Ogun, Rivers Students Emerge Cowbellpedia Maths Champions

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Uchechukwu Nnaike

The 2018 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz Show has ended with students of Ogun and Rivers States emerging winner in the junior and senior categories respectively.

Akinfoluhan Akinleye of The Ambassadors College, Ota scored a total of 90 points at the junior category, while Chinedu Mgbemena of Graceland International School, Port Harcourt emerged the senior category winner.

The competition, sponsored by Cowbell Milk, the flagship brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, is aimed at stimulating and re-awakening interest in Mathematics among Nigerian secondary school students.

The first and second runners-up in the junior category are Splendour Nwankwo of Jesuit Memorial College and Favour Okarike of Graceland International School, both in Port Harcourt. The other contestants that could not progress beyond the first round were Chidozie Uzochukwu of Nigerian Tulip International School, Abuja; Gabriel Akogun of Welkin International; and Loluwa Abiodun of The Ambassadors College, both in Ota.

Akinleye, 13-year-old son of a banker, described his victory as refreshing and exciting. “I feel very happy to have scaled the hurdle to the final and winning the crown, especially being my first time of participating in the competition. My father will be so happy.”

In the senior category, it appeared as if Mgbemena came to avenge the defeat of his school in the junior category as he stamped his authority over his closest challengers.

Attention had been focused on Ambassadors College’s Juliet Ekoko, the 2016 junior category champion, to make history as the first female contestant to win in both categories after Munachi Ernest-Eze, then a student of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja made history last year by winning both categories within two years.

But Ekoko, apparently nervous, could only finish as second runner-up, coming behind Chinedu and another female contestant Praise Isinkaye of Federal Government Academy, Suleja, Niger State.

The contestants that could not make it beyond the first round were Jessica Austine of Federal Government College, Owerri, Imo State; Enoch Adenekan of The Ambassadors College; and Nafisat Abdulwaheed of Reality High School, Ilesha, Osun State.

Sixteen-year-old Mgbemena, who is also a second timer in the competition, was overwhelmed by his feat and thanked God and his teacher, Mr Christopher Olasupo for guiding him all the way to victory.

“My aim in this competition has been to be the best and ultimately the champion. That is why I practice Mathematics for long hours every day ahead of this competition. I thank God today that the effort is worth the while eventually. I am proud to have made my parents proud.”

In fulfilment of its promise to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Cowbell and Mathematics in Nigeria, the winners in each category got N2 million each, in addition to an all-expense paid educational excursion abroad.

The first and second runners-up got N1.5 million and N1 million respectively. The teachers of the champions were also rewarded with N500,000, while those of the first and second runners-up received N400,000 and N300,000 respectively.

Speaking with journalists after the programme, the Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Anders Einarsson said the Cowbellpedia initiative has met its stated objectives 20 years after its commencement

While congratulating the finalists for their excellent performance, Einarsson reiterated the company’s commitment towards education, which he described as the most important investment for the future of Nigerian children.

In his remarks, the Acting Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO), Mr. Abubakar Gana, who was represented by the Director of Examination Development, Mr. Mustapha Abdul, commended Promasidor for the initiative and pledged his organisation’s continued technical support for the project.

Meanwhile, the 2019 Cowbellpedia registration portal has opened for secondary school students across the country to send in their entries.