In a heartwarming celebration of self-empowerment, Africans are gaining international recognition and acknowledging their remarkable accomplishments. Just this past weekend, Lagos hosted The Future Africa Awards, an event dedicated to applauding outstanding individuals making a significant mark in diverse industries. These extraordinary individuals have shown unwavering dedication and left a lasting impact on their respective fields.
This year’s event shone a bright spotlight on the outstanding achievements of women across a wide array of sectors and industries. With their talents and contributions spanning the arts, literature, advocacy, and activism, these remarkable women gracefully etch their names into the global history books.
Let’s look closer at the exceptional women who took centre stage at The Future Africa Awards.
Prize For Education- Uchechi Rochas
Uchechi Rochas serves as the President of the Rochas Foundation, a non-profit organisation that offers free education to underprivileged children across Africa. Committed to providing accessible, high-quality education, Uchechi Rochas, under the foundation’s founder, Rochas Okorocha, has been pivotal in strategically advancing the organisation’s mission.
Prize for Intrapreneurship – Precious Akpan
Precious Akpan’s journey as a Product Partnerships Manager is a testament to her remarkable career. With experience gained from notable institutions like Sterling Bank, Leading Ladies Africa, and Clickfix Africa, she has not only made a name for herself but has also woven a story of success in the intricate tapestry of corporate partnerships and organisational progress. Her expertise and dedication have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the ever-evolving landscape of professional collaborations.
Prize for Dance- Seyi Oluyole
Seyi Oluyole is a multifaceted artist, excelling as a dancer, choreographer, and visionary behind Dream Catchers Dance Academy and Dream Nurture Initiative. As a creative philanthropist, Seyi dedicates her time and passion to nurturing children’s dreams at Dream Catchers Dance Academy while also shaping the future of Africa through the Dream Nurture Initiative. Her dance Academy has not only gained international recognition but has also captivated audiences with performances that include their unique rendition of Rihanna’s Super Bowl show and stunning choreography set to viral songs, such as Davido’s ‘Feel’.
Prize for Arts & Literature – Morenike Olusanya
Morenike Olusanya, widely recognised as Renike, is not just a visual artist but a masterful illustrator and sought-after cover artist. Renike’s work celebrates the beauty and richness of the African experience, skillfully portrayed in her distinctive portraits. Her talent has earned her commissions to create covers for notable novels, including ‘Instructions for Dancing’ by Nicola Yoon, the acclaimed author of ‘The Sun Is Also A Star,’ ‘Caprice’ by Coe Booth, ‘The Silence We Eat’ by Oyindamola, and ‘Unbroken’ by Eglen Colon Stephens.
Prize for Fashion – Veekee James
Veekee James is an award-winning fashion designer and content creator. She is known for her elegant and elaborate fashion designs worn by various celebrities. From sewing at a young age with her mother to becoming one of the best fashion designers in Nigeria, Veekee James is dynamic in her creativity. She also hosts a gospel podcast show, Bible Stories with VJ. On this podcast, she invites celebrities and influencers to speak on various topics ranging from fame to friendships and how this affects their relationship with God.
Prize for Film- Ife Olujuyigbe
Ife Olujuyiigbe is a versatile creative powerhouse, wearing multiple hats as a film producer, screenwriter, creative director, and accomplished author. Her talents have earned her recognition from the prestigious African Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA). What makes her journey even more intriguing is her initial career as a chemical engineer, which she boldly pivoted from to follow her passion for film criticism and production. She now stands as the producer of ‘When Are We Getting Married,’ the lead writer for the captivating TV series ‘Domitila,’ and the author of the compelling narrative ‘Of Children Born to Us.’
Prize for Creativity and Innovation – Hauwa Lawal
Hauwa Lawal Hauwa Lawal is a revered figure in comic writing, skit-making, and content strategy. Her storytelling prowess is unmatched and uniquely her own. Hauwa’s exceptional creativity came to life in the creation and publication of ‘Hauwa’s MadHouse,’ a distinctive Nigerian comic book. Beyond her creative work, she has collaborated with esteemed brands like UBA, Taellio, Grey Finance, and Limitless, leaving an indelible mark in her field.
Prize for Young Person of the Year – Hilda Baci
Hilda Baci’s remarkable journey has led her to secure a coveted place in the Guinness World Records as the Longest Cooking Time title holder. This outstanding achievement elevated her to international fame and served as the driving force behind her culinary venture, My Food By Hilda, taking it to new heights. Hilda’s dedication and passion for her craft have etched her name in the record books and left a lasting impact on the culinary world.
Prize for Advocacy and Activism – Osariemen Grace Omoruyi
Osariemen Omoruyi is a dedicated restorative justice activist in Nigeria, focusing on critical areas such as peacebuilding, prison reforms, social innovations, human rights, juvenile justice reform, and upholding the rule of law. Her unwavering commitment and expertise have earned her well-deserved recognition from numerous prestigious organisations. Osariemen has received multiple awards that acknowledge her significant contributions to the field of restorative justice. Her impactful work continues to leave a lasting mark on pursuing a more just and compassionate society.
Prize for Professional Service – Phoebe Dami-Asolo
Phoebe Dami Asolo is a dynamic professional, currently serving as the Brand and Marketing Manager at Coca-Cola, overseeing operations in West Africa, Asia, and India. Her dedication to driving profitable growth and enhancing equity for global brands is genuinely inspiring. Beyond her corporate success, Phoebe is passionate about fostering a harmonious work-life balance for career-oriented women with families. She is deeply committed to guiding individuals in strengthening their connection with their faith and spirituality.
These incredible women have shown us what’s possible with hard work and passion. They’ve earned every bit of recognition they’ve received at the Future Africa Awards and beyond, and it’s not only inspiring but also a reminder that anyone can achieve greatness with determination. As we celebrate their achievements, we’re excited to see what they’ll do next, and it’s a reminder that we all have the potential to make our mark in our own unique ways.