Author and National Treasurer of Deaf Teachers Association of Nigeria, Bernice Adebimpe Oyeleke has emerged as the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) young female writer for the month of August 2020.
Oyeleke, who shared the good news with Inclusive News Network (INN), where she writes consistently on disability issues, beats several other entries to emerge winner of the award.
Recounting how she reluctantly put in for the competition, she recalled that on August 30, she stumbled on a post calling for poems to be submitted with entries closing 48 hours later.
The competition, put together by the Ibadan Book Club, a reading arm of SYNW, is for a collection of poems and essays being prepared to honour the late former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi to recognize his contributions to humanity especially the people of Oyo State and Ibadan in particular.
The organisers called on friends, well-wishers, political fans, followers, colleagues to contribute poems/essays of significant insights on any specific or broad themes relating to the late Senator, his political ideology and legacy.
According to Oyeleke, she challenged herself with the opportunity and came up with a poem within the short period of time, noting that her first breakthrough was when her poem was accepted and certified.
“I was contacted, the work I submitted was extremely commended. I had to reveal that I am deaf because of phone conversation. I was wondering perhaps it may change their mind, then this morning, I was woken to the news that I have emerged as the SYNW young Female writer for the month of August 2020,” she told INN.
Oyeleke, who turned 31 a fortnight ago became deaf while awaiting the junior WAEC through Meningitis, she suffered from in June, 2002.
But it didn’t deter her to carry on with her secondary education at the same regular school and completed it in 2005.
She commenced her first degree program at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan in September, 2007. She studied Special Education / Chemistry. She graduated with a CGPA of 6.7/7 as a first class graduate.
She had her Master’s degree on VC scholarship as a university scholar at the same University of Ibadan before taking up a Federal government appointment as Education officer under Federal Ministry of Education in 2014.
Oyeleke, aside being the National Treasurer of Deaf Teachers Association of Nigeria since 2015 till date, she also serves the same association in the capacity of Chairperson of School Competition Planning Committee.
She initiated the Deaf Nigerians Profile in September 2019, a medium through which she enlightens people about deafness, deaf education and sign language awareness through publishing interviews with people who are deaf but successful, is also the author of the novel, LUMINOUS, an eBook available for free download via selar.co/luminousbk.
The silent achiever also founded Luminous Deaf Scholastic Initiative in 2019 to contribute to the development of Deaf education in Nigeria, which has since floated some educational and novel programs till date.