TEAR DOWN THESE WALLS! NOMINATIONS HAVE NOW OPENED AS THE FUTURE AWARDS 2012 SEARCHES FOR YOUNG LEADERS, ENTREPRENEURS AND INNOVATORS.

On May 29, Nigeria’s biggest youth event ‘The Future Awards’ organised an elaborate media and VIP launch for its seventh season. The event, which coincided with the country’s Democracy Day celebrations, took place at the Koral Reef in Ikoyi, Lagos.

In attendance were past winners and judges of the awards including Tara Fela Durotoye (Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Person of the Year), Uche Nnaji (Style Entrepreneur of the Year) and Tolu Ogunlesi (Journalist of the Year) who interacted with the media on the impact and influence of the awards. This year, the Awards – unveiled as The Future Awards for Leaders, Entrepreneurs and Innovators – is themed ‘Tear down these walls!’ emphasising how far and how hard young people have worked to build a new system of innovation and values in Nigeria. The event unveiled the TV promos, radio promos, print and outdoor advertising that will drive the media campaign.

“The Future Awards led the charge: presenting over 1000 Positive Role Models (especially outside of entertainment) to young Nigerians and Africans over the past years, we have succeeded in establishing faith in country amongst blocs of young people, fundamentally altered for good the way young Nigerians are viewed as leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs,” said a speech by Executive Director of The Future Project, Chude Jideonwo. “What do we need? We need for government to get out of the way – to stop being an obstacle to the revolution powered by these young people. We don’t really need government to create jobs; we need government to create the atmosphere for these brilliant minds to create jobs for themselves and for other Nigerians.

“Where are the investors ready to take risks on our own Facebook or Groupon? Where are the venture capitalists able to drive and to push these young people far and beyond what even they think they are capable of? Where are the hubs structured to give rise to a flurry of ideas that work? Those are the walls that limit many young people from doing all that they can do, from being all that they can be. And we say: it’s time to tear down these walls.”

To emphasise this year’s focus, there are still 21 awards categories, but there are broken into seven broad sections that include categories include CHANGE, CREATIVITY, INNOVATION, ENTERTAINMENT and ENTREPENEURSHIP.

The event was anchored by designer and editor, Ohimai Atafo, who is head of the award’s Central Working Committee. “The season starts immediately,” he said. “We begin the town hall meetings to the six geo-political zones; we will also have special town hall meetings to spotlight innovation in specific fields, there will of course be the Nominees Reception for Charity, all leading to the awards in August – we are excited!”

Also announced were the media partners for Season 7. They include Cool FM, Wazobia FM, Nigeria 99.9 Info, Channels TV, TVC, Hip on TV, BellaNaija.com, Linda Ikeji, NET, Premium Times, FAB, Complete Fashion, TW, and LASAA. Official Media Partners are Africa Magic and Y! (www.ynaija.com).

The Future Awards 2012 will hold on August 26, 2012. Nominations are now on via www.facebook.com/TheFutureAwards. Nominations end at midnight on June 30, 2012.

FULL LIST OF CATEGORIES
Change
Best Use of Advocacy
Best Use of New Media
Creativity
Creative Artist of the Year
Designer of the Year
Excellence in Service
Excellence in Service – Government
Excellence in Service – Journalism
Excellence in Service – Corporate
Innovation
Innovator of the Year – Science & Technology
Innovator of the Year – Education
Entertainment
Actor of the Year
Musician of the Year
Producer of the Year – Music
Producer of the Year – Screen
On-Air Personality – Radio
On-Air Personality – Television
Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneur of the Year – Entertainment
Entrepreneur of the Year – Fashion
Entrepreneur of the Year – Technology
Entrepreneur of the Year – Media/Communication
Entrepreneur of the Year – General
The Ultimate Prize
Young Person of the Year

ABOUT THE FUTURE AWARDS
Referred to by the World bank as 'Nobel Prize for Young Africans”, The Future Awards continues to be the most influential and popular youth platform on the continent. It identifies young people who have excelled at their work, celebrates their achievements, and showcases them as role models to inspire a generation of Africans to believe in themselves and the future of their countries. With outreaches to Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa and having visited at least 24 states in Nigeria, The Future Awards has also been described by respected leaders as “Africa's biggest youth event” and in seven years, has produced 126 winners and over 1,000 nominees. Our mission is to inspire leadership and build enterprise.

To this end, The Future Awards has created authentic made-in-Nigeria superstars, outside of entertainment, fashion and the media. Winners include female farmer and face of youth entrepreneurship in Nigeria, Mosunmola Umoru; international author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, NASA scholar, Tosin Otitoju, founder of the Dustbin Estate Children’s Foundation Tolu Sangosanya, investor of the 1-second power change-over based in Ajegunle, Otejiri Oghoghorie, and the 2011 winner for Young Person of the Year, farm technology entrepreneur and Rolex Award winner, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu. This is a critical mass of young people that are positioned as leaders and whose collective influence can change the leadership equation for an evolving nation.

The Future Awards, and its sister brand, The Future Project have thus become known and respected across the continent for being in the forefront of inspiring a new generation of leaders/leadership for Nigeria, working with the Africa Union, the US Government, the British Council, the Ministry of Youth Development, the Nigerian Presidency amongst other organisations.

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