Ike Destiny, a student of VIK International School, Akere Alagbado, Ogun State, has emerged overall winner of the 2023 Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition.
Chibuzor Alexander of Archbishop Heerey Technical College, Ogidi, Anambra State, emerged the runner-up out of the 795 that participated in the competition.
The Chief examiner, Professor Akachi Ezeigbo, said the winners demonstrated commendable passion and independent thinking in their writing and addressed the topic within the mental orbit of their age.
She described them as brilliant young people, who are determined to forge their own path through critical use of easy ways.
Ezeigbo said most of the entries received this year were unsuitable for consideration, which was why her team could only present an overall winner and one runner-up instead of two.
“A considerable chunk of entries received was, as usual, unsuitable for consideration. They were either lifted directly from online sources and presented as original materials, or revised and presented as such. We are used to this practice among young people, and so, spent considerable time tracking the essays on the internet in line with our quality control procedures.”
For their efforts, Ike Destiny would receive ₦500,000, a trophy and plaque, while the school gets a computer. Alexander, on his part, would go home with ₦250,000 and a plaque, while the school also gets a computer.
The prizes would be presented at this year’s Mike Okonkwo lecture, billed for September 7, at the Zenith Shell Hall of Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. The theme for lecture is “Nigerianisation of Nigerians: A look inward.”
The Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition was initiated in 2004, as part of activities to celebrate the birthday of Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Dr. Mike Okonkwo, and to also contribute to the development of the education sector.
Okonkwo has continued in this gesture for 18 years, using his resources as a blessing to the younger generation in pursuit of academic excellence by encouraging them to cultivate the habit of reading and writing effectively.