Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Social Media- Sowanbe Awards 2011

Think you are social media savvy? Then the Sowanbe Awards might just be for you. Sowambe, the pan-African social media lifestyle brand will recognize and celebrate the best social media adopters, talents, celebs, brands, professionals as well as social web platforms in Nigeria. The Awards has about 25 categories and will allow participants to nominate and vote online for a period of one month for their favourites, based on a clear understanding and good judgment on activities in the social web.

Best Social Media Personality
Best Social Media Celebrity
Best Social Media Blogger
Best Social Media Politician
Best Social Media Site
Best Social Media Activist
Best Social Media Designer
Best Social Media Thinker
Best Use of Twitter
Best Use of Facebook
Best Use of YouTube
Best Social Media Community
Best Social Media On-Air Personality (TV/Radio)
Best Social Media Newspaper
Best Social Media Startup
Best Social Media Jobs Platform
Best Social Networking Site
Best Social Media TV/Radio Station
Best Micro-Blogging Platform
Best Social Aggregation Tool
Best Ad Campaign on YouTube
Best Ad Campaign on Facebook

Timelines: Nomination Period: February 1 to February 10.

Voting Period: February 15 to February 28.

Winners will be announced on March 1.

For interested sponsors and partners, kindly email info (at)
sowambe.com or visit www.sowambe.com/sponsors.

You can follow @sowambe on Twitter.

For more details, please visit www.sowambe.com


Loy Okezie

Tolu Iroye: The Kid With The Magic Box

Tolu Iroye, 27, dropped out of school after his O’Levels due to his family’s inability to continue paying his fees. The electronic designer did not allow his lack of further schooling to limit his future. He has created what he calls the Magic Box, a device that allows its user to switch off electrical appliances in their home or office from a mobile phone. A video demonstration of this technology at the magazine’s premises recently struck one with awe.
Tolu Iroye receiving his award for best use of technology at The Future Awards

The Magic Box began as an idea to create a non-line of sight remote control that would work for his TV set without him being in the room. “I’m motivated by the need to create solutions to problems,” Iroye said. And so he began work with components that he sourced from the Alaba Electronics Market. It took about one year to complete the Magic Box, an equipment that allows one to switch off any electronic device in the home or office with a phone call from anywhere in the world. The user makes a phone call to a sim card located in the Box which gives a voice prompt that offers options to the caller on how to switch on or off their TV, power generator and light metre through a micro-controller. 

Iroye’s recent victory in The Future Award’s best use of technology category brought out the life story of the brilliant techie which began many years ago. As a child, Iroye’s curiosity got the better of him and the quiet albeit stubborn kid loved to look at pictures in science books. Even though he could not read them, his older siblings took out time to explain the concepts to him. At age six years old, Iroye built his first invention, a cell battery using ground charcoal, a disposed carbon rod, a tin of milk, lime water, grass and herbs all picked from the neighbourhood rubbish mound.

Amused by his resourcefulness and sometimes-destructive streak - Iroye would tear apart the family’s transistor radio looking for the magical voice that came out of it - but his parents left him to explore.  He left many an electronic gadget in their Festac, Lagos apartment in tatters. From out of these he built new stuff. It was the beginning of his inventor’s journey. 

At age 10, he built a battery-powered toy car from his heap of scrap. At 12 Tolu began purchasing scraps from friends with his pocket money. While the other boys at school spent their lunch money on hiring bicycles, he used his to purchase equipment for constructing homemade antennas that neighbours bought  to enable them unscramble signals from the Cabletel satellite channel. “I still don’t know how to ride a bicycle,” Iroye joked.

More was to follow. He created a land telephone network that enabled him to communicate free with friends in their apartment block. An audio transmitter followed and then a voltage stabiliser to help the family adjust the low voltage they were supplied by the power company when they moved to Badagry. This was all before he turned 14.
Iroye's Magic Box
Constrained by an environment that stifles creativity, Iroye has taken to selling his inventions across the border in Cotonou, Benin Republic where he is hoping to gain a foothold soon enough. “This is the least of my inventions,” he says of the Magic Box. “There’s more to come in the future.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Future Awards Journalist of the Year Is Tolu Ogunlesi

Next's Tolu Ogunlesi emerged as the journalist of the year at the Future Awards on Sunday night.
The Future Awards journalist of the year winner Tolu Ogunlesi. Photo by Lolade Adewuyi
It crowned an eventful year for Tolu who has been a shining light for young people in the profession.
For the ten of us who were all nominated in that category, it was a recognition of our efforts. In an industry that doesn't usually celebrate its own, being celebrated by young peers is a really good thing.

Tolu was the winner on the night but journalism was the big winner because the work of all the nominees means that the future of our trade is brighter than what many detractors would admit.

I have known Tolu for more than two years and I've been an admirer of his wit. He has become synonymous with the power of youth, the voice of a new generation, the future of Nigeria.

Our industry shall not die with young men and women like Tolu Ogunlesi, Toyosi Ogunseye, Yinka Ibukun, Lolade Adewuyi, Kemi Ajumobi, Segun Adeoye, Nicholas Ibekwe, Latasha Ngwube, Arukaino Umukoro, Chilee Agunanna etc, young people who are in the forefront of credible and intelligent journalism in Nigeria.

They are the future.
L-r: The Future Awards journalist of the year nominees Arukaino Umukoro, Yinka Ibukun, Lolade Adewuyi, Kemi Ajumobi and Chilee Agunanna at the Nominees Party