We want to be part of development in Nigeria-Leke Bamtefa, SAA boss

L-r: Mr. Ohis Ehimiaghe, ‎Regional Manager , SAA, Victory Yinka-Banjo, Winner of the competition and Mrs. Kemi Leke-Bamtefa, National Sales manager, SAA at the event


…as airline gives back to Nigerian youths in cash, kind at Essay competition


By Sade Williams


South African Airways (SAA), has said that it will not leave any stone unturned in giving back to Nigeria where it had successfully operated to from its base in Johannesburg in the last 20 years.


This is just as the airline held the grand finale of its maiden edition of Essay completion in Lagos on Friday where it rewarded the youths with cash and other prizes.


Mrs. Kemi Leke-Bamtefa, National Sales manager, SAA, who spoke to journalists after the grand finale of the first SAA Essay competition with theme; Patriotism: Making a difference as a youth, said the competition will hold every year, adding that this is just one way of investing in Nigerian youths and in a place the airline’s operations had been successful in the last twenty years.

Master Ojo Purpose Oluwapelumi , first runner up receives his trophy from Mr. Basil Agboarumi, chairman of the assessment panel, at the event


“It’s a South African Airways event, it is part of what we have in stock for Nigeria,  we are a South African company based in Nigeria, we’ve been around for 20 years, we will be twenty years in December, we have series of activities this year, in fact this year, we have two Essay competitions. We want to be part of development in Nigeria, I do not believe in people saying that our leaders have failed us, but I say we have failed ourselves. Part of this is impacting on the youth and making them look inwards and see how they can contribute to the development of Nigeria, this is not about Nelson Mandela or about South Africa, it is strictly about Nigeria and Nigerian youth and how we can contribute to the economy”, she said.


She said the airline plans to take the competition to Universities and even Orphanages, adding that apart from prizes given to the students, they will be taken on familiarization tour to South Africa to have an experience of the technical side of aviation.


“We will soon orgarnise a press conference on our activities, especially on the 20th anniversary that we will celebrate this year. We just want to start the year on a positive note, the Essay completion started in September 2017 and we just want to have the grand finale in January.


“We are going to run it every year, it is not just once, it is yearly, the competition can go to Universities, it can also go to Orphanages. We have cash prizes, we have consolation prizes for others and we are looking at a community of where everybody (participants) can come together and have a familiarisation trip to South Africa, we also want to support the growth of the students as they move on”, she added.


Meanwhile, Miss Victory Yinka-Banjo from Princeton College, Surulere, Lagos State, won the competition as she went home with N100,000 cheque and other prizes; Master Ojo Purpose Oluwapelumi from Liz International College, Giwa Oke-aro, Ogun State came second while Miss Halim Blessing of Princeton came third.

Miss Halim Blessing, second runner up, receives her trophy from Mr. Tope Ogbeni-Awe, media consultant to SAA , at the event

The winners and other seven finalists all went home with cash and consolation prizes.


Speaking on the development, Mr. Basil Agboarumi, chairman of the assessment panel, who is also the public relations officer of Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL), thanked the management of SAA for such initiative adding that now is the time to start beaming searchlight on Nigerian youths who are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow.


He urged Nigerian youths to be proud of their country anytime, adding that patriotism will help to make Nigeria a great place.


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