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My Nigeria Travel Story Winners

#Winners announced for #MyNigeriaTravelStory
@TravelNextDoor has announced winners for its travel writing and travel photography competition, aimed at building interest in Nigeria’s local tourism. The entries were judged by a panel of full-time writers, editors and professional photojournalists.

There were over 60 photography entries and 28 submissions in the writing category, sent in via emails and social media with the hashtags #MyNigeriaTravelStory and #mytravelpicNG.

In the writing category, journalist Uche Akolisa won top prize with the story on the Eastern Nigerian town of Aguleri, its early missionaries, royalty and shrines; in second place was travel blogger Loreta Iloh, whose entry focused on a recent tour she had around select tourist attractions in Enugu State. Third position went to lawyer and creative writer Achalugo Ezekube for the reflective story of childhood vacations spent in a village in Anambra State.

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Blessing Nwodo, an undergraduate at the University of Nigeria (Nsukka) won the “Highly Rated” category for her medley of stories across six states of the country.

Budding documentary and street photographer Neec Nonso’s colourful image of a water park inside Tinapa (Calabar, Cross River State) won in the photography category. In second place was Ugochukwu Emebiriodo’s photograph taken while on a rail journey to Kaduna; and third position went to Sayo Aluko for his photograph of a section of Idanre Hill in Ondo State.

“We were overwhelmed by the volume of entries we received for the competition,” says @TravelNextDoor founder and CNN-Award winning travel journalist, Pelu Awofeso, while announcing the winners. “It goes to confirm what we’ve always known and championed: that Nigeria is indeed a fascinating tourist destination and Nigerians who realize this are travelling extensively around it.”

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The star prize for the contest is the coffee-table book titled Abeokuta: Beyond the Rocks, written and photographed by Hakeem Adenekan.

Other prizes for the competition include: a centre-rug donated by Nobel Carpets and Rugs, copies of How to be a Nigerian by Anthony Enahoro, courtesy of The Journalism Clinic; Tour of Duty, Nigerian Festivals and Route 234, courtesy of Homestead Publishing.

The prize presentation ceremony held in the Lagos offices of the lead sponsors, Nobel Carpets and Rugs on Friday August 26. “We found the competition interesting and we as a company were interested in engaging the’ youths creatively,” says General Manager, Jitesh Pamani, who presented prizes to the winners. “This is not a one-off from us. We intend to continue to partner with Travel Next Door to promote Nigeria’s domestic tourist assets.”

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