LBHF opens entries for Vision of the Child 2013 competition

Posted: December 12, 2012 in arts/culture

lbhfThe Lagos Black Heritage Festival (LBHF), in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Education has formally declared open entries for the 2nd edition of the 2013 painting competition for school children, tagged; Vision of the Child 2013.

The vision of the child 2013 plans to stretch the contestants’ imagination, even as it focuses on their observation powers and perception of the society they live in. The competition is open to primary and secondary (public and private) schools in Lagos State. The festival talent scouts are however also empowered to enter potential non-schooling talent for the event which is scheduled to hold in March.

According to the organizers, all participants in the competition must be between 8 to 12 years.

It would be recalled that major sponsor, Diamond Bank in August this year formally redeemed its pledge of special certificates and cash awards to winners of the last year’s edition of the 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, 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.

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.

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.

Addressing journalists at the press conference Thursday, at the Freedom Park, Lagos, the Festival secretary, Ms Foluke Michael described the event as a way of bringing up talents in Nigeria that will showcase the country to the world.

“We want to bring up talents in Nigeria, in 2002 and 2004, Nigeria won the best talent in the world at the contest held in Florida. Beyond physics and mathematics creativity especially in the arts has to be equally developed and nurtured,” she said.

Explaining modalities for the competition, Michael said festival scouts would conduct selection rounds after which successful entrants will be invited to the Freedom Park and provided with paint brushes, canvas and easel and set to work, in addition to being given the freedom to interpret and express the set theme based on their individual vision and artistic inclinations.

“There will be selection rounds by festival Arts scouts who will visit schools and other informal settings in the Lagos environ for potential talent. From the results, they will invite the successful entrants, accompanied by their teachers and parents/guardians, to Freedom park here in Lagos Island. There they will be provided with brush, canvas and easel and set to work. They are free to interpret and express the set theme according to their individual vision and artistic inclinations. This year, there will be a set theme which will however be kept secret until January 31st 2013. Beyond that however the procedures remain the same, she explained.

Also speaking at the event which is sponsored by Diamond bank plc is the banks’ executive director Mr Uzoma Dozie “we reemphasize our commitment to partnering with the Lagos state government in the vision of the child painting competition. For children it is not only about maths and English, it is about developing other spheres’ of their life like the creative side and a way of holistically improving our environment which is what Diamond bank stands for”.

The prize for 2013, however will spring a surprise, designed to encourage future contestants in the re-formulation of the knowledge of their world.” The competition is in phases and at the end of the third phase, 30 contestants will be invited to demonstrate their talent to a live audience at the Freedom Park. By March at the gala dinner, the final six will be selected and announced, “we therefore call on all schools within Lagos state to take advantage of this opportunity and showcase their kids.

Others also present at the event were Mr. Femi Segun, a representative of the LBHF,Mrs. Ayona Aguele Trimnel, head corporate communications, Mr. Olalekan Olagunju,a representative of ministry of Education, Miss Akinwande Doyinsola, the 2nd place winner of the 2012 maiden edition.

Last year’s 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.

That 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.

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