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by Foluke Akinmoladun

Working with a school teacher and other interested people, including Dr Okonofua U.A., Fine Arts Department at the University of Uyo, Foluke Akinmoladun, Kenny Odili and Tammy Daka successfully organised a get together in November 2012 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with children and youth to participate in the names-giving contest for the Mundus maris contest.

From the smallest kids in pre-school age to some teenagers, a sense of engagement and expectation reigned among all participants.

What happens to the babyfish? How best to protect them? What could be the names that best characterise courage, wit and love for life? These and other questions were asked and translated into drawings and suggestions to respond to the invitation of Mundus maris.




The original approach here in Port Harcourt was to combine the naming with some playful drawing exercises. The crayons do not reproduce very well on the screen, but this did not in any way diminish the fun of the event organised at the Like Minds Christian Church. Fifteen kids and youth participated in that gathering.

By way of example, Fekosufa Bodisere Princess of Niger Delta University suggested Bodisindi for the male and Ebitimi for the female baby fish. Fekosufa gave the reasons for the names as: Bodisindi means a fish that deserves to come and Ebitimi means a good gift. Where I come from, we believe that fish are a good gift to mankind.

Benjamin Pius in junior secondary 3 of High Grade International School off Peace Drive put forward another proposal: Kou for the male and Pieri for the female baby fish. He says: Kou means fish that is good for health, and Pieri means tiny fish.

He also suggests the following ways to protect the baby fish: Increase the mesh sizes of the nets so that only big fish can be caught. When these nets are made in the urban areas, they will eventually be available in the rural areas as well.

There was another event for small kids:

Mrs Effiom and Mrs. Ukot served as coaches for that gathering at Elton Christian School, Abuloma, Port Harcourt, with 8 kids between five and six years old. Never mind the age, they were fully concentrated on the challenge to give names to the baby fish and imagine how best to protect them in healthy environmental conditions.