The group managing director, VFD Group Plc, Nonso Okpala, was recently awarded the prestigious “Rising Star/Inspiring Man of the Year” Award at the recent Anambra Man of the Year Awards held at the glitzy Stanel Dome in Awka, Anambra State.
The second annual award ceremony held on Thursday, January 6, 2021, and is the brainchild of a coalition of multiple organisations, including the Akulueuno Foundation, Eminent Media, Stand up for Women Society, Tour Nigeria communications, Alex Reports, and the 100 Achievers Team, all of which are chaired by Major General Anthony Emeka Ajemba (rtd).
Okpala was recognised for the numerous community-based projects he has spearheaded for the development of Anambra’s people.
Among these initiatives is The Chude and Ego Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to transforming low-income communities through access to world-class education and quality healthcare. Their mission is to empower individuals to overcome economic and social barriers, channel their productivity, and thrive both individually and collectively.
“Anambra is extremely fortunate,” Nonso Okpala stated during his acceptance speech. “One thing is certain: where there are more opportunities, there will undoubtedly be more victories.
“One gap we are attempting to bridge is the disparity and unequal access to opportunity experienced by Ndi Anambra, which inspired the establishment of the Chude and Ego Foundation. Our hope is that proper education will transform these young people’s minds and that the results will be visible in due course throughout Nigeria and beyond,” he said.
Nonso recently hosted a glitzy gala dinner at the Boardroom Apartments in Lekki, Lagos, to raise funds for the Foundation and its flagship project, Osnon Academy, an international standard tuition-free co-boarding secondary school in Uga, Anambra.
Nigerian superstars, Phyno, Timi Dakolo, Waje, and DJ Spinall performed at the festive fundraiser, which raised N200million.
The funds will be used to build Osnon Academy, the first of several planned school construction projects. It is worth noting that the land on which the school will be built was previously acquired.
Nonso Okpala, in a statement about the fundraiser, stated, “While education is supposed to be a fundamental right for all, so many children in Nigeria and Africa will never receive one; while this is tragic for families, it is particularly abysmal for the country and continent, given the amount of talent lost and potential economic loss.
“These individuals, if given the proper opportunities, may serve as the catalyst for a new African Renaissance. The Chude and Ego Foundation’s mission is to provide these opportunities.”
A Nigerian business magnate and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, Valentine Ozigbo, was named ‘Anambra Man of the Year’.
Chief Chika Okafor of Chicason Group was also named ‘Co-Man of the Year’ for his business and employment prowess, as was Adaora Umeoji-Nwokoye, Zenith Bank Plc’s deputy managing director, who was named ‘Anambra Woman of the Year’.
While accepting the award, Ozigbo delivered an inspirational speech emphasising the critical role of competent leadership in realising Anambra State’s enormous potential.
“As a people, we are endowed with an abundance of talents, abilities, and capacities. There is no area of life in which we do not have our brothers and sisters thriving and excelling, whether it is business, entertainment, sports, sciences, industry, technology, government, media, academics, or the arts. This holds true for each continent on the planet.
“Anambra is one of the most entrepreneurial states in Nigeria. Despite the fact that Anambra is frequently dubbed the ‘Home of the Most Billionaires in Nigeria,’ the state has thousands of out-of-school children and inaccessible healthcare for women and children,” Ozigbo said.
Okpala is the chairman and group managing director of VFD Tech and VFD Group Plc. He previously served as Heirs Holdings’ chief financial officer (CFO) and has extensive experience in the Nigerian financial services industry, having worked for reputable firms such as KPMG, BGL, and United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA). Additionally, Mr. Okpala is an art enthusiast, which inspired him to found his start-up, ARTSPLIT.