Juliet Ekoko and Ayoola Oguntade have been crowned winners in both junior and senior categories of the 2016 edition of Cowbellpedia Mathematics Competition which came to a glorious end last weekend.
The winners, who were both students of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State, were rewarded with a cash prize of N1 million each in addition to an all-expense paid education excursion overseas.
In a final encounter in the junior category, Ekoko subdued Oreofe Daniels of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State; Oluwafunmbi Fakorede of Bibo Oluwa Academy, Ilesa, Osun State; Dennis Balogun of Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State; Oluwatunmise Idowu of Scholars Universal Academy, Ota, Ogun State and Glory Okoli of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State.
The story of Ekoko has remained a definition of doggedness and divine intervention, having survived elimination three times in the course of the quiz competition. The 12-year old daughter of a mathematician was described by her mother, Funmi Ekoko, as very diligent.
Her father, Eyimofe Ekoko was very elated as he thanked God and Promasidor for the honour and opportunity given to his family.
The winner, who aspires to be a medical doctor, also expressed gratitude to God and dedicated her victory to God, her teacher, her parents and her friends for their encouragement. “I am very happy today. I am very grateful to God who has given me the grace and power to become a star today. Indeed, the scripture: we are what we are by the grace of God, has come to fulfillment in my life today,” she told journalists outside the studio.
To emerge winner in the senior category, Ayooluwa Oguntade, defeated Adegoke Aromolaran of Bibo Oluwa Academy, Ilesa, Osun State, Ademola Fatoke of Ota Total Academy, Ota, Ogun State, Hasanah Adeyanju of Ota Total Academy, Ota, Ogun State; Taiwo Adeyemi and Blessing Udoh both of The Ambassador College, Ota, Ogun State.
Oguntade, who has been a class captain, a class representative and now the Head Boy of his school, also ascribed his success to God and his teachers. He aspires to study Engineering in the University and run his own company. “The top CEOs I read about studied engineering and run their companies. I also want to have an engineering degree and run my own company,” he said
The winner, who loves ‘ofada rice and beef stew’ also intends to invent a flying car to ease the gridlock, especially on Nigerian roads.
His father, Bodunrin Oguntade expressed great appreciation to God and the organisers of the competition for the initiative which he believes will shape the future of Nigerian youth.
While the winners celebrated their successes, it was reflection time for others who despite all their efforts could not win the coveted prize. Oluwatunmise Idowu, a finalist in the junior category, who crashed out after the first round of the final, was downcast. She blamed her misfortune on tension and burden of expectation. She had, earlier in the preliminary rounds set a new competition record by answering 17 questions in 60 seconds.
In his welcome address, the Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olivier Thiry restated the commitment of the company to education which he said remained an important investment for the future of the children, especially the girl-child, because it allows them greater power to make informed choices.
He saluted the finalists for their excellent performance and assured that Promasidor would continue to support the academic development of Nigerian children.
The Registrar of the National Examination Council, NECO, Professor Charles Uwakwe in his remark, commended Promasidor for the Cowbellpedia initiative, which he maintained would stimulate the interest of students in mathematics. He pledged NECO’s continuous support for the project in appreciation of what he described as Promasidor’s great Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) to Nigerian society.
The Head of Marketing, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Festus Tettey commended NECO for its partnership on the project and noted that the company was willing to involve more stakeholders that could add value to education. He extolled the level and quality of the competition this year and averred that the company would come up with more innovative ideas to make the competition better next year.
“We believe in the total nourishment of the body, brain and soul. Our core driving force has been giving back to society and we are happy to work with NECO.”