by Isi Esene
On Friday, Chude Jideonwo, Executive Director of The Future Project, in a Twitter interview conducted by Japheth Omojuwa of Omojuwa.com spoke on the inspiration and aspiration of The Future Project in a no-holds-barred manner.
The interview which started around noon centred on the impact of the Awards on the lives of past winners and the inspiration it affords many others to make a difference and bring about the change (we seek) in the Nigeria and the world in general.
He said that The Future Award is meant to inspire young people by showing them the achievements of others instead of “sharing [empty] homilies about how there is hope.”
Chude Jideonwo pointed out that the youth must learn to work on building human capital and create value to effectively engage the system.
While pointing this out, Jideonwo said, “I keep emphasizing that many young people need to take a break from government and see how we can create value. The basic vision of The Future Awards is to present to young Nigerians strong positive role models that show it is possible.”
“We need to build wealth, build structures, and then use that power to change government,” he added.
The communication entrepreneur explained his preferred model for societal engagement by citing the example of the former United Bank for Africa (UBA), Group Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu who according to him “created wealth with the bank, [is] creating even more with Heirs Holdings, and using all that to do so much good with The Tony Elumelu Foundation.”
He further said that he would consider The Future Project a success only if it has “inspired them [youth] to retain faith in country; inspired people to act, to do something, and to create value.”
On his inspiration to start the Awards, he said that what drives him is the passion to someday see a better Nigeria.
“You ask yourself, why am I doing this? Why am I allowing so much pain and criticism? But within you, you know why… we keep pushing! My parents aren’t rich, I went to schools in Nigeria, I have no godfathers, and I’ve never engaged in fraud,” he says.
He addressed the often-asked question of the awards judging process revealing that the nominees go through a rigorous process aimed at promoting credibility and transparency in the emergence of winners.
He said,”There is an Independent Audit Committee made up of Nigerians such as Abike Dabiri, Ndidi Nwuneli, Fela Durotoye, Siene Allwell-Brown, and others. The list goes from Board of Judges to the Independent Audit Committee, then finally comes back to the Board of Judges which make the final decisions. So it is a thorough system of checks and balances.”
Some of the readers who followed the interview on twitter expressed their appreciation for the bold step taken by The Future Project and what it will inspire them to dream, believe, and achieve.
A follower who responded to the interview wrote: “I love what @Chude is doing and I am inspired… it is going to get better I know and I dream to win this in maximum 3 years.”
Change-maker extraordinare Chude ended his interview by expressing his satisfaction with the response to his message of belief, positive mindedness, and hope saying, “The good news is that a majority is inspired, and that gives me hope.”
The Twitter interview, while educating the public on the giant strides so far achieved by The Future Awards (TFA), also took followers on a trip through the mind of a truly extraordinary person, Chude Jideonwo.