If you’re an ambitious Nigerian, you’ve very likely heard of the Future Awards. How many of you know the masterminds behind these star-studded awards? They say the people behind the scenes of great things are sometimes unrecognized, but that’s not so much the case for this dynamic duo. Chude Jideonwo and Adebola Williams were featured on the Forbes list of 30 under 30: Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs. Having worked in the media industry for over 16 years, they have very much so earned their stripes.

The Future awards were born in 2005 which was the same year the Soundcity Music Video Awards, Africa Movie Academy Awards and I think MAMA MTV Africa Music Awards kicked off. These media entrepreneurs met around the same time through working relations and forged a budding friendship that would soon evolve into a business partnership. They both realized they had similar visions so eventually had the idea to organize an event that would inspire the youth and give them hope by showcasing the success of other young youth. At the incipient stages of organizing this event, their greatest challenge was funding and trying to sell inspiration.

Like magic, they pulled off the first edition with no sponsorship and it only went up from there. Over the years, they went on to offer several other media services such as branding, marketing, project management, social media and several others. Their client portfolio includes powerhouses such as Coca Cola, Microsoft, Uber, Facebook, Google , Oando, Intel, Ciroc and many others.

A few things to take home from these dynamic entrepreneurs are;

-You don’t need capital to start

-Work to create impact first and to make money secondly

-Partnerships can work

-Focus on the end goal, don’t be distracted by the obstacles

Today, Red Media has gone from starting an event with no sponsorship and no capital, to a group with three well established subsidiaries worth millions of dollars. Here’s a word of knowledge from William that we’ll leave you with.

“I find that many young people are fixated on looking like they’re winning. They want to look the part without doing their part. But there should be some kind of work before you get there. The progression is from hard work to talent before achievement. You don’t jump from talent to achievement; you have to put in the work. The Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of this world went through this same process. You don’t earn it if you don’t learn it. So I encourage young people to be patient and allow themselves to grow so they don’t end up as a half-baked whatever it is that they are.” Debola Williams

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