The start of the semi-finals of the on-going Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz Show actually lived to its billings last weekend as speed, accuracy and composure became the weapons of ‘war’ in the hands of the twelve contestants fighting for honours in the first of the three semi-finals of the competition.
In the junior category, it was a fierce mental warfare that saw Oluwafunmbi Fakorede of Bibo Oluwa Academy, Ilesha, Osun State; and Dennis Balogun of Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State secure the final tickets for their respective schools.
Maje Shuaibu of NTIC Kano Boys, Kano State; Oluwafunke Alabi of Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State; Micah Gabriel of Evangel College, Gombe, Gombe State; and Toyosi Olorunfemi of Model Secondary School, Ilesanmi Village, Oba-Ile, Akure, Ondo State however, did not crash out without a fight, as the contest stretched into a tie breaker twice.
In the second round, the trio of Fakorede, Balogun and Alabi tied on one hundred points, while Balogun flew past Alabi and Fakorede in the first tie breaker. The second tie breaker eventually became a heart breaker for Alabi who could not match the superior firepower of Fakorede who joined Balogun on the final train.
Balogun and Fakorede expressed confidence in their abilities to do well in the final contest. “I feel great to get to this point, but the battle is not over. I will go and prepare well for the final battle, most especially, I will heed my teacher’s advice to improve on my speed,” an elated Balogun told journalists outside the studio in Lagos.
In the senior category, Blessing Udo of The Ambassador College, Ota, Ogun State and Hasanah Adeyanju of Ota Total Academy, Ota, Ogun State subdued Oluwaseun Ahmed of Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State; Kenechukwu Egbo of Marist Brothers Juniorate, Uturu, Abia State; Uwakmfon Utuk of Pegasus High School, Eket, Akwa Ibom State; and Yusuf Jimoh of Federal Government College, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Ahmed whose 55 marks could not take her beyond the first round stage of the semi-final contest, betrayed emotion and wept after her ouster, despite words of encouragement from the Quiz master.
The duo of Udo and Adeyanju jumped for joy and gave kudos to their teachers for their success thus far in the competition. They pledged to work harder to win the ultimate prize. ‘’I will definitely work on my accuracy and speed. That is what my teacher has been telling me. I will not let him down. I want to make my parents happy too. That has been my prayer and I am believing God for success.” Adeyanju said.
The ultimate prize for this year’s edition is One million naira and an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country. The teachers of the winning students will receive Four hundred thousand naira each.
The airing of the programme continues this weekend; AIT Network on Saturday, 7. 00p.m; TVC Lagos, Saturday,8.00p.m.; NTA Ibadan, Saturday, 9. 30a.m; NTA Kano, Saturday, 2.00 p.m.; CRBC Calabar, Saturday 7.00p.m.; NTA Onitsha, Sunday, 5. 00p.m; STV Jos, Sunday, 5.00 p.m. Also, you can watch it on DSTV Channel 154 on Saturday, 9.00 p.m.