Okonkwo’s essay to reawaken, boost students’ reading, writing culture

…as winners receive over N365,000

Again, the Bishop Mike Okonkwo Foundation has reiterated the determination to reawaken, develop and encourage the young ones’ interest in research work, reading extensively and writing constructively.


This, the Foundation said it has continued to do through the yearly Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition instituted for secondary school students in the country, which in the last 17 years, has served as a tool to encourage and improve reading and writing habits among students.


The competition, the 17th in its series, according to the organisers, has also availed the students the opportunity to bare their minds on topical issues that are significant to the socio-economic development of our nation. This was disclosed while announcing the winners of the 2022 edition of the national essay competition, who will receive over N365,000 cash prize, laptops, trophy, plaques, and computer sets for the schools of the winners.


The winners are 15-year-old, Ayeni Oluwanifemi Bright of State Senior High School, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, who emerged as the overall winner to receive  N100,000 star prize, a personal laptop, a trophy and a plaque, and the school will get three sets of computers; while 15-yearold Yekini Roqeed Abolaji of Ijegun Senior Comprehensive High School, Isolo, Lagos who came second will go home with a cheque of N75,000, a plaque and the school will receive two sets of computers.


Also, for emerging in the third position, 13-year-old Enecha Leila of Vivian Fowler Memorial College For Girls, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos will smile home with a cheque of N50,000, a plaque and the school will get a computer set. The other winners, according to the organisers of the competition, will each receive N20,000 consolation prize.


The prizes will be presented to the winners during this year’s Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture, billed to take place at the Zenith Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, on September 8, 2022. The Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition was instituted in 2004, as part of activities to celebrate the birthday of the Presiding Bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo, and more importantly to contribute to the development of the nation’s education sector.

The essay competition, according to the Corporate Services Director of TREM, Rev. Oluwayomi Uteh, has contributed immensely to ICT development in secondary schools, especially in the governmentowned and private schools, where winners have emerged over the years.


“Apart from serving as a tool to encourage and improve reading and writing habit among students, the competition has also availed the students the opportunity to bare their minds on topical issues that are significant to the socio-economic development of our nation,” she said.


The Chief Examiner, Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo, a don at the University of Lagos, however, commended the organisers for discouraging handwritten entries, and described this year’s topic as timely and clearly mapped out the structural expectations for the informed students as they responded by articulating their understanding of the Nigerian situations in ways that revealed their deep understanding of the socio-political issues.


Ezeigbo said: “The writers of the 10 best essays were invited for the second stage of the competition to write on the topic: 2023 Election: A New Nigeria or a Descent into Chaos.”




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