Schools in riverine areas lack practical experience – Queen Akinyomi, Face of Gbaramatu Int’l

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Her Majesty, Queen Helma Akinyomi, Face of Gbaramatu Interantional 2019

By Shina Badmus & Loveth Ojogun

In this interview with GBARAMATUVOICE, Her Majesty, Queen Helma Akinyomi, who is the Face of Gbaramatu Int’l 2019 bares her mind on her growing up, how she became a beauty queen, her love for the Niger Delta and sundry issues.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Helma Peredesabofa Akinyomi. I was born on May 1st, 1999. I am from Igbokoda Community, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State and Warri South West Local Govt Area of Delta State. I attended Royal Primary School, Udu Local Government, Delta state and Auntie Rose secondary school in, Effurun, Delta State, where I graduated in 2014. I am presently studying microbiology at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State.

Your growing up

My growing up was quite interesting. I stayed with my grandmother because my mum and my dad got separated when I was but a little girl. She sold fish in the village; she was also in the village often to fish in the rivers. My mum who had secondary school education also learnt welding, which she practices very well today. When my grandmother passed on, I went to stay with my aunt. It was fun for me because I got to make new friends due to the fact that sometimes I will stay with my aunt. I have different aunts. I would stay with one aunt for a while then with another. So, I was always going to places. It was interesting.

Have you ever nursed the idea of been a Beauty Queen as you grew?

Well, I have nursed the idea while growing up, although I never really got the chance to do it. Most times when I thought of it, I would be like my parent(s) won’t support it, so I just let it go like that. I never really expected the support I got. So it had always been one of my dreams.

Did you presume of winning after you saw other counterparts?

Yes. Although, when I first met with them I was unease, but for a while because I just came to the field and most of them had actually done it before. But I saw it as something that made me become strong. I like competition, it is one thing that actually makes me work harder and if I don’t see competition in a place, it weakens me. I always like getting into competition because it makes me to do more.

Being in a house with different people from different background for the duration of the competition how was the experience?

The experience was funny, meeting different people with different characters and attitudes. Some of them were actually unbelievable, but it was really fun, because I met a lot of people. I got to learn from them especially roommates. We had some time and got to talk. Some of them had been in contest before. They shared their experiences with everyone in the room and their challenges. With that, we had to support each other. Again being the first head of the house for the first time, I was surprised and the position really made me flow with most of them, because I had to start going to different rooms, giving them their different task, calling them out for different activities and it was essentially nice. I really enjoyed my stay in camp and the lecture about public speaking and the cat walk training. It was the first time I have had to walk for hours.

What was the feeling when your name was announced as the winner?

It was indescribable because I was just quaking inside, although most people didn’t notice because it’s within. The feeling was actually very powerful. I was speechless. It’s a moment I would live to remember.

In your own words, what did you think stood you out from other contestants?

Grace. I would say grace, because being the winner, it means you have been chosen among lots of girls, who had the same qualities of possessing that crown. So it’s definitely grace.

How have you been coping with the task of queen?

Well. I have been coping fine. I have been going through it. It’s a tough task though in the sense that I have different activities, projects that I have to work on and also my academics. I have to focus on that too. It’s actually something that is making me work on my multitasking ability and it’s been good so far.

How will you like to be remembered after your reign as a Queen, what will you like your successor to know?

I would like to be remembered for the impact I have made because I believe success is measured by how much you have impacted on people around you, how much you have influenced them to think like you. I would really like to be remembered for what I have done, for the lives I have changed positively and I would like my successor to know that being a Queen is not just for yourself alone, you are in charge of what goes on around you and you have to take note, be conscious of what is happening around you and how you can make positive changes in those areas.

What are the projects and plans you are going to embark on?

The pet project, firstly, in respect to my birthday, May 1st, I will be going on a tour to riverine areas in Warri South West and Warri North LGAs, where we would visit different schools. We are going to donate white boards, books and other materials for their education. Also for the Children’s Day coming up on May 27 we would visit schools in the riverine areas to celebrate with them.

As someone who is in the field of sciences, how can the Federal, State and Local councils provide high qualitative education in sciences in the riverine areas?

In the riverine areas they lack science teachers, they lack necessary equipments. If there are science teachers they will do more. I would like to call on the government to make provision for laboratory equipments because as a science student, I like practical works. Practical works are something that when you carry them out they stick to your memory. Theory is just the basis, but engaging in practical, you get to learn new techniques. As a science student, you really need the practical aspect and in the riverine areas, they lack the laboratory equipment. If the government actually makes provision for laboratory equipment, I believe they are going to make good students. Good students actually grow to make good interactions, not just to make Nigeria grow, but the whole world better.

How can teaching method improve students’ love for science in riverine areas?

Student teacher relationship is very important for the students’ education. Teaching method can actually improve the students love for science courses, because if the teacher can explain to them and make the subject interesting it will change things. I would use myself as an example: in my secondary school days, although I like all my subjects, but I didn’t really like chemistry. I performed very low in it, but when they changed the teachers, I got to perform better. It was as if I was just being introduced to different thing again, because I had to start going back to read and I fell in love with it. So I will encourage the teachers to have a good relationship with the students because when the students love the teacher they will love the subject and I have noticed it a lot that if the students don’t like the teacher they wouldn’t want to listen to the subject the teacher is teaching.

I would want to advise the government to employ science teachers in the riverine areas. What I have noticed is that the riverine areas lack science teachers in schools. I would plead with the government of Delta, Ondo, Bayelsa and Edo states to employ qualified teachers to enable the students through their secondary school stage. This is important because if you go to the riverine areas most students are scared when it comes to science subjects, resultant of teachers not really encouraging and the students don’t want to act.

What do you have to tell your fans?

I would like to use this medium to thank the organizers of Face of Gbaramatu International Beauty Pageant, the GbaramatuVoice Media Group, and the sponsors of this great pageant, I want to thank you all. I want to thank my contestant for the fun memories, we had lots of fun. Thank you. My parent(s) and guardians and well-wishers are not left out of this Thank You message. Also I would want to thank our catwalk instructor, our director and our chaperon. Thanks to everyone who came thus far in this journey and those I would meet in the line of duty.