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2012 Winners

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1.       Excellence in Leadership

Toyosi Akerele

Born and raised in Nigeria, Toyosi received a 2nd Class Upper Bachelors’ degree in Civil Law from the University of Jos, obtained a Certificate in Youth Inclusive Financial Services from University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA, holds a Certificate in Media Enterprise from the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University and an Executive Masters’ Certificate in Project Management from The Project Management College, UK.

A worthy alumnus of the United States Government’s Prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program for emerging Leaders, she was in June of 2011 described by Mrs. Michelle Obama the First Lady of the United States as one of her personal inspirations in a televised address to America as a prelude to her arrival in Africa for the Young African Women Leaders Forum of which Toyosi remains the only Nigerian member till date.

Toyosi is the Founding Executive Director of RISE NETWORKS, a Leading Social Enterprise in Nigeria whose programs have attracted thousands of Young People in over 20 Nigerian States in the last 5years. She has been actively involved in National and International projects and processes on the need to provide a platform for youth inclusion in policy formulation and implementation; she was selected as one of the 101 Young African Leaders by the African Business Leaders Forum of the Business in Africa Magazine;  She has spoken and delivered Papers at numerous venues including the Nigerian Economic Summit, Wimbiz 10th Anniversary Forum, Youth Africamp organized annually by Open Society Institute of East Africa and the United Nations Media Workshop on Africa Governance Report. Her media commentary and interviews include appearances on Channels Television, BET, Nigerian Television Authority, Africa Independent Television and South Africa Broadcasting Corporation.

Toyosi is the recipient of numerous awards including recent recognition by Crans Montana Forum in Europe as a 2012 New Leader of Tomorrow, 2012 This Day Awards for Nigeria’s Women of Distinction, Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 of Success Digest Entrepreneurial Awards, The 2011 Excellence Awards of the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University, The 2008 Future Awards Best Use of Advocacy Category and the 2007 Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards jointly organized by Leap Africa, International Youth Foundation and NOKIA.


2.       Excellence In Business


3.       Best Use of ICT

Oluwaseun Osewa



Seun osewa is a graduate of Electrical Electronic Engineering from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University Ife, Osun State.

In 2001, Seun launched his first online business; a hosting company. After series of ups and downs, the business became unsustainable.Frustrated and discouraged, Seun went forward to get more ICT certifications which handed him a fulltime job, but it was not long before the entrepreneurial spirit came knocking, for almost two years he kept on researching and carving out online business ideas but there was no capital to startup the businesses.

Eventually, he decided to start a web forum because it was the only idea that required no additional capital as he already had internet access and $15 per month VPS graciously paid for by a family friend. November 2003 he created 3 forums (one forhigher institution students, another for IT discussions, and the third was to cover the emerging GSM industry- MobileNigeria Forum at

In few months Mobile Nigeria had over 300 members.  Pressing further Seun decided to start Nairaland when he noticed two things on Mobile Nigeria.

1.   Despite its narrow focus, it was the only Nigerian  community that gave a voice to Nigerians at home, most other Nigerian sites were owned and dominated by Nigerians in the US or UK.  They covered only issues of interests to Nigerians abroad.

2.   The off topic section of the forum, covering topics outside telecoms, like romance and jokes, was becoming more vibrant than the Mobile Nigeria             Forum itself, suggesting the need for a more general-purpose Nigerian forum.

In 2005, Nairaland Forum was officially launched, this was 14 months after Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, and it’s sparked so much excitement and attracted lots of traffic, becoming the first known online community in Nigeria. With a current user account base of over 1Million it is the leading site in Africa till date generating traffic in excess of 5 million hits daily and an income well over hundreds of Thousands weekly.

Seun Osewa has at several times rejected Million Dollar offers to sell Nairaland in portions or as a whole; Nairaland can be described by many as the one stop arena to all that is happening in Nigeria and to Nigerians home and abroad


4.       Excellence in Agricultural Development

Mosunmola Umoru

5.       Excellence in Journalism

Nancy Illoh




Nancy was born in Lagos. She had her primary education at Our Lady of Apostles Primary School, a Catholic school in Yaba. From there, she proceeded to Regan Memorial Baptist School, also in Yaba and then Nnamdi Azikwe University Awka.

