Nigerian lady defies speech impairment to win international speech contest

Nigerian lady defies speech impairment to win international speech contest

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 1:39 pm

Bongos-Ikwue: wins international speech competition

A young Nigerian, Omei Bongos-Ikwue, shines in Accra, Ghana, as she rose above speech impairment to emerge victorious in a keenly contested international speech competition.

Bongos – Ikwue, member of the Abuja District of Toastmaster, an affiliate of the Toastmasters International, a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders, defied her congenital stuttering challenges to achieve this feat.

Her winning speech, entitled, “Release it”, focused on the themes of bravery, passion and generosity, which she used a moving story to illustrate that “we only receive extraordinary things when we let go of the average, or ordinary ones.”

The speeches were judged on content, organization, gestures and style.

Speaking on what inspired her victory as a public speaker, in spite of her speech impairment challenge, she said that, “when it comes to connecting with an audience, Toastmasters, as an organization has taught me how to be confident and focused.

In fact since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers/communicators.

It has shown me that every speaking opportunity is an opportunity to inspire people in an unforgettable way that a host of other Toastmasters have always inspired me”.

With this victory, Bongos-Ikwue is poised to secure a spot in the World Championship of Public Speaking scheduled to take place at the Toastmasters International Convention, to be held in August 25, in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

Bongos-Ikwue (right) displaying her plaque as the winner of the speech event

She will compete with 105 other winners from districts around the world.

The very elated Nigerian lady said that representing her  District at the International Speech Contest “feels like the decisive stamp of victory over my speech  impediment”,  adding that she is “looking forward to competing on a much  larger stage in Chicago.”

Bongos-Ikwue is Public Health editor for E-Proofers, based in Abuja.

The Toastmasters International Speech Contest began in 1938 and is the world’s largest speech contest, involving 30,000 participants from 141 countries.

It culminates with the popular World Championship of Public Speaking held annually at the organization’s International Convention.

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One Comment

  • Olu Joseph says:

    Kudos to Toastmaster Omei. She is not just a public speaker but a great listener. In Toastmasters Club everyone becomes better communicators and leaders as they continue in the journey. I celebrate her. Toastmaster Olu Joseph, Vice President Public Relations, Aso Rock Stars Toastmasters Club, Abuja.

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