The Loveworld Convocation Arena rumbled with excitement over last night’s Future Africa Leader Awards, FALA, ceremony hosted by the President of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, and former Nigerian head of state, Olusegun Obasanjo.
The December 31st service with Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, an annual event that marks the beginning of a new year, kicked off last night in Lagos. Among an endless list of Christ Embassy’s most elite members, present, was Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria, and the Honorable Solomon Dalong, Minister of Youth and Sport. As they gathered to honor the FALA nominees, their presence was met with immense excitement that echoed throughout the legendary Loveworld Arena.
The momentous evening that also celebrated the Future Africa Leaders’ Award (FALA) honored the nominees chosen from the Future African Leaders’ Foundation, FALF. The select few were awarded for their outstanding contribution to troubled communities suffering from poverty, unemployment and lack of education. Out of the 30 nominees, one took the title of the ‘Star Prize’ winner, the 20-year-old Sudanese native, Isaiah Deng.
Obasanjo, along with Loveworld President bestowed upon the deserving Isaiah Deng, the Star Prize Winner of the Future Africa Leaders’ Foundation. The annual award ceremony was established in order to celebrate key players working to advance sustainable development.
Additional runners up included: Dahaba Daniel Sakoh (Senegal); Yusuph Gasase (Tanzania); Mame Ya Mensah (Ghana); Godwin Egba (Nigeria); Ngassa Merlin (Cameroon); Taonga Ngoma (Zambia); Chris Iyama (Nigeria); Lantante Duamangue (Niger); and, Deliwe Makata (Malawi).
Celebrations continued into the night, building up anticipation for the presidents concluding words for 2018. The crowd’s aching sense of anticipation was relieved by the prophetic proclamation, in which Pastor Chris Oyakhilome finally announced the word of the year, as the ‘Year of Lights’, a theme that now officially sets the tone for the year 2019.
On announcing the new year, the Christ Embassy president shared four important elements on the meaning of the word ‘light; light is for illumination; light gives leadership; light gives empowerment; and, light is for signs and wonders.”
Last year’s event saw the declaration of the ‘Year of the Supernatural’, an announcement that spurred on a series of significant church accomplishments. Among these milestones; the record-breaking number of over 1 billion Rhapsody of Realties distributions (a daily devotional written by Pastor Chris), the healing sessions made in Enter the Healing School with Pastor Chris, a healing ministry that saves many individuals from fatal illnesses and agonizing ailments, and the Inner-City Mission, a program that puts thousands of kids who back into classrooms.
FALF has been responsible for countless initiatives that are slowly but surely transforming the continent of Africa. These many projects have been and are currently spear-headed by past winners who are now serving as FALF ambassadors.
Emmanuel Kanhanga, a previous FALA nominee, formulated a plan that takes on the issues of climate change head-on. His project, created in his hometown of Luanda organized a mass cleaning of the city. Kanhanga used a public radio and TV broadcast to send his message out to the nation. His call managed to rally thousands of people to mobilize clean up the city.
Sharon Sade Ajide, the first ever FALA winner certainly set the tone for the upcoming ceremonies. The FALA winner had a hand in the founding of over 50 youth cubs in several secondary schools in Lagos state.
When asked about the impact of the Future Africa Leaders’ Award, FALA, she received on December 31, 2013, the star champion of many youth development programs had the following to say:
“The FALA is all about looking out for a human need and proffering solutions to that need. It is a call for me to look into the world and help so many other people in my sphere of contact. The award is a call to greater aspirations. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome said to me that day that leadership is service. The award to me is all about doing more and that is my life’s commitment.”
Lotan Salapie, the 2014 winner and current ambassador to FALF represented the organization appeared at a recent United Nations Africa Youth Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference consisted of “350 African youths who gathered to share ideas and discuss the problems that affect the African youth of today.”
He addressed several issues, as the role that men play in the advancement of feminism. He also made a special mention about Pastor Chris and “his involvement in these grass-roots initiatives.”
Another worthy mention is the 2017 Star Prize winner, Naomi Ekpoki and ambassador of FALF. United Nations and the European Union, where she “discussed issues such as the death penalty, poverty, representation of the youth.”
Although the Future African Leaders Foundation, has produced an array of exemplary new leaders that are steering Africa into a more positive direction, this is just one in a list of NGO’s established by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
Another project headed by the LoveWorld president is the Growth Initiative Award (GIA), a program that has assisted over 1 million young Africans to enlist in a range of projects aimed at improving social and economic welfare. These projects are also in response to the new UN developed plan of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, a blueprint for social and economic advancement in developing nations.
Emmanuella Dione, a ‘product’ of the Growth Initiative Award, so to speak has been integral in transforming the city of Kumba, a city in the southwestern region of Cameroon.
His efforts are responsible for the empowering thousands of young skilled workers through his 150 training seminars and workshops. These education centers have taught many young people how to work in a number of different sectors such as agriculture, waste management, tailoring, and welding and have resulted in over 500 youths have benefited from these training centers. In addition to that, these “centers are accessible to people of all levels of education and even assist in the setup of small-scale businesses for youth, especially young females in the community. “
Dione’s contribution to nation-building has boosted economic growth and national sustainable development and has positively impacted over 5000 youths.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s significant financial and humanitarian support continues to bolster FALA winners to undertake further initiatives with even bigger projects. In addition, recognition by the ministry provides the recipients with greater opportunities to reach grants, provided by Pastor Chris, a world of opportunity is made available to the many in need.