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Agriculture Advocate, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu emerges as The Future Awards 2011 Young Person of the Year – Photos & Highlights from TFA 2011

It was an evening of celebration and advocacy at the Landmark Village, Lagos, on Sunday 30 January 2011 as the crème of the Nigerian youth converged to celebrate their peers who have excelled in their respective professions.



Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu (Young Person of the Year)

It was an evening of celebration and advocacy at the Landmark Village, Oniru Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday 30 January 2011 as the crème of the Nigerian youth converged to celebrate their peers who have excelled in their respective professions. It was the 6th edition of the Future Awards, the most reputable platform for recognition of the brightest and best of young Nigerians working tirelessly round the year to make laudable impact on humanity in Nigeria and the world.

BN Editorial Assistant, Gbenga Awomodu was at the event and tells us about his Future Awards 2011 experience.

The red carpet event kicked off some minutes past 5PM and had a colourful parade of latest fashion and diverse personalities; from the strictly formal to the casual native and the utterly weird. It was altogether a mind blowing experience with a rare opportunity to meet up with old friends and those virtual “friends” you perhaps had only met in online chat rooms and stalked on social networking sites. There you got to put a face to popular names and shake hands with those faces you mostly see on the TV and on the glossy pages of magazines – Tosin Otitoju (Young Person of the Year 2006), Esther Agbarakwe (Climate Change activist) and Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu (Rolex Laureate) made my red carpet experience worthwhile.

After about two hours of networking and interviews, it was time to go into the auditorium for the main course. The troika of Ego, Tunde Obe and ChiDynma, started off with a powerful upbeat version of the National Anthem. ChiDynma’s strong vocal power stood out along with the live piano accompaniment, which made my day. I felt proud to be a Nigerian and the ovation that enveloped the auditorium proved me right. It also felt cool being on the VIP section. Other highlights of the evening include the presentation of awards, the keynote address by Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Finance, Chude Jideonwo’s passionate speech and Adebola Williams’ deft handling of the presentation of the Young Person of the Year Awards. I think he did a good job at making every finalist feel like the winners they truly are! In his speech, Olusegun Aganga, a former Managing Director with Goldman Sachs and Founder of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, appreciated the efforts to make a difference exhibited by the youths awarded and entreated the others to continue to work towards personal achievements and nation building. He affirmed that he had been impressed as already promised by Oby Ezekwesili and Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who had spoken on the same platform in the past.

Mr. Olusegun Aganga, Honourable Minister of Finance

While the seemingly impatient young audience murmured and even clapped their hands (as to send a signal to the articulate technocrat), they embraced the Creative Director of The Future Awards, Chude Jideonwo’s highly dramatic, yet earnest and heartfelt, speech. It underscored the awareness of the grave consequences of colossal failure in government and misplaced priority in most Nigerian companies’ CSR drives vis-à-vis the overt materialism which continues to impede many wealthy Nigerians from strategically giving real hope to the less privileged (youth) in the society. He gasped, he sighed, but he never stuttered a bit in a tenacious and evocative, yet fluent and charismatic, style. “It is no longer cool to be disinterested,” he said as urged leaders to realize the pertinent challenges of being a youth in Nigeria. “Put your money where your mouth is!” He had made his point! I and many other guests could not but stand after such a piercing rendition of truth! A lady sitting across the table exclaimed: “This guy is the future!”

All the winners are aged 18 to 31. “Every year, we continue to make the point that we are not one of those people who say Nigeria is a great country as a cliché,” says Adebola Williams, who is the event’s operations director. “We are ready to show anyone that there is a new generation that has integrity, that is not corrupt and that is ready to build this nation. We are proud, immensely proud to present a group of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and others who are ready to make contributions towards the development of their country.”

