Organisers of the foremost Igbo Awards have said that 13 sons and daughters of Igboland, including award-winning writer and communicator, Toni Kan, will be honoured on November 24, 2017 at the third Edition of the awards.
Vine Shield Limited, which organises the event, while unveiling its calendar for the 2017 edition, in a statement signed by the company’s Executive Director, Onukwube Ofoelue, gave the venue of the ceremony as Victoria Hall, New Artisan, by Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Enugu.
According to the company, President of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Professor Uzodimma Nwala, will be the chairman of the occasion, while a gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 Abia governorship elections, Dr. Alex Otti, will be the keynote speaker.
Those to be awarded include media professionals, entrepreneurs, educationists, activists, writers and inventors.
Ofoelue said the resolve to recognise these enterprising people of Igbo extraction was designed specifically to honour, reward and celebrate illustrious sons and daughters of the Igbo nation that have distinguished themselves in different areas of life endeavour.
“It is designed to project the Igbo identity, promote hard work, compliment the sincerity of the Igbo nation and present them at the front burner as people with relentless zeal to succeed in any field chosen. Although these awards are targeted mainly at people with Igbo origin, it is also designed in such a way that it will create room to appreciate those who have proven to be strong allies or friends of Igbo people,” he said.
He further revealed that the awards have been endorsed by the Enugu State Ministry of Culture and Tourism since 2015, as a viable initiative to promote Igbo consciousness.
The statement listed the other branches of Igbo Awards to include Lolo Igbo Cultural Pageant, which envisions encouraging young Igbo women both at home and in the Diaspora to embrace their cultural heritage according to the cultures and traditions of the Igbo people. The pageant provides a platform for young Igbo daughters to serve humanity and empower communities in the Igbo nation, Nigeria and around the world. This will give them a rare opportunity to display their creativity, intelligence, cultural pride and display their leadership qualities.
“The 2017 Pageant competition began on the 19th of October with an audition in Enugu… and a new Lolo will emerge at the Grand Finale, which is also the same day with Igbo Awards,” the statement further read.
The third aspect of the Awards is the National Igbo Students’ Competition. The organisers said it is an Igbo language competition for secondary school and university students across the globe.
It is designed to be hosted by the winner of the Lolo Igbo Cultural Pageant each year, and will serve as her pet project for the year. Vine Shield Limited will assist her in organising the competition, which will take place on a date before Igbo Awards Grand Finale. There are two competitions. These include the FC Ogbalu Prize for Igbo Language Literature and the Eze SM Ahamba Prize for Literature. While the FC Ogbalu Prize is exclusively for secondary school students, the Eze SM Ahamba Prize for Literature is for students in tertiary institutions. The 2017 editions have been conducted and results will be announced later.
- The nominees for the 2017 Igbo Awards are as follows: Dr. Greg Ibe- Educationist, Engineer, Aku Ruo Ulo activist. He will receive the Rev Professor Fr Stan Anih Educationist Prize.
- Madam Theresa Onuorah (Egedege)- Igbo traditional musician. To receive the Igbo Traditional Artiste Award due to her numerous contributions to traditional Igbo music through the popular Egedege dance Troupe.
3.Hon Chudi Offodile- Lawyer, politician. A two-time member of the National Assembly, governorship aspirant in Anambra State and a proponent of the Aku Ruo Ulo philosophy. Offodile would receive the Igbo Political Icon Award.
4.Nelly Uchendu-Ikpeze (posthumous)- proponent of modernised Igbo traditional music. To receive the Distinguished Folklore Musician Award.
- Chief Ukie Ezeali- philanthropist, engineer, job creator. To receive the Distinguished Igbo Philanthropist Award.
6.Yvonne Chioma Mbanefo- Igboist, teacher, Igbo lexicographer, digital information manager. To receive the Distinguished Igbo Writer Award.
7.His Serene Majesty, Eze Chujkwudinigbo Agwuna (Mkpume Aza Oku)- Cultural crusader, Igbo Heritage proponent. To receive the Distinguished Igbo Cultural Crusader Award.
8.Most Rev Fr J.V. Obinna- social rights crusader, reformer, high priest. To receive the Distinguished Igbo Clergy Award.
9.Mrs Mary Ikoku- media strategist, social rights crusader, publisher. To receive the Distinguished Igbo Media Personality.
- Dr Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma (Innoson)- manufacturer, investor, job creator. To receive the Professor Barth Nnaji Prize for Technology.
11.Frank Nneji (ABC Transport)-investor, innovator, transporter per excellence. To receive the Distinguished Igbo Entrepreneur Award.
12.Anthony Kanayo Onwordi (Toni Kan)-award-winning writer, journalist, publisher, communications guru. To receive the Distinguished Igbo Communications Personality Award.
- Barrister Uche Okwukwu- Igboist, lawyer, civil society activist, politician. To receive the Distinguished Igbo Human Rights Personality Award.