Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga reports the meeting between two strong and personable female achievers to give boost to the campaign for reading culture in the country.
The reigning Miss Nollywood Nigeria 2014/2015, Queen Gwendolyn E. Okutele, visited Ambassador Oluebube Sharon James of Beulahfield College Ejigbo, Lagos, on Tuesday, penultimate week. The former Miss ‘Face of the Niger Delta’ and current Miss Nollywood Nigeria 2014/2015 was welcomed on arrival by the Principal, Mr. Adetunji, some teachers and students of the school .
Her host, Ambassador Oluebube Sharon James, Nigeria/Africa’s youngest published author, who according to the Guinness book of records, is probably the second youngest female published author in the world, after the youngest male author in the world. Queen Gwendolyn, the Okpe born beauty queen of Adagbrasa-Amukpe extraction in Sapele Local Government area of Delta State, who is also a very intelligent lady, drove all the way from Ekiti, where she is a finale year student of the Department of Business Administration at the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti.
On the occasion of her visit, Queen Gwendolyn donated about 250 copies of her branded exercise books with her photos to about 200 students who accompanied the host to welcome her in the school. The principal and teachers were also happy to welcome her as they listened to her story of how, while she was ‘Face of Niger Delta’ she carried out vigorous campaign against cultism, the drive for peace in the Niger Delta Area, and the care for the motherless babies.
She told the students of her roles in movies like ‘Jack n Jill’, featuring Aki and Pawpaw, ‘Men in love’ featuring Tonto Dike, John Dumelo and Muna Obiekwe, ‘My fantasy’ featuring Tonto Dike, AjibolaDabo, ‘Unthinkable’ featuring Jim Lawson and many others. She answered 33 different questions from the students and also made cash donations to some of the students who asked what she described as excellent questions. During the question and answer segment, she was able to clarify the mind of the young students about ‘Sex in Nollywood’. The students wanted to find out if the scenes are real or mere acting.
She took the pain to explain to them that it cannot be real considering the fact the movies are not recorded behind close doors as they appear on the screen, but that they are recorded in front of a large crowd of other actors/actress, producer, director and many others. Between the Queen Gwen and her host Amb Sharon, there was book exchange, while she gave Sharon 250 copies of her exercise books to Sharon’s school, Sharon in return made a presentation of about 100 copies of her book ‘Freedom’ to the Queen.
Naomi James, Sharon’s younger sister also presented her with 50 copies of her own book “The Broken Beautiful Pot.” She encouraged them to keep reading saying, “Reading is the only gateway to academic, intellectual and information development and success in all spheres of life.” While commenting on Sharon’s academic prowess at school, her Class Teacher of SS2, Mrs. Patience Ugwu, said “She is always seen reading her books.
She is every parent’s dream child.” The School Principal, Mr. AdetunjiFolrunsho, also corroborated Ugwu’s statement. He said “Sharon is a very intelligent and responsible student. She is one of the best students in the school. In fact, the best in her class and has attracted a lot of big personalities to our school.” Sharon wrote her first book “Freedom” at age 6, in 2006.
This feat has brought the author worldwide recognition from many personalities. In December 2011, she also received an honourable phone call from American- based Nigerian born Computer wizard Professor Philip Emegwali, who showed great interest in her book and encouraged her to write more.
Likewise, on the 23 of February 2012, she played host to Professor George Luchiri Wajackoya in her school, when the American based Professor of Law and Kenya’s Presidential candidate visited her school. Moreover, it seems intelligence runs in the family of Sharon as her younger sister, Ulomachukwu Naomi James, a JSS2 student, has also authored a book titled “The Broken Beautiful Pot” – a story about a young girl given out by her mother for domestic assistant job, but she ended up in prostitution, unfortunately she got pregnant and died while delivering the baby.
In terms of other recognitions that Sharon has received for her exceptional feat, on the 17th of July 2012 she was awarded with a Certificate of Recognition form “Shake The Tree” Organisation in America, for her accomplishment and valuable contribution to the world of literature.
She has also hosted former Governor Rotimi Amaechi, professor Wole Soyinka, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Ochiagha Reagan John Ufomba, Chief Olu Jacobs, Professor J. P. Clark and many others. On July 20, 2013, she was crowned her School Ambassador, “Mercyfield Ambassador”. Sharon is presently in SS2. She was special guest at the August 2013, she was Special Teen Guest at “Ten To Sixteen/Coker-Aguda Back To School Book Fair” held at the Coker-Aguda Development Council. From the 15-17thof November 2013, she was among the Readers at the “Green Festival” Green Reading’ young authors of the Lagos book fair held at the Freedom Park, Lagos. On February 20, 2015, she won the ‘Youngster of the Year’
The Ikenna Kalu Facebook Award (TIKFA) 2014. She has autographed her book for personalities including Professor Wole Soyinka, Professor JP Clark. She has featured in over a dozen book readings in Lagos and has donated over 2000 copies of her book, ‘Freedom’ to schools, Orphanages and NGO. She was also voted the author of the week by the Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014 which held from 10-17th February 2014.
Another of her glorious moment was Saturday April 26, 2014 when she featured on 92.3 Inspiration FM. on “Teen Times with Chichi” and was subsequently appointed to reign for the Monday, April 28th to May 5th 2014, as tweek as the Teen Times Leading youth, “Teen Of The Week’ on the 9ineteen Magazine website. She was the cover page of ‘Life Experience’ magazine for the month of May 2014. She was also invited as a guest at the World Book Capital in Port Harcourt, where she donated 30 copies of her book for the programme.
The foregoing underscores the clarion call for the promotion of reading culture made by former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan during his tenure. Parents should form the habit of reading to their children as early as possible from kindergarten. It goes a long way to build the intellectual and academic abilities of children as they are grow into adults.
As her fame spreads, Sharon has been bringing prominent people to her school. She started writing at the age of 5, but presented her first published book on her 6th birthday. Sharon would discuss soon with Chichi on “How parents can help boost the dreams and talents of their children’ afterDorothy Straight author of “How the World Began” in 1962 at age 4. She is therefore a worthy Ambassador of her school.