Nigeria’s Oluwademilade Odumuboni has emerged as the global grand prize winner of the 2022/23 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.
The 10-year-old pupil of Corona School, Gbagada, Lagos, won the coveted prize after beating 782,852 other contestants from 90 countries.
The competition is organised annually by Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Japan for school children all over the world, challenging them to draw their dream cars with an inspirational idea.
Master Odumuboni’s waste converter drawing,
with the concept of helping countries, especially African communities, in food production and ensuring clean environment, was adjudged the best globally.
He was on Saturday September 2 honoured and presented with a prize money of $5,000, a trophy, and a certificate at a ceremony organised by Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL) in Lagos on behalf of the TMC of Japan.
His school, Corona, was also given $10,000 prize money.
The prize money awarded to Demilade and the school is meant strictly for educational purposes.
His Art teacher, Mr Ojeagbega Oserogho, received a laptop for helping the gifted boy to excel.
Managing Director, Toyota (Nigeria) Limited, Mr Kunle Ade-Ojo, said, “We are very excited and elated. Indeed, we are very proud of the feat that Demilade achieved by also placing Toyota (Nigeria) Limited in the forefront of distributors globally.”
He said the Nigerian star boy’s unique idea and dream had placed him and Nigeria on the global map of one of the largest Global Art Contests for children.
“His unique and truly inspirational idea expressed in an equally creative drawing earned him a global grand prize in the contest beating over 782,852 contestants from 90 countries/regions.”
Ade-Ojo said while the parent company, TMC of Japan initiated the contest in 2004, Toyota Nigeria keyed into it four years later as a corporate social responsibility initiative to help children express their imagination of a future car through drawing.
“Apart from the shield and prize money from Toyota Motor Corporation that Demilade will be going home with, Toyota (Nigeria) Limited will also present a certificate and trophy to him,” he added.
The contest, he said, was also meant to drive the children to imagine a peaceful world full of smiles and to promote a friendly society.
“This way, Toyota is also cultivating a lifetime friendship with all these children while encouraging them to care for our planet and push their imagination beyond limits,” he stated. Ade-Ojo said annually, like other participant countries, three winners are picked in Nigeria from each age category: Category 1 (children not older than seven years); Category 2 (8-11 years); and Category 3 (12-15 years old), making nine winners.
The shortlisted nine national winners and their drawings are sent to Japan to compete with other drawings received from all over the world.
The Saturday ceremony was attended by parents of the star prize winner, family members, selected pupils from the school and their teachers led by the Head Teacher, Henrietta Eguagie.
Also in attendance were the three judges that shortlisted the drawing in Nigeria for the world competition.
Eguagie commended Oluwadamilade for his remarkable achievement that had brought glory to the school.
She also hailed Toyota for the initiative of inspiring young people to unleash their creative expression and artistic potential.
“As one of Nigeria’s leading educational institutions, we are dedicated to utilising this prize money in a manner that directly benefits the learning experiences and development of our students.”
Specifically, Eguagie listed areas they plan to invest the money as Toyota Dream Car Endowment Fund, Oluwademilade grant for art, establishment of art gallery and exhibition, digital art studio, art and tech competition, among others.
The star boy, in his response expressed gratitude to the TNL and the TMC for the opportunity to express himself through art; as well as his school, art teachers, parents for their encouragement.
“I appreciate Toyota for this award and for believing in a little child like me..I’m also grateful for the big award shield; I’ll surely display it in my room and admire it every day when I wake up in the morning. This experience has taught me that hard work pays and that we should never give up.”