Ikechukwu Nweke emerges BBC Pidgin Essay Competition winner

Ikechukwu Nweke

Ikechukwu Wilson Nweke has won the second edition of the BBC News Pidgin Essay competition titled: Is Africa Ready for Female Political Leadership?

Ikechukwu, from Edo State in Nigeria, currently studies International Studies at the University of Benin.

The winning essay will be shown on BBC News Pidgin and Ikechukwu will receive his award at a ceremony in Lagos where he will read his essay to a specially invited audience.

Chosen from a number of entries submitted by talented, young African writers, Ikechukwu’s winning piece highlights how the changing culture and development of Africa is gradually moving from an era where the place of the woman was in the kitchen to an age when women are leading on the political front.

The author cited the example of Alaa Salah, a student dubbed “Lady Liberty” of Sudan. Her anti-government protests in Sudan eventually led to change of leadership.

The winning essay also addresses the fact that few women have led African countries in modern times, but those who have had the privilege have done quite well:

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia; Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who was Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Bibi Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim, a Mauritian politician and biodiversity scientist who served as the 6th President of Mauritius from 2015 to 2018.

Ikechukwu says “I could not believe it when I was told that I am the winner of 2019 BBC News Pidgin essay competition. I wrote everything on my sick bed, being the winner makes me forget what I passed through.”

The essay competition, now in its third year was introduced to highlight the beauty of the written form of Pidgin language.

Known as a largely spoken language, the essay writing series is aimed at contributing to the development of the written form of Pidgin language amongst young people.