indEvery Nigerian child has the potential of making it big in life but sometimes due to militating factors many come short of their true potentials; There is growing evidence that young people can be agents of change, when given opportunity. Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Makers of Indomie Instant Noodles have over the years celebrated the kids through Indomie Independence Day Heroes awards for Nigerian child. This article explores the nine years impact IIDA has imprinted on Nigerian children who are the future of Nigeria.
There is no doubt Nigeria is fortunate and blessed to have young people with a strong will of service and milk of human kindness flowing in them. The future of this great country is secured with them as citizens, which is the major reason they need to be recognized and celebrated publicly to encourage them.
It’s been 9 impactful years since the inception of Indomie Independence Day Award for Heroes of Nigeria. The CSR arm of Dufil Prima Foods Plc. for nine years has committed part of its Profit-After-Tax to fund the activities of the award.

The Indomie Independence Day Awards for Heroes of Nigeria (IIDA) is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative from Dufil Prima Foods Plc. The award is geared towards recognising children between the ages of 1 and 15 who have exhibited extraordinary acts of heroism in the face of danger or societal challenges. So far, the IIDA initiative has been able to positively impact the lives of about 27 Nigerian children who have shown exemplary courage and in extension their families. The heroic feats of these children will go down in the annals of history and provide inspiration for others.

This year, the award was held at the prestigious Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos and graced by top government officials, captains of industry, traditional rulers, members of the diplomatic corps, celebrities as well as students. The attendees all commended Dufil Prima Foods, makers of Indomie Noodles brand for its consistent support. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative tentatively reaching and celebrating children from the entire country and encouraging the outstanding gifts they possess who would probably have gone unsung and unappreciated.

