Sixteen-year-old Munachi Ernest-Eze has become a mathematician to reckon with among secondary school pupils.
The SS2 pupil of Loyola Jesuit College, Gidan Mangoro Abuja, won the senior category of the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz Show last weekend – repeating the feat he achieved two years ago after winning the junior category of the competition when he was in JSS3.
He sets a record as the only contestant to win both categories of the competition which held in Just Media Studio, Ogba, Lagos.
Munachi, who had his eyes on the goal from the start, attributed his success to God. He said his win consolidated his position as champion.
“I thank God for the end of the journey today. I am now confident to tell Nigerians that I was a champion and I am a champion again today. God has done it and it is marvellous in my eyes,” he said in an interview.
Mr Ikechukwu Ernest-Eze was one proud father that day. It was his second time escorting his son to Lagos for the competition, and second time going home happy.
He expressed gratitude to God and Promasidor for the double honours.
Munachi beat to the top prize Oluwanifise Onafowokan of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State, which cleared all six prizes last year. He was rewarded with N1 million while Oluwanifise got N750,000.
Evans Owamoyo of Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi Akoko, Ondo, came third and got N500,000 for his effort.
The other finalists were: Michael Paul of Excel Grace Academy, Akaajime-Gboko, Benue State; Ikechukwu Ibeh of Federal Government Academy, Suleja, Niger State; and Tomiwa Olatunbosun of Bibo Oluwa Academy, Ilesha, Osun State.
In the junior category, 13-year-old Jesse Uche-Nwichi of Graceland International School, Port Harcourt in Rivers State came first – defeating Oluwafemi Adeyanju of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, and Ezekiel Ekanem of Advanced Breed Group of Schools, Sagamu, Ogun State to the second and third places.
The other three in the final were: Osasere Egharevba of Graceland International School; Joel Ndoh of Marist Brothers Juniorate, Okigwe, Abia State; and Abdulwakil Olayinka of Nigerian Tulip International College, Kaduna, Kaduna State.
Uche-Nwichi dedicated his victory to God and his parents while promising to maintain the momentum.
His teacher, Olatunde Ayorinde, praised the teenager for making him and the school proud.
“I thank God for today. My effort has not been in vain. Nothing can be better than this. I am grateful to God, Cowbell and Promasidor,” he said.
The top three in the junior category were rewarded with the same cash prize as the senior winners.
Teachers of the top three winners in each category got between N200,000 and N400,000 each. Their schools also got computers, printers and mathematics textbooks.
In an interview, Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk, Anders Einarsson, said the company remains committed to supporting the education sector, saying it is the most important investment for the future of Nigerian children.
“The programme has absolutely met its objectives. We are committed to this initiative and by next year, we will celebrate 20 years of Mathematics and Cowbell,” he said.
In his remarks, the Registrar, National Examination Council (NECO)Prof Charles Uwakwe, pledged NECO’s continued technical support for the competition, praising Promasidor for the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.