Of Sacrifice and Honour: Port-Harcourt Tore Down The Walls

“@shadeladipo: the 1 thing I always love about #TFA is having the opportunity to meet and learn from inspiring young people who give me hope in Nigeria.”

Port-Harcourt was the place to be this past weekend. Why? Cos the Future Awards came to town! It was my second time in the state that bleeds oil and for oil at the same time. I was determined to have a better time than when I last visited this City, so I came with quite an expectation that had to be satisfied one way or another.

This was also my second time attending the Future Awards so I came with a lot more experience to ‘experience’ the Awards, having worked as a volunteer and campus representative at some point in the past.

So I arrived Port-Harcourt late Saturday evening and when I got to my host’s apartment I realised that the cab driver had ripped me off terribly with the fare he charged. They had a good laugh. I’ll remember that when next I’m around.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, the day after the nominees were treated to a special dinner and all sorts at the Government house in Port-Harcourt, the day of the Awards proper. The event was split in two parts at different venues and different times of which neither was indicated in the invitation sent out, at least not mine. I survived this somehow.

The Keynote address was delivered by Mr Tony O. Elumelu at the The Atrium, an event centre along Stadium Road. The nominees and some guests were present at the venue. I was around the venue but I wasn’t present during the keynote address delivery [don’t ask me what I was doing : )]

Then the hour came, but the Future had not arrived. I’ll skip the part where I had to wait outside the venue with my friends and other guests for about an hour, and then another 40 mins inside the Aztech Arcum hall, an event centre that was launched the day before the Awards. The place smelled of new materials and finishing, a foretaste of things to come that evening I reckon in hindsight.

As is the tradition, the event commenced with a performance of the National Anthem. We went straight to announcing some of the winners; with everyone’s mind I guess earnestly waiting for the biggest award of the night that had names like Linda Ikeji, P-Square, Banky W, D banj and co on the list of nominees.

I was seated close to the ‘Aspire Centre’ and I saw some celebrities go to say hello to the kids that were present at the event. Then the Deputy Governor of Rivers State and the Commissioner for Information & Communication also came around to encourage the kids and inspire them accordingly.

Highlights for me at the event were the Comedy, Cool FM broadcasting live from the venue in real time, Muma G and Denrele’s performance (Crazy!!!).

Eventually it wasn’t a perfect event, but can there ever be such? Safe to say I was greatly pleased by the outcome of this year’s edition. I had great company at my table, fine performances, and crazy yet fun moments to cherish. Did I mention the girl who ‘stole’ my IV? That’s gist for another time though.

We are the future, we are part of it. Here is Final list of Winners of the Future Awards 2012:

Best Use of Advocacy                                     Babafemi Oyediran (RED Project).

Best Use of New Media                                  Gidi Traffic (@giditraffic).

Creative Artist of the Year                         Bayo Omoboriowo (Photography).

Designer of the Year                                        Toju Foyeh.

Excellence in Service: Government          Hadiza Abdullah (MDG Office).

Excellence in Service: Journalism             Alkasim Abdulkadir (CNN).

Excellence in Service: Corporate               Ngozi Nkwoji (Brand Manager NB Plc).

Innovator of the Year: Sci & Tech             Seun Onigbinde (BudgIT).

Innovator of the Year: Education              Otto Orondaam (Slum to School Project).

Entrepreneur of the Year: General            Ola Orekunri (Flying Doctors).

Entrepreneur of the Year: Agriculture     Tochukwu Ikpegbu (Emmanuel Farms).

Entrepreneur of the Year: Comm. & Media                Uyi Omokaro (DM2).

Entrepreneur of the Year: Entertainment       Michael Collins (Don Jazzy).

Entrepreneur of the year: Technology               Jason Njoku (Iroko TV).

On-Air Personality Radio                                       Tolu “Toolz” Oniru (BEAT FM).

On-Air Personality Television                                    Denrele Edun (Channel O).

Musician of the Year                                                          WizKid.

Actor of the Year                                                                  Tonto Dikeh.

Producer of the Year: Music                                       Jeremiah Shelika (J. Sleek).

Producer of the Year: Screen                                     Clarence Peters.

YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR                               IDRIS AKINBANJO.

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