Diamond Bank PLC, a leading retail bank in Nigeria has ignited a huge wave of enthusiasm among school children who now see a rewarding career and a future in art and literary studies after winners of outstanding paintings and literary works were celebrated and rewarded with gifts and cash prizes at the just concluded ‘Vision of the Child’ (VOTC) competition.

Most of the school children who won prizes and those aspiring to come tops in the next edition say that they would love to pursue a career in art and literary studies because of the enormous opportunities it holds for them.

The Vision of the Child is an artistic and literary competition for school children and forms part of activities to celebrate the Lagos Black Heritage Festival.

According to AyonaTrimnell, Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank the leading retail bank has supported the competition since inception in 2011.

“We are proud to be a part of these future art and literary geniuses whose paintings and literary works transcend their age and time. As part of our strategic focus, we see a lot of potential in these youth and will continue to support the growth and development of these young minds.”

Ashaka Victory Thona who emerged the first prize winner went home with N250, 000 while OloladeShittu who came second was rewarded with N200,000. Anthony Blessing who came third was given N180, 000. AnjolaOlanrewaju, Amosun Abraham and Okwuchukwu Ivy who were adjudged fourth, fifth and sixth place winners won N150,000, N120,000 and N100,000 respectively.

Benson Oraelosi, Regional Manager, Ikeja Region of the Bank, stated that the bank’s involvement in the competition was driven by its commitment to support the development of the country’s future leaders.

“Diamond Bank is wholly committed to supporting initiatives aimed at grooming the Nigerian child for global relevance. Since the inception of the competition, the children have always been challenged to engage their creativity in interpreting topical social issues, and the results have been very insightful. We are particularly pleased at the outcomes of these competitions because it is only through creativity that we can develop ideas to change the world.”

Speaking further, Benson noted that Diamond Bank understand the value of helping these children to attain their individual desires in art and literary works.

“Diamond Bank has further demonstrated its commitment to the future of the Nigerian child with Diamond Future, a children-friendly proposition designed to secure their educational ambitions. We are assured that the future of the country is indeed brighter with the level of creativity the children have showcased”.

EreluDosunmuAbiola, who represented Prof. Wole Soyinka, the Lagos Black Heritage Festival consultant, noted that many children are denied the opportunity to express themselves because society assumes that they do not understand social events.

“We do not need to limit the horizon of our children as they have their own unique interpretations to issues that adults may consider to be socially complex. Our contestants have shown that they have great thoughts demonstrated through impressive output. We hope to see great writers like Prof Wole Soyinka and celebrated painters like Prof Bruce Onobrakpeya emerge from platforms such as these,” Erelu stated.

At this fourth competition of the Vision of the Child competition, over 30 finalists participated in this 2015 edition themed “The Road to Sambisa.”