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“Arts for Guns”, a painting competition held on the 30th of October

2010 at Stella Maris Secondary School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

The aim and purpose of the Mundus maris initiative in the Niger Delta is to provide a platform whereby scientific and relevant indigenous knowledge support action for a healthy environment, security for all and a good future for young people. In this context, we encourage artistic expression about the marine ecosystem in order to promote its restoration, conservation and sustainable use; and to further the study, understanding and respect of aquatic ecosystems and associated biological and cultural diversity.

On this note a painting competition with the theme “Arts a Substitute for Guns” was organised by the Mundus maris Team, supported by the Agricultural Support Foundation Team led by its Executive Director, Dr. (Mrs) Adaba Ibim Tonye. The competition was held on the 30th of October at the Stella Maris Secondary School. Participants were from the University of Port Harcourt and University of Uyo as well as from various Secondary Schools mostly in Port Harcourt (Rivers State) and Oron (Cross River State) as listed below:

  • University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State
  • University of Uyo, Akwa, Ibom State
  • Stella Maris Secondary School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
  • Infant Jesus Model Secondary School, Oron, Akwa, Ibom State
  • Faith International College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
  • Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State
  • Government Secondary School, Elekahia, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
  • Sacred Heart Seminary, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
  • Niger Grammar School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

The Honourable Commissioner for Youth Development in Rivers State was ably represented by Mr. Dimkpa Pene P.T.

The frontiers for Mundus maris included:

  • A.T. Ibim, Executive Director Agriculture Support Foundation
  • Ineba Bobmanuel, EU-INSIDE
  • Wokocha Chima Chibuike, University of Port Harcourt
  • Christian O. Amadi, Agriculture Support Foundation
  • Davies I. Chris, Agriculture Support Foundation
  • Solomon Tamunobelema, Agriculture Support Foundation
  • Okonofua U.A., Fine Arts Department at the University of Uyo
  • Stella Williams, Vice President, Mundus maris Board

Prior to the competition, several schools were visited to enlighten both the students and their teachers on the aims and objectives of the arts competition and exhibition. This was mostly done by Adaba, Christian, Davies and Joy, but also by Ineba. At the same time, social/government parastatals were visited and given invitation letters to come and witness the event. Several meetings were also held with students of the Universities of Port Harcourt and Uyo. They were made aware about the competition and exhibition and invited to participate actively. Click here for impressions about the different stages of the preparations. In the end, some of those schools were not able to participate, while others joint even without a preparatory visit.

On the 28th of October 2010, Prof. Stella Williams, a founding member of Mundus maris, arrived in Port Harcourt and was received at the airport by Adaba Ibim and Chima Wokocha. She was briefed on plans, the implementation modalities and extent of preparations of the painting competition. On the 29thof October, Adaba Ibim, Executive Director of Agriculture Support Foundation, convened a meeting of all frontiers at her house to make sure everybody knew his or her role in receiving the young people the next day and create good conditions for expressing their creativity.

With last minute arrangements in place the crucial day was finally there, 30th of October, at Stella Maris Secondary School in Port Harcourt.