By Kehinde Adeleye
The Eloquence Cup, a senior secondary school public speaking competition, has been won by Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School Agege, Lagos. The school defeated the CMS Grammar School, the reigning champions.
The cup is the official ultimate trophy prize for secondary schools’ oratory competitions.
The competition, which was recently organized by the School of Eloquence in Lagos, featured two speakers from each of the following nine government-owned secondary schools: CMS Grammar School, Queens College, Kings College, Girls Senior Secondary School, Ikoyi, Falomo Senior High School, Ireti Senior Grammar School Ikoyi, Kuramo Senior College, Victoria Island, Victoria Island Senior Secondary School, and Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School, Agege.
Students from nine secondary schools discussed the difficulties and repercussions of drug usage among young people in their speeches on the theme of “Drug Abuse and its Impact on the Youths.” A number of speakers offered suggestions on how state and non-state actors may address the problem.
Student winners in the individual prize category included Jasmine Chris from Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School, Leopold Favour from CMS Grammar School, and Oke Abdulrahman from Kings College Lagos. The three schools’ combined cash rewards were N100,000, N75,000, and N150,000.
In his speech, Ubong Essien, the only certified speaking professional in West Africa, the school’s founder, and organizer of the Eloquence Cup, said that the 5th Eloquence Cup was being held in conjunction with the School of Eloquence to commemorate the institution’s 17th anniversary and to honor the value of public speaking in the advancement of any country. Additionally, the institution is still dedicated to mainstreaming the study of effective public speaking among political and business leaders, celebrities and nobility, professionals in the workforce, and business owners.
He said that more than 50 schools in Lagos have been visited to provide public speaking instruction to kids since the company’s 2015 introduction of its Catching Them Young campaign, which was aimed at public senior secondary schools as part of its corporate social responsibility program and in 2024, the Eloquence Cup will become a national competition, with schools participating from Abuja, Port Harcourt, and other zones of the country.
He also praised the teachers of the various schools for their remarkable work in nurturing the students while reminding the audience that teachers affect eternity and that their reward should come to them while they are alive.
The special guests included a Member of the Board of the School of Eloquence, Mr. Oluseyi Sowemimo, SAN, Mrs. Feyisola Abiru, MD/ CEO of H & Y Furniture, Mrs. Alake Rukayat Sanusi, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Debt Management Office.