The British Council last Saturday announced the recipients of the Study UK Alumni Awards 2023 in Nigeria at a prestigious ceremony held at Eko Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria.
In total, 12 UK alumni in four categories were recognised for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders as well as for their contribution to strengthening ties between the UK and Nigeria.
This year, the winners received a grant prize of £4000, which could be used for their professional development or a grant to their respective organisations.
Following a call for applications, and an in-depth scoring and review process by a judging panel, recipients were selected for the four award categories, namely Business and Innovation Award, Culture, and Creativity Award, Science and Sustainability Award, and finally, Social Action Award.
The prestigious international award celebrates UK higher education and the achievements of UK alumni all over the world. Now in its ninth year, the award received more than 1,200 applications from international UK alumni in nearly 100 countries, representing more than 120 UK higher education institutions across the UK. Nigeria is one of the many countries hosting the awards this year. National-level awards are taking place in 18 countries in 2023, including India, Saudi Arabia, the USA, and Vietnam.
In her opening remarks, Director Examinations, British Council Nigeria, Marniee Nottingham, who spoke on behalf of the Country Director, British Council Nigeria, and West Africa Cluster Lead, Lucy Pearson, said that “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 the UK for a professional networking opportunity in late summer 2023.” She further disclosed that a Nigerian Alumnus, Israel Balogun was the Global Alumni Award Winner in 2022 under the Social Action category.
A professor of Public Health at the Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Muktar Gadanya, led other finalists to emerge the overall winner in Science and Sustainability category with a grant prize of £4,000. He was a graduate of the 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 FCT’s 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.
The founder of Stand To End Rape, STER, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, was declared the winner of the Social Action award with a grant prize of £4,000. A graduate of Swansea University, Osowobi has championed the 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 the 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 MSc in Entrepreneurship. His work earned him a spot on the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30’s list. He was recently honoured by the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, as the Member of the Order of the Niger, MON. Falalu’s business associate, Sani Zawiya, who represented the awardee, said, “Falalu was very excited and appreciated the organisers for the honour.” He also smiled home with a £4,000 grant prize.
According to the Director of Programmes for British Council Nigeria, Chikodi Onyemerela, the programme is a unique event to celebrate individuals excelling in their chosen careers after school.
“StudyUK Alumni Award is a very unique programme to celebrate young men and women who are contributing positively to their societies, following their education in the UK. And there is something unique about the 2023 awardees. It’s a mix of outstanding skills from peculiar sectors; the award categories are also unique and timely. There was no special consideration for those that emerged winners; they got the awards because they merited them based on the depth of what they have achieved,” Onyemerela stated.
The British Council celebrates alumni who have returned after studying in the UK and also continues to support them further through networking, masterclasses, and Learning & Development events.
About the British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. British Council builds connections, understanding, and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education, and the English language. In 2019-2020, British Council reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, British Council is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body with a 14.5 percent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org