Eyes On The Prize

Syreeta Ekaba Akinyede
2 min readMar 18, 2022

What we need to tell our children

Photo by Ariel on Unsplash

I was asked to present prizes to some of the students at the speech and prize-giving day of my daughter’s school.

My daughter wasn’t a recipient, but I considered it an honour to be a presenter. And no, I wasn’t going to pull her ears and ask her if the other kids had two heads that they won prizes. It wasn’t necessary.

But by all means she should strive for excellence, and be the best version of herself.

So there I was, sitting with all the parents. As with all speech days, there are those students who grab most of the prizes.

It took me back to my days at Queen’s College Yaba. I can’t remember which of the years, but there was one name that dominated this particular speech day — Adekola Titilayo — so much so that after a while, before her name was announced, the thousands of us students would excitedly shout her name.

Since this was a private secondary school, it wasn’t a mammoth crowd, so some mothers were able to go up to the stage to hug and take pictures with their children.

They were heart-warming moments to witness.

Some children will never win prizes in school (I didn’t), and it doesn’t mean such children will not do well in life. It may be hard to resist, but sometimes we are tempted to compare and pressure our children into doing better than their peers.

I believe parents should teach their children to set their goals for themselves and not because of others; because not everyone will be recognized for their endeavours, and some recognitions may come long after the person has passed on.

No matter what happens, they should continue to keep their eyes on the prize.