Saturday 29 October 2011


For culture, unity, physically challenged artists compete

Samson Dairo has won the first prize of the 2011 edition of the National Painting Competition for the Physically Challenged Children.
  He scored 88 points out of 100 at the end of the grand finale held at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos.
 According to the head of the jury and chairman of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), Lagos State Chapter, Oliver Enwonwu, Dairo beat Hadi Haladu (second prize) and Chukwudi Kido (third prize) who scored 76 and 74 respectively.

Erelu Abiola Dosunmu (right) presenting the first prize to Dairo
   Enwonwu, while announcing the results noted that “it was a keenly contested competition.” The criteria for the competition, he explained are: theme adherence, 50; creativity and draughtsmanship, 20; originality, 10; use of paper space, 10; use of colour, 10.
  Artists, Ndidi Dike and Biodun Omolayo were among the jury.
  While giving N50, 000, N45, 000 and N30, 000 prizes to the three winners, one of the special guest of honours, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu said all the works are very good and commended the participants. She noted that Dairo’s work appeared to have won based on his proper representation of the theme.
   The three winners, according to the organizers get scholarships.
  Shortly before the competition started, the Acting Curator of National Museum, Onikan, Mrs Victoria Agili, during her opening speech had announced Culture and Tradition: A Unifying Factor in Nigeria as the theme of the competition. The theme, she explained seeks to challenge the children to bring out the cultural similarities that unite Nigerians in spite of our seeming differences in language, dress, food etc.

Director of Museum, Educational Service and Training, Prof Barth Chukwuezi (right) and Erelu Abiola Dosunmu

  Organized by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in collaboration with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), the preliminary segment of the competition, which held across the six geo-political zones had What Culture Means to Me as theme.
Two winners from each zone participated at the grand finale.
   In his opening address, the Director-General of NCMM, Yusuf Abdallah Usman stated that the competition will help inculcate the spirit of unity, togetherness and nation-building among the children. The D-G, in the speech read by his representative, Director of Museum, Educational Service and Training, Prof Barth Chukwuezi explained that the theme highlights the role of museums towards providing the platform in appreciating the similarities in the country’s different cultures to promote creativity among children.
  The D-G therefore urged more support for the NCMM to help it promote Nigerian heritage. “I wish to use this opportunity to galvanise support for the NCMM and implore other corporate groups to collaborate with the commission in its herculean task of preserving and promoting our collective heritage. There is an adage that says people without heritage are like a tree without roots.”     


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