First class traditional rule the Igbokoda Kingdom in Ondo State Oba Afolabi Odidiomo has agreed to attend this year’s Uncelebrated Nigerians Awards (UNA) UK taking place on September 30 where he will hand out awards to some of the budding artists being honoured.
UNA 2017 is due to take place at the Mayfair Banqueting Suite in Chadwell Heath and will feature the handing out of 57 awards to unsung heroes and deserving Nigerians in the UK. Now in its second year, the event will be a classy gala dinner that will attract community leaders, guests from Nigeria and high commission officials.
Reknown for his charitable works across his kingdom, Oba Odidiomo recently raised £1,040 in the UK to fund a local hospital in his domain. About 300,000 people live in the Igbokoda Kingdom but it only has one general hospital which is staffed by one doctor and six nurses and Extraordinary Achievers, a platform run by Waynett Peters, a UK-based chief, sought to address the problem on behalf of the monarch.
Holding the title Yeye Bobaseku of Igbokoda, Chief Peters and a host of other friends of the community successfully organised a fundraiser. Plans are afoot to extend the project and grow it over the coming years.
Oba Odidiomo said: “I think UNA is a good idea as it involves recognising unsung heroes and upcoming talent. I have decided to attend and support the concept because I believe we should take our message about forging a strong nation to the diaspora as we need them involved in the process of building Nigeria too.
“I thank the organisers of UNA for not only inviting me to attend the event and also hand out some of the awards. UK diasporans have always been supportive of my work in Igbokoda, so I would also like to use the opportunity to say thank you to them.”
Ronke Udofia, the chair of the UNA awards sub-committee, said: “Unlike other awards ceremonies that only honour public figures, entertainers and VIPs, UNA recognises ordinary toiling Nigerians in the UK. Recipients will include bus drivers, teachers, care workers, train conductors, nurses, doctors, entertainers, lawyers, local government staff, factory workers and all hardworking individuals.”
Bola Ganiyu, the chair of UNA’s events management sub-committee added: “We are happy that Oba Odidiomo has agreed to attend on the night. It is an honour and privilege to have someone of his stature in attendance as he adds to the occasion.”
She added that DJ Kachif will be on the turntables and the food on offer will be a true representation of authentic Nigerian cuisine from across the various ethnic groups that make up the country. According to Ms Ganiyu, two top MCs in the UK Charles Emeka and Princess Deun Solarin will anchor the event, while Charles Khiran has agreed to also present some of the awards.
Malcolm Benson, the chair of the publicity and marketing sub-committee added that for just £50 for standard tickets and £75 for VIP tickets, guests will be treated to an evening they will never forget. He pointed out that tickets are already on sale and urged anyone wanting to avoid the rush to go online www.uncelebratednigeriansawardsuk.org or to Eventbrite and make their purchase now at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uncelebrated-nigerians-awards-uk-2017-tickets-35343497352
Committee chairman Ayo Akinfe added: “Among the distinguished guests who have been invited to UNA 2017 include the acting high commissioner Simon Ogah, the chair of the House of Representatives Committee on the Diaspora Rita Orji and the special adviser to the president on diaspora affairs Abike Dabiri-Erewa. Several traditional rulers have been invited too including the Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Alake of Egbaland Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Oba of Lagos Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Osemawe of Ondo Oba Olasimbo Kiladejo, the Amanyabo of Twon-Brass King Alfred Diette-Spiff, the Ochi’Idoma His Royal Highness Agabaidu Obekpa and the Olu of Igbokodo Oba Afolabi Odidiomo.
Ayan De First, the chair on UNA’s sponsorship and partnership sub-committee added that following the success of last year’s event, several sponsors have come forward to back the ceremony. He added that he is still speaking to several other high profile sponsors, pointing out that if anyone still wants to back the event, UNA is open to offers.
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