The Central Working Committee for Nigeria’s most respected youth event, The Future Awards, has decided to unveil the long list for the biggest award, Young Person of the Year, one week before schedule!
“We are very excited by what we have come up with this year – so excited that we have 10 names on the list this rather than the usual 8,” says Shade Ladipo, a member of the committee. “And we thought we should share that excitement!”
All the nominees for Young Person of the Year have been taken out of the various categories as always and identified as trailblazing role models for young Nigerians,” Ladipo said. “They are all winners, and so they will all be given plaques like last year. Also, they will not go through the 4 stages of judging for the awards, only one stage for voting and one stage for judging since all of them are finalists and will be so recognized at the awards.
“They have all been contacted and we are incredibly proud of them. You will be inspired.”
THE YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR NOMINEES:
1. Genevieve Nnaji, 31 – Actor
2. Nnaemeka C. Ikegwuonu, 28 – Advocate
3. Uche Eze, 26 – Entrepreneur
4. Psquare, 29 – Artiste
5. Ojoma Ochai, 29 – Intrapreneur
6. Michael Ajere (Don Jazzy), 29 – Entrepreneur
7. Nneka, 29 – Artiste
8. Debo Olaosebikan, 25 – Scientist
9. Blessing Okagbare, 22 – Artiste
10. Makinde Adeagbo, 25 – Innovator
Genevieve Nnaji – Actor
Genevieve Nnaji is an international star, representing the very best that Nollywood has to offer, and one of the best faces that the country can present to the world. The 31 year old multiple-award winning actress, who has been so credited on CNN and Oprah, is a global role model.
Nnaemeka C. Ikegwuonu – Advocate
Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, 28, has received global acclaim for his work with communities in South-eastern Nigeria where he has promoted sustainable agricultural development and environmental conservation beneficial to rural poor farmers, with recognition that includes becoming a Laureate of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise – Young Laureates Program 2010.
Debo Olaosebikan – Scientist
25 year old Olaosebikan (also a rapper under the stage name Levelz!) is currently completing a PhD in Physics at Cornell University where he is working on the world’s first silicon laser with Dr. Michal Lipson, one of the world’s leading Nanophotonics pioneers, groundbreaking research that will introduce the world to an era of much more faster computer processes.
Psquare – Artiste
Across Africa, the 29 year old twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye have become huge superstars showing what Nigeria is capable of, winning everything from the $1 million Kora All Africa Music Award prize to a multi-million naira telecom endorsement deal.
Nneka – Artiste
No one saw her coming! 29 year old Nneka Egbuna arrived in Nigeria from the world and soon went back to conquer it, becoming one of Nigeria’s most prominent global voices, winning the BET Awards and performing across the world.
Don Jazzy – Entrepreneur
Born Michael Ajere, the almost mythical Don Jazzy is a now-legendary Nigerian music entrepreneur. With Mo-Hits, the 29 year old has done nothing less than revolutionized Nigerian music and the capacity of the Nigerian music industry, creating a string of stars including D’banj, Wande Coal, Dr. Sid, and D’prince.
Ojoma Ochai – Intrapreneur
Ojoma Ochai has distinguished herself with a storied career at the British Council, rising through the ranks to become, at 29, the Assistant Country Director for the international culture organisation, becoming a powerful symbol – in a country with a now-pervasive celebrity culture – that one can stay within and still shine bright and make a mark.
Blessing Okagbare – Athlete
22 year old Okagbare has been referred to as one of 2010’s most important athletes in the continent. A long and triple jumper and short sprinter, the Olympics medallist scored a 100 m/long jump double at the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship for University of Texas at El Paso, and won the Nigerian 100 m title in 2010.
Uche Eze – Entrepreneur
Known by her famous brand, Eze is a pioneer in every sense of the word. BellaNaija.com is now the gold standard for online media and others can now do it because the 26 year old dared to quit her job in Corporate Nigeria to champion New Media innovation – becoming a TEDAfrica Fellow in the process, and featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and on CNN International.
Makinde Adeagbo – Innovator