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Oyakhire wins OVH Energy Prize

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(left); winner, OVH Energy Prodigy 2.0 Series, Oyakhire Solomon Tolulope; Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Huub Stokman and Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Mamadou Sow at the winner’s unveiling recently.

A 23-year-old first class graduate of Chemical Engineering, University of Lagos, Solomon Tolulope Oyakhire, has emerged winner of the second edition of OVH Energy Limited Prodigy Series writing competition.

The competition was organised to promote creativity and reward excellence among Nigerian youths.

The winner of the second edition tagged, ‘So You Think You Can Write’ was unveiled at the company’s headquarters in Apapa, Lagos.

The organisers had earlier called for entries in May 2018 in commemoration of the 2018 United Nations World Innovation and Creativity Day that was aimed to raise awareness on the role of creativity and innovation in problem-solving and by extension, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the organisers, this edition of the competition focused on how corporations can positively influence their environment through socially responsible business practices in the 21st century.

Oyakhire’s entry was adjudged the best out of 1, 024 entries received from participants.

The judges noted that Oyakhire’s essay clinched the number one spot for the catchiest title for an article.

It also boasts of strong content, originality, coherent arguments, and is well marshalled and highly relevant to the subject topic.

Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Mr. Huub Stokman, said, “the winner represents the very best and brightest among the contenders.

His essay explores contemporary themes with maturity, intelligence, and depth.

We are proud of him and the thousands of other young writers who entered the competition this year from all around the Country.

The prodigy series expresses our vision of empowerment through education, and we are excited to be conducting this creative writing competition once again.

The quality of the entries this year was exceptional, and all of us would like to extend our congratulations to the winners.”

He added, “as a business, this writing competition is one of the features of our thought leadership programme, which aims to promote learning and creative writing opportunities for young people.

Therefore, the objective for us is two-pronged – to stir creative minds towards developing and enhancing their constructive and cognitive thinking skills, and as a thought catalyst platform for proffering pragmatic solutions to prevailing business issues.”

The external judge and Chair, Committee for Relevant Art, promoters of the Lagos Book & Art Festival (LABAF), Mr. Jahman Anikulapo described the project as a laudable initiative with inherent objective of motivating the culture of critical, innovative thinking among the youths.

Anikulapo, the former Editor of The Guardian on Sunday, said it would also help to encourage the young ones to become more engaged with issues in their socio-economic, political and cultural environment.

“The entries assessed by the jury, which also included two other resource persons – a creative writer/earth scientist and a teacher of English – show the huge potentials of young people when given the opportunity to explore ideas, and especially to drive developments in their environment,” he said.

The winner, who is set to pursue his PhD programme in chemical engineering at the Stanford University in September 2018 as a Knight-Hennessy scholar, expressed appreciation to the energy firm for creating the platform to reward creativity.

“I encourage other young minds like mine to take advantage of every opportunity to improve their creative writing skills by reading a wide range of materials which will contribute significantly to their intellectual capacity to engage in such contests in the future,” Oyakhire said.

He got a cash prize of N500,000 in the process, with his entry also slated for publication in one of the national dailies.

The first and the second runner-up got N200, 000 and N100, 000 cash prizes respectively.


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