Diamond Bank presents N.45m to LBHF 2012 children’s art competition winners

Posted: August 9, 2012 in arts/culture

Diamond Bank has formally redeemed its pledge of special certificates and cash awards to winners of the children’s Special Art Exhibition which it sponsored as part of programmes highlighting the recently concluded 2012 edition of the Lagos Black Heritage Festival (LBHF).

The competition which was organised with the support of Lagos State Government had in the past featured adult art competitions, however, for this year, opted to focus on young creativity through the bank’s sponsorship with a sub theme, The Vision of the Child.

The presentation of awards to the best six students at the Diamond Bank’s Lekki, Lagos premises, penultimate Wednesday, had in attendance executives of the bank including Managing Director, Mr. Alex Otti, Executive Director, Corporate Banking and Regional Businesses (Lagos/West), Mr. Uzoma Dozie, Mr. Victor Ezenwoko, Executive Director, Regional Businesses (South), the Festival Consultant and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, as well as other school children who participated in the art competition.

Presenting the cash prizes to the tune of N450, 000 to the six winners, Otti said the bank continuously aligns itself with the future, hence its support for the children’s art competition: “For us at Diamond Bank, we have no choice but to support the future and the children out here today represent that future which is why we are supporting the project. The future is bright and will continue to support the future. This is our belief,” said Otti.

Responding, Prof. Soyinka used the occasion of the presentation, to hand over theme of next year’s competition contained in sealed envelope to the Diamond Bank MD for, as he put it, ‘safe keeping.’

It would be recalled that both the art competition and the festival proper were declared open by state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who had thanked the bank for its noble gesture in sponsoring the creative genius of children in particular.

The 5th edition of the Lagos Black Heritage festival (LBHF) had as theme, The Black in the Mediterranean Blue, focusing on the linkages and historical contributions of Blacks to the Mediterranean region as reflected in the dance, plays, street theatre, music and other cultural aspects.

Against a background of an exhibition by Italian, Nigerian and Afro-Italian painters, the visual art programme took the form of children from age ranging from nine to twelve telling through paintings all done in Freedom Park, their grasp of the culture they live in, their observations of developments in their immediate environment and their dreams and fantasies about Lagos.

A selective process had begun weeks before the festival by Art Scouts who visited more than 70 public and private Primary and Secondary Schools in the 57 Local Councils and Development Areas in the state and examined the children’s works. 42 public and private schools across the state qualified for the final competition.

The selection panel comprising Chief (Mrs) Nike Okundaye, Hon Tola Wewe and Mrs. Peju Ogunmola with the active support of the art teachers narrowed down the selection to 30 children from 18 different schools through two screenings.

The finalists were invited to Freedom Park, Lagos, March 17, provided with canvasses, brushes, easels and paints then set to work. The results were framed and mounted and put on exhibition April 2, on the Final day of the Festival colloquium. All the children received Award Certificates and LBHF Customised Laptops.

During the penultimate Wednesday visit to the bank’s offices in Lekki, Lagos, the best six formally received their additional cash awards as announced by the Panel of Selectors and Judges during the award dinner sponsored by Diamond Bank on April 8.

They include: Akinola Ibukunoluwa of the Methodist Girls, Yaba, Lagos, 1st– N120,000; Doyinsola Akinwande of the Apostolic Faith, Anthony, Lagos, 2nd-N100,000; Lotanna Nnoli of the Chrisland Schools, Victoria Garden City, Lagos 3rd-N80,000; Babatunde Balogun of the Greenfield School, Lekki 4th-N50,000; Sulaiman Sheriff of the Unjeland School, Ikotun 5th-N50,000;  and finally Sokoya Kayinsola of the Apostolic Faith, Anthony 6-N50,000.

Of special notice was young Divine Grace, a five-year-old girl who insisted on taking part in the competition and was honoured by the sponsors, Diamond Bank. She was also given an honorary certificate for her tenacity and her, “can do” spirit.

The success of the event was summed up by the Festival Secretary, Foluke Michael, who declared that the precociousness of the children who interpreted the art competition’s theme in very mature adult depictions must not be taken for granted.

“We must also encourage them, provide the right environment for them to grow, so that, we can get the best from them… Parents should encourage their children to go beyond studying mathematics and physics, but develop interest in other subjects and courses and should not ignore any talent discovered in their children.”

This statement in effect, sums up the commendable results of the spirit and support of the Diamond Bank Corporate Sonically Responsibility in its sponsorship of the Vision of the Child.

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