Lagos — A television presenter with African Independent Television (AIT), Nancy Illoh has won the prestigious Excellence in Journalism Award which was hosted by National Youth Merit Award.
Illoh, a presenter of the popular TV programme, Money Matter on AIT was recognized alongside other outstanding youths in different socio-economic sectors of Nigeria.
Other young awardees at the event include, Jason Njoku who won the "best use of the social media", Chimamda Ngozi Adichie, "excellence in literature", Olawunmi Mogaji, "excellence in hospitality and tourism" Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima, "award for excellence in African policy formulation and development initiatives, and Toyosi Akerele, "excellence in leadership", among others.
In a chat with Sunday Trust, Illoh expressed her gratitude for the award, saying it has actually been a challenging year for her as a TV host.
"I feel great and I also feel humbled that after I have been nominated for the award, I eventually won it. I just want to give all praises to God Almighty because He has been the one who has stood by me all these years that I have been anchoring the show as a producer and a presenter, I really feel great," Illoh said.
Asked about the thoroughness of the selection process, Illoh described it as a painstaking exercise because it actually cut her unawares.
"I think the organizers actually did a painstaking job because I wasn't even aware of this in the first instance. I was just told I have been nominated. And considering the number of other titans I was grouped along with and yet at the end of the day was still able to come out top, I think the organizers must have seen in me what I have not been able to see, myself," Illoh said.
She said the NYMA is a good initiative that is inspiring young Nigerians to give out their best wherever they are. The TV presenter said the country needs more of this so that Nigeria story can be changed for good.
The coordinator of the group, Fakayode Oluwatobi, who was also a former United Nations Youth Ambassador, said the 2012 edition of the award is the third in the series having held it previously in 2009 and 2011. He said the objective behind the award is to motivate young Nigerians who are excelling in their different callings, letting them know they are being watched and that they can inspire other people.
"We are also using a period like this to demonstrate to the world that Nigeria stories are not all about negativities all the time but the fact that we have many young Nigerians who are making tremendous efforts to reposition the country. These people are role models in their chosen fields and we think they deserve to be recognized and shown to the world," Fakayode said.