By NBF News

'The academic landscape of Nigeria has become a two-dimensional wasteland of children regurgitating text books rather than truly understanding what they have been taught.' These were the words of Ita Hozaife, originator of Act 1 kids Summer School, last week at Freedom Park, Marina, Lagos.

Hozaife was at the venue of the summer school, which lasted for 6-weeks and which provided a forum for young boys and girls to learn how to sing, act, dance and play music courtesy of professionals from Nigeria, United Kingdom and USA. Organised by Ink Marks in collaboration with Inspiration FM and sponsored by Nutricima through its brand Nunu, Hozaife said the whole idea is to empower Nigerians through arts and entertainment with emphasis on kids and teenagers of between six to 18 years.

Her words: 'They (children) lack the innate ability to interpret and comprehend the subjects being taught in the classrooms. Our solution to this is the creation of a three dimensional education that produces well-rounded Nigerians, who can use their imagination to develop their critical thinking skills.' She hinted that the greatest gift to an individual is the ability to imagine, which is the birthplace of reality. She added however that for anyone to impact on his or her world, he or her must imagine success in this area.

'The summer camp teaches children to incorporate the craft of theatre into their academics and everyday lives, developing concentration, imagination, professionalism, character and self-confidence along the way. We place premium on imagination' explained Hozaife. Meanwhile the camp also afforded children the opportunity to develop their artistic skills while they discovered new and profound ways of expressing themselves on stage and getting self-confidence, learning how to assert themselves, working within a team while also respecting and relying on one another for better results.

Hozaife said she planned to hold two major camps - one during Easter break and the regular summer holiday for 2012 as well as the launch of Act 1 Angels alongside Act 1 kids. A play, entitled Wazobia, was performed to thrill the audience while Footprint of David, a dance group, performed the South African Zulu dance to make the event lively while a poem, entitled Tranquility, was read by a quartet among the children.

Awards were later presented to participants in various categories, including Best dancers, won by Bolatito Oshewa and Prisca Oparaji, just as Fogofoluwa Segun Babatunde and Toluwanimi Segun Babatunde won the best actor category. Best vocalist went to Ella Amah and Ijeoma Okeke while best behaved student was carted away by the duo of Efe Palmer Ikuku and Toluwanimi Segun Babatunde.

The Awards were presented by Femi Odugbemi, IK, Jahman Anikulapo and No 1 respectively.

Also Brand Manager of Nutricima Ltd., Bimpe Osanyintuyi, said Nunu stood for nutrition and that the company was delighted to partner with others to realise the project, which nurtures creativity and growth thus culminating in friendly educative platform for children.

She said Nutricima sought to provide nutritionally sound products that improve the nutritional and health status of consumers.