How 12-year-old Akinyele became a National Spelling Bee Champion

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When Akeelah and the Bee movie was released in 2006, many children who watched it hoped they would go for spelling competitions and become champions.

Akinyele Ademoyegun


That hope became a reality for 12-year-old Akinyele Ademoyegun, an SS 1 student from Kaydel Comprehensive College, Ikorodu, Lagos. Following participation from over 13,000 children across the country, Akinyele emerged winner of the 2021 MTN mPulse spelling bee competition.

Akinyele was crowned champion after correctly spelling the word “Kernite”, defeating Ekene Dondavis Okwuchukwu from Classic Comprehensive College, Lagos. He also correctly spelt “Claustrophobic”, “Antiquarian”, “Herbaceous”, “Incunabulum”, and “Ignoble” in the various stages of the finale.

Akinyele will receive a ₦2 million scholarship, laptop, smartphone, mPulse goody bags, and Nestle products. As a winner, his school will also be given state-of-the-art ICT devices, including 10 laptops and 10 Hynet Modems, while his English teacher will be awarded N350,000 cash and a laptop.

Sharing his excitement after his emergence as the champion of the 2021 mPulse Spelling Bee, Akinyele Ademoyegun said he felt like the best speller in the world. “I would like to thank my parents, siblings, teachers and even my schools for their support because, without them, I would not be here,” he said.

Speaking to the finalists at the event, Adia Sowho, the Chief Marketing Officer MTN Nigeria, congratulated the contestants for making it into the finals. She said, “A great start to building young Nigerians is through education and opportunity. One way to do both is with competitions like the mPulse Spelling Bee. We hope that this event gives our young ones a chance to get comfortable with learning in the digital space as we consistently work to deliver a bold new digital world.”

The mPulse spelling bee is one of many initiatives by MTN Nigeria that enables students across the country between the ages of 9 and 15 in primary and secondary schools to excel academically through healthy competition, improve and learn new skills while having fun at the same time.

Source: TheNet