By Ben Ezeamalu
He was also among the four editorial staff of PREMIUM TIMES who were finalists at this year’s CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Awards held in Lusaka, Zambia.
An elated Mr. Akinbajo later told this reporter he is excited about the award.
He believes such nominations are motivating factors for him to continue to do well in journalism.
According to him, “journalism is the best channel available for me to push for change and growth in my country.”
The award ceremony began with a keynote speech by banker and entrepreneur Tony Elumelu who said that he will launch a mentoring programme on twitter.
“The world is at your feet. This generation should indeed do much better,” Mr. Elumelu, the Chief Executive Officer of Heir Holdings, said.
“It’s always tough, but out of tough times, great ideas and thoughts come up,” he added.
Mr. Elumelu further said that in the mentoring programme, he would “personally answer questions” on entrepreneurship about one hour every month.
Despite the initial technical hitches and most of the stars billed to attend absent; the ceremony lived up to expectations.
Former World Bank Vice President, Oby Ezekwesili, and Rivers State Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, were, however, in attendance.
Tinsel star Gideon Okeke and R&B singer Waje as co-hosts, nominees and eventual winners began o emerge.
Michael Collins (Don Jazzy) took the award for the Entrepreneur of the Year (Entertainment); Ayo Balogun (Wizkid) as Musician of the Year; and Tonto Dikeh as Actor of the Year among others.
In his address, Chude Jideonwo, Executive Director of The Future Project called on the Nigerian youth to have faith in the country.
“It is difficult to have faith when you look at the young people… It is herculean to believe in it,” Mr. Jideonwo said.
“This ship has been sinking, but it hasn’t yet sunk.
“Let’s handle Nigeria the way a mother handles a child with drug addiction…
“Let’s keep the faith. If we stumble, let’s rise. Let’s keep changing until we tear down these walls. Because we can,” said Mr. Jideonwo.
The Future Awards is held annually to recognise young Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in their careers.
ALL THE FINALISTS AND WINNERS
*Young Person of the Year
Bankole Wellington (Banky W)
Dapo Oyebanjo (D’banj)
Peter and Paul Okoye (PSquare)
Winner: Idris Akinbajo
*Producer of the Year (Screen)
Anietie James Ekins
Winner: Clarence Peters
* Producer of the Year (Music)
Samuel Oguachuba (Samklef)
Jeremiah Shelika (J. Sleek)
Winner: J. Sleek
* Actor of the Year
Okechukwu ‘OC’ Ukeje
Winner: Tonto Dikeh
* Musician of the Year
Winner: Ice Prince
* On Air Personality (TV)
Denrele Edun/Channel O
Maupe Ogun/Channels TV
Winner: Denrele Edun
* On Air Personality (Radio)
Oladotun ‘DO2DT-U-N’ Kayode/Cool FM
Ayenowowon ‘Twitwi’ Oluwatobi Kenneth/Wazobia FM
Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru/Beat FM
* Best Use of Advocacy
Adanma Umeofia/We Built: Nigeria
Priscilla Usiobaifo/Brave Heart Initiative
Babafemi Oyediran/Red Project
Winner: Babafemi Oyediran
* Best Use of New Media
Winner: Gidi Traffic
* Creative Artist of the Year
Winner: Bayo Omoboriowo
* Designer of the Year
Yomi Casuals/Olorunyomi Omoniyi Makun
Toju Foyeh/Toluwaloju Olowofoyeku
House of Nwocha/Ugonna Omeruo
Winner: Toju Foyeh
* Excellence in Service (Government)
Ohimai Amaize/National Sports Commission
Akin Rotimi/Government House, Ekiti
Hadiza Abdullahi/The Presidency (MDG Office)
* Excellence in Service (Journalism)
Toyosi Ogunseye/The Punch
Winner: Alkasim Abdulkadir
* Excellence in Service (Corporate)
Adim Isiakpona/Marketing Manager, HP
Seye Ogunro/Associate, Banwo & Ighodalo
Ngozi Nkwoji/Brand Manager, NB Plc
Winner: Ngozi Nkwoji
* Innovator of the Year (Technology)
Olumide Adewunmi/Gidi Lounge
Zubair Abubakar/Nigerian Constitution Blackberry App
Winner: Seun Onigbinde
* Innovator of the Year (Education)
Tolulope Sangosanya/LOTS Resource Centre
Gossy Ukanwoke/Beni American University
Otto Orondaam/Slum to School Project
Winner: Otto Orondaam
* Entrepreneur of the Year (General)
Ola Orekunri/Flying Doctors
* Entrepreneur of the Year (Agriculture)
Tochukwu Ikpegbu/Emmanuel Farms
* Entrepreneur of they Year (Media & Communication)
* Entrepreneur of the Year (Technology)
Jason Njoku/Iroko TV