Ondo State Nigeria:
An emerging children’s entertainer, Uncle Speed celebrated 27 village kids of St. Augustine Primary School Annex when he took them on a free excursion, in commemoration of the Children’s Day, from Ilere (a village in Ondo State) to the National Museum in Owo, giving them so many exciting freebies on their return on their return home.
Said Uncle Speed, after the excursion, “this is the first phase of our first outing on ‘Project 27’; our plan to organize free education and fun tour for rural kids not only in Nigeria but across Africa. Like this first successful attempt, the idea is to identify a Primary School in a village, select 27 talented kids from the school, solicit for gifts for kids from benevolent citizens, and take them on tour to an exciting location.
“For these kids we got gift support from everywhere and they came in twenty-sevens. We got Pencils, Exercise Books, Erasers, School Sandals, Socks, Drawing Books, Crayons, Umbrellas, and even New School Uniforms from the gifts. All coming from kind Nigerians from all parts of the country. If you notice, we deliberately avoided the government because we want the project to be Citizen-Driven Project. Truth is the poor rural child doesn’t ask for too much; they just want basic exciting things. And I must add that on the eve of the excursion, we had a Spaghetti Party for all the Children in the Village, and even the Oba Akintola, the Alere of Ilere, was in attendance.”
The Kids traveled in an Air-Conditioned Bus and journeyed through the new beautiful streets of Akure stopped by at Captain Cook (an eatery) to pick pack of cakes, doughnut, and Chin-Chin before leaving for the National Museum Owo. They got Pencils and Exercise Books to write down their experiences, especially inside the Museum where cameras are not allowed.
Inside the Museum, their tour guide took them through six sections of the Exhibit Gallery. And they so for the first time lots of exciting things.
They saw a Polished Stone Axe, a Ground Stone Axe and other archeological excavations from Iwo Eleru by a British Archaeologist, Professor Shaw in 1965. They saw the creativity of NOK Terracotta Heads. They saw Ivory, Coral and Textile that exhibited similarity in artistic style among Owo, Ife, Benin Art traditions. They saw Chain Clothes, worn for defense in ancient Owo, they saw Clay Pots older than all of their ages put together, and amongst other exciting things, they saw excavations from Igbo Laja, which were dated back to 15th Century, and which were connected to the appeasement, and appeal for assistance to Oronsen, the beautiful, influential and affluent Queen of Olowo turned goddess.
After they left the Museum, the Kids visited JOF Ideal Family Farms to learn how oil is extracted from Soya and Palm Kernel for consumption. And how the waste products from the process are used as chicken feeds in Poultries.
Back inside the bus and back on the road to their village, Uncle Speed taught the kids new poems, new songs and new games. They stopped over again at Captain Cook to take scrumptious cups of Vanilla Ice Cream; played around the fabulous fountain opposite the eatery, where they were joined by Hon. Femi Fatukasi (the Executive Secretary of Akure South Local Government Education Authourity). They took lots of photographs around the Fountain, and when they got to the village, blasts from little Vuvuzelas Uncle Speed gave them heralded their arrival.
Uncle Speed’s Project 27 is designed to give rural children the chance to go places they would not otherwise be able to attend because of economic difficulties.
But beyond ‘attending’ Uncle Speed adds, “we want to provide an opportunity for them to learn things that are tough to teach in a school environment. Doing this, we also want them to have some fun by breaking away from monotonous school routine and doing something new and different in a new environment.”
Uncle Speed and the 27 Kids were accompanied by Mrs. Alimi, their Headmistress, two teachers, a staff of the Local Government Education Authority, and the school’s PTA Chairman, representing the village.
Category: Press Release