Six youngsters entries for the fifth Blooming Minds Young Writers Award (BMYWA) have earned them recognition as budding creative writers.
The writers were honoured recently at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, with cash and gift prizes.
The winners in the primary and secondary school categories were: Mariam Shiyanbade (winner, secondary); Adaobi Okonkwo (first runner up); and Nofisat Awwal (second runner up). For the primary category, Michael Imogu was the winner followed by Chimelugo Okoye (first runner up), and Emmanuel Edmund (second runner up).
Founder of BMYWA, Mrs. Thelma Ofosu Asamoah said the yearly competition was aimed at raising young leaders aged between six and 15.
“So, we get them to produce an essay that is African themed. The essence is for them to look within their communities, observe their everyday activity and be able to create a story from what they see. In doing that we are trying to drive their analytical skills, aiming to drive research and development.
Because for a child to see something happening and be able to create a story from that one event, one they are researching, they are being analytical, they are really thinking about what it is that they are writing so those are all the skills they are building while they are at this competition”.
Mrs. Asamoah added that the analytical and research skills the children gain from participating in the competition was a way of preparing them for leadership.
“Basically, we are after raising young leaders. One of the biggest problems we have in Africa – because we do not only do this in Nigeria but in Ghana as well -is leaders.There are certain skills that a leader should have.
One, a leader should have analytical skills; they should be able to sit observe and be able to identify what is going on through observation and also be able to provide a solution to that problem. And these are some of the skills that they build while they are at what they are doing in this creative writing. So this is the channel that we are using to build this skills in this children so when they become mature and young adults, aspiring future leaders they will have those skills,”she said.
Renowned authors, Abubakar Ibrahim and Ayesha Harruna Attah, judged the over 300 entries based on three criteria – originality, language and the given theme.
Speaking on her win, Mariam Shiyanbade of Ansar ud Deen College, Isolo, Lagos said it took her two days. to write the COVID-19 themed essay.
“I wrote about how COVID -19 affected my community in different ways. I am very happy winning. It has given me more courage”, said Shiyanbade.
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