2018 NAIJA MATHEMATICS CHAMPIONSHIP PRIZE AWARD EVENT

by Muyiwa Gam-Ikon
Being Text of Speech Delivered by Mr. Arek Bawa, MD/CEO of Dragnet Solutions Limited, at the 2018 Naija Mathematics Championship Prize Award Event held at St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka, on October 31, 2018.

We thank everyone who made it here today. On behalf of the organizers of the Naija Mathematics Championship, we are indeed delighted to be hosting the second Prize Award Event in the online assessment of Mathematics in Nigeria for Secondary Schools from JSS1-SS3.
The 2018 Naija Mathematics Championship held on Saturday, June 2, 2018, over 300 students drawn from over 40 schools participated. The principal schools were as follows:

1.) Holy Child College, Ikoyi, Lagos
2.) Queens College, Yaba, Lagos
3.) ISI, University of Ibadan, Oyo State
4.) St. Finbarrs College, Akoka, Lagos
5.) Dominican College, Mafoluku, Lagos
6.) St. Jude’s Private School, Festac Town, Lagos
7.) Airforce Secondary School, Ikeja
8.) Penny International College, Coker Orile, Iganmu, Lagos
9.) Landmark College, Ikorodu, Lagos
10.) Laureates College, Ikeja, Lagos
11.) Kabe College, Festac Town, Lagos
12.) Harfard Model College, Lagos
13.) Princeton College, Surulere, Lagos

We will be awarding prizes to our winners and are grateful to our Chairman for today’s event, Mr. Arek Bawa who choose to share a “letter to my son” as his speech;

Dear Aima, 

We were asked by your school- Crawford – to write you a letter, with the way technology has evolved and the way your generation has embraced and defined technology. I shudder to think what will happen to letter writing in the nearest future. Extinct or still struggling to remain relevant? Time will tell. 
However, writing this letter gives us an enduring opportunity to let you know that your mum and I love you so much, that we are extremely proud of all your achievements and we place a high value on the relationship we have with you. 
This letter will not dwell much on what a great joy you have been to our lives and the lives of your siblings – Aide and Aize – and how you have positively impacted us in all your endeavours.  
This letter is more about what you should hold dear, true and sacred and this is coming from our experiences and lessons we have leant over the years. It is about things you should never compromise upon as you move closer to taking absolute responsibility for your life and actions. 
Your Faith – always believe in God and always remember that He loves you, no matter what. Without Him we are nothing and with Him we are everything we can be. Love Him and serve Him. Be a man of prayer and never forget you were made for Heaven. 
Your Values– We have always instilled in you that what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Your values define who you are, never sacrifice or compromise them for anything temporal in terms of comfort or pleasure.  
Your Education– I do not have to tell you how important education is and what doors it opens in defining your personality and your career options. What I will tell you is that you should be a lifelong learner, be very curious about happenings around you, other people and life in general. As they say knowledge is power, read voraciously and apply what you have read responsibly. 
Your Work Ethic – Work, and work hard. Always make sure you can provide for yourself.  Remember, nothing in life is free, if you do not pay for what you get, you will get what you paid for. So, work hard, pay your dues and out-hustle everyone around. And remember there is no easy path to riches and no substitute for hard work. 
Your Love – Treat girls with respect and dignity and always focus more on their inner beauty rather than outward appearance. You will meet lots and lots of girls in your life, but you will know who you want to invest time with in building a relationship and knowing if she is the One. Eventually, you will know and she will know that she is the One when you both discover that home is who you love not where you live.  
Your Responsibility – This is about taking responsibility and being accountable for your actions and inactions, about delegating responsibility to others and holding them accountable and about being responsible to others by showing up, listening and being responsive to their needs. You need to show others that you are accountable, reliable, compassionate and sincere. Also take risks, take big, bold risks as you can only accomplish great things by taking risks so that you do not live a life of regrets by wallowing in your comfort zone. Care for the environment and contribute to the community around you. 
Your  Friendship – To be a friend to someone, you need to love and accept yourself unconditionally. You must treat yourself in a way that shows others how to treat you. So, be kind, respectful and loving to yourself no matter what. And only then can you be true to those who share your values and who you hang out with as friends. With your friends, always be honest, the truth only hurts, if it is  supposed to. So, always tell them the truth and if your friends go down a wrong path, stand your ground and do not follow. You have at least defined the boundaries of the relationship.
Your  Real Self – Always remember that you are enough, you can only be reduced if you allow others to reduce you. Do not hide your true self, your faith, or what you really think from others. So be true to yourself, there is no one else like you and you do not need to change who you are for someone else. Live your dreams, follow a path of your own and figure out what makes you happy and pursue it. 
We can go on and on, on what values, actions and activities can help in shaping your person, but at the end of the day you are responsible for you. With God’s  grace and mercy, we can only guide and advise, the doing is yours, but remember life is not a bed of roses, there will be the occasional struggles, disappointments and setbacks, but be doubly assured that we are here for you and we love you. But most importantly, God loves you and wants you to learn, grow and think for yourself without straying from His love. 
In closing this letter, we want you to take life one day at a time, live in the moment, you have no control over yesterday or tomorrow. All you have is right now, so just be happy. We want you to be really and truly happy. The happiness that comes from the Joy of putting Christ first in your life and loving him so much that everyone sees Him at work inside you.

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