These are great times for Nigeria and its young people across the country. The recent celebration and award ceremony of six (6) notable youths (who are all under 40 years) have buoyed the spirit of the rest. Thanks to initiatives like the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) and solicitous characters like Abiodun Richard Oshinibosi (Project Marshall and CEO of Abelinis Ltd), the young people of Nigeria have more than just their dreams to encourage them.
The RYLA recently sparked young people’s interests across the country when it awarded 6 Nigerian under-40 youths for their pursuits and achievements in different fields of endeavour. Challenging the irony of celebrating youths as ‘leaders of tomorrow’ but never letting them assume Captain roles, the RYLA Prize of Honour has promoted these awardees as paragons of youth and industry to be admired and emulated.
RYLA is sponsored by Rotarians/Rotary Clubs and facilitated by Citizenship and Leadership Centre Sea School, Apapa. However, the RYLA Prize of Honour was introduced by Abiodun Oshinibosi while he was the Chairman/President of the Rotary Club. Before then (and it continues still), the Club celebrates young people between 14 and 30 years. So it was Oshinibosi that affixed the under-40 industry award—to the delight of innovative and progress-minded youths across the country.
The award ceremony took place at the close of the 2020 RYLA meeting that was held on February 21, 2021. The six awardees were honoured for their participation—and leadership—in technology/innovation, entrepreneurship, education, fashion, entertainment, agriculture, and community service.
Opeyemi Owosho took the technology/innovation trophy for his work as the founder of Homefort Energy. Abimbola Oluwakemi Oyegbami won the education category as the founder and proprietor of FeyiGrand Crèche and Preparatory School, Abule Egba, Lagos. (She is only 29 years old.) Abodunrin Oluwaseun Buck represented the fashion category for his trending establishment, Buck, which employs over 30 others like him.
For entertainment, it was Dee-One, the comedian and entertainer, that got the winner’s applause. Ngozi Osawe captained the entrepreneurship category with her work as a beauty-enhancer and CEO of Zeekarh Cosmetics Spa & Beauty Place. And lastly, Ayeni Adeleke, CEO of industry-disrupting FarmToHome, won the agriculture trophy. All six winners were honoured in the presence of Ogun State First Lady, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, and hailed as representing the new wave of game-changers while they are under 40.