Icon Award is a beam of light in the right direction for honest creative youth that will leave Caleb University not only with a certificate, but a confidence of assurance, that they can take the world.
Are you not anxious of knowing more about Icon Awards, Check our Exclusive Interview with Felix Inala, CEO/President of VISIONSTUDIOS
Jaynaija : Tell us about yourself, who want to meet you and how icon award came to be?
Felix Inala : Am Felix Inala, 300level,Business Administration Student of Caleb University. First of all, How did icon award came to be? It was inspired by the fact that i came to Caleb Univeristy and discovered that there were lots and bunch of talents that were very good in their respective field but there was really no platform to express themselves. It is basically the same thing happening in Nigeria as a country and so i decided to make an impact in the little way i could and so that’s what icon award is meant to be, recognising students efforts, recognise their talents and give them a platform to express themselves so that tomorrow they can see it as where they started.
Jaynaija : How was it like starting up Icon Awards?
Felix Inala : First thing first, it was very stressful but the good thing is i had a beautiful team, a hardworking team that were putting their time, effort and resources making sure that organization goals are achieved. So as much as it was very difficult in terms of getting approval from the campus, in terms of getting funds, getting sponsors and all of that, it’s also a fun filled experience, also a bonding time with team members, it couldn’t have just being me, we have to work together and making sure icon awards is successful.
Jaynaija : Icon Awards 2018, is here already, What will be the difference between last year edition and the upcoming icon award?
Felix Inala : Okay well, Honestly, i can not say a difference but i rather want you to come watch, come for the event, but the little i can say is that, we have worked our asses day in day out in making sure this year event is way better than last year event in terms of the venue and packaging.
Jaynaija : What is the criteria for picking nominees? Is it just the nominations made by people or there is more to it?
Felix Inala : Okay Well, nominations are part of it but then it isn’t just nominations basically, the reason is i could have a large fan base that are social media inclined and automatically doesn’t mean am qualified for a category even though they all nominate me. So yes , nominations gives us a larger room to see people we may not know that is doing well in a category or field, when we see nomination or a name constantly being repeated, we do our background study to make sure that, that name is worth the category the person was nominated for and also background work done by jury.
Jaynaija : Thank You, so what made you think some certain award is needed to be given to students for example, the most popular student category?
Felix Inala : Well, every category to me on the Icon award list is neccesary and the most popular category, Yes, might not seem to be exceptional, but at the same time, the likes of Maraji and couple of other instagram celebrities started from being popular and one way or the other, when you have a large fan base, you can monetize it. So popularity can be monetize so we decided to recognise popularity.
Jaynaija : Cool. People believe that icon award is an event to honor vision studios member, what’s your say about that?
Felix Inala : To be honest with you, people say what they want to say but the truth of the matter is, let’s be very realistic, 80% of the Shakers of Caleb University are in Visionstudios either you like it or not. To us is not about being members of Visionstudios or not, it’s about the impact you have made so far. Another reason why people might think that is because we do auditions every sessions to get best of talents and we also do our scouting to making sure that we have majority of the good talents in visionstudios so when that is done, most of these individuals end up coming being in visionstudios already, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s about visionstudios, it is basically about the school but fortunately they are part of Visionstudios which am very proud of because it mean am doing my job trying to raise the next generation leaders that are good in their various fields or categories.
Jaynaija : Do you award based on the activity in school, their personality or their performances outside the school?
Felix Inala : Basically, award is given based on what you have done in school, the reason is have heard this statement when people say Caleb is dead, nothing is happening in Caleb Univeristy so everyone just come and try to be on a low and does nothing about it. But the truth of the matter is, if we don’t make the impacts that we want to happen in caleb Univeristy, then nothing is going to happen, so we are recognising and awarding students that have done exceptionally well and have made an impact in their immediate community which for now is Caleb University. You could be the next Buhari outside but then what have you done inside Caleb University. It’s Icon Awards Caleb University so to us it’s what impact have you made in Caleb Univeristy.
Jaynaija : Hmmmmmmmmm! There was an issue where a nominee was leading two weeks to the event and was not later given the award for his category, what can you say about that?