L-R: Chibuzo, MI, and Sound Sultan performing "2010"

Popular acts unleashed their anger and socio-political concerns, giving the usual regular club stuff a wide berth, while focusing on more poignant societal issues at hand. It was serious business as Lara George embraced the live band to perform her track on unemployment. Introduced by Uche Nnaji’s reminder of the comatose situation of power in Nigeria, citing the death of a family of thirteen as a result of fumes from a power-generating set in 2010, Chibuzo, Soundsultan and M.I. performed the track – “2010” to remind all present that it was past 2010 and there still is no constant electricity. It was indeed a stage display of creative anger! Next up was Banky W, who also won an award for Musician of the Year, who stepped up the tempo further. Performing “Why?” an exceptional song inspired by the recent killings in the city of Jos, he maximized the use of the live band and a power-packed back up, with which he modulated up to six times. Though I think it might have been overdone, the accurate change in keys confirmed to me a musically sound artiste who has found good partnership with Cobhams Asuquo, the producer of the song. “Can you tell me why… we don’t try to live… in U-N-I-T-Y”. I am impressed by this ascension in musical maturity and lyrical depth.

It was a surprise moment as Nnaemeka Ikegwonu, a 28-year old man from Nkwerre, Imo State, a Rolex Young Laureate and founder of the Smallholders Foundation was announced the winner of the biggest prize. Nnaemeka, an Ashoka Fellow, won the Rolex Award in 2010 for his radio outreach programme which is already broadcasting 10 hours daily to 250,000 listeners on Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio by establishing a communications network reaching 3.5 million farmers in almost 5,000 villages in his own region, Imo State, in south-east Nigeria. He won the Young Person of the Year Award in a category that also had Music Producer and Entreprenuer, Don Jazzy and Screen Diva, Genevieve Nnaji. Other finalists in the category include Ojoma Ochai (Assistant Country Manager, British Council); Uche Eze (New Media entrepreneur); Makinde Adeagbo (Senior Software Engineer with Facebook); Debo Olaosebikan (Scientist), Nneka Egbuna (Musician); Blessing Okagbare (Athlete) and P-Square (Musicians).

Young Person of the Year 2011 Finalists: L-R: Nneka Egbuna, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, Genevieve Nnaji, Uche Eze and Debo Olaosebikan

The event, which was co-hosted by the duo of Yvonne Ekwere (Silverbird TV) and Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, as well as Dolapo Oni (Studio 53 Extra) and Dr. SID (musician), also had an ‘Aspire Viewing Centre’ where secondary school students, usually below the age of 18, had a feel of the awards ceremony from an adjacent location. These younger ones are expected to be motivated seeing their role models honoured, thus making meaningful impact especially in those early years. Some of the dignitaries and guests were Prof and Dr. (Mrs) Pat Utomi, Chief Dele Momodu, Mr. Tonye Cole, the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Richard Mofe-Damijo (representing the Governor of Delta State), Bene Uche, Patrick and Iretiola Doyle, TY Bello, Ayo Animashaun, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, Eku Edewor and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde.

You can watch part of the event, which was streamed live on the internet courtesy of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) on The event was supported by Access Bank, HiTV, Virgin Atlantic, the Miccom Golf Resorts, O’naphtalli, Y! (, Cool FM and Wazobia FM.

Complete list of Winners – The Future Awards 2011

Actor of the Year
Mercy Johnson

Best Use of Advocacy
Muideen Salawu

Best Use of Science
Debo Olaosebikan

Best Use of Technology
Tolu Iruoye

Business Owner of the Year
Bode Pedro (VEDA Technology)

Creative Artist of the Year
Aisha Augie–Kuta (Photographer)

Comedian of the Year
Seyi Law

Designer of the Year
Bridget Awosika

Excellence in Public Service
Emmanuel Etim

Journalist of the Year
Tolu Ogunlesi (NEXT)

Magazine of the Year

Musician of the Year
Banky W

Music Producer of the Year

On-Air Personality of the Year (Radio)
Maste Uwatse (Wazobia FM)

On-Air Personality of the Year (TV)
Tana Egbo-Adelana

Professional of the Year (Corporate)
Tokini Peterside

Professional of the Year (Creative)
Janet Nwose

Screen Producer of the Year
Clarence Peters

Sportsperson of the Year
Vincent Enyeama

Team of the Year

Young Person of the Year
Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

More information on the nominees is on

The Future Awards 2011 - Creative Professional of the Year - Aisha Augie-Kuta

Lara George

Muyideen Salau (Best Use of Advocacy)

Iroye Tolulope (Best Use of Technology)

So Sick (Music Producer of the Year)

The Future Awards 2011 - Business Owner of the Year - Bode Pedro

L-R: Pat Utomi and Olusegun Aganga (Minister of Finance)

