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fna experience

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I was first informed by a Business Colleague, Mr. Wale Abba who also happens to be nominated in a special category of his own (Best use of Technology in Nigeria) and then later by a good friend, Adeola A*. I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself – yours truly, Mr. Buttons aka Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade was nominated to be a recipient for the Future Awards 2010 “Business Owner of the Year” Award. I was highly honored to have been considered and nominated for this new, but apparently, prestigious award.

I didn’t know a lot about them, but they’re (as I was told) quite famous back home. If you would like to know more about them, The Future Nigeria mission, vision and general information can be found on their website and blog. All I can say is glory to God! I’m very happy. Even if I don’t win, just the consideration for an award, and the recognition was an honor.

Here’s the list of Nominees for Season 5 of the Future Awards Business Owner of the Year:

Oghenekaro Agono (Tremor Perfect)
Erefe Fynecountry (Deheney Services)
Debola Lewis (Yvent Couture)
Ayo Arigbagbu (Dada Books)
Hassan Rilwan (Focal Point Publishing)
Henry Oraika (Motomedia)
Uyi Omokaro (DM2)
Sylvester Kay-Adade (Pearl Creations)

Anyway, Pearl Creations got a call from Rick N*, an executive in the FNA team. He seemed very polite and polished. He asked for my personal email address and mobile number to keep me informed on the developments as the awards proceed. He said I had a Certificate of Nomination that I or someone I send may pick from their office on my behalf; and that there was also a luncheon/dinner for all the nominees on December 18th; which I obviously missed because I didn’t know about it and I wasn’t in Nigeria at the time. He asked, and I provided him with my email address. The next day, I received an email from the Future Nigeria Awards with a form asking all these questions about me and the company. I was a bit skeptical because of my new desire to return to my secretive and vague nature. But my mum, assured me that it was cool and legitimate as my sister went to the FNA office to collect my Certificate of Nomination.

This is the information as I filled in:

Business Owner of the Year
(Please note that when we say past one year, we mean from November 2008 till date)

 Full name: Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade

 Date of birth: May 29th, 1987

 Describe your business: Provision of button-badges for Personal use, effective Advertising and Marketing of Companies, goods and services; Promotions, Campaigns, Promotion of world peace and special occasions, holidays and international events

 How long have you been running this business: 2 years (in January, 2010)

 How big is the business is now: Pearl Creations is based in Ontario, Canada, but also operational in Lagos, Nigeria

 How many staff do you have: Three (3) Employees

 How many people do you work with/pay that are not staff: Two (2) Partners

 What are the challenges you have faced in the past one year:
1. Discouragement and Criticism from some colleagues who didn’t understand how profitable a $2.00CAD/$2.50CAD product could be.
2. Products given poor credibility due to my race/ethnicity.
3. A couple of rejection response letters from Comic Stores, Film Companies, Theaters, and Cinemas when I would write countless letters asking them to purchase or grant a contract to make buttons especially for movies like Watchmen, Spiderman etc or for their Online Stores.
4. No response from Banks, Companies, Conglomerates when I suggested buttons as new marketing strategies or as gifts to kids & customers for Christmas, during promos.

 How have you overcome them?
1. Endless prayers and faith
2. Encouragement from Family and Friends
3. Relentless Optimism and Drive
4. Supportive Customers
5. Positive Attitude
6. Taking necessary steps to prove Pearl Creations’ worth and credibility

 What expansion/growth/changes has the business experienced in the past one year: From just selling buttons to friends, to supplying buttons to Groups and Organizations within Hamilton, to supplying buttons to individuals, International Events and Companies within Canada, the PR of China, United States, Nigeria, Mexico, England, and now, we’re global.

 What companies have you worked for/what jobs have you done in the past one year:
Worked with:
1. The Invisible Children
2. The 2010 Business Network for Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
3. Cure Canada

 Done Jobs for:
1. The Hope for David Charity Show [Hamilton, ON, Canada]
2. i-Rep Fashion Show [Hamilton, ON, Canada]
3. Ontario Universities’ Competition for Hip-Hop (O.U.C.H.) 2008 Dance Off [Hamilton, ON, Canada]
4. University of Lagos Engineering Faculty [Lagos, Nigeria]
5. University of Windsor African Union [Windsor, ON, Canada]
6. The Legacy Festival’s B.H.M. Event [Toronto, ON, Canada]
7. The McMaster African Students’ Association (M.A.S.A.) [Hamilton, ON, Canada]
8. Erindale College African Students’ Association (E.C.A.S.A.) [Mississauga, ON, Canada].

 How profitable has it been in this same period: Very Profitable

 Any awards: None, but a couple of Recognitions and Certificates

 Any other thing you do by the side: The Parent Company of Pearl Creations is The SKA Group; and it will be starting up “Suave Clothing” soon which will be making Dress Shirts, Suits and Ties; and selling classic Watches (partnering with LR Watches), Cufflinks, Tie Clips and Belts from Reputable Designers and Jewelers like Cartier, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent.

