This is the moment we have all been waiting for: the unveiling of the finalist for “Hypestation Young Persons of the Year” for 2017 (Year Under Review).
From three finalists in 2015 to five in 2016, so far, nine persons have been enlisted for the awards. This year’s edition is laden with history being the maiden event for the awards and the fact that, this edition has the highest number of awardees since the inception of the awards in 2015 with 11 young persons receiving the award.
After a careful selection from a pool of over 30 nominees, 10 were picked as finalists for the year 2017, bringing the new total to 18 awardees. This restates our commitment and resolve to spotlight and celebrate hard work and creativity among young people and the resultant impact they have made either through hobbies, career or community service.
More so, for this event maiden edition, a new feature has been added – “Man of the Year Award”.
Here are the finalist;
Unwana Umana is a published Author and Poet passionate in organising creative events. His love for events dates back to the University of Uyo where he studied Law.
He has curated many notable event brands, including Puff-Puff Festival. Through the event, Unwana has succeeded in turning the usual ‘road-side’ puff-puff seen as a street pastry into one of the most sort-after snack in the process, creating more than 50 Puff-Puff recipes.
During the debut of his Puff-Puff festival, the event had in attendance 5 food vendors and grew to 15 participating vendors in the second edition.
This has succeeded in creating Puff-Puff as a major snack just like Pizza, in different forms with sauces.
For Unwana, his goal within the next 3 years is to work with food vendors around the country and beyond, extending his reach into other countries populated with Nigerians.
He also hopes to partner with various brands and in theprocess, help tell their brand stories through his brand.
Dr Uwem Nseowo widely known as Dr Anderson emerged the best among graduating students in the 2013/2014 set, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo.
Dr. Uwem Nseowo’s academic prowess is startling, outstanding and even rewarding as he was presented with 7 individual prizes at the combined 22nd and 23rd Convocation Ceremonies of the University of Uyo held last year.
He stole the show at the event when he clinched prizes including: Best Graduating Doctor (BGD) in Paediatrics, Best Graduating Doctor in Biochemistry (with distinction), Best Graduating Doctor in Internal Medicine, Best Graduating Doctor in Surgery, Isabella Medical Scholarship Fund (IMSF) for Best Graduating Doctor in Surgery, Best Graduating Male Doctor and overall Best Graduating Doctor.
Dr. Nseowo was also in the Honours Roll during his premedical year. The Uyo born doctor has had professional stints with the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, UUTH, Nigerian Airforce Hospital, Makurdi, and St. Athanasius’s Hospital, Uyo.
During his service year, he equally served as the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Camp’s Clinic at the Benue State NYSC Orientation Camp.
Iboro Otu is a high profile social entrepreneur from Akwa Ibom State, whose business tentacles have spread beyond the local shores. His desire for human capital development is keen, and his vision for youth enterprise is unparalleled.
Having garnered sufficient education and experience at home and in the UK, Iboro Out had sometime last year launched the ALERT Nigeria Programme – A platform aimed at empowering talented young Nigerians with skills and necessary tools, required to scale through the skill-driven economy the nation is gradually turning into.
These experiences has in no small measure, given the young business guru an insight into the prospects and challenges of up-and-coming businesses in immediate communities, and with ALERT Nigeria initiative coming forth, these barricades to business success stand to be eliminated.
Through ALERT Nigeria, The Iboro Otu Leadership and Entrepreneural Development Essay Competition was hosted. The aim of which, was to engage and also test the cognitive strength of young undergraduates of Akwa Ibom origin, in a bid to identify and also proffer lasting solutions to economic problems in the 31 Local Government Areas of the State.
The competition produced 24 winners who had since been equipped with requisite training and financial empowerment which ran into millions of Naira. Iboro Otu’s hand of support has also been extended to the Technological Sector, as he has sponsored several training programmes through the the 085BTC initiative.
Aniebiet Francis is an actor who has climbed the ladder of success in the film industry and starred in several Nollywood movies and other notable television series shown on cable satellite stations across Africa including Hotel Majestic, Hush, Newman’s Street and Daddy’s Girl.
Aniebiet who doubles as a film producer organised the first Orange Film Boot camp in the month of October 2017, with over two hundred young person’s participating.
For her, the objective was to help develop the teeming talents in the creative sector, while giving a boost to the Akwa Ibom film industry.
The training had 5 top Nollywood actors as facilitators who took sessions ranging from script writing, editing, acting and cinematography.
The major highpoint of the boot camp was when the students learned how to shoot movies using their smart phones. After the lessons, they were further divided into groups to carry out classwork exercises which was making short videos and indeed, it turned out amazing.
Two months down the line after the training, the students have started producing their own short films, with three already available on the global video streaming platform, YouTube. They include Better Days, Xmas Fever and Ukpaisua.
To take this effort further, a few of them came together to form a crew which is currently working on a web series. More so, Aniebiet produced a feature film titled “Bride Price”, and one of the students, a green horn played the sub lead role, with 70% of the cast members being her Orange film boot camp students.
