Sunday, October 11, 2009
Nominations open for The Future Awards 2010 … as celebrities storm the launch of Season 5
The Future Awards, Nigeria’s biggest youth event, launched its 5th season on Wednesday, the 30th of September. The venue was Terra Kulture in Victoria Island, Lagos.
“We’ve explained quite a number of times that The Future Awards is not just about one day of awards alone,” the Creative Director of RedSTRAT (organisers of the event), Chude Jideonwo, said. “It is under the larger The Future Project, Nigeria, and before the awards itself, we have the town hall meetings across the country, the pre-awards conference etc – that is the entire season, and this event was meant to launch our plans for the new year.”
Guests might have been forgiven for thinking this was the main ceremony. After cocktails, photographs and interviews on the red carpet, the guests were ushered into the hall with the DJ from Jimmy Jatt rocking old tunes from Shina Peters and others. New artiste Ibiyemi started the event with a national anthem and then the anchors, Andre Blaze and Shade Ladipo, kicked off. They also talked up the exclusive The Future Awards merchandise – t-shirts and.
This was followed by a performance from rap stars, Rooftop MCs and then comedy by new act, Funnybone. There were also performances by Inyanya and Obiwon. There was a minute of silence and a post-humous award given to the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN).
The Marketing Director of RedSTRAT, Emilia Asim-Ita, then showed guests pictures of all the activities over the past year: and unveiled this season’s plans to include town hall meetings across the countries geo-political zones – Abuja, Kaduna, Yola, Enugu, Benin, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Ile-Ife and others – as well as Accra, Johannesburg and London.
This year, there will also be the launch of The Future Mentorship Scheme for young people, as well as a commemorative Nigeria@50 CD. All the activities will culminate in the next award, which will hold on the 7th of February 2010. The Keynote Speaker is World Bank Managing Director, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Next on stage was an august guest speaker, Eugene W. Taylor; a guest at The Platform programme the next day. The young millionaire hailing from Mississipi, USA, visiting Nigeria for the first time, talked about becoming the youngest African American to enter the stock market, at 27, making over $3.4million, all without a college education. He was highly inspiring.
The Creative Director of RedSTRAT, Chude Jideonwo, came on stage next to give a speech explaining the theme of The Future Awards 2010: ‘I represent naija’. “The new generation of young Nigerian leaders can see world leaders and stand up to them,” he said. “Because there is no shallowness and corruption to make them ashamed. Ladies and gentlemen, THEY represent the true Nigeria.” He also explained the use of ‘Naija’ as opposed to ‘Nigeria’.
After his speech, the brand ambassadors for the ‘ I represent Naija’ campaign were unveiled – with promos of the Mosunmola Umoru, female farmer Business Owner of the Year; Funke Akindele, Actor of the Year; and Cobhams Asuquo, Music Producer of the year – all speaking of the difficult challenges they have faced, and overcome.
Also speaking at the event were representatives of lightupnigeria – an initiative The Future Awards is supporting under its TakeAction arm. “The group was formed by young Nigerians tired of the PHCN situation,” one of their representatives said. “Tired of spending money on fuel and diesel. All we need is light, first and foremost.”
The anchors announced that nominations kicked off at 12 midnight – unveiling the 20 categories for this year. “We are especially looking for young people outside Lagos and Abuja, and especially in two new categories, Best Use of Science and Excellence in Public Service.” Nominations are via www.thefuturenigeria.com.
The final performance was by RnB star, Banky W. The Future Awards Season 5 was formally declared open. Partners for this year’s event include HiTV, Miccom Golf Resorts, Nigezie, and the Federal Ministry of Youth.