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25-year-old Nigerian Shines At New York Film Academy

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A 25-year-old Nigerian filmmaker, Idorenyen Uko, has achieved academic excellence by graduating with the highest distinction from the New York Film Academy, Los Angeles (NYFA’s).

The News. Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Uko, who hails from Akwa ibom boasted a perfect cumulative grade point average of 4.00.

During her academic journey at the academy, Uko, directed and produced outstanding films like “Sincerely Me” and “Error Connection”.

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” Each of the films showcased her unique storytelling style and cinematic flair.

In a telephone interview with NAN on Wednesday, Uko said that her ambition and vision extended beyond the bright lights of Hollywood.

She also expressed her passion for returning to Nigeria to revolutionise the country’s film industry.

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Uko said: “I aspire to create films that resonate with both Nigerian and international audiences alike.

” Our stories are unique, and it’s high time they received the global recognition they rightfully deserve.

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“I firmly believe we can achieve Hollywood-level production quality while staying true to our cultural roots.”

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According to her, she received the prestigious Summa Cum Laude distinction at NYFA’s commencement ceremony, held in August.

Uko said that the event was attended by fellow graduates, faculty members, family, and friends, all gathered to celebrate her remarkable journey and promising future.

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17-year-old Nigerian Offered Full Scholarships To Study Software Engineering

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A 17-year-old student, Emmanuela Ilok, has reportedly been awarded full scholarships to study Software Engineering by some of the world’s prestigious universities, including Stanford, MIT, Yale, UPenn, Princeton, and Columbia.

Education activist and CEO of Educare, Alex Onyia, shared Ilok’s accomplishments in a post on his X page on Sunday.

This is Emmanuela Ilok, the brilliant 17-year-old who received full scholarships to study Software Engineering at Stanford, MIT, Yale, UPenn, Princeton, and Columbia University,” Onyia wrote.

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According to him, Ilok’s academic prowess has already garnered national recognition, as she was awarded the country’s best in the International General Certificate of Secondary Education in Nigeria by the British Council.

Onyia also noted that Ilok developed software that uses Machine Learning to detect breast cancer in women, with an impressive 91% detection accuracy.

He wrote, “She built a software that uses Machine Learning to detect breast cancer in women and so far it has 91% detection accuracy.”

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Onyia, who hosted a virtual meeting for Ilok to speak with Nigerian students and guide them on how to prepare for and access such opportunities on Sunday, was left awestruck by her potential.

I spent over an hour listening to her today, and I can tell you that we have a superstar in her,” he said.

Onyia further emphasised the need to identify and nurture such exceptional talents, stating, “We have many hidden Emmanuelas in Nigeria, and we need to discover and support them. It’s time for Nigeria to shine.”

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Earlier, a young mathematics prodigy, Ugwoezuonu Ogechi Zara, was reportedly awarded an N21 million scholarship after scoring a perfect score of 100% in the primary category of the National Mathematics Competition organised by the Mathematics Association of Nigeria.

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Why I Relocated To US With My Family — Pastor Sam Adeyemi

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Founder and Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Sam Adeyemi, has revealed the reasons behind his relocation to the United States.

He said this during a virtual interview with Seun Okinbaloye on his programme ‘Mic On’ podcast, where the duo discussed Leadership Beyond Governance Politics and the Role of the Younger Generation in Nigeria.

The video, lasting one hour, thirty minutes, and forty-seven seconds, was streamed on the Mic On YouTube channel on Sunday.

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Earlier this year, Adeyemi explained why the older generations of Nigerians must put their act together and make Nigeria work.

He said it was important for the older generations, including the political and religious leaders, to retrace their steps and get the country working because the younger generation would soon begin asking questions.

Adeyemi revealed that COVID-19, EndSARS protests, and, notably, troubling dreams about Nigeria, prompted the relocation.

He said, “When COVID-19 started, all our children were in the US, so everyone stayed with their families. We stayed with our children. The week services resumed was when EndSARS started, so we were preparing to return to Nigeria.

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“When the EndSARS protests ended in violence, we stayed back a bit. When we were ready to return to Nigeria, a different experience altogether happened.

“My wife had a dream in which she travelled to Nigeria and returned to the US, which was a bad dream. I told her I wouldn’t say I liked this dream.

“Three days later, I had a dream. We both travelled to Nigeria in my dream, and I was in a big fight. I was being attacked violently, and I had to ask the Holy Spirit in my heart what to do.

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“He said I should call the name of Jesus Christ. I shouted ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ in the dream and didn’t realise I shouted out loud in real life.”

The gospel preacher and motivational speaker, who hails from Kogi State but was born in Niger State added that whenever they plan to return to the country, a bad dream brings a setback.

“My wife woke me up at 2:00 a.m. by hitting me and asking what was going on. We decided to take it seriously, especially considering a dream we had three days earlier.

“We prayed fervently, sensing danger. Three hours later, I fell back asleep and had another dream. We were in Nigeria this time, and I was in a fight,” he added.

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The president of Success Power International, an NGO that specialises in organising leadership, financial, and motivational seminars, revealed that whenever they (he and his wife) set dates and booked flights to return to Nigeria, he would have a bad dream about something terrible happening to him there (Nigeria).