The Delta State TV presenter has been on TV for 11 years now. Nancy passion for TV started when she was much younger, in her teen years, she started with Delta State Television while she was in the university; she at times leaves her university to Asaba to present programmes. She started anchoring and producing different programmes, ranging from breakfast shows, personality programmes and youth programmes. She served with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) she left to create the Popular and acclaimed money show

As the producer and presenter of The Money Show, Nancy Illoh’s face has become a regular one in the living rooms and offices of ardent television viewers across Africa.  Her  programme,  on  AIT’s  Africa  business  channel,  theMONEY  SHOW,  has  become  a  delight  for  business moguls and economic analysts. The one-hour prime air- time programme is a one-stop piece for market, stock and financial round-ups of business transactions and explorations. From Nigeria  to  South-Africa,  China  to  the  United  States, Nancy brings  you  all  the  current  market  situations  in  prompt analysis  that will enhance your personal business and give you  insight  on  how  the market  is  expected  to  play  in  the nearest  future. Beyond the reportage it is also a focal point for discussing and having interactive sessions with business icons in related fields like, investment  (Local  &  Foreign) banking, Capital  Market,  Oil  &  Gas experts,  Insurance and Pensions  Fund administrators to come up with possible angles to the several money issues plaguing our Economy.


6.       Most outstanding Personality in Comedy

Oluwaseyitan Aletile (Seyi Law)

7.       Most Outstanding Personality in Fashion

‘yomi Makun

8.       Best use of Social Media

Jason Njoku



Jason Njoku is the founder and CEO of Iroko Partners, the largest digital distributors of Nigerian music and movies, with a library of 1600 licensed movies. iROKO Partners was founded in 2010, Iroko Partners, consist of 5 web brands; iROKOtv, iROKING, iROKtv, NollywoodLove and YorubaLove. It is now the world's number one distributor of Nollywood films. It was Nigeria's fastest-growing internet company last year and Njoku has been earmarked by Forbes as one of the top ten young African millionaires to watch.

Mr. Njoku is building a modern digital distribution infrastructure using Amazon Web Services, Ooyala and several video ad networks, to service the second largest movie industry in the world (by volume), Nollywood, or Nigerian cinema. Last year Iroko did eight million YouTube streams a month, with a $1 million revenue run-rate. But since then, his traffic has soared, so has the relationship with YouTube. In Njoku’s view, YouTube has become so maniacal about pleasing Hollywood and doing original, high-level US-centric programming that they just didn’t care about what someone like Iroko was doing.

“I’m not going to hide who we are,” said Mr. Njoku. “We have 71 people working for us in a country with 50% unemployment. We did $1.3 million in revenues last year. We are the largest Internet Company in Lagos by nearly any definition. We want to be Nigeria’s Netscape moment.”

Earlier this year, Njoku decided to close his YouTube channel that was generating millions in revenue in an attempt to build something even bigger. He’s in the process of migrating users and content now, so his YouTube content will still be available for a bit longer.

Mr. Njoku holds a BSc, Chemistry from The University of Manchester, University of Manchester - Manchester Business School, 2002 – 2005.


9.       Most Outstanding Personality in Music

Clarence Peters


10.    Most Outstanding Personality in Film

Jeta Amata


11.    Excellence in Literature

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie(Born 15 September 1977) is a Nigerian writer. Adichie studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. At the age of 19, Adichie left Nigeria and moved to the United States for college. After studying communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, she transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University, she received a bachelor's degree from Eastern, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2001.

In 2003, she completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts in African studies from Yale University. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, was released in 2003. The book received wide critical acclaim; it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction (2004) and was awarded the Commonwealth for Best First Book (2005). Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, named after the flag of the short-lived nation of Biafra, is set before and during the Biafran War. It was awarded the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction.
Her third book, The Thing around Your Neck, is a collection of short stories published in 2009.

In 2010 she was listed among The New Yorker
s "20 under 40" Fiction Issue.
Adichie's story, "Ceiling", was included in the 2011 edition of The Best American Short Stories.


12.    Most Outstanding Personality in Engineering and Invention

Tolulope Iroye


Tolulope is a technology wiz; he designs and constructs electronic gadgets ranging from security devices, automated control system, embedded systems to general electronic gadgets. He developed his skills by reading and practicing without receiving any special training or education home or abroad. He designs hardware and software that can be used for any purpose, alternative energy devices such as inverters, solar systems, wind power and hydro power systems. He designs and builds different electronics gadgets such as security systems, digital display boards, traffic light controllers, automatic changeover systems, automatic voltage regulators etc. Tolu’s abilities in science are only limited by imagination.

