UI lecturer restarts oratory contest for students

University of Ibadan (UI)
University of Ibadan (UI) [Photo: sirkenayo.com]

A lecturer at the Department of Communications and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Bisi Crown, has announced a comeback edition of a popular oratory competition on the campus, known as “Superbowl”, seven years after the last edition.

The oratory contest which began in 2007 was last held in 2012. The sixth edition will be held on November 30 at the university’s Trenchard Hall, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the school.

According to a press statement signed by the convener, Mr Crown, the contest is themed ‘The Reconstruction of a Nation, and UI@70: Sustaining the Legacy, Raising the Bar.’

“The contest themes range from politics; because Nigeria’s polity of recent is replete with unengaging and uninspiring public debates to sustainable development goals.

The preliminary stages will hold on Friday and Saturday, 25th and 26th of October, 2019 respectively. The contestants will speak in the first and second rounds of the preliminaries for a maximum of 60 seconds and three minutes, respectively,” the statement read.

The goal of the preliminaries and finals, Mr Crown said, is to promote the status and practice of social discourse in Nigeria and provide innovative solutions to salient global issues.

He said 95 applications were received from undergraduates, postgraduates and Distance Learning Centre students of the University of Ibadan but only ten successful applicants would speak at the final stage, out of which three winners would emerge.

He said further that cash prizes, tuition scholarships, glass plaques and other consolation prizes would be given to winners and participants.

Speaking on the significance of the public speaking event, he said the event has created a top-class interactive platform for students on campus to develop leadership and public speaking skills; promote healthy intellectual debates on social issues; create entertainment, fun, and connections, and enhance the relevance of the ivory tower to the larger society.

“Since it started in 2007, five editions of Superbowl have held, and students who participated in the last five editions are excelling as entrepreneurial leaders, global influencers, academic intellectuals, and media agenda setters,” he said.

Asked why the contest took a long break, during a phone conversation with Premium Times, the university teacher attributed finance and inconsistent academic calendar as challenges faced in holding the event for years.

“Previous events were staged essentially with personal finances which was no longer sustainable for me, so I had to stop it,” he said.

He expressed happiness over the assistance of friends and public individuals that had shown interest in rejuvenating the competition.

“However, through the goodwill of friends and public-spirited individuals, Superbowl is back this year. For instance, an alumnus is providing funds to get prizes for the finalists, which include laptops, glass plaques, one-year internet subscription, and N50,000 book vouchers,” he said.

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