L-R: Tomi, Bridget Awosika (Designer of the Year), and Ugonna Omeruo

Dele Momodu

Chude Jideonwo

Banky W

Young Person of the Year 2011 Finalists: L-R: Nneka Egbuna, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, Genevieve Nnaji, Uche Eze and Debo Olaosebikan

The Future Awards 2011 - Young Person of the Year finalists - L-R: Ojoma Ochai, Nneka Egbuna, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

Dolapo Oni and Dr. SID swap banter on stage

Don Jazzy with friends

Banky W dedicates his Musician of the Year award

Matse Uwatse (On-Air Personality of the Year - Radio)

Tana Egbo-Adelana (On-Air Personality of the Year -TV)

Stylists - Dimeji Alara and Ezinne Chinkata


The WOW Magazine Team


Co-hosts: Yvonne Ekwere and Ebuka Obi-Uchendu

Uche Nnaji

Maureen Osuji


OC Ukeje and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde

Debo Olaosebikan (Best Use of Science)

Lynxxx and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde

Genevieve Nnaji and IK Osakioduwa with the Team of the Year award for the Falconets

The FAB Team (Magazine of the Year)

Seyi Law (Comedian of the Year)

Photo Credit: Kola Oshalusi |

Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./ When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. He believes in the inspirational power of words and pictures, which he explores in helping to make the world a better place. He blogs at Gbenga’s Notebook (

Digital Content Strategist | Creative Writer. Copy Editor. Storyteller. Vocalist. Amateur Pianist. Spoken Word Poetry recording artiste. Lover of Words & Images. #ArsenalFC. Twitter: @gbengaawomodu


  1. DU

    January 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    nice event.congrats all the winners.

    • Alubidi

      January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      yes o…everyone looks good. From Uche to Debo (a.k.a. Levelz) and Nneka. Congratulations!

  2. BC

    January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Genny’s dress is wicked!! congrats Uche.

  3. cathy

    January 31, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    bravo to d teams dat made dis up n i must say they all look fabulous.

  4. Cynthia

    January 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Most of the attendees are nicely dressed. Big up to all the winners.

  5. MissLC

    January 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Gene is wearing a Meena jumpsuit…#BuyNaija

  6. missy~spectacularrr

    January 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    this is too on point! everyone looks well put together…waiting for the red carpet pics tho….

  7. BT

    January 31, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Pls who knows if “Best use of goodwill”(or something like that) got scrapped?

    • okidi

      January 31, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      which one be bet use of goodwill na? lwkm

    • Lonpe

      January 31, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      I think it used to be a Future awards category.

  8. kenora

    January 31, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    congrats to all, mercy desire that award.

  9. sweetness

    January 31, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks BN,but i rily expectd to c red carpet pics,d fab of it all. Anyway,it looks like it was fun.i cant place a finger on d reason y i love Genevieve,or y i rily wud give anythin to look like d lovely Omotola after 4 kids (Jesus,help me o)..hwever,dere’s a mistake,d lady labelled as Portia Yahaman is Maureen Osuji of Big Bro Nigeria fame,pls,correct dt…d future of Nigeria is definitely green. Much love BN…Mwaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

  10. Brittle Paper

    January 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Red carpet o!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great event though. Loved that the young person of the year is not someone popular. If Don Jazzy win I for vex.

  11. nerfetiti

    January 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Genevieve, why?????

    • C. Green

      January 31, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Why not? She looks absolutely fly

  12. sweetie

    January 31, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Ugonna omeruo, omosexy, genny = HOT!!!!! #the end# and oh yeah congrats to the winners 🙂

  13. beezy

    January 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Evryone looked amazing…..
    One slight though,BN; that’s not Portia, thats Maureen from BBN….

  14. raz

    January 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm


  15. Anne Marie

    January 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    ahh ,luvin the Lynxxx and omotola pic! Gene looks good 2! bug up yall

  16. jezz

    January 31, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Don Jazzy was ro robbed! He’s hardly recognized despite doing well in his field. Sad, really sad

  17. Ready

    January 31, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I believe the awards went to the deserving nominees, and I especially love that a person in the agricultural field won. Agriculture really is our future, and I hope he gains more support.
    Loved Genevieve’s outfit…everyone looked good.

