The intellectual contest for the 2017 Mathematics Champion will be concluded this weekend as 12 finalists go for the titles in the final contest of the Cowbellpedia Secondary School Mathematics Television Quiz Show, sponsored by Cowbell, the flagship brand from Promasidor Nigeria Limited.
The finalists – six each in the Junior and Senior categories – represent eight states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Rivers State tops the chart with three representatives while Ogun State has two. Benue, Osun, Abia, Kaduna, Ondo, Niger States and the FCT have one representative each.
At the end of the last semi-final, Joel Ndoh of Marist Brothers Juniorate, Aba, Abia State and Olayinka Abdulwakil of Nigerian Tulip International College Kaduna, Kaduna State completed the list of the six finalists in the Junior category.
The other finalists in the Junior category include Osasere Egharevba and Jessey Uche-Nwichi both of Graceland International School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Ezekiel Ekanem of Advanced Breed Group of Schools, Sagamu, Ogun State and Oluwafemi Adeyanju of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
In the Senior category, Ikechukwu Ibeh of Federal Government College, Suleja, Niger State and Evans Owamoyo of Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi Akoko, Ondo State picked the final two slots.
Other finalists in the Senior category are Tomiwa Olatunbosun of Bibo Oluwa Academy, Ilesha, Osun State; Munachi Ernest-Eze of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja; Oluwanifise Onafowokan of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State and Michael Paul of Excel Grace Academy, Gboko, Benue State.
The road to the final has been exciting, challenging and emotional for the contestants who are slugging it out for the crown.
Not a few of the contestants have been variously described as cool, calm, intelligent, hardworking, resolute and ambitious. For instance, 14-year-old Adeyanju scored 92 percent in the qualifying examinations, 175 points in the preliminary round and 145 points in the semi-final. His father, Oladipupo Adeyanju, described him as a “lover of challenges” as he expressed confidence in his ability to excel at the final. The same sentiment was expressed by his mother, Ajifolawe Adeyanju, who looked forward to the “big celebration and thanksgiving” that will follow the victory.
Abdulwakil who scored 98 percent in the qualifying exam said he was scared by the suspense created by the Quiz Master before he announced his qualification for the finals. He scored 140 points in the semi-finals.
His mathematics teacher, Bello Yakubu was happy about his feat and confident of a “fantastic outing” at the final. The same sentiment was expressed by his School Principal, Ahmed Omeroglu who also commended Promasidor for the initiative.
Ekanem, 14, who scored 98 percent in the qualifying examinations, scored 130 points in the semi-finals. Bosede Ogunfowoke, the Proprietor of his school, believed his success at the final would promote the image of the school and that of the town, Sagamu. Lasisi Abu, Ekanem’s teacher, described him as very intelligent and bold for the battle ahead.
Uche-Nwichi, 13, promised to dedicate his victory to God and his parents. His father, Chukwu Uche-Nwichi, advised him to concentrate, relax and enjoy every moment of the final battle.
Ndoh’s mother, Juliet, described him as inquisitive and intelligent enough to win the competition. She advised her son to be composed and confident.
Egharevba, also 13 years old, scored 135 points to scale the semi-final hurdle. Mugene Augustine, her teacher, described her as a “no-nonsense, passionate Mathematician,” while her mother, Mercy Egharevba prayed for God’s mercy for her at the final.
Ernest-Eze, the 2015 Junior category champion, is the first ex-champion to come back as a finalist. His father, Ikechukwu Ernest-Eze, who wept two years ago when his son was crowned champion, described his son as a child with a difference. “He should keep up the good work, and I hope he wins again,” he said.
Fifteen-year-old Owamoyo scored 160 points to cross the semi-final hurdle, and his father, Dapo Owamoyo was very proud of his feat. His mother, Bunmi Owamoyo, counselled him to pray and work hard for the final.
Ibeh, who garnered 145 points at the semi-finals, described Ernest-Eze as the biggest obstacle and threat to his ambition of becoming the 2017 champion.
Paul, on his part, saw all the senior finalists as threats but was confident of a good outing next weekend. Tyoor Joseph Ahua, the District Head of Mbatan-Gboko community, described Paul as “the star of the community”, now waiting to celebrate him as a champion.
Korede Onafowokan, the father of Oluwanifise, described her as “unique in her own way”, while her teacher, Kolawole Bello, who shed tears when she qualified for the final, called her a genius and perfectionist. Her mother, Adejoke Onafowokan advised her to be bold because “God has not given her the spirit of fear.”
Olatunbosun, who, as a child, preferred to be called ‘President Tomiwa’, scored 135 points to cross to the final. Jeremiah Kehinde, his teacher, said Mathematics is fun for Olatunbosun and he was confident of a brilliant performance at the final.
The ultimate prize in the two categories is N1 million each and an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country. The first and second runners-up in each category will go home with N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.
The finals of the 2017 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz will be aired this weekend to millions of viewers on DStv Africa Magic Family Channel, AIT Network and other six television stations across the country.