He was awarded for best use of technology 2011 at the future Nigeria award for designing a device called magic box. When installed in the electrical system of a house gives the user access to control any electrical equipment in the house using a mobile phone from anywhere in the world. That is you can switch off your heater in your house from your office or anywhere in the world using your mobile phone.


13.    Excellence in Public Service

John Okoh

14.    Most Outstanding Student Entrepreneur

Ashbel Ngalabak Ayuba


15.   Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism

Olawunmi Mogaji



Olawunmi Mogaji (Born 13th May 1988) is the CEO of Tennys Treat.  Tennys Treat which fully began operations in February 2011 is a confectionery company which specialises in a wide range of mouth-watering desserts, wedding cakes and all kinds of celebration cakes which meet the unique requirements and exquisite taste of our various customers. The cakes and desserts are known to leave long lasting effects on your taste buds.

Olawunmi has a Bachelor Degree in Philosophy from the University of Lagos and is presently working in the Audit department of Lagos Internal Revenue Service.


16.   The Mathematical Centre Award for Academic Excellence


Henry Aniobi




Henry Aniobi is a sixteen-year-old Senior Secondary School Student of the Nigerian Turkish International College, Kano. At the age of 14 as a junior Secondary School Student, he clinched a silver medal at the Pan African Mathematics Olympiads (PAMO) held in Yammasoukrou, Cote d'Ivoire in 2010, where most of the 40 participants from 10 countries were senior secondary students.


In July 2012, Aniobi clinched second position in the Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition. Henry Aniobi's mathematical prowess has been confirmed to be higher than that of the average second year university student of Mathematics.



17.    NYMA 2012, Youth Ambassadors

Yewande Akinola

African Farmer Mogaji

Michael Friday


18.    Fortis MFB award for Aspiring Business person of the year



Ruth Obih



Ruth, a barrister at law expanded her skills to become a real estate analyst with committed passion for real estate practice. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 3Invest Ltd, a Real Estate company specialized in providing acquisition and investment services for private clients and funds looking to invest in Nigeria’s real estate sector. In the wake of the global financial meltdown and plummeting real estate value, Ruth found innovative ways to remain relevant in the industry. Thus, in January 2011, she started “3Invest Intelligence”, an innovative division of the company focused on real estate media and advocacy. Through the vision of 3investintelligence, several thousand Nigerians and real estate investors have been empowered with useful and relevant information to make wise investment decisions. Her hard work and determination to make a meaningful impact in the industry has even caught the attention of FORBES AFRICA, which recently profiled her in September 2012 “as different”.  Ruth, who anchors the weekly radio programme, Real Estate ONAIR, and has just successfully, delivered the first edition of her brainchild, the Real Estate UNITE Conference and Awards 2012.

Her versatility is evident in the various roles she plays within her company structure. Ruth anchors and produces “REAL ESTATE ONAIR”, publishes and edits“3INVESTONLINE.COM’ and is the creative head of “Real Estate Unite”, She is also the director of communications, Housing Finance Professional Association of Nigeria (HOFPAN). Ruth is an energetic leader with the ability to envision and create successful outcomes in complex situations .The success she has been able to make out of her company can be attributed partly to a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from Pan African University (EDC).

Areas of Excellence

Strategy, Leading change, Redesigning business process, Negotiating and closing deals, Raising Capital, Developing new business, Growing revenue and profit, Forming strategic alliance, Leading and developing teams






19.  Award for Excellence in African Policy and Development Initiatives

Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima



Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima




Dabesaki Mac –Ikemenjima is a researcher at the University Of East Anglia and currently running a Ph.D program in International Development. He is also engaged as co-editor of the Open Society Institute’s anthology on Youth Policies and the African Youth Charter. He was born in Nigeria, educated at Rivers State College of Education.

Dabesaki worked as one of two consultants who developed the African Youth Charter and worked extensively with the African Union Youth Department towards its adoption by the African Union Heads of Government. He was listed as one of 15 Nigerian Youth on the world stage and received the Commonwealth Innovative Initiative award in the same year. He has travelled to, worked-in and made presentations in 28 countries around the world, especially in Africa.  Since 1999, Dabesaki has been engaged in various initiatives within the development and youth movements.

He has several publications to his credit and has attended over 30 conferences on African and International Development. He has previously worked as the Executive Director, Development Partnership International, Port Harcourt, Nigeria: a Consultant to United Nations Population Fund, Addis Ababa, and a Project Director, Youth Development Initiative, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to mention a few



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