    • eMJOY Mayowa

      January 31, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      “agriculture is our future”. I like that. U can actually see beyond now. JOY

  18. milly

    January 31, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Geneivive u are hot hot hot! U deserve an award! Ur outfit toh bad oh! I love u gene!

  19. Lonpe

    January 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Don jazzy looks so bored!Lol

  20. Nene

    January 31, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Geez….all people can talk about are the best dressed and what not. Genevieve’s dress will not make Nigeria’s future better in any way, so, who cares?

    • Obi-talk

      January 31, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      chill chill, who made you angry at work/school today???????!!!!!!!!

    • MiaJadore

      February 1, 2011 at 1:15 am

      Good point.

  21. Idontbelieve

    January 31, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Whao Uche (bellanaija) – you got some legs on you and they are fire!!!!! like Beyonces. Men!! and all this while you been hiding them – BellaNaija why are you always hiding. Whether you like it or not you beautiful and we see you – Ms Uche Eze. You cant hideooooo – we see ya beautiful self

  22. Kerosene

    January 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Gene is hot!! Case closed..

  23. Idontbelieve

    January 31, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    wuzzup with dude? he cant crack a smile. Maybe he is tired from weeding farms sha! A smile would be nice to show appreciation or maybe he is shy. Shy ma $$$

  24. indomie

    January 31, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Genny’s body is SICK.
    Omotola=Julia Roberts of Nigeria. Her beauty is timeless….

    • okidi

      February 1, 2011 at 8:57 am

      I thought that was Genevieve’s title?

    • indomie

      February 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      Nah. Genevieve is pretty but I don’t think her beauty is timeless. In my humble opinion.

  25. Myne Whitman

    January 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Great great job from the Future team. Kudos to all the winners. I’m really impressed by what the young person of the year has achieved! I want to meet such an innovative dynamo!

  26. zico jay

    January 31, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    hello Miss Nneka Egbuna..ur baffs are sooo tantalicious….

  27. missy

    January 31, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    omotola!!! she is too fine mehn

  28. Meerah

    January 31, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    everyone looks really good, love Gene outfit suits her well. Maureens brooch is by Meerah accessories. lovely

  29. Temiloluwa Adebayo

    February 1, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Congrats to all the winners and also nominees…Well done!

  30. YEOAL

    February 1, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Genevieve rocked her outfit. Congrats to all the nominees and winners.

  31. Tina

    February 1, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Congrats to all the winners. They all deserve it. Big up to the future awards team, they chose competence over popularity. Love the young person of the year’s accomplishments. Love Matse of Wazobia fm’s social impacts, love Clarence Peters’ innovations. Love the professional of the year: Janet Nwose…it’s not easy to manage a big star like Asa. All in all you guys deserve your win.

  32. Tina

    February 1, 2011 at 3:44 am

    In case you see this on BN: Matse I love you die…U RE THE BEST!!!!!

  33. Dolly

    February 1, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Congrats to all the winners and this is one award i have followed and i totally have no doubt about the winners. I’m also glad Mercy Johnson won, that girl is raw talent, make her meet any hollywood director and you ‘d gasped at her incredible talent.

    I must say Geneveive is now topping my fashionista list and leaving Rita dominic way behind. Omotola is beyond beautiful, she’s just in a world of her own where no one rules lest she wants. Also Omo.T is looking two toner darker now and was thesame hairstyle planned by her and Genevieve?

  34. NNENNE

    February 1, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Congratulations to all the nominees.Kudos to the organizers too.It is wonderful to know that someone from the agricultural category won.We need to teach our young ones that farming is a prestigious profession.If white people would come all the way to Africa to lease land to farm,one wonders why we Africans who own the land run to the city to look for white collar jobs that are not even there any more.Hope there will be more awards of this nature in the future.Our youths need to the motivated. God bless Nigeria!!!!!

  35. jazmyne

    February 1, 2011 at 7:01 am

    beautifull..i liked dt it wsnt a showbiz perrson dt won person of d a great example to us young folks…loved gene’s outfit…wts up BN.wt happened to kilon sparkles????

