The 2016 edition of the prestigious journalists awards ‘Promasidor Quill Awards’ was characterized by anxiety, excitement and mixed feelings as reporters from different newspapers trooped to Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, venue of the event penultimate Friday.
Apart from the fact that each nominee for the seven categories of the annual awards was full of expectation that they could be the one that would be favoured, the news media present at the occasion too were highly expectant that their reporters would do them proud by winning prizes.
In turns, the crowd started arriving into the warm red-carpet reception organized for them before they were ushered into the lobby for cocktail drinks to prepare them for the awards presentation ahead. Eventually, the cotton was raised and the ball was set rolling. Sooner than later, the announcement of the lucky winners started and the hall went alive to cheer the successful journalists to the podium to receive their prizes.
The overall prize was clinched by Ajibola Amzat, the Feature Editor of the Guardian Newspaper. Amzat clinched the title from TaiwoAlimi, the Nation Newspaper correspondent who won the trophy for the 2015 edition. Apart from the all-expense paid four-week multi-media journalism training course with Thomson Foundation in London, United Kingdom, which Alimi would go for, he also went home with an high end iPad and products of Promasidor for winning the award.
In addition to being crowned the overall winner, Amzat also won the award for Best Report on Children and Nutrition, totaling 2 awards he bagged at the 2016 event. The entries submitted by Olatunji Ololade, the Nation Newspaper correspondent, I Do Not Want This Child; and by the SundayTelegraph correspondent, Isioma Madike, Hunger and The Nigerian Child had to bow for Amzat’s better display of professionalism.
Excited with the award, Amzat said: ‘Journalism can only be real when it is pursued with excellence, and it is that excellence that Promasidor is rewarding tonight. I therefore thank the organizers of the prestigious Quill Awards and all other colleagues who won in other categories.’ He stressed his passion for journalism which according to him is ‘a call to serve’ and implored the other winners and all journalists in Nigeria to always pursue excellence. He also acknowledged his medium, The Guardian Newspapers for truly being a medium that reflects the conscience of people, nurtured by truth.
Other awardees at the event include Olatunji Ololade of The Nation, who won the award for the Best CSR and Industry Report of the Year; Tobi Aworinde of The Punch, the Education Reporter of the Year; and Tunde Ajaja of The Punch who took home the award for the Future Writer of the Year. Daphne Uduneje of Nigerian Pilot, coasted home with the Brand Advocate of the Year and Kemi Busari of Thevendornews.com, Best Online Reporter of the Year.
Ololade’s entry for the Best CSR and Industry Report Category: Sorrowful Song from the Valley of Iva, was adjudged the most outstanding compared to Folashade Adebayo’s Abandoned Projects Force Nigerians toDrink Unsafe Water, published by The Punch and Seun Akioye’s A Nation’s Endangered Treasure:800 Year-Old Nasarawa Salt Mine at Risk of Extinction (The Nation).
Commenting on the awards, Olivier Thiry, Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, commended all journalists who submitted entries for different categories of the awards. According to him, if the intellectual exertion and the skill required in producing a good report or story is put in perspective, there is no reward that can adequately compensate the effort of journalists in educating the public. His words: “Based on this realization of the important role of the media in our economy, the management of Promasidor Nigeria in 2012 conceptualized Promasidor Quill Awards with the ultimate goal of assessing, recognizing and rewarding excellence for outstanding journalistic work.”
Thiry added that a week’s job placement with a prominent British national news organization awaits Amzat before returning to Nigeria. His words: “Amzat will be provided a return-flight ticket, accommodation in London, daily living allowance and tuition fees for the training.”
Winners from all the categories with the exception of the winner of the Best Photo Story of the Year, were given iPads, while the winner of the Best Photo Story of Year was given a high-end camera for his exceptional performance.