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Honours and Rewards at 6th National Visual Art Competition

The 6th edition of the National Visual Art Competition/Awards and prize giving ceremony organized by the National Gallery of Art (NGA) took place on November 26, 2015 at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja. Highlight of the event was the announcement of the winners and giving out of cash prizes and certificates.

A cross-section of Winners / Awardees and Dignitaries at the 6th National Visual Art Competition.
Shehu Yar'Adua Centre, Abuja. November 26, 2015.

In the Professional Category, Ukeoma Modestus Chuks, a cartoonist with Daily Trust newspapers got the first prize and went home with the sum of N200,000, a plaque and certificate. The second and third positions went to Shuaib Ajadi, N150,000 and Aremu Rotimi Samsom, N100,000. First prize winner in the Tertiary category went to James EdidongIta, a student of University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State with N150,000 prize money while Babalola Ismail came second,(N100,000)and Bonaventure Zirra, third, (N70,000.)

In the Secondary School Category, Elijah Ikwuegbu, a student of Eziama High School Aba, Abia State, came tops with N90,000 cash prize while Mustapha Abdullahi, second, got N70,000 and Jewel Igbinovia, third place, had N60,000.

Precious Nnenna Enyinwa from Image Makers Primary School, Lagos State won the first prize in the Primary School Category with N70,000. The second position was clinched by Great Essien Imo Ekopimo from Rayfield International School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, (N60,000) and Uzoamaka Fechi Onubogu came third with the sum of N50,000.

It is important to note that the National Visual Art Competition as initiated by the National Gallery of Art six years ago is aimed at discovering and consolidating the artistic genius of Nigerian pupils, students and professional artists. It is also geared towards enhancing their skills and creative abilities as well as achieving rapid economic development in the country. The Gallery through the programme has continued to remind Nigerians and non-Nigerians about the untapped resources in the visual art sub-sector and has over the years tried to move art from art-for-art sake to issues dealing with entrepreneurship, skill acquisition and means of sustainable self-reliance and job opportunities. Winning works emerge through a painstaking process of screening and selection by competent jurors within and outside the National Gallery of Art (NGA) at the Local Government, State, Zonal and the National levels.

Themes of the competition are chosen to reflect the burning issues of the day. For this year, it is “National Security and Stable Power Supply: A Roadmap to National Development.” Speaking at the event, the Director General, NGA, Abdullahi Muku said with faith in the new government and the unrelenting Nigerian spirit, “we have resolved as an Agency of government saddled with the responsibility of regulating the visual art sub-sector, to devise an active avenue for national development. It is from this philosophy that the theme of this year’s competition was derived. This 6th edition is yet another stride in our efforts at repositioning the Visual Art sub-sector of the economy to ensure that our great country grows to become a global tourist destination.” In the same vein, the Honorable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, represented by the Ministry’s Director of Entertainment, Grace Gekpe stated that the programme is a laudable initiative which deeply tasks the creative abilities of our young people. “It is a golden opportunity for Nigerian artists of all categories to come to table with natural talents, fresh ideas and artistic skills to harness these potentials for self-sustenance and national development,” he said, adding: “It is my strong belief that our Visual art tentacles will always spread deeper and stronger across generations of our populace and the international community.” Of significance at the event was the introduction of Miss Shaidatu Abubakar, a physically challenged artist from Minna, Niger State to the high table. The Management of NGA’s attention was drawn to her special talent of drawing with her toe even as both hands are limbless in the course of the competition.

As the DG, NGA put it: “Shaidatu Abubakar has demonstrated that there is ability in disability. If she is encouraged to set up a studio, she can become an employer of labour.” The special artist held every one spellbound as she drew on paper with a pencil between her toes and made another design, heinna on back of the palm of a staff of NGA! The occasion which was spiced with cultural displays and rib cracking jokes was attended by dignitaries from various walks of life. They included the Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture & Tourism, Senator Mathew Urhoghide; DG, NGA, Abdullahi Muku; DG, National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), Mrs. Dayo Keshi; Ambassadors of Sudan, Mr. Ibrahim Bushra M. Ali and Serbia, Prof Jovan Maric; Representative, Minister of Defence, Dr. Hassan Abdullahi; Rep. DG, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Bakut T. Bakut; Rep. Minister of Education, Abel Akhere; Rep. Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Umar Suleiman; Deputy Comptroller, Federal Fire Service, Engr. Thompson Olatunji; Brig. Gen. B. A. Fiboinumana, Defence Headquarters; Ayoola P. A., National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Engr. Momah P.U., National Directorate of Employment (NDE), among others.

By. Chika Obiechina (Media / PR)