Benin City to Host ‘Wake Up The Giant Literary Reality Show’


Mary Ekah

Benin City, the capital of Edo State will play host to ‘Wake Up The Giant Literary Reality Show’, a show for youths in secondary schools within the ages of 11 and 18 years.

Tagged, ‘Wake Up the Giant Literary Reality Show: Edo Youths Got Talent’, the competition is being organised by Wake Up the Giant Educational Services and the Government of Edo State. It is a deliberate drive from Governor Godwin Obaseki to stimulate reading among youths in the state.

This competition, organisers say, will feature secondary school pupils with excellent literary and communication skills.
“Literary activities are almost extinguished in most secondary schools and unfortunately they are the vehicle for language development, quite apart from its relevance in the society. This is one reason the government is out to build the reading and writing culture in schools in order to produce youths who can express themselves as it is a sure way to development,” said the Chairperson, Stella Idowu Ebuetse, a seasoned educationist and PhD student at the University of Ibadan.

The preliminary stage in which 34 contestants emerged were carried out in the three senatorial zones of the state namely Edo North, Edo South and Edo Central. The judges were eminent scholars like Professor Egede, Dr. Oshioste and other seasoned educationist. The 34 contestants are expected to be in house from October 29 and would be there for two weeks after which winners will emerge.

The reality show will be different from other reality shows that the public are used to. Speaking further, Ebuetse said, “The literary reality show is for capacity building and the promotion of excellent character among youths, the need for vibrant academic pursuit through the culture of reading and writing.”

She noted further that reading, writing and communication remains one of the cardinal objectives of the competition as reading and studying to pass examination has become old fashion and the adage that readers are leaders is mocked among youths. “No wonder the calibres of graduates produced these days are nothing to write home about when it comes to communication, reading and writing. We expect to see youths in house who want to be different when they graduate from the University,” she added.

The reality show is one major instrument to encourage youths to develop their mental capacity to become good leaders of tomorrow. The winners will go home with prizes that will assist them in their academic pursuit.

Ebuetse said further that with the current reading culture among youths in Nigeria, the bitter truth is that we may never ever have a replica of such great minds like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Gabriel Okara, Sam Ukala, Ola Rotimi, Niyi Osundare, Cypian Ekwensi, J.P Clark, Ken Saro Wiwa, Chukwuemeka Ike etc, affirming that the reality show will bring to the minds of contestants the aforementioned writers who proved to the world that Nigeria is a land of intellectuals.

Ebuetse noted that the reality show will be a yearly event to redirect the minds of the youths towards reading, stressing that much attention will be on the youth that will emerge the winner as he or she will not be expected to lag behind in character and academics, adding “We expect quite frankly that the winner will stand out and also be a role model to other youths in the state.”

While advising youths in the state to cultivate the habit of reading one literature book in a day so as to sharpen their writing, reading and communication skills to enable them take part in the contest, Ebuetse explained that the competition is in remembrance and honour of the late wife of the immediate past governor of Edo State Mrs. Clara Oshiomhole who was admired in her life time for her unwavering interest for the youths. She said the literary reality show will also be used in remembering and honouring a great poet, the late Festus Iyayi as well as honour and promote the tenacity and the exemplary leadership of His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, the catalyst for youth transformation and development in the state.