Felix Inala : Well like you said, two weeks before the event, and am sure that was last year Icon Award which voting lasted for four weeks, so if he saw his vote two weeks into the voting process, what happened in the last two weeks? Am sure he doesn’t know that
Jaynaija : Are winners gotten strictly from voting or this is another method to get winners?
Felix Inala : This is almost like what i said earlier, is not just about the vote, somebody can have a large fan base does not automatically mean he worth a category or he worth a win for a category, as mcuh as you have the votes, your online votes is basically 40%, Your Instagram votes 40%, and then there is something we call jury 20%. The jury finalizes to check to make sure is not just about the popularity, it is the fact that you actually worth that category based on your hardwork in the past year and the consistency you’ve had.
Jaynaija : How credible are the results because they were rumours of “vision studios members” winning although they lost in the voting polls?
Felix Inala : Majorly Icon Awards platform is a non sentimental , non partisan, and non religious platform. We are not sentimental about anything, is basically about who is worth it. You can not make everybody happy, there will always be winners and losers. Losers will always feel bad about it, rumours like that is expected to pop up. It is a non sentimanetal group meaning that we only give people that deserve it.
Jaynaija : Icon Award, is the event money based or passion based?
Felix Inala : For now, it is passion based but then of course we hope to make profit in future. It’s like every business everyone is looking for profit but for it is passion driven and we all intend to make profit someday.
Jaynaija : What are the challenges faced?
Felix Inala : The challenges faced…Errm, the school policies and procedures in trying to get approval for events on campus thereby after going through the rigorous process i still have to pay for diesel per hour for my event. Every events that happen on campus is a way of publicizing and promoting the school and the little the school can do is to help us in that aspect. I do not see reasons why i should be fueling the school generator for social events on campus, that is one. Two, raising funds is not an easy task as we all know everything this saying “Good thing na money kill am” so for us to make icon award happen, we need funds and sometimes we run into budget of over two million naira. We are students, how do we get that? Sponsors are not forthcoming being that the Caleb University brand isn’t that of a big brand and the population of the school is still very little, so we face that everyday when we meet brands for sponsorhsip. We all have to do what we have to do ourselves,gather funds, pay dues to mke sure that things go well. Like i said is passion based, so because of passion we can do anything.
Jaynaija : What should fans expect from the brand in ten years to come?
Felix Inala : The brand in years to come should be the next Oscar of Africa
First, we intend to grow from the Caleb University community to intra – private universities and years from now, we intend to grow across Africa. Basicaly we see ourselves as the next Universal Studio of Africa.
Jaynaija : How do you carter for the expenses of running an event that big as a student?
Felix Inala : okay, like i said earlier, first thing first in house we have to raise funds putting resuorces together and we also have to work hard to get sponsors, and you know how sponsorship works, you have to give value for whatever money that has to be given to you. It is a lot of hard work runnung around even at that we still don’t meet our budget but we always have a way to come around it.
Jaynaija : Let’s talk about you in person, Who are your role model in life?
Felix Inala : i have different role models, like you said, it is called role models, there are different people that play a specific role in my life. First in my prospect of being an actor, a movie director, a producer, i look forward to the likes of Blossom Chukwujekwu and then in my career part of being a leader, a motivational speaker and administrator, i look at the likes of Ben Ray Bruce.
Jaynaija : What do you have to say to students out there who are in one or two business struggling alongside studying?
Felix Inala : The thing is that, it is never easy, just keep doing you and consistently bring about Success. So consistency, hardwork and purposefulness will bring about good result so just keep doing you.
Jaynaija : . The theme is royalty, what inspired the theme this year?
Felix Inala : Icon Award last year, we had an all white event, our second event called “Reflection” we had an old school theme and Royalty this year for the fact that Caleb University as a school has given us a strict warning about the mode of dressing especially amongst the laides so ladies we needed to be very creative. Of course without going all exposed or revealing, we need to go creative about it. And of course we are all Kings and Queens, so why not look it so that’s what brought the idea.
Jaynaija : Thank you for your time Mister Felix Inala, it’s nice doing this with you