Nigeria's most prestigious youth event held on Sunday, February 7, 2010, at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Powered by Redstrat, a company of three young Nigerians: Chude Jideonwo, Emilia Asim-Ita and Adebola Williams, the award aims at recognizing the achievements of youths aged between 18 and 31 over the past year. The award is in its fifth year and always attracts the cream of the society, including older people who have sympathy for youthful endeavours.
This year's event was no exception as personalities ranging from Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Bank, Professor Pat Utomi, Dr. Reuben Abati, Chief Dele Momodu, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Sarah Sosan, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Chimamanda Adichie, Toyin Subair of HiTv and many more were there...
A LATE START
The green carpet reception was billed to start by 5pm and the show proper by 6pm, but due to the fact that the MUSON Centre is used as a worship centre by some churches on Sunday, the hall wasn't released to the organizers till around 4pm and one hour wasn't enough time to put it in order. The green carpet, didn't start much behind schedule, but it lingered past the proposed 6pm. It was actually by 7:40pm, after guests had been allowed into the hall, just a little bit earlier, that comedian, Jedi, came out to apologize for the late start.
7:45: THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
Undertaken by Omolara, Nene and Uche, the National Anthem officially signalled the commencement of proceedings. They did a good job, but the amount of flavour and colouring which they added to it almost completely defamiliarized it. They were in gospelic raptures and a tune of such national stature should rather be done with the eyes open. Or still, let a permanent model be set and a singular tune be always used.
7:50: THE KEYNOTE ADDRESS
The young organizers of The Future Awards pulled off a major coup by bringing down the Managing Director of the World Bank to come and deliver the keynote address. There were actually indications that she might have personally chosen the date to ensure her availability and attendance. Past events held in January. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala rallied the Nigerian youth to stand up and defend the country. Anytime things are going wrong in other places, the youths are always the ones that challenge the powers that be to do things right, peacefully.
*Asa and her manger, Janet Nwose, Toyin Subair and Banky W, all came in at 7:50pm.
*D'banj, D'prince and Sauce Kid arrived at 8:10pm.
All this while, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was still talking. She finally finished at 8:20pm and received a standing ovation from the audience.
Then, Sasha came on and announced a performance by Bez, Djinee and Cobhams.
8:30pm: Bez and Cobhams who arrived first were still battling with the sound system which had refused to be steady for them to perform. They finally started and after Bez had finished doing “Zuchia Daya,” Djinee joined them on stage and they rounded with “Overkillin'.”
8:40: NAETO C AND MUNACHI ABII
The official hosts of the evening were rapper Naeto C and former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN). Naeto was in a black suit, pants, a white shirt, a bow tie and his signature dark goggles. Muna, looking gorgeous, had on a beautiful gown and wore her hair in a partially blonded mohawk. They called up Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi of Beat 99.9 FM and Gbemileke “Oscar” Oyinsan of Inspiration FM to present the first four awards.
8:55: THE FUTURE
M.I first ascended the stage to a rapturous reception from the audience, but he wasn't coming to perform. He instead invited a team of performers whom he recognized as “The Future” of Nigerian music to come and perform. They were Lil' H, Willy Bang, Skales, Whizkid and Mo' Cheddah and they took the stage one after the other. Even though they did justice to the tag of being the future of Nigerian music, only Skales and Whizkid were audible because they had their performance CDs, but the others sang to their pre-recorded tracks. Mo'Cheddah was particularly noticeable in her skintight black leggings.
9:10: MUNA'S SKIMPY DRESS
When Naeto and Muna reappeared on stage, Muna had changed into a very skimpy, tight dress that barely allowed her to walk. She then rapped to the beat of Naeto's “Ako Mi Ti Poju” and the audience approved, but Chimamanda frowned heavily at her dress.
LINDA IKEJI, ALWAYS A MODEL
The beautiful blogger won the award for the Style Entrepreneur of the Year and when she ascended the stage she kept striking model poses for the paparazzi to the amusement of the audience. When she finally collected her plaque, she told the audience that that was the first award she was winning in her life. This further amused them.
*D' Prince of Mo' Hits and Audu Makori of Chocolate City Music came up to present the next set of awards. After them were Uche Nnaji of Ouch! who won the Style Entrepreneur of the Year at last year's Future Awards. With him was a plump lady, who introduced herself as Bobby Taylor, to present the next award. It was for the Journalist of the Year, which was won by Next Newspapers' Ruona Agbroko. She was not there, but her sister stood in for her and read her speech. She also won a Blackberry from MTN.
9:30 TONI PAYNE AND GONGO ASO
9ice's estranged wife was ushered up the stage with the beats of her husband's hit song, “Gongo Aso.” The DJ, Neptunes, abruptly stopped the song midway, but Toni immediately asked him why. The audience actually didn't recognize her at first, but she happily introduced herself as Toni Payne. She then called up the “Branama Queen,” Kefee, for her performance. She first did her new single, “Sapele Water,” before the popular “Kokoroko” which got the crowd on their feet.
*Prof Pat Utomi walked in at 9:35pm.
Then, Naeto and Muna came up to call comedian Owen Gee and TV presenter, Yvonne Ekwere, to come and present the next set of awards. They did well excellently and combined beautifully to give the audience a treat.
