Joshua Abel, Christopher Ukaegbu Shine At Chevron-sponsored National Art Competition

Chevron3The 10th edition of Chevron-sponsored National Art Competition for Secondary School has produced winners. This was at a glittering award and exhibition ceremony held on Tuesday at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. It had a gathering of students from different schools from across the country who had come to cheer their mates who scaled the initial hurdles out of 600 entries from 400 schools to emerge top 10 each in the Junior and Senior Secondary School categories.

In the end, Joshua Abel won in the Junior Secondary School category while Christopher Ukaegbu won in the Senior Secondary School category. This drew resounding applause from students, teachers and guests present in sheer appreciation of artistic ingenuity. Abel attends Oto Awori Junior Grammar School, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Lagos while Ukaegbu attends Hallel College Boarding, Port Harcourt. With ‘Grow Your Ideas’ as general theme for the contest, this year’s specific theme was ‘Protecting People and the Environment,’ which saw the student artists interpreting it in various ways.

But somehow, the works of two Junior Secondary Students – Olawunki Olanrewaju of Harrobs College, Alapere-Ketu, Lagos and Olatiboye Temiloluwa also of Harrobs College – on renewable energy failed to make even third place. Even the work of Azike Anita of Charles dale Memorial International School, Port Harcourt, condemning gas flaring by oil companies, with its attendant harmful effects on human beings and the environment, also failed to hit a distant third place mark.

Other winners include second placed Joshua Odonsi of Hallel College Boarding, Port Harcourt and third place, Godwin Hodonu of Beulah Comprehensive College, Badagry, Lagos in the Junior category. Onyedikachi Egbebu of Harrobs College, Lagos, second and third place, Wilson Imini of Federal Government College, Keffi, Nassarawa State in the Senior category.

But in all it was a contest where young ideas come to the fore in understanding and interpreting issues relating to the health of the environment and how it is everybody’s duty to keep it safe from man’s harmful practices.

According to Chairman/Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Clay Neff, “In 2005, when Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) set out to organize the maiden edition of this competition, we had no doubt that it was going to be a success. That was because we knew that Nigeria is blessed with talented young men and women.

“Ten years down the road, the level of success and acceptance is truly astounding. This year, we had hundreds of exceptional entries out of which our judges have chosen the most outstanding 20 for the purpose of prize-giving. It shows how well the competition has gone in providing our kid-artists a veritable platform of artistic expression. It is important to note that former winners of the competitor have gone ahead to higher institutions to study fine arts, graphic design, engineering and other courses.

“Why does CNL, an oil and gas company, sponsor Art Competition one may ask? Celebrating the arts is in line with the company’s Social Investment (SI) programmes which are aimed at contributing to the development of education, health and the socio-economy.  Moreover, at Chevron we hold diversity as one of our core values. Diversity is not just a buzz word to us; we value and encourage diversity of thoughts and perspectives.”

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