The recently concluded GAGE Awards 2021 was historical as top influencers, comedians, fintechs 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 Yesufu and Tomike Adeoye to become Africa’s Best Influencer of 2020/2021. 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.
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, 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.
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.