Amanda Sings Her Way To Korea At 3rd Speech Contest


At the 3rd edition of the Korean Speech Contest, Amanda Ahialaka, who sang her way to the top, to emerge the overall winner of the contest, will visit tourist spots of her choice in South Korea later in the year. Patience Morro, emerged winner at the basic language level of the contest.

Abdulmalik Saidu and Hauwa Bawanga, placed second and third at the intermediate level; while Nwankwo Nkechi and Shobowale Abayemi placed similar positions at the basic level.

Ahialaka’s speech, a vast improvement from her nervous performance last year, not only included, a novel topic and near perfect pronunciation, but also featured a trot (a special kind of Korean traditional music), memorised days before the contest, and a pop song.

Despite being a Korean language student for two years, Ahialaka worked for a month, to dot every ‘I’ and cross every ‘T’ in her Hangeul transcript, and to achieve, letter perfect pronunciation of her lyrics and speech.

“I slept with the sound of the trot in my ears, listening to the different vibrations in the voice; I re-read my speech, corrected by the teacher; I checked on YouTube and Internet for correct pronunciations of the lyrics, and recorded myself to ensure I got the spelling right.” Her diligence paid off.

“Amanda’s speech was outstanding. As her teacher, I was proud. Despite little mistakes in the middle, her pronunciation was excellent, and she had a good showmanship – her singing, which set her apart from others,” gushed ex-cultural officer, Sunjoo Kim.

Morro was the unexpected winner of the contest. Shy, Morro, stuttered, between speech. Luckily, the judges’ criteria which centered on 30 percent language skills, and 60 percent content, favoured her. Her speech highlighted a funny perspective of another novelty topic entitled ‘Deom’ (extra giveaways in Korea). She surprised herself. “I didn’t expect to win, I decided to give it a try. I mean I am learning the language for a reason. To avoid stage fright, I blocked everything out of my mind.”

If Morro was shy and stuttered, Saidu was the exact opposite. Confident, with letter perfect pronunciation, the young man, delivered an interactive, engaging speech about Taekwondo, a sport he is passionate about, but he placed second, for the second time, two points away from Ahialaka. Meanwhile, winners at all levels of the contest, took home cash prizes of N50,000, N30,000 and N20,000 respectively.


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