By Prisca Sam-Duru
It was in an effort to lend a voice towards resuscitating the dying education sector as well as set agenda for the need to engage the youths positively, that the 2014 Golden Pen Award was dedicated to education of Nigerian child and empowerment of the youth.
The award, initiated by the Nigerian Breweries which is in its 6th year, was designed to encourage and celebrate journalists who have excelled and distinguished themselves in the course of journalism and pursuit of excellence.
According to the company, this year’s award with choice of Education and Youth Empowerment as the theme, was hinged on the fact that no country can lay claim to development and prosperity without giving adequate attention to the education and empowerment of its youth.
With his work, The rich envy us the way we live which exposes life in Dustbin Estate, a community in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, a Senior Correspondent with The Nation newspaper, Seun Akioye, emerged winner of the Nigerian Breweries’ Golden Pen Reporter of the Year.
The work earned him the award as the Nigerian Breweries’ Golden Pen Reporter of the Year, N1 million cash prize and an ipad.
Other winners at the award include Joseph Undu of Daily Champion, who emerged the first runner up for his captivating story entitled, NB Stuns Lagos Community with Independent Powered Street Light and Mojeed Alabi of New Telegraph, was the second runner up in the Golden Pen Reporter of the Year Category, with Victory at Last: WAEC Finally Releases Withheld Certificate, 5 Years After. Mojeed dedicated his award to Alhaji Suleiman Bisalla — the late editor of the paper who died in the bomb blast at Emab Plaza in June — and to the abducted Chibok girls.
Raheem Akingbolu of ThisDay, emerged winner of the Nigeria Breweries’ Report of the Year with the story Star: Beyond music in the bottle.
In the Golden Pen Photojournalist of the Year Category, Sulaiman Hussain of New Telegraph won Best Photojournalist of the Year. Stanley Ogidi of The Punch was first runner-up and Ayodele Ojo of Daily Sun was the second runner-up.
Too bad, female journalists were missing in action at the ceremony which held at the Lantana Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
The show anchored by comedian, Okey Bakassi, was attended by leaders of the corporate world, publishers, journalists, the award-winners and their colleagues.
The MD/CEO of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Nicolaas Vervelde applauded the Nigerian media for supporting the initiatives and aspirations of Nigerian Breweries over the years. He said the award was instituted by the company to recognise and reward professionalism and other ethical values in journalism in Nigeria.