He further stated that he had never experienced two dreams about the same event in one night.

“A few days later, we called family members in Nigeria, and one person said, ‘I’m feeling very uncomfortable about you travelling to Nigeria.’ We called another family member who said, ‘I feel uncomfortable about you coming. What is going on?’ We just turned and looked at each other, pondering the situation. Then I said, ‘You know what? I’ve been a Christian for 40 years.’

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“At this point, if God is speaking to me, I should have an idea that it is God speaking. Something is going on. I don’t know what it is, but I want to pray more.

“And at that point, we called a meeting of all the leaders in Daystar Christian Centre—the top 120 leaders on Zoom.”

The President of Success Power International noted that he informed the elders of Daystar about the situation, and they agreed to keep the church running.

“They said you’ve never deceived us before. If God asks you to stay, stay as long as He directs. We’ll continue this journey,” he asserted.

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The host of the radio and television ‘Success Power’ programme heard and seen in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East said he and his wife stayed in the US after the church leaders’ Zoom meeting.

Six months later, we were still in the US for one year, tearing me apart. I discovered that, until COVID-19, I’d been out of Nigeria for eight weeks. To now be away when you had the church with 40,000 members,” he noted.

He added that the experience in the US highlighted Daystar’s strengths, including investments in training and established systems.

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“I’m passionate about building systems so the church does not collapse. It is fantastic, and we call it an organisational miracle. It was almost three years before we had the Holy Spirit’s clearance to return to Nigeria.

“But what eventually the Holy Spirit would tell me was that he wanted me to shift my focus from just being the pastor of a local church to that global walk that I had known that I would do.

“So right now, the focus shift is to do that global walk while we keep Daystar running, leveraging technology.”

The PUNCH reports that Daystar Christian Centre is based in Lagos State, was inaugurated on November 18, 1995, and now has branches across various states in the country.

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Top 10 Most Expensive Football Trophies In The World

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Football, the world’s most popular sport, is not just about the beautiful game on the pitch but also the expensive trophies that teams compete for.

These trophies represent glory, history, and triumph. Beyond their symbolic value, some of these trophies are extraordinarily valuable due to the materials used and the craftsmanship involved.

Here’s a look at the top 10 most expensive football trophies in the world:

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1. FIFA World Cup Trophy

The FIFA World Cup Trophy is arguably the most prestigious award in football. It stands at 36.8 cm tall and weighs 6.1 kg, made of 18-carat gold. The base features two layers of malachite, a semi-precious stone.

Created by Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga in 1974, its current estimated value is around $20 million. This is not just due to the gold content but also because of its historical and symbolic significance.

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2. Copa Libertadores Trophy

The Copa Libertadores Trophy is the premier club trophy in South America, introduced in 1960 and contested by 18 clubs. Made of sterling silver with silver-coated bronze, it is valued at $8.5 million.

3. UEFA Europa League Trophy

The UEFA Europa League Trophy is awarded to the winner of Europe’s second-tier club competition. It features a silver and yellow base and costs $4.5 million.

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4. FA Cup Trophy

The FA Cup Trophy is awarded in the oldest football competition in England. Arsenal was the first team to claim it and has won the most FA Cup titles. Made of sterling silver, the trophy is valued at $1,180,000.

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5. Ballon d’Or Trophy

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The Ballon d’Or is one of the most prestigious individual awards in football, first crafted by a French jeweler in 1956. It honors the player who has excelled for both club and country. The award weighs 12 kg and is made of brass and gold. Lionel Messi has won it the most, with eight titles, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo with five.

6. Africa Cup of Nations

The African Cup of Nations Trophy holds significant importance for the footballing nations of the African subcontinent. As one of the most prestigious awards in African football, it has a rich history spanning decades. Egypt has been the most successful nation in the tournament’s history. The current holder of the trophy, valued at $150,000, is Ivory Coast who claimed the title in 2024.

7. Serie A Trophy

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The Serie A Trophy, also known as the Scudetto, is awarded to Italy’s top football club each season. Crafted by renowned artisan Ettore Calvelli in 1960, the trophy features a blue sodalite base and gold rings. It weighs 8 kg and stands 58 cm tall, with a total value of $66,000. Juventus FC has won this trophy 36 times, with Inter Milan being the current holders.

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The Bundesliga Meisterschale, created in 1964 by renowned art professor Elisabeth Treskow, is awarded to the top team in Germany’s Bundesliga. FC Köln was the first team to lift this shield in 1964. Weighing 11 kg, the shield features a 71.98-carat tourmaline, silver, and gold, and is valued at $57,102.

9. UEFA Champions League Trophy

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The UEFA Champions League Trophy is the most prestigious award in club football. Thirty-two teams compete for this trophy, typically the top four teams from various European leagues. The trophy symbolizes immense respect and leadership in the football world. Made entirely of silver, it costs $15,000.

10. English Premier League Trophy

The English Premier League, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious football leagues, has been a dominant force in Europe and the UK for decades. Many legendary footballers have graced the English fields in pursuit of this coveted trophy, etching their teams’ names into the league’s storied history. The trophy itself is crafted from silver, gilded silver, an African gemstone, and malachite, with a total cost of $10,000. The current holder of the trophy is Manchester City, who have lifted four times in a row.

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