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Harris, Soje, others get Kids Entrepreneur Awards

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Seven-year-old author, Miss Paris Harris and a 10-year-old chef, Miss Samantha Soje

A seven-year-old author, Miss Paris Harris and a 10-year-old chef, Miss Samantha Soje recently received the Kid Entrepreneurs awards.

The duo was among eight recipients of the award for kid entrepreneurs, which were presented at the second Children’s Conference themed: ‘Little People Big Future Conference 2019,’ held at University of Lagos. The event was organised by a non-Governmental Organisation, the Amazing Amazon Initiative.

Harris wrote her first book titled: “The Magic Bird and The Dancing Hen” at the age of five. She just completed her second book of short stories and poems titled: “The Dandelion.”

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Mrs. Imma Harris explained that her daughter’s talent was discovered, when she was three, adding that she was nurtured till she became a young author.

She said: “We noticed she loved reading books. So, we kept buying storybooks for her, and when asked to describe something, she does so in an imaginative way. At five, there was a school project in which children were asked to write any story. We encouraged her to write down anything she felt like.

“We noticed what she was writing was interesting. So, we spoke to an illustrator, put some pictures together and published the first book. We initially printed 50 copies, which sold out within a week. We published another 1,000 copies, which also sold out. Since then, we have been selling her books.”

She advised parents to nurture and harness their children’s unique gifts.

Soje is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sammyspecial, a pastry outfit that specialises in pancakes and donuts. She explained that her aunt, Mrs. Bisola Babalola taught her to make pastries.

Babalola said: “Soje asked me to post her work on Facebook and Instagram, and a lot of my followers noticed and placed orders. She participated in a Kidprenuer cooking competition in 2017 and won. She used profit from her business to buy a waffle maker and cake mixer. She was recently featured in BBC Pidgin.”

Mrs. Mercy Makinde, the founder of Amazing Amazon Initiative, said the purpose was to motivate recipients to be better and to inspire other children.

“The idea is to inspire children to think outside the box and to know there is more to life than just being a student, who goes to school, eat and sleep,” she said.


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