9:50: THE BIG BROTHER AND THE WONDER WOMAN
Naeto and Muna came out and announced that they were done with their own part of the show. Kevin, winner of Big Brother Africa 2009 and Omawumi Megbele, who also released her debut album, Wonder Woman last year, were taking over. The applause used to receive Kevin was deafening. He then invited Omawumi to sing herself out from the backstage.
A SONG FOR NAIJA
Essence, Waje, Timi Dakolo and Nene came up to render a special composition of some “Old Skool” Nigerian songs to mark our 50th anniversary. Nene was first, followed by Waje, Essence, and Timi. After performing individually, they then gathered on stage to sing together.
10:00: THE I REP NAIJA SPEECH
Omawumi and Kevin returned to the stage to invite Chude Jideonwo, the Creative Director of Redstrat, to come and talk about The Future Project and drive in hosting the awards. He did a fine job of it and stated that the talents and challenges of the Nigerian youth were too many for them to be ignored. Thus, they have taken it upon themselves to always host the awards which they have done for five years now and will continue to do.
THE YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR
Two of the heaviest weights in the house, Toyin Subair and Chimamanda Adichie, were then invited to come and present the award for the Young Person of the Year. Toyin first showed off his Durella sneakers and introduced the audience to the young musician’s project. They then called up all the nominees on stage. Certificates were first presented to the eight of them: Ikponmwosa Osakioduwa, Stephanie Okereke(who was missing, but had been earlier spotted in the building), Toyosi Akerele, Cobhams Asuquo, Qudus Onikeku, Asa, Tolu Ogunlesi and Ify Aniebo. D'banj, last year's winner, was also invited to join them on stage. The award was won by Ify Aniebo, a 26-year old Nigerian young lady who is a research scientist and currently a Ph. D student at Oxford University. She had earlier won the prize for Best Use of Science.
10:25: SEYI LAW IRRITATES AND AMUSES CHIMAMANDA AT THE SAME TIME
Chimamanda Adichie who was dressed in a beautiful red gown came to the event in the company of a white chaperon. After giving out the award for the Young Person of the Year, she returned quietly to her seat, by his side. Comedian, Seyi Law, then took the stage to lighten up the atmosphere. As Nigerian comedians are wont to do, any white person in the audience usually attracts their attention. This was the case with Chimamanda's companion. When Seyi noticed him, he went over to him, but Chimamanda was visibly displeased with the attention being drawn to them. Seyi soon left the man alone and continued with his jokes, but Chimamanda, still irritated, made efforts not to laugh at his jokes, but that wasn't quite possible. She was reeling with laughter like the other members of the audience by the time he left the stage.
10:35: BANKY W MEETS DR. REUBEN ABATI
Everyone witnessed the controversy caused by Dr. Reuben Abati's article on the identity crisis in the Nigerian music industry last year and Banky W's highly celebrated response to it. Dr. Abati was the next presenter and Omawumi comically ran away from the stage so as to make way for him. When he came up, he acknowledged the responses he got for his essay and professed a new found fondness for contemporary Nigerian music. “Strong Thing” by a young man named Bankole Wellington (emphasis on the name) was one of his favourites. He requested DJ Neptunes to play it to him while Mr. Bankole Wellington (emphasis on the name again) should join him on stage. Thus, a classic moment of The Future Awards was born. Banky W joined Dr. Abati on the stage and they quashed their differences. Banky then proposed that Dr. Abati assume a moniker and requested that he henceforth be addressed as Uncle Reub or Uncle Reuben.
10:50: DANCE CONTEST
Kevin and Omawumi came back to announce a performance by the dance groups, Dance Na the Main Thing (DNMT) and Streethood. They executed a very energetic and entertaining dance steps to the admiration of the audience. VJ, Deji Falope, who hosted the Malta Guiness Street Dance contest last year, also appeared intermittently to moderate this part of the show.
10:55: Chimamanda and partner left.
*The dance groups continued to entertain.
11:05: Omawumi and Kevin came back on stage.
*Prof Pat Utomi left with his ‘wife’.
11:15: The show was brought to an end and guests were directed to Swe Bar, where DJ Neptunes would hold sway for the night.
ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Kemi Lala Akindoju
CREATIVE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Adekunle Samuel Owolabi
BEST USE OF ADVOCACY
Tolu Sangosanya (Dustbin Estate Children)
EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC SERVICE
Fatima Zara Modibbo (Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria)
BEST USE OF SCIENCE
Ify Aniebo (Research in Malaria)
JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Ruona Agbroko (NEXT NEWSPAPERS)
BEST USE OF TECHNOLOGY
Bade Adesomowo (BINCOM)
MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR
BUSINESS OWNER OF THE YEAR
Debola Lewis (Yvent Couture)
MODEL OF THE YEAR
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
SCREEN PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Kenneth Gyang (“Finding Aisha”)
MUSIC PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR
Janet Dung (Athletics)
ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR (Radio)
Matse Uwatse (WAZOBIA FM)
STYLE ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Linda Ikeji (Blackdove Communications)
ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR (TV)
Andre Blaze (NIGEZIE)
TEAM OF THE YEAR
African Youths Unite for Change
PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Ifunanya Maduka (Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls)
YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR
Ify Aniebo (Science Researcher)