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Wake up the giant new academic reality show debuts

By Maria Diamond
05 March 2022   |   4:05 am
Aimed at promoting value for education amongst young people in Africa, as well as curbing youth violence, Sastoma Empowerment Foundation (STEFO) has launched an academic reality TV show, Wake Up The Giant.

Audition winner Babalola Balikis (left); Asabi Ayeje, 3rd place winner (3rd left); Dr. Stella Ebuetse, Chief Executive Officer, Sastoma Empowerment Foundation, STEFO (3rd right), Owoseni Irewamiri right), 2nd place winner and other students during the audition for South-West edition of Wake-up the Giant educational reality show, in Lagos.

Aimed at promoting value for education amongst young people in Africa, as well as curbing youth violence, Sastoma Empowerment Foundation (STEFO) has launched an academic reality TV show, Wake Up The Giant. The audition for the reality TV show, which took place recently at the Ikotun Local Council Development Area (LCDA) saw secondary school students from different schools pitch on issues such as corruption, rape, child marriage, exam malpractices, COVID-19, violence and others.

The South West edition of the show will kick off in April with about seven finalists from Lagos, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ogun, who will slug it out at the grand finale in Lagos.

According to the organiser of the show, Dr. Stella Idowu Ebuete, the idea is to draw government attention to the dearth of English and literature in Nigerian schools, awaken reading culture among youth in order to curb the trend of cheating to pass examination which as become the order to the day. “Good books and good writers are gradually going out of circulation in Nigeria. So we hope to use this reality TV show to catch them young and follow up on their growth.”

Ebuete further noted that competition is core in terms of educational advancement. “In 2017, I discovered the depth of coverage in terms of reward, publicity, acknowledgement, glorification of those entertainment events, I discovered that we are actually lagging behind in education and if we continue to emphasise on entertainment competitions at the detriment of education sector, then we will have a lot of problem in the future. Also the fact that reading culture in Nigeria among our youths is gone, and derogatorily, people say anything you don’t want Nigerians to know just put it in writing – it is ridiculous. Once the coming generation begins to acknowledge this idiom then there is a problem. So the idea is to change this mindset such that everything we want Nigerians to know would have to be in writing and must be read. However, this will inculcate the reading culture in children at the tender age.”

She continued: “Back in the days, there were a lot of activities that encouraged reading but currently, the internet has taken over, all the children want to do is to get a brand new phone and go through tik tok and all other internet sections where they learn different vices from. This decline in reading culture is not just amongst our kids, but amongst adults and parents too.

“So, it is my desire that after this ‘Wake Up The Giant’ competition, we would have more students in literature classes, and also students who read to pass exams, not copying or cheating.”

Ebuete who appreciated the Sifax Group for changing the narrative in academic competition by giving a full sponsorship to the show also said, “We’re bringing people from outside Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroun, Kenya. These people will talk to them about different topics such as sex education, leadership and the need to cultivate leadership qualities early.”