14-year-old beats 356 contestants to emerge winner of first igbo spelling bee



Media Trust Limited



Fourteen-year-old student, Oluebeube Ogbonna, emerged winner of the first Igbo spelling bee competition held in Anambra State. Ogbonna, a student of Divine Rays British School, Obosi, Idemili North Council of Anambra, won the competition in which 356 public and private secondary school students in Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha educational zones participated. The event was organised by City Speller Bee, in collaboration with Onitsha Business School, in which students were tested on knowledge in spelling, Igbo syllabication and punctuation. Speaking at the event, the Project Manager of the competition, Mr. Chinedu Aniagboso, said it was the first indigenous language spelling bee in Nigeria and was aimed at making it attractive to the youths. “You can see how excited these students are competing in their own language; they not only understand English, they are also proficient in Igbo. “We are hoping to make this a yearly event, so, we call on the Anambra government, firms and individuals to come and partner us, so that the awareness and reward can get better in subsequent editions. “In the final round of 16 schools held in Onitsha, Ogbonna beat Oruche Chukwuma of St Paul’s Seminary Ukpor and Okeke Godswill of Divine Rays British School Obosi to second and third places respectively,” he said. He added that the winners went home with N300,000, N100,000 and N50,000, respectively, for their efforts. Aniagboso commended schools for keying into the project, while assuring that it would be a yearly competition. Also speaking, Prof. Ogochukwu Ifeka, who lectures on Igbo Literature at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, said the competition had confirmed that efforts to revive Igbo language were yielding fruits. Ifeka said the competition would elicit positive interest in native languages among youths and also encourage them to take up careers in it.