By Ayodeji Morakinyo
These days in Nigeria and with the global economic situation, classroom education is not enough to give youths a source of income. In fact, education does not guaranty employment rather, it makes students employable. As such, youths who have seen the four walls of high schools and universities with the evidence of due certificates are not necessarily going to get jobs after graduation. This is because certificates do not provide jobs. Instead, they confer the right to be given jobs upon potential job seekers. The reality is that the Nigerian labour market cannot absorb the number of students graduating from our secondary schools and higher institutions annually. These schools graduate students who become idle due to the inadequacy of vacancies. And since idle hands are the devils laboratory, these promising young minds often fall to various negative vices that create the troubles of teenage pregnancy, theft, insecurity, violence, and even terrorism existing in our society. Only those who are able to escape the trauma of prolonged joblessness by engaging in entrepreneurship and talent exhibition survive.
It was in the light of these facts that the NYSC Drama Community Development Group of the Eti-Osa 1 local government located in Victoria Island took up the responsibility of catching tomorrow’s talents young in their own special way. Being one of the youth corps members of the drama CD group, I was privileged to witness the course of events and now bring you a briefing. The approach we utilized in impacting the life of these youths was to execute a talent hunt project titled, “The KSC Talent Hunt” and our overall objective was to discover and encourage the exceptional talents among them. The project idea, being an output of a brainstorming executive meeting suggested by the Drama CD coordinator, Alhaja Igara A.O., was initiated by a team of Drama CD leaders namely: Bode Olatunji, Oscar Odeigah, Juan Onasanya, Corper Anita and Ekeagwu Khan. These wonderful folks met on the 21st of October and came up with the talent show idea which later developed into an ongoing project. A project team consisting of the executive CD members and other dynamic corps members was set up to ensure the attainment of its deliverable. That was how the project kicked off. Today, it can be said that the Drama CD group of Eti-Osa 1 LG have not just influenced their environment but also heightened the hopes of many students in the Kuramo Senior Secondary School.
After much planning and deliberations with the school authority, the project team set the scope of the project which included the auditioning of students who had singing, dancing, acting, comedy, modeling and football joggling talents in them. This decision was agreed upon and after further discussions and the audition which was scheduled for 12 noon on the 21st of October 2011 commenced was held at the school hall of the Kuramo Senior Secondary School. Out of the initial 104 registrants, about 79 students were bold enough to step onto the centre stage. Among these were great performers like Winfred Prince (singer), ThankGod (rapper), Christoper Geoffrey a.k.a. Flexy (rapper), Miracle Uche (Actress), Deborah Babatunde (Choreographer) and Godfrey Armstrong (Model). After the auditioning event, the floor was opened to the general audience for their chance to dance. During this, the School’s Home Economics students led by their gracious teacher, Mr. Kayode Alebiosun, sold tasty delicacies which they had made during a practical class in their kitchen to NYSC corps members who gladly bought them all to encourage the young bakers. The auditioning process saw 20 participants through to the grand finale.
At the colourful grand finale which took place on October 28 at the school’s assembly ground, many corps members showed up at 1.35 pm after the general CD. The Drama CD Group of Eti-Osa 1 then donated plated slates having inscriptions of each prime office designation to the school principal, Mrs Thariah who gladly accepted them on behalf of all the teachers. After a series of wonderful performances by the final twenty contestants, a panel of esteemed Judges consisting of corps members Adedeji Adetunji, Yemi Ladejobi, Grace Okey, Ifeoma Utojiuba and the Drama CD coordinator, Alhaja Igara, carefully compared score sheets and rigorously selected the top performers. Later, the winners emerged and consolation prizes were given to the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th top performers while winners of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions received the major prizes.
All the NYSC corps members present doubtless had a wonderful time and several students of the Kuramo Senior Secondary School attested to being encouraged. The passionate rapper and first position winner in the talent show, Christopher Geoffrey (Flexy), was immensely grateful to the organisers of the event (the Drama CD group of Eti-Osa 1 LG in Victoria Island) for organizing the event and providing a platform for them all to exhibit their talents. And personally, as a project team member, who was initially unenthusiastic about the talent show, this is my testimony: to impact other lives, you do not have to sacrifice all. Just a little out of your time, skills and bearable allowance will do.