with Nkechi Ibeneme
After six eventful years of serious studies and grooming, New Hall International School Lekki dispatched a well nurtured set of graduates who are ready to take on the world. The Eaglets, who have been exposed to world class education and opportunities in their six- year sojourn in the citadel of academic excellence, were let out recently as the school marks its 2018 Valedictory Services in style.
Speaking at the occasion which coincides with the 10th anniversary of the school, the director, Mr Abiodun Agbaje, in reference to Henry Fordâ€™s popular saying; â€˜coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress and working together is successâ€™, recounted the journey so far, â€œAs we look back over the ten years with determination to create a school that will be a centre of excellence, with the aim to attain the highest level in the areas of academics, arts and sports within a truly inclusive environment; indeed, there was a beginning, and thankfully there was also a progress and yes â€“ undeniably we have been successful!â€
He went on to enumerate the landmark achievements of the school, â€œInfrastructure wise, we started with a building, as many of you may know. But today, we can say that we have state-of-the-art buildings that compare with the best anywhere in the world. Our state of the art sporting facilities as well as our ultramodern hostel typifies home away from home.â€
â€œNew Hall is a household name in London because our artwork â€“ a painting that showcases the rivers around our environment â€“ that was exhibited during a program organized by the British Council tagged: â€˜Rivers of the Worldâ€™, came tops and was taken to London for exhibition. Our primary pupils have been doing fantastically. We came first in the spelling bee competition organized by Tasty Fried Chickenâ€, he said.
The director was full of encomium for the best graduating student, Master Ogunmola Daramola, for his sterling academic achievements; especially for clinching the first position in the PZ-Cussons organised Chemistry Challenge in 2017. According to him, â€œthis singular feat announced New Hall International School as a citadel of excellence where minnows are transformed into giants.â€ In the same breath, he commended another student, Adegoke Pelumi, who according to him, received the baton from Dara and also came out tops in the 2018 edition of the contest.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow graduating students, the valedictorian, Master Ogunmola Daramola, thanked the teaching and administrative staff of the school for the values instilled in them for the past six years. He was also full of gratitude to the parents for the sacrifices they put in to see them through secondary education.
He went on to thank his mates for the bond which they shared and admonished them to strife to make the school and their parents proud, â€œThank you for teaching me that blood doesnâ€™t make a family â€“ love does. Thatâ€™s what we are, a family bound by love. In that spirit, I plead with you that whatever happens after today will be the last leg of the much larger 20+- year journey called education, and to justify the efforts of not only yourself but the teachers and parents who invested so much in you, you have to finish strong.â€
Dara, charged his mates to dream which according to him, will keep them grounded when the storms of life come calling, â€when the difficulties and hurdles of the future come, because they are coming, we must have something to draw strength from; something to remind us of the prize we are fighting for. We need to dream. The dream you have in your heart was put there because it is possible, and the world is waiting on you to make the impossibilities that will ridicule the realities of tomorrowâ€, he said.
The valedictorian ended his speech with a quote by Martin Luther King Junior, â€œFinally, remember the words of Martin Luther King: if you canâ€™t fly, run, if you canâ€™t run, walk, if you canâ€™t walk crawl but whatever you do keep moving forward. I end like I began as once again the class of twenty eighteen says â€˜gratias tibiaâ€™ – thank you!â€
Suzanne, Michelle: Stars in Different Shapes
Though stars are different in sizes, yet its common characteristic remains the luminous elements that leave it shining even in the darkest dark. Suzanne Tsakma and Michelle Imogu happened to be among the stars that have been discovered in the planet earth with the power to illuminate their own world, Peace Obi writes
The Bridge House College, Ikoyi, in a recent graduation ceremony dispatched into the world over 160 graduates who by power of knowledge and diverse exposure through a global-based education; were sent to lighten up the world. Among these stars are two prominent ones (Suzanne Tsakma and Michelle Imogu) whose academic performance, gifts and talents distinguished them among their contemporaries.
Standing tall in the crowd was Suzanne who along with the school choir rendered some numbers. The audience, who were obviously thrilled with the graduandsâ€™ performance, realised that it was a tip of the iceberg when she performed a solo titled, â€œThis is Me!â€ (From the greatest showman). This performance from the 18-year old Suzanne saw the Shell Hall of Muson Centre that was filled to the brim with graduands, proud parents and other guests erupt in a shout of excitement and admiration.
Given her awesome presentation, one would think that Suzanneâ€™s next point of call after Bridge House College will be at a music academy/studio to further hone her talent and to fully pursue a career in music. But Suzanne, who finished as the Best Student in Information Technology as well as the Best Behaved Student for the 2018 graduating class, has her eyes fixed on becoming a Mechanical Engineer. â€œI am attracted to the works mechanical engineers do; their innovative ideas can be used to change the world.â€ Tsakma who has always been a science student, said that her time at the BHC enabled her discover whom she is and what she wants to be.
On how she wishes to positively affect her generation, Tsakma said she would like to go into public speaking in the future. â€œI am from the northern part of Nigeria; I will like to be a motivation to young northern girls. In the north, education isnâ€™t a popular choice for the girls. So, I want them to know that they can be great in life by taking advantage of formal education instead of going into marriage in their tender age.â€, she said.
For 16-year old Michelle Imogu, it may be an understatement to describe her as an intelligent girl. Imogu seems to be most comfortable in a zone often dreaded by many students. At the 2018 BHC graduation, Imogu was recognised for her love and determination to demystify the â€˜almightyâ€™ mathematics with award of the Best Student in Mathematics.
The young Mathematician did not only prove her mettle within her territory, Nigeria, but also earned herself an international recognition by obtaining the highest score in SAT.
Called up the second time to the podium to be recognised and rewarded for not just her exceptional performance in the international examination but also for winning for herself a 65,000 Dollars scholarship to study abroad, Michelle who seems to be threading on a familiar terrain, said that she finished her secondary education with a similar award. On what she did differently, Imogu who wants to study electrical electronics, said, â€œI really worked hard but BHC really pushed me to do more because I had done SAT but didnâ€™t score as high as this. â€œMy advice to the youths is that Maths requires a lot of focus and the best approach is to start from the basics. Once you understand the basics, you can handle any other stage. And for the girls, I want to say, donâ€™t be afraid to do science subjects. You can actually do better if you push yourselves to. Study hard and never leave out the God factor in everything you doâ€, Imogu advised.