IIDA past Heroes History lane
2008
khalil Bala, a minor displayed great courage and selflessness by jumping into a burning house to save his sister. His limbs got seriously damaged in the process and he had to undergo extensive surgeries in India. Dorcas Ayodele saved her younger brother from an uncontrollable car accident. His presence of mind and quick reaction entitled her to the second prize in 2008 Indomie Heroes Awards. Razak Omolade demonstrated strong will power to succeed in life, even in the face of severe disability. Indomie honoured his courage on Indomie Hero Awards 2008.
2009
Detimbir Chia rescued five passengers out of 18 passengers on board an ill fated military aircraft in 2006. Owing to his display of bravery, Indomie awarded him the first prize in 2009 Indomie Hero Awards.
Wembly Uchenna saved the life of 4 year old Ada who was trapped in a mud without considering the danger of such actions. His selfless act won him the second spot in the Heroes Awards 2009. Chukwudi Ibobo produced prototypes of toy vehicles such as sports cars, trucks, helicopters, caterpillars, robots of different sizes from scrap metal and wasted items. His talent was recognized by Indomie.
In 2010, physically challenged (Arm-less), Umar Mariam was 14 years Old and lived at Kofar Naisa. A native of Sokoto State won the first prize trophy and N1million worth of scholarship for her exceptional courage in the face of disability. She is a native of Sokoto State and attends Arabic School. She lives with both her parent.
Mariam was 3 yrs old when she noticed that she was without hands. She inquired from her parents and they made her understand that was how she was born. Nature has however compensated her. She is able to manipulate her legs to do things. She started using her two legs to do whatever labour she has to do since she knew she does not have hands to do it. She believes that God has reasons for making her armless so she tries her best to engage herself in learning how to use her two legs for what hands could do.
She did many household chores such as ironing of clothes, receiving calls, cooking, bathing, writing, eating and drinking. Mariam could do anything other children could do with her legs.
12 year old Treasure Obasi, came second and was honoured with scholarship worth 750,000 Naira for her innate abilities and talents. Appropriate use of these talents made her a better person. At just 12 years she is already setting the pace in TV broadcasting. Her name is Treasure Obasi. Her talent made her a gem and prominent face on ‘Young Inventors’, a programme she presents on the network service of NTA. At the auditioning for the programme, she emerged best among other competitors who were university undergraduates. Treasure has presented 20 episodes of the programme so far to the satisfaction of the teaming viewers and NTA programme directorate.
Born on the 13th of February 1998 to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Abasi, Treasure is the first daughter of two children. Her younger brother Sharon was born two years after. Treasure, a student of JSS 3 attends one of the private schools in Lagos. At age eight she won the British Airways Essay Competition where she competed with secondary school students. She also won the best reader award for her school as a news caster. Treasure says her interest in broadcasting started when she was in Nursery 2 and just 4 years old. She was always fascinated to see news casters on TV. Her coherence, articulation, flow of thought and delivery at just 12 years made Treasure truthful to her name and a treasure to behold.
Sixteen year-old Sarah Oladele won the third prize award and 500,000 Naira worth scholarship for displaying an unusual spirit of compassion, love, maturity, intelligence and courage at the scene of an accident. It was a fatal accident in 2008, on a lonely road known as High School Road. Sarah Oladele was going to school at 6.00 am in the morning. She was only 15 years old and just completed her secondary education in 2010.
Sarah was going to school that early morning because her teacher asked them to come early to class. As she was trekking to school, she saw a motorcyclist ahead knock down a man to the side of the road and sped off. Sarah discovered that the man was unconscious and blood was gushing out of his head. She stood by, beckoning and trying to stop cars as they drove by but with no success. So Sarah decided to move to the center of the road to stop vehicles sacrificing herself to save the victim who was already losing so much blood.
Finally a car stopped and she narrated what happened and immediately the victim was driven to the hospital. From the hospital, she went straight to the police headquarters, Akure and reported the case at the police station producing the registration number of the motor bike to the police officers on duty. Because as the cyclist took off the first thing Sarah did was to memorize the number. Two days later the hit and run rider through the information given to them by Sarah was apprehended.
The cyclist was escorted to the hospital and made to pay the hospital bills of the victim. Sarah later came to check on the victim and discovered his name was Master Noah, in SS 2 and attended Winners College, Akure.
2011, 14 years old Njoku Chigbo from Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, South East Nigeria won the coveted first prize of One Million Naira for outstanding bravery and heroic act .He rescued a drowning woman and repeatedly dived into the Ebonyi River to rescue her properties as well, including a motorcycle.
The second Prize winner, Ajila Wehbe from Lagos was rewarded with the sum of N750,000.00 for safely delivering her 16 years old pregnant sister without adult supervision or previous medical experience while Sule Mallam Hamza from Nassarawa won the third Prize of N500,000.00 for saving the life of a little boy from drowning in a river.
In 2012, The Awardees are Olufunmilayo Bello, who was adjudged the first prize winner by the panel of judges for her selfless act of heroism for saving a deformed abandoned baby, whom she named Zacheaus, at her own risk. She later prevailed on the Proprietor of her orphanage to take in the poor boy for proper care.
George Sadoh from Warri, Delta State came second for his brave and courageous act of saving a man who was being robbed by scaring away his attackers with ‘knockouts’ and later taking the victim to the hospital.
Princess Esan was awarded third position for first saving the life of her brother when fire gutted their home at great risk to herself.
2013
Toruemi who resides in Port Harcourt rescued a drowning boy; while Kenubu from Kano helped find a missing baby and Adekunle, a Minna-based 8-year-old, got robbers arrested through his ingenuity.
2014
15-year old Aniema Udokang from Cross River helped save an accident victim on IBB way in Calabar.
14-year old Semiya Modashiru helped save the lives of one baby by apprehending and confronting a kidnapper at a bus garage in Ogijo and 10-yrs old Bassey Itam helped a boy bitten by a snake.
And in 2015, Nafarya who resides in Kano through her observation was able to avert a major disaster that could have led to the death of hundreds, while Innocent from Abuja ran into a burning house to save his one year old sister from sustaining a third degree burn leading to his disability and Abuja-based Najah, got robbers arrested through her courage and ingenuity.
This year’s Indomie Independence Day Awards (IIDA) 2016 took a turn for the better with the categorisation of the award into 3 places. Three more lucky winners who emerged at the event each went home with NI,000,000 scholarship for social, physical and intellectual bravery categories, in addition to donations from kind hearted individuals and corporate organizations.
Fourteen-year-old Salisu Ibrahim is a visually impaired pupil of Special Education Centre, Bauchi. He has been blind from birth. He is a cobbler, who puts the legs of the able bodied persons in shoes. Another winner of the categories was a nascent inventor, Babatimileyin Daomi. He is 15 years old but has creatively invented a vacuum cleaner, a phone bank, a portable fan, self watered flour vase and a functional radio.
The third winner was a 15-year old Favour Unwene. She hails from Ikono, in Akwa Ibom State to clinch her scholarship award worth N1,000,000 in the social bravery category for saving a life.
According to her, she visited her friends to see how they were fairing. Only to discover assassins had killed two of the family members. Her timely intervention saved the life of the third person who would have been killed.
Managing Director, The Education Partnership Centre (TEP Centre) and an education policy expert, with several years of research experience spanning academia and private sector research, Dr Modupe Adefeso-Olateju while delivering the keynote address at the ninth awards thanked Dufil Prima Foods Plc for being an agent of positive change in the lives of the Nigerian child.
“Dufil has created IIDA not just as an initiative but as a resource for national development in the lives of the Nigerian Child”. She said.
With the emergence of this year’s set of winners, a total of 27 winners have now been rewarded with scholarship worth millions of Naira.