Superbowl celebrates University of Ibadan at 70

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan 

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The 2019 edition of Superbowl, a public speaking competition, organised for students of the University of Ibadan, UI, has been held to celebrate the institution at 70, as she continues in the pursuit of a vision to be a world-class institution.

Superbowl is aimed at among other things, enhancing development of leadership capacities, public speaking skills, personal confidence, the relevance of the Ivory Tower to the larger society, encouraging innovation and competition among students and entertainment, was conceived to raise the profile of public speaking in a never-before-seen fashion in UI.

The Convener of Superbowl, a lecturer at the Communications and Language Arts Department, UI, Dr Bisi Olawuyi, disclosed this at the grand finale of the competition held at the Alumni Hall of the Institution.

Olawuyi said the competition, which started in 2007, came to be because he discovered that it is time the society started taking young people seriously and there is the need to create a top class interactive platform within the University community with a view to presenting strong leadership models to the youths.

He noted, “The assumption is that young people are too playful and disconnected from the Nigerian reality. But given my interaction with students, I discovered that they have more to offer than people can actually imagine.”

Olawuyi declared that, “The migration desperation has put numerous youths at the mercy of illicit drug trade, cyber-crime, prostitution, sex, human trafficking, etc…As the country grapples with corruption, failing institutions, and terrorism, it is apparent that before the tide of brain drain subsides, a drastic change must occur.”

While addressing journalists after the event, he said with the central theme of the contest for the nation’s education sector as hope for the future, he had discovered that many young people still believe in Nigeria, therefore a lot could still be done to discourage brain drain among the youths.

Olawuyi said: “We should not lose hope in this country. If you listen to the speeches of these young guys, you will discover that they still have a semblance of hope. There is a ray of hope for this country but young people want to leave the country at the slightest opportunity. So the question is, what can we do to ensure the best of our brains are retained here?”

While encouraging Nigerians to think and do things differently, the Convener disclosed that there are plans to take the competition to a higher level on a wider platform in 2020, so as to involve students from other universities in the country.

At the end of the competition, Jesse Nwodo emerged the overall winner and also got the best Male performance award; the first runner-up was David Olanema who also got the award for Wits Master, Bolaji Olayide was the 2nd runner-up and also got the award for best Rookie performance; the Best Impromptu Speech award went to Ifeoluwa Igili and Oluwatamilore James got the award for the Best female performance.