The Future Awards Prize for New Media
Nkechi ‘Ink’ Eze (29)
How do you step outside of the shadow of your media mogul sister? You do as Nkechi ‘Ink’ Eze did and leverage that access to expand her brand and build an empire. Ink Eze is the Founder of AsoEbiBella, a platform for sharing African traditional styles, and connecting fashion customers to businesses near them. She studied Modern Culture and Media at the Ivy League Brown University in the United States. She started her career in advertising and digital media at a Fortune 500 technology company EMC, now owned by DELL.
As BellaNaija Weddings editor from 2013 to 2017, she led the brand to international prominence and millions of followers across all digital platforms and spearheaded Nigeria’s first ever bridal event – BBN Wonderland with Baileys. In two years of full operation, AsoEbiBella has co-created custom campaigns with brands including HP, Orijin (owned by Diageo), Sunlight (owned by Unilever), FilmOne (owners of FilmHouse Cinemas), Wazobia FM and currently has 1.7 million followers on Instagram and a thriving website community.
In 2018, she was on the annual Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list with young leaders and achievers from all over the continent, and one of Leading Ladies Africa’s 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria. She has spoken all over Africa, the Caribbean, and North America on digital media, marketing, and the wedding industry.
Hope Obetan (30)
There is this misconception that for any media business to succeed, it must be planted in Lagos. Hope Obetan is hoping to shatter those assumptions with CalabarBlog.com, his contribution to opening up Calabar and Cross River as a whole not just to its residents but the world at large. CalabarBlog.com works as a reviewer’s haven, directory and catalogue for events, vendors and attractions in cross river state using storytelling to market products to audiences.
The platform currently has over 30,000 daily visitors, 7,000+ newsletter subscribers with a following of over 40,000 people across various social media platforms. Obetan’s media impressions are impressive annual running in millions. Calabar Blog currently boasts a workforce of over 15 people and has grown into a full media company that provide bespoke services which include digital marketing, content creation, web development/management, branding and media consultancy for her clientele. Hope has handled marketing campaign for Airtel Nigeria, Spar Nigeria, British Council, UAPDC and many more.
Hope Obeten has given presentations at different forums where he inspires young people including Google Nigeria Prep2Grad Symposium held at the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), TechHive Nigeria Code Calabar Conference, amongst others.
Fisayo Fosudo (23)
At 23, many people tend to overlook Fisayo Fosudo when he walks into a room. But they most certainly do not overlook his Youtube channel Fisayo Fosudo where he covers everything technology in Nigeria. Fosudo has harnessed the power of self-publishing, research and social media engagement to build a viable brand that offers easy to access and understand explainer videos, tutorials and reviews of technology and other related interests.
Fosudo’s Youtube channel has an impressive 20,000 subscribers and he has worked with industry giants like Samsung Nigeria, Infinix Nigeria and Tecno Nigeria. He was chosen as part of the annual YNaija New Establishment list for 2018 and is a regular at tech-related conferences, thinks tanks and hubs across the country.
John Obidi (32)
Being listed on the Avance Media’s 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians in the Personal Development and Academia Category is one way to put your foot in the door. But does John Obidi really need an introduction to get his message heard? Obidi’s work with SmartBCamp, a community committed to closing the knowledge gap among working professionals in Nigeria speaks eloquently for him. An especially pressing need in a rapidly changing world where degrees and the years spent acquiring them can be rendered obsolete by a single piece of software, post-millennial professionals are always learning on the job and looking for new, more accessible ways of gaining knowledge.
John Obidi’s SmartBCamp takes care of this by providing free information, easily accessible at the user’s discretion. The project grew out of Obidi’s weekly Teleseminars on Smart Business, that had already grown its own audience base. SmartBCamp is especially useful for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises that cannot justify training seminars for its small employee base but desperately need professional training. Obidi also shares his knowledge on Channels Television’s Tech Trends and is a regular on the entrepreneurship and Personal Development speaking circuit in Nigeria.
Chydee Okereke (30)
It has taken some work for Chydee Okereke to distinguish himself from the horde of social media ‘influencers’ looking to make a quick buck by drawing to themselves some hate engagement. The internet is an incredibly hostile place for inorganic content and finding a sweet spot between shrewd strategy and open earnestness is not a trick many master. But Chydee Okereke has always had this golden ratio and it has allowed him transition from a social media user to a force for change. Okereke has led many vital social media campaigns on Twitter focused primarily on crowdfunding financial help, equipment and other needs for a disadvantaged person with or without access to social media. He crowds founded funding for wheelchairs for otherly abled persons in Jigawa State and was a stalwart during the #EndSars Campaign in early 2018 using his reach and influence to force the government to address the plight of young Nigerians.
Chidi is an avid promoter of Gender Equality. He has used his platforms to fight against Sexual Harassment and Abuse. He is a War Against Rape Ambassador and has collaborated with StandToEndRape to dismantle rape culture in Nigeria. He also co-founded @HandsOffNG, a social media-led platform that teaches boys, girls, teenagers and adults – in that order of priority – sexual consent.
Based on his activities on Social Media, he has been invited to speak at Tedx events, panels – including Social Media Week, The Future Project Symposium, Lagos Digital Summit, etc. He has also organized free classes that teach people how to use Social Media for their brands.