Africa’s first Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and the Lagos State Government have commended Diamond Bank Plc for its leading role in championing the intellectual development of children and the growth of art in primary and secondary schools.
Speaking at the Bank’s head office in Lagos, during the unveiling and announcement of the 2016 edition of the Vision of the Child (VOTC) painting and literary arts competition, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, stated that Diamond Bank’s initiative and sponsorship of the competition since its inception in 2012, is a testament of the Bank’s strong commitment to the future of children, pointing that such commitment serves as a wake-up call to other corporate organisations to support and participate in various programs aimed at boosting the quality of education in the State.
“The Vision of the Child is an initiative geared towards promoting education through creative thinking, literary arts and painting skills. This vision is in tune with our educational policy in Lagos State and that is why government has participated actively in it since inception. We will continue to do so as long as it provides children the platform to express their understanding of the world they live in, their vision of what it should be, as well as their fantasies and dreams,” the Deputy Governor stated.
Speaking further, she said, “We commend Diamond Bank and we are delighted to note that the VOTC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, has reached out to over 3,000 schools in Lagos till date. The themes may appear deep and challenging but as we have seen from the exhibitions and literary presentations of the children, Nigeria still has a great future. We also hope to have a good journey in 2016.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, reaffirmed his commitment to continue to support laudable projects involving the education of children and the growth of art in the country.
“At Diamond Bank, we try to go beyond banking and supporting the VOTC is one of our ways of ensuring that we contribute to the growth, development and nurturing of children”.
He stated that the growing innovations in technology points to a future where machines will play leading roles in business, thereby leaving only individuals who have the ability to give insight and vision to be the drivers of the future.
“We believe that the VOTC is at the forefront of that future by creating this platform for children to create pictures from information around them thereby grooming them to take over the affairs of the business world and the nation as a whole,” Uzoma added.
Prof. Wole Soyinka, the initiator of the VOTC, unveiled the theme for the year to be Sisi Eko at 50: Aging Gracefully or Na So-So Pancake?
According to him, this year’s theme is designed to herald the 50th Anniversary of Lagos as a State. The anniversary is billed to hold in 2017.”
“Childhood is an invaluable time in an individual’s life which should be filled with sweetness and light. However, the past few editions of the competition have revolved around gloomy themes as we realize that life also has its ugliness and pain, and it is in acknowledging these that we can all share in the collective responsibility for good”.
Speaking further, he stated: “This year, we have decided on a lively theme to celebrate with the Lagos State Government as it attains 50 years of statehood. We encourage the VOTC participants to research into the history and character of Eko, which will be reflected in their works.”
The competition is open to school children in Lagos State aged between 8 and 12. To qualify for entry, applicants must submit a poem, essay or short story of 300-500 words on the theme. Professor Wole Osofisan, 90 children from selected primary and secondary schools in Lagos, teachers, representatives of German and French embassies and top dignitaries from Lagos Black Heritage Festival were present.