Brain-drain has been a constant worry in recent years, as young, intelligent and talented Nigerians continue to migrate to other countries and continents in search of a better life. However, there are some who are bold enough to stay back and chisel out their path in the rocky mountains of inflation, unemployment and other challenges. These are the men and women that Grand Oak Limited celebrates yearly with its Lord’s Achievers Award.
Established in 2019 by Nigeria’s premium spirit brand, Lord’s London Dry Gin, the Lord’s Achievers Awards celebrates and recognizes individuals who work behind the scenes to deliver solutions to humanity’s needs without recognition. According to the Director of Marketing and Innovation Obinna Ike, the aim is to “encourage resilience and boldness, and to champion innovation amongst our target audience, giving individuals more reason to keep at their craft.”
When you look at the men and women who made it into the Awardee list for 2022, you understand better why the fourth edition was themed Bold and Audacious. The award ceremony, which was held on March 26 at the Landmark Event centre, had notable young Nigerians stepping up to the podium to receive their awards.
In finance, Tosin Olasiende, the Founder/CEO of Ladda and Money Africa clinched the award; Akintola Adensami, Co-founder and CEO at Spleet Africa won in the Tech category; Bukola Bolarinwa, founder of Haima Health got the Science category; Jennifer Onyebuagu, the Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer at Voriancorelli won the Agriculture category. In arts, Dapo Adedeji a visual storyteller received the award; Ore Runsewe, founder of Arami Essentials received the Lord’s Achievers Award for Fashion and Lifestyle; and in Literature, Sarah Aluko, a Nigerian-British Author and Poet.
There was also a social development category where Wilson Atumeyi, the Founder and CEO of Water with Development (WaterWide) received the award; a Startup category where the MD of Ingressive Capital, Maya Horgan Famodu received it; and Entertainment category where Tomike Adeoye, an award-winning TV and radio presenter got the award.
Some notable awardees from previous editions include Chinonso Egemba “Aproko Doctor” (Health), Chioma Fakorede (Community Service), Debo Adebayo (Creative Arts), Osa Seven (Arts), Olusola Amusan (Tech), Michael Sunbola (Social Impact), Lehle Balde (Media), Hannah Bankole Komolafe (Business), Moyosola Kara (Professional), Victor Boyle Komolafe (Innovation).
About these men and women, Stanley Obi, General Manager, Marketing at Grand Oak Limited said; “They are deliberate about impact, outstanding and exemplary in leadership. In choosing each honouree, we consider the following: reach and scope of their work; duration since they commenced the work or initiative; and the potential for scale and future impact on wider socio-economic outcomes. With the increasing brain drain in Africa, we are especially proud of the strength and resilience of these individuals we honour today.”
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Why is it necessary to recognise these men and women?
Everyone is running away from challenges. Some are barely managing to survive each day as it comes, so where one finds youths who are creating a different narrative with their business and career successes, it is worth recognising.
“In the last four years, we have recognized exceptional young achievers who are passionate, industrious and committed to shaping the future, making an impact and leading national transformation. This year, we are expanding our categories to accommodate more bold and audacious individuals worthy of recognition”, Obi said about the award.
It is truly a noble idea to celebrate those who take on the challenge to impact their society by creating solutions and executing robust plans, rather than just complaining or looking for a cheap way out. In many ways than one, this will inspire other youths to understand that success is attainable within the Nigerian borders irrespective of the challenge.
According to Obinna Ike, Director of Marketing and Innovation at Grand Oak Limited, the company hopes this award will trigger the growth of “a generation of youths confident in their abilities to take on challenges, as they are handed the batons for success in a race to greatness”. As they celebrate a different set of young achievers every year, they are inspired to discover and pursue their passions and become achievers themselves.
This year, Lord’s Achievers Award was focused on recognizing and celebrating the bold and audacious Nigerian youth who go out of their way to create solutions that inspire others and contribute to the development of the nation.
Each year’s celebration and award starts off a ripple of hopes, for other youths to follow suit. Maybe this is the reason I consider the most important criteria for the award to be one who “lays down processes for sustainability of his platform and ensures the transfer of glory trans-generation”. The most critical impact of this program is not the celebration but the youths themselves who will pick up the batons for success from these Lord’s Achievers awardees. The potential influence on the national socio-economic development is immeasurable.
On a deeper level, when one wonders why the Lord’s London Dry Gin is the brand linked to such a project, the answer is that the traits being commended in these young men and women is consistent with what the brand stands for.
Lord’s London Dry Gin is a premium GIN brand of distinctive character created for distinguished gentlemen and women, successful individuals, inspiring distinction, and (if I might add) with unapologetically distinct personalities.
Lord’s Gin is a brand that represents class and strength so when the awardees are described as “young and vibrant, bold and audacious with their ideas, confident and unflinching in their resolve to develop innovative solutions” there is no doubt about the brand they resonate with.
Spokesperson Obinna Ike says the award celebrates “young Nigerians between the ages of 25-40 who live and radiate the Lord’s Gin DNA- Distinct, Unique, Inspiring, Vibrant and Young”. Irrespective of the field or sector, these awardees are people who through their bold innovations and ideas, have shown perseverance and resilience – values that align with the Lord’s Gin DNA.
At the core of the Lord’s Gin DNA are three adjectives – inspiring, vibrant and young. It is arguably a testament to the truth that great things can come out of Nigeria.
The return on this financial investment for Grand Oak Limited is “the opportunity to inspire youths across the nation to believe in their dreams, strive to achieve said goals, resulting in a domino effect of impactful contributions to the community”.