Grand Prairie, TX – It’s officially summer time in the United States of America. It was not unusual to experience a very sunny day with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit at 8pm on June 6th 2010 in the State of Texas. On the same day in sub tropical Africa or to be specific in Lagos Nigeria, temperatures fell in the region of 80 degrees farenheight with accompanying thunderstorms.
The James Bowie High School Arlington, Texas had chosen the Verizon Theatre (former Nokia Theater) as venue for the 2010 senior class commencement exercises (graduation). I had been invited to share in the joy and witness the commencement of Jacquelyn Jack. There was no indication as I edged up to the 6,350 capacity state of the art and acoustically controlled Performance Theater that I would be in for additional moments of pride and Joy.
Let me put it this way, what I am about to describe is a great pride to Africa and Nigeria specifically. I had navigated my way to my designated seating area armed with my Nikon D-SLR fitted with a matching zoom lens. It was obvious that justice would not be done to the images I was about to capture from the seating area so option “B” came into effect. I had initially folded my program and tucked it away neatly in my pocket when I realized that calculating the timing of the appearance of Ms Jack was the right thing to do to enable me meander to a better vantage position.
As I opened the program, three names struck me; Kosisochukwu Anwylibunkem Mora; Valedictorian, Ifunayachukwu Anwulika Mora; Salutatorian and Crystal Onyeador; President senior class. Microsoft word quickly underlined the mentioned names in Red but I must tell you, the names drew an unprecedented applause and reaction from the over 6,000 guests that had gathered in the Verizon theater. Ifunanya Mora and Kosisio Mora had come out tops of over 700 students in their entire graduating class bagging the first and second positions respectively. The twin sister’s became immediate twin superstars probably geniuses as they posed for photographs with students and guests respectively.
As one of the guests exclaimed; “this is a great pride to Nigeria…and a source of glory to God.” The National honor Society recipients are also great sports stars as they are claimed to be all season basketball players. Once again, Nigerian descendants in America have achieved a great feat and have shown that great stuff surely comes out of the sub tropics.
Mrs. Michelle Wilmoth-Senato, Principal of James Bowie High School expressed her delight at the graduation class of 2010 and repeatedly described them as remarkable. This set of students had a record number of International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidates, National Merit Commended Students, National Achievement Outstanding participants and AVID scholars.
Documentary by Tosan Aduayi; Publisher, Trendy Africa Media. Additional photos by Chibuzor Okonta; Executive Editor, Trendy Africa Media.