It was an all-female top three affair, as 14-year-old Jolaosho Oluwatoroti Otokini, of Louisville Girls High School, Ogun State, emerged the overall winner of the 2019 edition of the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition, winning the grand prize of an educational grant of N2 million to study in any African university of her choice.
Oluwatoroti clinched the first position at the grand finale of the competition which was held on Monday, December 9, 2019 at the UBA head office, Marina, Lagos. Her essay was declared the best out of over 5,000 entries received by the UBA Foundation from students of senior secondary schools across Nigeria.
This year’s NEC had 12 finalists comprising eight girls and four boys with over 500 per cent increase in participation from pupils across every state of the federation.
Oluwatoroti, who was visibly elated, expressed profound excitement as the winner of the competition, adding that the experience has given her more confidence with which she can face great challenges in the years ahead. She noted that the grant will help in the pursuit of her dream towards becoming a pediatrician.
“This is something I worked very hard to achieve. I read and studied very hard for this competition, and I am very happy that my hard work paid off in the end. I am indeed very grateful to UBA and the UBA Foundation for this huge opportunity and for making me believe in myself, and I would like to encourage other students not to stop trying,” Otokini said.
Her mother, Mrs. Jaiyeola Jolaosho, said, “this grant will go a long way to support my bid for quality education for Oluwatoroti. Now our dream to give her an education at the African Leadership Academy will be fulfilled with this grant. I am so happy about this because I noticed that she has a penchant for writing, and we are so elated that she won. I will encourage all her siblings to apply for for this competition going forward.”