By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
Eleven students who sat for and excelled in the examination for the 2021 Annual Scholarship Award of Onebunne Foundation, were on Saturday, September 11, awarded with scholarships as the beneficiaries of the maiden edition of the Foundation’s Education Scholarship Award for indigenes of Ezinator, Awka South LGA, Anambra State.
Fides gathered that the event which was held at the late Chief Andrew Onebunne Nweke’s compound, Ndikpa Village, Ezinator, was in line with the vision of the Foundation which is fostering education in Ezinator. The beneficiaries of the maiden scholarship award were ten secondary school students and one university undergraduate. The Foundation gave out a total of six hundred and fifty thousand Naira in the 2021 edition covering the full tuition fees.
In his remarks, the chairman of the Foundation, Hon Chike Nweke, noted that Onebunne Foundation was founded in honour and memory of their father; Chief Andrew Onebunne Nweke, 1930-1996, whom he described as a foremost educationist and the first University graduate from Ezinator. He explained that Chief Nweke devoted his life to teaching and educating the youths as a secondary school teacher, a school principal and a local government administrator.
The chairman, who was represented by a member of the Foundation, Engr Theophilus Chidi Nweke, stated that Onebunne Foundation was registered as a non-profit and non-political organization with the primary objective of providing educational assistance in areas of scholarships and grants to indigent students of Ezinator origin, who were in secondary school and university levels.
Hon Nweke, who is the publisher of Life and Times Media, Hollywood, California, noted that the aim of the Foundation which was inaugurated in December 2020, was to use education as a vehicle to lift the poor and needy persons in the community out of poverty.
For her part, the coordinator of the Foundation, Professor Ijeoma Udegbunam (nee Nweke), explained that the scholarship was for a year. According to her the current beneficiaries and others who were qualified should fill the form, submit and take exams for the subsequent year’s entry.
Prof Udegbunam, who is a lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), noted that the pass mark to enable beneficiaries to be shortlisted was 60%. This was even as she explained that the Foundation would from 2022, include students whose mothers were indigenes of Ezinator as beneficiaries of the annual scholarship award.
Speaking on the occasion, the traditional ruler of Ezinator, Igwe Timothy Ezenwaka, commended the chairman, the coordinator and the members of Onebunne Foundation for the annual scholarship award aimed at improving education in the community, describing it as worthwhile.
A visibly elated Igwe Ezenwaka expressed conviction that the annual scholarship award would be able to eradicate illiteracy, which, he said, had eaten deep into the agrarian community. He encouraged the beneficiaries not to rest on their oars, but to work hard to meet up with the standards of the scholarship.
Fides gathered that the beneficiaries of the maiden scholarship award for the senior secondary category in the 2021/2022 academic session were Master Augustine Chibuike Okeke, an SS 1 student of Igwebuike Grammar School, Awka, 70% (1st position); Master Promise Makuo Ejike, a JS 3 student of Divine Model School, Ndiora, 57% (2nd position) and Miss Favour Charles, a JS 3 student of Divine Model School, Ndiora, 54 % (3rd position).
Miss Benita Augustine, an SS 1 student of Rosary College, Nise and Master Promise Nwankwo, an SS 1 student of Community Secondary School, Amansea, got the 4th position with 51% each.
The beneficiaries for the junior secondary category for the same 2021/2022 academic session included Miss Uchechukwu Nwangwu, a JSS 1 student of Central School, Ndikpa, 87% (1st position); Master Kelvin Chinemelu Nwafor, a JSS 1 student of Central School, Ndikpa, 83% (2nd position); Miss Chidiogo Okoli, a JSS 1 student of Central School, Ndikpa, 69% (3rd position); Master Clifford Nwafor, a JSS 1 student of Central School, Ndikpa, 62% (4th position) and Master Chinonso Augustine, a JSS 1 student of Community School, Ntokor.
Chidubem Kingsley Obiekezie, a 100 level student of the Department of Radiography, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, won the scholarship for the university level for the 2021/2021 academic session.
In an interview with Fides, the first position winner in the senior secondary category, Master Augustine Chibuike Okeke, of Ntokor Village, Ezinator, identified the grace of God and good use of his abilities as what enabled him to secure the scholarship award.
Master Okeke, dedicated the award to his parents, promised to put in his best in his academic work to retain the scholarship for the next academic session. Noting that he was delighted to be among the beneficiaries, Okeke, who is an SS 1 student of Igwebuike Grammar School, Awka, prayed for continuous growth of Onebunne Foundation, as well as for God’s continuous blessings and sustenance on the sponsors of the scholarship.
Also speaking to Fides, the first position winner in the junior secondary category, Miss Uchechukwu Nwangwu, who said she was very happy to have been among the beneficiaries of the scholarship, promised to study hard to retain the award for the next academic session. She prayed God to bless the sponsors of the scholarship with long, healthy life and prosperity.