Twenty seven-year-old Adedapo Adeniruju has won the second edition of UNICAF essay competition and the grand prize of a full scholarship for an online Masters degree with UNICAF university.
The winner, Adedapo is a writer and a documentary film-maker who resides in Ibadan, Oyo state. He studied mechanical engineering at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and graduated in 2016.
First Prize winner, Adedapo Adeniruju
The prize was presented to the winners at the UNICAF Nigeria office, off Channels TV avenue, Opic estate, Lagos.
The topic for this year’s essay competition was ‘how important is the role of higher education in shaping the contribution of young Nigerians in the national effort for development and progess’.
Over 1000 entries were submitted for this year’s essay competition before selecting the five winners.
The overall winner also got a new laptop, while the four others received cash prizes including a tablet phone each.
Victor Nwachukwu, a civil engineering graduate came second, winning $500, while Asiboje Esereosonobrugwe, a chartered accountant came third with $300.
2nd prize winner, Victor Nwachukwu
Similarly, Taiwo Ishola, come fourth with $200 while Onwuli Nwannebuife emerged firth position with $100.
UNICAF is an online platform in sub-Sahara Africa that offers higher education of international standard, accessible to Africans and school leavers.
Speaking with The Nation, Adedapo said hardwork made him emerge the winner adding that his creative experience gave him an edge.
He said: “I was searching through the internet about two months ago when I found out about the scholarship. What tickled my interest was the topic, then I decided to put together my creative energy to contest.
“I write regularly because I’ve been doing that for years. The judges only knows why my essay stands out but I think it also has do do with the efforts, hardwork and the creative experience I’ve got.
“The success is thrilling because this is my first experience as an overall winner of an essay competition. Over the years, I’ve always, I’ve always been a runner-up. I feel grateful and excited through the journey of writing and emerging the first position,” he added.
In his address, Marketing Manager, UNICAF Nigeria, Emmanuel Ebanehita said the essay competition was to impact the lives of the Nigerian youths positively.
He noted that the competition was also to assist the youths in their contribution to national development.
“Nigerian citizens up to the age of 30 sent in their thoughts on the contribution of young people in the national effort for development and progress, stressing the importance of quality higher education in empowering young people, making them more knowledgeable, more efficient and more employable, thereby increasing their contribution to the development of the country.
“The majority of the entries submitted to the competition considered the many different aspects shaping the contribution of the young to national development and highlighted various problems faced by a large number of Nigerian youths today, such as poverty, limited access to quality higher education, widespread unemployment and lack of empowerment or of a sense of purpose,” he said.