to first interact with the original Star Boy whose phenomenal rise to global super stardom is only matched by his unwavering confidence.

 

Staring his career in 2008 as a rapper, Wizkid got his big break on M.I Abaga’s debut album singing the chorus for Fast Money, Fast Cars. That was quickly followed by a record deal with Bankole Wellington’s Empire Mates Entertainment and 2010’s StarBoy, a critically acclaimed that spawned half a dozen hit songs. Wizkid’s streak of unbroken hits have continued all the way to today, with features on songs by Drake, Justine Skye and Tinnie Tempah.

 

‘One Dance’ reached number one in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States and has just received Best Album nomination at the 2017 Grammy awards..

 

Also in 2016, Wizkid struck gold winning the ‘Artiste of Year’ award at the third edition of AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards) that held in Lagos. On the same night, he clinched the MTV EMA for ‘Worldwide Act. In South Africa, he won ‘Artiste of the Year’, ‘Best Male Act’ and ‘Best Collaboration out of Africa’ at the 2016 MTV MAMAs. In London, he received the ‘Best African Act’ award at the 2016 MOBO awards, all without a major record. Is there anyone greater in Nigerian entertainment right now? We think not.

 

John Boyega

As storm tropper and lead character Finn in the new instalment of mega successful science fiction franchise John Boyega, became the first black Empire soldier in the Star Wars franchise and an avatar for a new era of multiracial representation in global science fiction. It also helped catapult him to global super stardom as an A-list actor. But the British-born Nigerian actor’s biggest sell is his ability to straddle many cultural worlds, drawing inspiration from each and infusing these quirks into his roles and performances.

 

There was his feature debut in 2011’s sc-fi comedy, Attack the Block that introduced him to British audiences and poised him for bigger roles. Then came roles in Live Another Day and Imperial Dreams and a star turn as the brooding Ugwu in the Biyi Bandele divisive adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun.

 

By the time the Star Wars came by and an opportunity to reprise his role in a new cycle of the franchise trilogies in 2016 he was already a bonafide star,  allowing him exploring options like voice acting in the animated Major Lazer series and a turn alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in the 2016 thriller, The Circle. He also voices Dutch in the TV production, Tinkershrimp & Dutch.

 

John Boyega had proved himself as a global star in touch with his heritage and eager to take on the world.

Kennedy Iyeh      

 

Greatness sprouts from the unlikeliest of persons and Kennedy Iyeh, a Microbiology graduate from Godfrey Okoye University Enugu is passionate about youth development and empowerment. A believer in the power of words to change mindsets, his vision is to bring change to society through knowledge sharing, public speaking and mentorship. He started his career in public speaking through a well-researched wordpress blog http://OfficialKennedyspeaks.wordpress.com  where he chronicled his thoughts and presented his ideas on leadership and self-empowerment.

 

He is the founder of Kenny Speaks public speaking brand which he describes as the “well spring of knowledge.” The website features fresh content on jobs, scholarships, fashion, entertainment and poetry. It also features write-ups and articles from young creatives. And in July 2016, he founded the Tall Walker Foundation as a non-profit NGO to help secure funding for his community empowerment projects.

He invented the first HERBAL HAND SANITIZER in Nigeria, a product which was passed through five series of laboratory standard test.  This project won him 8th best out of 58 universities in Nigeria, at the Annual National Entrepreneurship Week (ANEW) organized by National Universities Commission (NUC), at Abuja in October 2016.

The hand Sanitizer was tested by the National Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), Abuja in October 2014 and confirmed to be very effective.  This product is still on sale in Enugu and has successfully employed many undergraduates from his school.

 

 

 

Dr. Oluwo Adedunmola

 

Dr. Adedunmola Oluwo is a serial entrepreneur and medical professional.

 

A graduate of the Medical School at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, Dedun as she is popular called set up and managed four businesses concurrently while studying.

She runs Dedun’s Cakes, a cake and pastry company; Hair by Dedun, a hair styling business that; DedunCooks, a Nigerian food catering business, and Belle Artistry by Dedun, a new beauty-focused business she started earlier in 2016.

 

A lifestyle and inspirational writer she runs www.drdedun.com which focuses on student life. She also runs a Youtube channel where she shares positive stories to encourage people.

 

She is currently self-funding her MSc degree in Health Management at Rome Business School from the savings made from her business ventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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