How Ebonyian Won International Art Competition

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The National Art Competition with the theme: “Sheroes” was held in November, 2020. It was organized by the United Nations – European Union (UN-EU) Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria, aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls.  

The physical exhibition was held at the United Nations House in Abuja, while the prize-giving ceremony was held at the Presidential Banquet Hall, State House, Aso Rock, Abuja on the same day, 9th March, 2021. 

It was one of the grand events meant to commemorate the International Women’s Day in Nigeria.

An Ebonyian, Mr. Ukie Ogbonnia, who works with the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Alike, Ikwo, came first in the competition and was named the UN Ambassador to AE-FUNAI in the use of art to combat violence against women and girls. 

The first prize was an HP laptop and a mystic bag.

About the Award: 

The competition was aimed at raising awareness about VAWG/SGBV/HP among the public, and to support the zero-tolerance-of-violence environment promoted by the Spotlight Initiative, with a view to support long-term recovery and social inclusion of women and girl survivors through arts and with an additional effect of relieving the increasing social tension exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To be more concrete, the competition called for two categories of artworks: painting and poetry, representing attitudes, visions, expressions and messages against VAWG/SGBV/HP and/or demonstrating the contributions and resilience of women and girls within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

The selected artworks demonstrated deep visual and spiritual experience of the author on the issue of VAWG/SGBV/HP and equally inspire the audience.

A total of 659 entries were received from participants for the competition which started in September, 2020. 

420 entries for poetry and 239 entries for painting. Winners selections were based on the combination of 60% decision of the UNESCO panel of judges and 40% by public online voting. 

A total of 9,383 votes were collated from online public voting. 

Ukie, Ogbonnia pulled a total of 1,174 votes to take the lead in the painting category.

As a result of his victory, Ukie was named a UN Ambassador, in the use of art to eliminate violence against women and girls.

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