The Season 7 of Nigeria’s premier youth awards event, The Future Awards, held on the 26th of August 2012 in the Garden City of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. Although this was the first time that the awards event was taken outside of Lagos, it wasn’t a disadvantage in any way, as the organisers (The Future Project) and the host (Government of Rivers State) put together an unforgettable show.
The Future Awards which was tagged “Tear Down these Walls”, brought together very important personalities including former World Bank Vice President, Obiageli Ezekwesili, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, Commissioner for Information, Ibim Seminatari, Commissioner for Agriculture, Emmanuel Chinda, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, and many others.
6am: Nominees and other guests from Lagos began to troop into the Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos for their flight to Port Harcourt.
10.30am: First set of out-of-state guests for The Future Awards arrived at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa. Guests, who attended The Future Awards, came in from more than ten states of the federation.
6pm: Nominees and other guests were hosted in a brief cocktail event by the Deputy Governor of Rivers, Engr. Tele Ikuru, at the Rivers State Government House. Also present at that ceremony were commissioners in the state’s executive council, as well as other top government functionaries. Engr. Ikuru, who was representing the state’s governor, Rt. Hon Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who was out of the country, welcomed all the guests, especially the nominees, and expressed excitement at hosting the future of the country in Rivers State.
8am: Out-of-state guests were taken on a tour of Rivers State by a high level executive team led by the gracious Commissioner of Information, Ibim Seminatari; the Commissioner of Power, Augustine Nwokocha; Commissioner of Agriculture, Emmanuel Chinda; Chief Executive in charge of the State’s Primary Health care centres, Dr. (Mrs) Claribel Abam, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education.
The tour which lasted for up to six hours saw the nominees visit the Rivers State Dental and Maxillofacial Clinic; State school, Elekahia; Primary Health Centre, Elekahia and Model Secondary School, Eleme. Participants were wowed by the facilities and the world class standards to which the governor aspired in providing them. The tour also took participants to the Songhai Farm, the Afam Power plant, and Banana plantation in Tai (a PPP with a Mexican firm.)
4pm: Keynote address by the Chairman of Heirs Holding and one of Africa’s most influential entrepreneurs, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu MFR, at The Atrium, Stadium Road, Port Harcourt. Elumelu spoke on the topic, “Tear down these walls.” The former UBA boss listed sacrifice, hardwork, and tenacity as the necessities for entrepreneurial success. He also revealed during his speech that he plans to begin an hour long mentoring session on twitter once in every month.
8:30pm: The Future Awards event kicked off at Aztech Arcun Events Centre on Stadium Road, Port Harcourt. It was an unforgettable evening of glamour, beauty, and celebration of excellence. Guests walked the green carpet with aplomb. The show was hosted by Tinsel Star, Gideon Okeke and top female musician, Waje. Present at the occasion were Big Brother Star, Uti Nwachukwu, Channel O VJ, Denrele Edun, Host of Nigerian Idol, Ill Rymz, and his Project Fame counterpart, Adaora Oleh. Also present were top blogger Linda Ikeji, OC Ukeje, Toolz, Andre Blaze, Chidinma, Ruby, Tosin Martins, and many more.
Entertainers who thrilled guests on the night include Timi Dakolo, Bez, Muma-Gee, Dan the Humorous, and Denrele. Timi Dakolo also premiered his latest video “Great Nation” at the event.
The big winner for the night was Idris Akinbajo, the investigative journalist and multiple award winner, who beat other strong contenders like Psquare, Banky W, Raheem Bello, D’banj, Linda Ikeji, Jason Njoku, and Chinwe Njoku to emerge as The Future Awards Young Person of the Year 2012. The Young Person of the Year Award is the most coveted of all the awards given on any TFA night.
Other winners include Tonto Dikeh (Actor of the Year), Babafemi Oyediran (Best Use of Advocacy), Gidi Traffic (Best Use of New Media), Bayo Omoboriowo (Creative Artiste of the year), and Toju Foyeh (Designer of the Year).
Others are Hadiza Abdullahi (Excellence in Service – Government), Alkasim Abdulkadir (Excellence in Service – Journalism), Ngozi Nkwoji (Excellence in Service – Corporate), Seun Onigbinde (Innovator of the Year -Science and Technology ), Otto Orondaam (Innovator of the Year – Education), Ola Orekunrin (Entrepreneur of the Year – General), Tochukwu Ikpegbu (Entrepreneur of the Year – Agriculture), Uyi Omokaro (Entrepreneur of the Year – Communication and Media), Michael Collins (Entrepreneur of the Year – Entertainment), and Jason Njoku (Entrepreneur of the Year – Technology).
The winner of the On-Air-Personality (Radio) award was Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru, On-Air-Personality (TV) was Denrele Edun, the Musician of the Year was Wizkid, Producer of the Year (Music ) was Jeremiah ‘J. Sleek’ Shelika and the Producer of the Year (Screen) award went to Clarence Peters .