By: Covenant Odedele
SamuelAnjolaoluwa Alabi, popularly known as Sàámú Onífọ́tò, a 200-level student at the Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Education was announced as the winner of the Canon Young Champion of the Year Award on Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021, Global Good Awards. He has also been recognized by the presidency in the opening speech on Monday, November 1st, 2021, at the National Youth Conference in Abuja.
Acknowledging the incredible potential, innovation, and enterprise of Nigeria’s youth population, President Muhammadu Buhari represented by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo noted the exploits of Samuel and other youths in entertainment, sports, technology, and other sectors. In his words, “Only last week, the Canon Young Champion of the Year Award – which celebrates the achievements of young people around the world who are driving social and environmental change – went to Alabi Samuel Anjolaoluwa in the Under-21s category for his inspiring project, ‘Students of Ibadan,’ which shines a light on the struggles faced by under-served students in the city of Ibadan.
Samuel, an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan, emerged as the winner of the five finalists shortlisted for the Under 21 Category. His project, Students of Ibadan, is a documentary that looks to shine a light on the story and struggle of students in Ibadan, Nigeria, revealing the challenges they face on an everyday basis.
His project, Students of Ibadan, beat India-based Anya Kathpalia’s Stitching the Gender Gap: Project Jagriti in Rajasthan; United Arab Emirates-based Faisal Al Fozan’s Diratna for Social Projects; Dubai-based Riva Tulpule’s WeCareDXB; and the United States of America-based Sarah Goody’s Climate NOW projects to the top spot.
When asked how he feels about winning the award, Samuel said, “I feel so excited about this win. I remember how I was trying to make the video alongside other senior colleagues in the office and was about to give up but I kept the courage. I’m particularly happy because the efforts paid off and this is evidence that efforts do not die.”