Hanson Johnson is the Founder/CEO of Start Innovation Hub, a collaborative platform for passionate and like-minded young people who are interested in tech entrepreneurship. He is the Country Mentor for Google Developer Groups for Nigeria.
In 2017, he got invited by Facebook to host Facebook Bot Challenge and went further to partner Andela for a successful Andela Learning Community Programme for Android Developers in the Niger Delta. He also Partnered Alert Nigeria for IOLED and Community Development Programme for students in tertiary institutions across Akwa Ibom.
Hanson hosted Facebook Partnerships Manager for Middle East and Africa and attended two Google events in California. More so, he Moderated IoT and Smart Cities Session at Future of African Cities Conference, Cairo, Egypt where he got hosted by French Ambassador to Egypt in Cairo.
His Start Innovation Hub Partnered Hotels.Ng to pay and train 300 Akwa Ibom young people in Software Development. 50 of those trainees made it to the finals and are now profitably engaged as entrepreneurs, employees and freelancers.
He was the Guest Speaker at the Sub Saharan Africa Google Developers Summit, Lagos and at a series of GDG DevFest hangouts in several Nigerian Cities which include; Ekiti, Aba, Abuja, Kano and Ibadan.
Hanson built Jiggle – An innovative platform that provides students in Tertiary Institutions 3 square meals daily through the purchase of 3 available Jiggle plans which in turn generates meal credits. The Jiggle team came 2nd in Nigeria during USPF Changemaker Challenge.
Hanson brought the first Global Startup Weekend Event to Uyo where 28 ideas were pitched and 10 selected to be worked on.
Remarkable Mary Akpan is an undergraduate of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Uyo, who doubles as the C. E. O of Mary Remarkable foundation, a non-governmental organization saddled with the responsibility of adding value to humanity through outreaches and other educational programmes.
Her passion and works towards youth development has made her a paradigm to many of her peers, encouraging them to discover their purpose and engage in self-mastery. This led to the launch of her first book – “Youthful and Useful”. The event had in attendance several dignitaries, the likes of Chief Lulu Briggs and several seasoned business men as over half a million copies of her book were purchased on the launch day.
Mary got invited to speak during a One Day Lecture hosted by Conscious Reformers Assembly to commemorate the 52nd birthday of the Honorable Minister of Transportation, Former Governor of Rivers State, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, on the topic, “A Man Ahead Of His Time”. She also made a speech presentation at the 61st birthday ceremony of Sen. Ndoma Egba, chairman of NDDC hosted by #GOTNI (Guidance Of The Nation International), Abuja.
Later in the year, she volunteered some of her weekends for The African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation, run by Anja Ringgren Lovén, a Danish aid worker and her lovely husband David Emmanuel Umem which rescued a little boy accused of being a witch and was abandoned by his parents without food to die. She spent time with the children under the care of the NGO, helping them with assignments and teaching them soft skills.
Mary hosted a sensitization event to teach young girls on the importance and benefit of sexual purity, while encouraging them to be disciplined, smart, resourceful and to all grow up into role models worthy of emulation. Thereafter, she led her team to her village, Ikot Nkan, Onna, Akwa Ibom State to speak, Interact and inspire some secondary school students on the importance of education, Career Choice, Self-Discovery, Personal development and a good reading culture.
Francis Jerome is the Founder and CEO of CAPITALBRIDGE MFB, a global Microfinance Institution committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with leadership in microfinance and Fintech impact investing.
CAPITALBRIDGE delivers high-quality and affordable financial solutions for a vast population of Nigerians considered as underserved and less privileged. For more than 5 years, CAPITALBRIDGE has helped tens of thousands of people through its work with its dedicated workforce.
As CEO, Mr. Francis Jerome has spearheaded the transformation of a $100 investment into a multimillion naira financial Institution with branches spanning across Nigeria. Before that, he ran a youth development organization, philanthropy network, community and human resources management services.
In 2016, Central Bank of Nigeria appointed him as the Consultant on Rural Business Development, an IFAD/RUFIN funded programme.
In 2017, his Capital Bridge MFB took financial services to very remote areas where traditional banks and Microfinance banks would not and could not penetrate. This single effort empowered over 3500 women, 10,600 children and penetrated an additional 1820 villages across 31 LGAs, opening additional 3 branches and in the process, providing employment for 32 persons across those new branches.
Blessing Emah is a 300 level student of the University of Uyo studying Library and Information Science.
An Orphan, Blessing started her journey into flour making during the SUG week when she decided to maximize the time to develop an idea…turning cocoyam and water yam, integral ingredients of a special Akwa Ibom native meal known as Ekpang Nkukwo into flour form.
This innovation was birthed from the curiosity to help make the process of cooking the Ekpang Nkukwo delicacy simple and stress-less. That curiosity brought out the spirit of entrepreneurship in her which according to her, was also sparked by the Dakkada Creed instituted by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel to prove she had greatness in her.
Blessing was later given an opportunity to showcase her innovative product during an exhibition organized by Dakkada Initiative during the Akwa Ibom State 30th anniversary.
