Enugu, Benin Feel the Heat of The Future Awards Season 4!

This is fresh from the stables of the bright young minds behind The Future… awards. Well done Chude, Debola, Emilia! They are another reason why I still believe.

As The Future Awards team fulfills its promise to crisscross the nation with the message of inspiration for young Nigerians from varying backgrounds, it has been a rollercoaster ride!

On the 22nd of October, the national tour moved to the ancient city of Benin in Edo State, where The Future Awards engaged with a crowd of over 1, 500 at the Sports Complex of the University of Benin. Hosted in conjunction with rave Benin TV show; Music Mix, CFI Benin chapter and Nigeria International, the meeting saw a presentation of the idea and took questions from the guests.

“Honestly,” said Onyebuchi Aihie, Mass Communication student of the university and one of the attendees, “I have heard about The Future Awards on television but I really didn’t know what it was about – you know all of these things that happen in Lagos are usually only for the famous ones; but I am so happy they came to Benin because so much is happening in Nigeria and the youth of this country need to come together and say: it cannot continue like this.”

Guests at the ‘town hall’ meeting were informed of the 20 award categories, how to nominate via the website www.thefuturenigeria.com, what the Awards is looking for, a peep at the profiles of past winners, a peek into what to expect for the next edition, and how to spread the word.

Immediately after, the train moved to Zodiac Hotel in Enugu on the 25th of October, where, for an hour, there was a vibrant, robust conversation with hundreds of young passionate Nigerians about Nigeria and its future. If the crowd at Benin was enthusiastic, Enugu was over the top with excitement!

In a presentation made by the Operations Director for the Awards, Adebola Williams, he repeated the process of re-introducing the Awards, and answering questions from the audience, whilst distributing the event flyers and posters, as well as the special “i am the future” campaign t-shirts and stickers.

“The guests identified with the stories of past winners, especially some like Tara Fela-Durotoye, Genevieve Nnaji and Basketmouth who were specifically mentioned as role models,” Williams reports. “It’s amazing the kind of passion that young people still have for Nigeria – and you know, one needs to say to government, and to corporate Nigeria, what are we doing to make sure that this passion doesn’t die? I stood there facing the crowd, and I thought to myself: ‘Waoh’. We cannot, must not, allow The Future Awards to even slow down one bit! For the sake of our nation, for the sake of our youth, all hands have to be on deck.”

“The Future” is a year-long national project that terminates in the yearly Awards which identify and celebrate young Nigerians achievers between the ages of 18 and 31. The awards proper holds on the 18th of January 2009 (this will be the 4th edition) in Lagos, but the national tour started from the 1st of October and now moves from Enugu to Calabar, Jos and Ile-Ife.

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