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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Future Awards Season 5 wraps up tour with London, Johannesburg, Benin and Ile-Ife


“There is no excuse for bad behaviour,” said Affiong Williams of the Nigerian Youth network in Johannesburg, “Yes, things might have been bad for Nigerians that migrated here, but what is wrong is wrong and we must condemn it and begin to project positive values wherever we go.” Ms. Williams was passionately contributing to the discussion by young Nigerians living, schooling and working in South Africa, who were part of The Future Awards Johannesburg Town Hall meeting on the 28th of November.

The international arm of the awards’ town hall meetings had the aim of interacting with and inspiring young Nigerians living in countries with substantial Nigerian populations. Not only do the events have inspiring conversations and try and get widespread nominations for the awards, the event also seeks to spread the message for this year’s campaign themed “Representing Nigeria”.

The event, held at the Dio Bacco in Norwood and had in attendance, the MD of Lowe Lintas in Nigeria, Big Brother host IK Osakioduwa (who is a two time winner of the awards) and was held in conjunction with SA company Naijaborn.com.

The Future Awards, in conjunction with HITV, which is sponsoring all the town hall meetings, also stormed the United Kingdom. The London Town Hall Meeting held at the University of East London, and was held with support from Oloja.com, MakeImpact led by former nominee Dayo Isreal, Godwin Odusanwho of the Nigerian Students Association and Joseph Britus of the International Students Association.

Held on Wednesday, the 18th of November, it was an evening of brilliant discussions, music and comedy, and had in attendance the Ogun State Commissioner for Sports, who is an alumni of the school, amongst others.

The Future Awards team also visited other organisations and events whilst in the UK, especially in London and Manchester, including the 1st Nigeria-Ghana Netyworking Summit in the UK, where they made presentations, and then they honoured invitations to speak with congregations at the World Evangelism Bible Church, RCCG Victory house; RCCG Freedom of Christ Church, RCCG Freedom House and YADA ministries. They were also hosted by the wife to the Nigerian ambassador to the UK, Mrs. Rose Nwanna.

“It was a fantastic time,” according to Adebola Williams, Operations Director for the awards, who was in the UK. “Usually most of what we hear about young people in the UK is, fairly or unfairly, negative and to get such a fantastic reception, such passion, such engagement and such positivity, was such a blessing. It was also great to encounter such huge name recognition for The Future Awards and The Future Project. Change really is coming!”

The Future Awards also visited Osun State, where it had a town hall meeting at the Obafemi Awolowo University. It held at the Health Sciences Lecture Theatre. Speaking at that event where the Marketing Director for the awards, Emilia Asim-Ita and one of its Resource Group members, Kemi Akindoju. The event also discovered Ile-Ife music talent, one of whom will be joining other talents identified in other town hall meetings to feature on a Nigeria@50 commemorative CD called “I represent Nigeria”.

The town hall meetings for The Future Awards Season 5 officially wrapped up on Sunday, the 29th of November, with the Benin Town Hall meeting, which held in conjunction with the Benin-based Christian Fellowship International. The major speaker was The Future Awards Business Owner of the Year Winner, Mosunmola Umoru.

At the end of the day, The Future Awards visited every single state that it promised – going to ten states of Nigeria (Rivers, Cross River, Edo, Adamawa, Kaduna, Benue, Enugu, Osun, Abuja and Lagos) and three countries, and met and interacted practically and successfully with thousands of young Nigerians.

“We’re grateful to God,” Mr. Williams said. “And immensely grateful to our partners like HiTV who made this possible. We can’t wait to release the Nominees List of the brightest and best young Nigerians in the past year – because that is what it is all about, inspiring and supporting young Nigerians and that makes all this hard work worth it.”
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