On Saturday, 29 July, an award ceremony was held for the winners and finalists of the National Creative Writing Competition for Children in Nigeria.
The competition is annual, free-to-enter, and open to children aged five to 16 years who are either of Nigerian origin or resident in Nigeria.
Individuals may enter either a poem or short story while Primary and Secondary Schools can each make a group entry of no more than 20 different writings comprising either poems or short stories or a combination of both.
An award ceremony is usually held for each round of competition, but due to unforeseen challenges, the award ceremony for the 2022 competition was postponed to this year.
As a result, the ceremony held on 29 July was for the 2022 and 2023 editions of the competition.
The ceremony which was held virtually, had in attendance many distinguished guests including key stakeholders in the education sector.
Policymakers, school owners, representatives of schools, winners and finalists of the 2022 and 2023 editions of the competition as well as their parents and friends, participated in the ceremony.
In his keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Hamid Bobboyi, who was presented by Grace Samuel, commended the organisers of the competition, MyRainbowBooks Limited and E-Gaps, for their consistency in promoting literacy among Nigerian children through the annual competition, and also emphasized UBEC’s commitment to partnering with MyRainbowBooks Limited and E-Gaps in this laudable effort to improve the literacy skills of Nigerian children.
In a pre-recorded message, the patron of the competition, award-winning author of The Fishermen and An Orchestra of Minorities, Chigozie Obioma, congratulated the winners and finalists, encouraged the children to continue writing, and expressed his support for the initiative.
In her speech, the President of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Abuja, Ruth Agboola, also commended the organisers of the competition and expressed her support for the competition.
The founder of MyRainbowBooks Limited and initiator of the competition, Isang Awah, stated that the competition was organized to help develop children’s creative thinking and writing skills, and to inspire them to dream big and attempt great things.
“To every child here, I want you to know that we believe in you,” Mrs Awah said. “You are brilliant. You are special, and you are gifted far beyond your wildest imagination. With hard work and persistence, you can achieve every dream in your heart.”
Mrs Awah also presented the MyRainbowBooks’ Children’s Collections Volumes seven and eight which are the compilation of the best entries from the 2022 and 2023 competitions respectively. She explained that the motive behind the publication of the best entries in each round of the competition was to expose budding writers and encourage all Nigerian children to continue to hone their writing skills.
Each year, the competition has many entries from children, public and private schools from across the country and the 2022 and 2023 editions were no different as the results of the competition showed finalists from different states spanning the entire country.
Finalists in the competitions were awarded certificates as well as a copy of the published entries.
In addition to receiving certificates and a copy of the published book, winners in each category of the competition went home with fantastic cash awards. Winners in the school categories were also awarded certificates and cash prizes in lieu of books for the school library.
Schools and parents who attended the event expressed their pleasure at the fantastic initiative and thanked the organisers for the competition and the attendant award ceremony.
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