• As Jessey 13-year-old is junior category champion
By Gabriel Dike
Sixteen-year-old student of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, Munachi Ernest-Eze has made history and also set new record in the Cowbellpedia Mathematics Competition as he emerged winner in the senior category at the finals held in Lagos.
In the 2015 Cowbellpedia Mathematics competition, Munachi representing the same college won the junior category with the same teacher.
In the junior category this year, 13-year-old, Jessey Uche-Nwichi of Graceland International School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, won by beating two other contestants with 115 point.
In the history of the 19-year-old Cowbellpedia Mathematics, no pupil has won the junior category and later emerged winner of the senior category. This, Munachi of Loyal Jesuit College, Abuja achieved at the finals of the 2017 competition.
Coincidentally, his Mathematics teacher, Mr. Femi Fashotito, made history also as he has produced three champions from Loyal Jesuit College in the junior and senior categories of the competition.
Each of the champions got N1 million and an all-expense paid education excursion outside the country.
In the Senior category, Ernest-Eze was trailed by Oluwanifise Onafowokan of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State and Evans Owamoyo of Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi Akoko, Ondo State who finished as first and second runners-up respectively.
Ernest-Eze’s victory was fulfillment of his promise to re-enact his 2015 feat when he won in the junior category. He was excited for the history-making performance. “I thank God for the end of the journey today. I am now confident to tell Nigerians that I was a Champion and I am a Champion again today. God has done it and it is marvellous in my eyes,” he told journalists outside the studio.
His father, Ikechukwu Ernest-Eze, beaming with smiles, expressed gratitude to God and Promasidor for the double honours.
Earlier in a thrilling final encounter at the junior category, 13-year-old Uche-Nwichi scored 115 points to confine Oluwafemi Adeyanju of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Ezekiel Ekanem of Advanced Breed Schools, Sagamu, Ogun State to the second and third places respectively.
Uche-Nwichi dedicated his victory to God and his parents, while promising to maintain the momentum.
His father, Chukwu Uche-Nwichi, who was ecstatic for the moment of fame, commended Cowbell and Promasidor for the huge investment in the competition and urged government and the other corporate bodies to institute similar competitions.
Olatunde Ayorinde, Uche-Nwichi’s teacher, commended the champion for the honour he brought to him and the school. “I thank God for today. My effort has not been in vain. Nothing can be better than this. I am grateful to God, Cowbell and Promasidor,” he said.
The first and second runners-up for each category won N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.
Each teacher of the 2017 champions in each category was rewarded with N400,000, while those of the first and second runners-up received N300,000 and N200,000 respectively. Also, the winning schools won mathematics textbooks, desktop computers and printers.
In a chat with journalists, the Managing Director of Promasidor, Anders Einarsson renewed the commitment of the company towards education, saying it is the most important investment for the future of the children of Nigeria.
“The programme has absolutely met its objectives. We are committed to this initiative and by next year, we will celebrate 20 years of Mathematics and Cowbell,” he said.
He congratulated the finalists for their excellent performance and assured that Promasidor would continue to support the academic development of Nigerian children.