During the event she won the ‘Dakkada Young Entrepreneur’ Award. Her effort was supported by the chairman of Stanford Microfinance Bank, Mr Unyime Idem with the sum of N300, 000 as she also got a N1million grant from the Akwa Ibom State Government.
Geoffrey Uzono Romokere a.k.a Geoff Q is an articulate, intelligent, creative & inspiring broadcaster and life accelerator. He is one of Nigeria’s most recognizable and respected voices in the media.He is also a well sought after corporate compere and host.
Geoff Q is a multitalented media personality who currently anchors the drive time show and the flagship revolutionary daily counselling programme Sharing Life Issues on Inspiration 105.9 FM Uyo with a weekly listenership of about a million.
Through these Radio programmes, Geoff has been able to upscale his listeners’ financial literacy quotient, boost personal development, beamed hopes, healed relationships and increase better health seeking behaviour among them.
More so, he has contributed in up-scaling pop culture in Akwa Ibom by discovering, showcasing and promoting previously relatively unknown acts such as Usimeke, Progress and a handful of other acts. Indeed, Geoff has been instrumental in bringing peoples’ dreams into fruition.
As chairman, Events committee of Inspiration 105.9 FM Uyo, with his team, 3 successful events: Ifm Fitness Walk, the station’s first year anniversary and Praise Jam were hosted with a cumulative of over 10,000 people in attendance across the events including high profile and high net worth personalities.
He was also nominated for ‘Best OAP’ at the 2017 edition of Paradise Music awards. Geoff Q loves to inspire action in people’s lives by making them live life intentionally rather than leave life to chance.
Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon
Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon was elected to represent Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency in 2011. Since his election to the green chambers, the frontline lawmaker has undertaken the task of effective representation with calm, painstakingly implementing an agenda that bolsters youth development and securing the future of young people in the federal constituency and Akwa Ibom State at large.
Upon assumption as Chairman House Committee on Local Content in 2017, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon challenged the idea of an oil and gas industry that is dominated by foreigners and took robust steps to reengineer the local content act which has resulted in the direct sponsorship of over 500 youths within Nigeria with more than half from Akwa Ibom for oil and gas trainings, in concert with Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Placing youths at the core of his representation, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon unveiled the Youth Empowerment Center located at Abak which has a functional Library, Event/Conference Hall, Recreational facility, a well-equipped ICT/Skills Acquisition Center and a Constituency Office. For the education sector, he purchased 600 Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) forms in addition to scholarships schemes granted to undergraduates and postgraduate students which can be described as unprecedented performance in the history of the federal constituency.
The Honourable Member partnered with Dakkada Women Initiative to empower the women of Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency to support 10 women per ward across the entire constituency engaged in MSMEs. A total of 310 women benefitted from this gesture while another batch of 50 welder trainees graduated from Samsung training facility at LADOL Island, Lagos.
In affirmation of his commitment to complementing the industrialisation policy of Governor Udom Emmanuel, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon led talks with Halliburton to collaborate with Akwa Ibom State Government to establish the Akwa Ibom Oil and Gas Training and Research, the first Oil and Gas Research Center in Sub-Sahara Africa. Another landmark Oil and Gas Park in Onna facilitated by the lawmaker is set to be commissioned in 2018.
Through Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, the Maritime Academy, Oron is now equipped with a state of the art Sea Diving Center. Furthermore, the lawmaker has secured the establishment of state-of-the art Oil and Gas Training Center at Government Technical College, Abak.
Lending his voice to support the inclusion of youth participation in politics, He strongly endorsed the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill in a bit to reduce age requirement for our teeming youths to seek for elective offices and address the need to rethink policies that empower more youths to actively contribute in national development processes.
Rt. Hon. Victor Antai – Entertainment Man of The Year
Rt. Hon. Victor Antai, is the Hon. Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Akwa Ibom State. He was born on 19th May 1965 in Oduo Ebughu, Mbo LGA, Antai holds a B.Sc degree in Geography from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, obtained in 1991. He attended Primary School, Uko-Uyukim, Oron local government area; St. Vincent Secondary School, Oti-Oron; Lutheran High School, Obot Idim, Ibesikpo Asutan local government area, for his FSLC and WASC.
After several attempts in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for House of Assembly and National Assembly, specifically on four occasions, Mr. Victor Antai was nominated for the PDP chairmanship ticket for Mbo local government area in 2008. He won and was re-elected in 2012.
The two time chairman of Mbo L.G.A, who was in private business before his foray into public service, is a title chief and a devout Christian.
He’s current portfolio as the commissioner for culture and tourism has positioned him to redefine tourism in Akwa Ibom, he has displayed dexterity, ingenuity and has carved a new niche for young people in the state to create more wealth through Usoro Uso, Orange September and the recently concluded Ukapaisua Project.
Today, we can proudly say that the government of Akwa Ibom state has fully diversified into tourim and is creating more jobs and wealth for peoplw in state.
Rt. Hon. Victor is happily married with children.