By Anote Ajeluorou
The grand finale of Triple Fun Club 2011 Literary, Oratory, and Leadership Week came to a close recently at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt , River State.
With the theme Ambassadors for Excellence, the workshop’s aim was to teach children effective communication (oral and written) and leadership skills, and as a way of drawing attention to childen’s innate skills and the need to harness them for their overall development.
The colourful ceremony saw children performing in many categories while also showing class in the areas of presentation and comportment. They were also amply rewarded with many mouth-watering gifts.
Aim of the weeklong workshop was to equip the children with the relevant tools for effective communication (oral and written) and leadership skills. Specific sessions included multiple activities on Reading Fluency and Comprehension, Speech Writing, Public Speaking, Leadership and Career Development. Educational games, role-plays and break out sessions were equally utilised to drive home the point at the workshops. Participants were told to be focused on things that are truly important so as to ward off negative peer pressures. Sound character principles like respect, responsibility, caring for others, etc, also formed part of the character development sessions.
Participants were drawn from schools across the country including Bereton Montessori Primary School, Montessori International, Kiddies Educational Centre, Early Grip Nursery and Primary School, Bloombreed Montessori Primary School, Dayspring Infant and Junior, Butterstone International, Covenant Child Primary School, Covenant High School, Bloombreed High School, Charles Dale Memorial International School, Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Jephtah Comprehensive College, Surebloom International School, Kings College, Mae Mater, Top Faith International, Faith Academy, White Plains, and Baptist High
In her address, guest speaker and Chief Executive Officer, African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, stressed the need for children and teenagers to enjoy their childhood and never be in a hurry to become adults since adulthood would naturally come.
She also tasked children and teenagers to spend more time developing values that would work for them as against those that would hamper their prospects as future leaders, and to justify their parents’ investment in them.
Event chairman, Mr. Analiefo Nzegwu, spoke on the need for all and sundry to support the laudable initiative of Mr. Chidi Ononye (founder and CEO, Triple Fun Club) through the activities of the club. Nzegwu expressed confidence in the ability of the club to achieve its aims and objectives. He called on organiations to exercise their corporate social responsibility towards harnessing the opportunities the club provided children and teenagers so they could benefit from the club’s literacy, oratory, and leadership programmes.
Also, Chief Executive Officer, Optima Healthcare, Lagos, Dr. Femi Olaleye, spoke on the ‘Ten Things Teenagers Want Their Parents To Know.’ He tasked parents to spend quality time to bond with their children, saying such bond provided moral and psychological support for children’s growth.
On her part, a specialist on reproductive health, Dr. Anne Enyi, encouraged participants not to allow their shortcomings hinder their goals and dreams in life, saying they were the only obstacles to fulfilling their dreams in life.
Founder, Abuja Writers’ Forum and communications expert, Dr. Emman Shehu, who took the secondary school category on speech writing, said the aim was to show the children how to choose a topic, develop it, build their presentations around it and effectively communicate it to others.
Chief Host, Chief (Mrs.) Victoria Diete-Spiff, who was represented by the head teacher, Bereton Montessori Primary School, Mrs. Esther Oguamanam, commended the club and the values it represented. She stressed the need for literacy development, advising that it should be made an integral part of children’s development, especially since every other pursuit was founded on the ability to read, write, and comprehend.
Diete-Spiff further called on the appropriate authorities to support the efforts of club founder, Ononye, and also encouraged parents to always make their children available for every activity of the club.
On his part, Ononye thanked those that had made the year’s event a success. He specially singled out the founder, Bereton Montessori Primary School and Charles Dale Memorial International School, Chief Diete-Spiff, for being an exceptional host and for the numerous support she regularly gave the club.
He also commended proprietors of other schools for their support. Ononye equally cautioned fathers to stop abdicating their roles at home under the guise of making ends meet. He stressed that children’s upbringing should not be left to mothers alone, saying such behaviour usually resulted to delinquency amongst children in society.
While advocating a return to traditional family value system, Ononye tasked society to stop celebrating values that are morally bankrupt. He further wondered how orderly and responsible citizens could be produced when uncensored media was allowed to bombard the minds of children and teenagers with contents that promote violence and promiscuity.
He, therefore, canvassed for more family-friendly children and teenager programmes on TV to aid them. In his words, “It is my wish to reach out to more children. Imagine, in a country of over seventy million youths, we are only able to serve about 5,000 children and teenagers. But then, such is the little we can do as individuals. Just imagine the transformation we will bring about when we have well meaning individuals, corporate organisations, NGOs, foundations, and government establishments supporting what we do”.
Ononye further expressed satisfaction with the performances of the children and thanked them for a job well done, saying, “These children are simply phenomenal and we are very sure that at this pace, they can stand before anyone and anywhere in the world and clearly and confidently express themselves”.
Ononye also praised the level of organisation and turnout of participants, parents, resource persons and concerned interest groups at the year’s event and look forward to a better outing next year.
For Public Speaking Senior Secondary Category, Chiamaka Nwachukwu came first while first runner-up was Sorbari Lahben; second and third runners-up were Ekemini Udom and Gift Ahaneku. For Spelling Bee Senior Secondary Category, Chiamaka Nwachukwu won, and first and second runners-up were Chinelo Meniru and Sorbari Lahben.
For Speech Writing Senior Secondary Category, Chinelo Meniru won, and first and second runners-up were Favour Nyoyoko and Chiamaka Nwachukwu. For Public Speaking Junior Secondary Category, Ejiro Emuobo-Eje won, and first and second runners-up were David Udioko and Solomon Akuro. For Spelling Bee Junior Secondary Category, Onyekachi Meniru won, and first and second runners-up were Tochukwu Nwachukwu and Jesse Jehu.
For Speech Writing Junior Secondary Category, Iniobong Ekong won, and first and second runners-up were Onyekachi Meniru and Jesse Jehu.
For Public Speaking Upper Primary Category, Daniella Megbele, and first runners-up were Chioma Menakiti and Osinachi Nwankwo while second runners-up were Ugonna Maduabuchi, King Perterside, and King Gbadeyan. For Spelling Bee Upper Primary Category, Amarachi Ekeke won, and first and second runners-up were Itohaosa Isibor, and Onanna Maduabuchi.
For Reading Fluency Lower Primary Category, champion was Elona Erivon, and first and second runners-up were Daniel Ugoji and Jerry Ugwuodo. For Spelling Bee Lower Primary Category, Roghenema Ofogba won, and first and second runners-up were Daniel Ugoji and Jerry Ugwuodo.
Winners at the event carted away 14 Electronic Yamaha Keyboards, 7 BMX Bicycles, 3 portable DVDs with screens, 10 Hair Dryers, and 10 Hair Clippers and over 300 story and educational books. Winners will be known as ‘Ambassadors of the club’ for the year 2011/2012.