The recently concluded GAGE Awards 2021 was historical as top influencers, comedians, fintech experts, and stars of Internet Africa gathered virtually to celebrate the great feats achieved by individuals and brands who have made great impacts in the lives of people in Africa and across continents.
Speaking on the impact and relevance of the Awards, Convener of the GAGE Awards, Mr Johnson Anorh said: "The GAGE Awards relevance in helping to drive innovation and growth in the Digital Economy as we now know it, has become ever so obvious. The whole world was in a pandemic induced lockdown and we saw how we depended on the digital space to continue to drive the economy and maintain some level of sanity. It was like we fast tracked into the future,especially in this part of the world.”
Hosted by former BBNaija star Bisola, the GAGE Awards night also had cameo appearances from top entertainers such as Comedian Damola, JOSH2Funny, BKB the Magician, Badboy Timz, and teenage sensation Batya Anorh who serenaded the audience with her amazing sound.
Anorh explained: “What we have done is to spotlight businesses, organisations and individuals who were innovative in the use of technology to solve different problems,especially within the last year. Problems as diverse as commerce, social interaction and mental health. So we have categories that cover Fintech, Marketing, Entertainment etc. The whole idea is to help raise standards so that life will be simpler and better for consumers of these technologies.”
Big winners emerged in different categories as Nengi Hampson beat Erica Nlewedim, Pamilerin Adegoke, Aisha Yesuf and Tomike Adeoye to become Africa’s best Influencer of 2020/21. This category was determined by public nominations and votes. The Big Brother Naija Lockdown star has been a huge internet sensation as an Influencer since she left the BBNaija lockdown house bagging numerous endorsement deals with top brands. She has developed a cult following among Nigerians and other parts of the world.
According to the Convener, the GAGE Awards is helping to show everyone where the bar is in the digital technology space. More importantly, once the height of the bar is clear it becomes easier for smart and innovative minds and businesses to desire to hit it and even raise it higher. The rippling effect will create the kind of growth used to measure development in the modern economy.
The Banking App of the Year was a stiff competition among top banks GTBank, Access Bank, VBank, Alat by Wema and Zenith Bank. Vbank emerged winner in that category. It came as a surprise defeating the already established traditional banks to it.
The highly coveted crown of the Online Comedian of the Year category was awarded to Mr Macaroni, who beating Taaoma and a host of others. Mr Macaroni has shown a lot of consistency with his ‘Sugar Daddy’ character which has brought joy to Nigerians.
MTN Nigeria won the Data Service Provider of the Year category in a tight battle of the data kings. This category was an audience choice category and MTN can be proud of themselves as the people’s choice, wrestling away the crown from Airtel who were defending the title they won last year.
Paystack won Best Digital Financial Platform. Ndani Tv won the Content Creator of the Year; Fishbone the movie emerged the Online Film and Documentary of the Year; RED Tv’s series ‘The Men’s Club’ came tops in the Webseries of the Year.DSTV Nigeria website won the Website of the Year among four other outstanding websites; The podcast ‘I Said What I Said’ won the Podcast of the Year category; Nairametrics picked up the Blog of the Year among other top blogs.
High-end mobile phone brand, Oppo, won the Online Campaign of the Year with their #ShotOnOppo campaign which not only engaged the audience in 2020 but also met the brand marketing objectives. AriseTv News Online took away the Online News Platform of the Year for 2020/21.
One of the biggest awards on the night was the GAGE STAR Award which celebrates the most outstanding digital mind who revolutionized the digital space with an interesting innovation that made life easier and simpler in the Year 2020/21. Online Comic Act JOSH2FUNNY made history by becoming the first ever GAGE STAR Award winner. His ingenious idea #DONTLEAVEMECHALLENGE went viral beyond the shores of Africa to become a global phenomenon. It brought joy to many in the grim year of the pandemic across the World. He is deserving of this recognition.
It will be recalled that this is the second edition of the GAGE Awards. It is a comprehensive celebration of individuals, groups and brands that have impacted lives by making life easier and better for all. GAGE Awards has been consistent in facilitating growth, driving innovation and attracting new talents to the digital space.