  36. chiamaka

    February 1, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Omotola looks hoit!well packaged

  37. Nefertity

    February 1, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Luvlyyyyyyyyy!! Everything is sooooo  point! I’m luvn Gene’s jumpsuit meeennnnnn!! (Long sigh) i wish i had i .K all to myself! (Mischeivious smile)  Future of Naija is Sooooo GREEN!

  38. Seiko aka: "Mo sparkles"

    February 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Ugonna’s Gold dress!!! iluvmesomeher!

  39. Oma

    February 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Most of the winners were deserving. Congrats to all of them. keep up the good work.

  40. kerosene

    February 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I thought that was Genevieve’s title?

    LOL He/She is confused

  41. moooo

    February 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    nice event,love all d winners espeially young person of d yr.
    where is d lady in thefuture award team.
    hope isnot what am thinking.

  42. Mereading

    February 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Green eye contacts!!!!
    …congrats to all winners and nominees.

  43. Matthew Ajah

    February 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Great event. Liked the green carpet. Denrele proved to be the wackiest again. Thumbs up Chude. Looking forward to clinching an award soon.

  44. anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    yes! green eye contacts.

  45. anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    All in the spirit of going green…I absolutely love! thumbs up girl,not everyone can pull that off flawlessly.

  46. diana

    February 2, 2011 at 1:06 am


    congrats to the young person of the year..

    they chose right

    but how come clarence peters won screen producer of the year.. when we have chineze anyaene director and producer of ije in that same category… some one that changed nollywood as a whole… chineze should have won that category…

    mercy johnson won ver uche jumbo? even after uche produced a a movie?

    nothing is on merit in this country

  47. Nicole

    February 3, 2011 at 6:06 am

    @indomie you are right…..Genevieve’s dress is is nice but there is just no comparison between Genevieve and Omotola’s beauty. Omosexy is just gorgeous…….Omotola’s beauty should be compared to Angelina Jolie in this country…..stunning.

  48. timi

    February 3, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Loved the event even if it was obviously rushed in terms of the organisation! That yvonne babe is hilarious!!! Love how she anchored the event alongside Ebuka. I seriously think she should have won tv personality of the year NOT Tana; yvonne is effortless at what she does but anyway TFA organisers know what they saw in tana. There are much bigger awards to come for vixen; more power to her elbow! Love her to bits!!!

  49. ola

    February 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Hehehehehe @timi u totally read my mind on that one. I think one off presenters for contract shows such as d peak and maltina ones which formed the basis of Kemi and Tana’s nomination shouldn’t have been considered in the first place. Kemi is a wonderfully talented woman and she definitely deserves to be honoured but I feel that other presenters should have been given a chance like cynthia of mtv base, adams of spice tv, dayo of hip tv and a few others. I have no doubt that there must have been some sort of foul play that happened. Vixen should certainly have won the award! I wasn’t at d event but heard she did really well hosting the show. I’ve been watching her and I think she has a brilliant future ahead of her. Not winning this shouldn’t discourage her. She’s a winner in my eyes! Goooo vixen!!!

  50. Tosin

    February 7, 2011 at 7:48 am

    congrats to the commenters for having such positive comments. Truly it’s nice to celebrate what is good about us, from our hotness to our selflessness to our talent. We should do things like this more often.
    Great stuff from Bellanaija.

  51. Maureen

    February 10, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I’ve come across this Aisha’s photographs. It’s good that photographers are being noticed. I wonder where she is from, her outfit isn’t the norm. Genevieve could have done much better with that outfit even though shes always on point. The laid back i’m not trying thing doesnt suit her.

  52. NaijaOnDaGo

    February 10, 2011 at 10:34 am

    That’s for all Nigerian youth, working hard to make sure that we are on the right track. For more see

  53. OlaBB

    February 12, 2011 at 1:33 am

    I’ve come across this Aisha’s photographs. It’s good that photographers are being noticed. I wonder where she is from, her outfit isn’t the norm. Genevieve could have done much better with that outfit even though shes always on point. The laid back i’m not trying thing doesnt suit her.

    ….errrrrrr……and I’m guessing d “I’m trying real hard to get noticed” does? How much more attention could she possibly want? Angelina jolie try the least on the red carpet and still gets all the attention. Same applies.

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