The British Council has rewarded 12 Nigerians for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders, as well as their contribution to strengthening ties between Britain and Nigeria.
Recipients of the Study UK Alumni Awards 2023 in Nigeria were honoured during an award ceremony in Lagos. The winners received a prize of £4000 each, which could be used for their professional development or a grant to their respective organisations.
The awardees were selected for the four award categories, namely the Business and Innovation Award, Culture and Creativity Award, Science and Sustainability Award, and finally, Social Action Award, following a call for applications, and an in-depth scoring and review process by a panel.
In her opening remarks, Director Examinations, British Council Nigeria, Marniee Nottingham, who spoke on behalf of the Country Director and West Africa Cluster Lead, Lucy Pearson, noted: “Applicants from these countries have been entered into the Global Alumni Awards to run concurrently with the national awards. The Global Alumni Award winners will be invited to Britain for a professional networking opportunity in late summer 2023.”
She added that a Nigerian alumnus, Israel Balogun, was Global Alumni Award Winner in 2022 under the Social Action category.
A Professor of Public Health at Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Muktar Gadanya, led other finalists to emerge overall winner in Science and Sustainability category with a grant prize of £4,000. He was a graduate of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The Culture and Creativity Award was presented to Isah Matankari, a graduate of Aston University. Matankari is a performing artist and founder of Creative Culture, an Abuja-based edutainment start-up that produces engaging experiences and media content for Africa’s post-millennial generation. He has been instrumental in growing the Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) creative industry by building communities, hosting over 52 events and creating paid opportunities for over 150 young creatives. He also got the grant prize of £4,000.
Founder of Stand To End Rape (STER), Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, was declared winner of the Social Action award with a grant prize of £4,000.
A graduate of Swansea University, Osowobi has championed enforcement of legal instruments to end sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls in Nigeria, while providing them with holistic support.
The Business and Innovation Award was presented to founder of FalGates, Abubakar Sadiq Falalu. He was exposed to many theoretical and practical experiences when he was admitted to the University of Nottingham for an MSc in Entrepreneurship. His work earned him a spot on Forbes Africa 30 Under 30’s list. He was recently honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari as Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).
His business associate, Sani Zawiya, who represented him, said: “Falalu was very excited and appreciated the organisers for the honour.” He also smiled home with a £4,000 grant prize.