 Please provide us with at least one reference, or someone you can vouch for your work:
1. Suzanne B* (+1-905-526-****): Columnist, The Hamilton Spectator
2. Jennifer A* (+234-702-528-****): University of Lagos (UNILAG) Engineering Alumni
3. Mobola R* (+1-519-991-****): President, University of Windsor African Union 09/10

 Any other information we need to know (that could help your nomination):
1. Pearl Creations is the official button-badges Supplier for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and Past Supplier for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
2. Pearl Creations and I were featured in The Hamilton Spectator (the biggest and most widely read newspaper in the city), by GidiNoize and by Be-e.
3. We make monthly donations to the Juravinski Cancer Centre Foundation and World Society for Animals.

FYI voting was done online by selecting  Sylvester Kay-Adade (Pearl Creations) in the “Business Owner of The Year” Category via link, and by SMS by “TFA (space) Sylvester Olusola Adade (space) Business Owner of the Year” via 33120 for Nigeria, 81696 for the UK and 97605 for the US.

The Award Ceremony was strictly by invitation and since I knew I wouldn’t be attending, I had 2 invitations sent for my mom and sister. The name of the invitee was on the reverse side. I think it was a very creative invitation. I liked the classy look and the old english font used. My sister kept me informed the whole time via bbm. According to her, the venue was very crowded with lots of celebrities around. She sent me photos of crowd while she was in line, and another of mum and her once they were seated.

        

 

When she informed me that I didn’t win, she sounded so upset (and apparently she was very upset), but she quickly got over it after she realized she had so many artistes to mingle and take photos with. Anyway, I was happy for whoever won. I had a “may the best man win” mentality. We were all very innovative so I feel anyone of us deserved it. I actually thought it was going to be either Hassan or Henry who would win as I felt they were my closest rivals – to my surprise, they didn’t win either! The winner was: Debola Lewis, C.E.O. Yvent Couture.

I checked a couple of blogs for the winners’ list since it hadn’t been put on their (Future Nigeria Awards) blog or website when the event was over. I found it eventually:

LIST OF FUTURE NIGERIA AWARDS 2010 WINNERS

Actor of the Year —> Kemi Lala Akindoju

Best Use of Advocacy —> Tolu Sangosanya (Dustbin Estate Children)

Best Use of Science —> Ify Aniebo (Research in malaria)

Best use of Technology —> Bade Adesemowo (Bincom)

Business Owner of the Year —> Debola Lewis (Yvent Couture)

Creative Artist of the Year —> Adekunle Samuel Owolabi

Excellence in Public Service —> Fatima Zara Modibbo (Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria)

Journalist of the Year —> Ruona Agbroko (NEXT)

Magazine of the Year —> Sound City Blast

Model of the Year —> Warebi Martha

Musician of the Year —> M.I.

Music Producer of the Year —> Jesse Jagz

On-Air Personality of the Year (Radio) —> Matse Uwatse (Wazobia FM)

On-Air Personality of the Year (TV) —> Andre Blaze (Nigezie)

Professional of the Year —> Ifunnaya Maduka (Dean of Students, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls)

Screen producer of the Year —> Kenneth Gyang (“Finding Aisha”)

Sportsperson of the Year —> Janet Dung (Athletics)

Style Entrepreneur of the Year —> Linda Ikeji (Blackdove Communications)

Team of the Year —> Africa Youths Unite for Change

Young Person of the Year —> Ify Aniebo (Scientist)

From all indications, it seems I should be happy I didn’t go all the way to Nigeria to attend,  because contrary to what I was told and made to think of the awards, just like everything else, politics was the rule of the day. Anyway, congratulations to the Management of Yvent Couture on the 2010 Business Owner of the Year Award, as well as all other winners!

Hahaha I just saw some very interesting comments on a website – here are some of the comments and reactions to the list as made on Olamild Entertainment. I think one of them was made by one of my very protective & loving sisters, or the sister of someone with sisters like mine lol. Enjoy!

Anonymous #1 said:
Alright, now I just lost all faith in the so-called Future Awards. Debola Lewis is a sponsor of the Awards, but yet he was nominated for Business Owner of the Year category. This is his 3rd nomination and they finally awarded it to him. Shame on Future Awards and they better not nominate my brother next time. The lady that won last year was nominated thrice too. Shame on the Future Awards Organizers…. Nigerians will never change.

Anonymous #2 said:
Chocolate City is all over the list…I suspect foul play o.

Anonymous #3 said:
Please who are all these people? I am a very active young professional, but I have never heard nor seen any of these above except MI and Jesse Jagz. Please Future Awards this Awards is a total flop!

Anonymous #4 said:
This award is done by group of friends just to celebrate themselves in the name the future awards.

Anonymous #5 said:
The Future awards sucks..they only nominate people who can help them and friends.

Well, at least Pearl Creations got some publicity out of it by being a nominee, and also a sponsor of the event. We supplied them free “Nigerian Coat of Arms” button-badges. In the end, more of Nigeria got to know about Pearl Creations, and to me, that is more than enough. I’m grateful to God, and I know there will be more nominations and bigger awards to win 🙂

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