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NSMQ ’21: The Drama, the Upsets & Predictions

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An avid creative whose word plays so much that words say I play too much; a Ki'shon flow. Life is a journey and we're all full of stories.

Delayed but Not Denied

A phrase thrown around since this year’s edition of the National Science & Maths quiz kicked off. And we can truly attest to the fact that since 2020 happened, a lot of things that happened only got delayed or pushed back.

It was the same story for the Science & Math Quiz. The competition usually occurs in October but was pushed back to take place in November this year.

But it hasn’t lost its appeal with the Ghanaian audience. Being held in Kumasi this year gave it a unique twist, with reporters getting more and more in touch with the culture and the setting of the garden city of Kumasi.

But it’s not really about the atmosphere. It’s about the battle of the schools to be crowned the best.

mfantsipim school nsmq-2021
source: NSMQ

Early Shockers

With the stage moving on from the quarter-finals soon to the semis, this year has come with its shockers. Holy Child was the first big-named school to bow out together with Achimota. Tamale SHS dug the grave for Achimota. It was the fall of Mfantsipim School at this stage that sent ripples through the air. Ghana National College stood up to the Red & Black colors to send Botwe back to the Coast.

Wesley Girls pulled a stunning victory as they eliminated Aburi Girls & St. Francis Xavier to qualify for the quarters. GSTS was also humbled as St. Louis handled their business to advance to the next stage.

The boys from St. Augustine College dumped Aquinas out to send the old Toms packing.

presec legon -nsmq 2021
Presec contestants for the 2021 NSMQ. Mawunya (Left) and Debrah (Right).

The Normal Occurrences

Some schools have the aura of champions around them in this competition. St. Augustine College, Adisadel College, Opoku Ware School, Kumasi Anglican School all advanced in their contests routinely to the Quarterfinals. But even though they carry the aura, they are not favorites. No, that honor goes to PRESEC Legon, the reigning champions and 6-time winners of the competition.

Prempeh College, the second leading school with four trophies to their name & St. Peters; who have been serious contenders in the past years. I would mention Adisadel College in this breath, but their track record of 1 wins out of four finals in 5 years makes it difficult to see if they can go all the way, even if they reach the finals.

PRESEC announced their bid to defend their title with menace when they destroyed their opponents in the 1/8th round. St. Peters and Prempeh did the same, with the three schools being amongst the highest victories and gaps recorded early on.

If there was going to be a battle of giants, it would be the prospect of PRESEC, PERSCO, and AUGUSCO since they were in the same group. Prempeh will have to deal with OWASS, ADISCO & KASS to deal with since they fall in their bracket.

Giant Killing

The competition is currently in the quarter-finals stage and is drifting to the semi-finals stage. But one school that was a favorite has already been blown away. St. Augustine could not cover themselves in glory as Chemu dashed their hopes to send them packing on a Friday afternoon.

Chemu scored a screamer right at the end. It was akin to Aguero scoring the winner that secured the premier league for City right from the jaws of United.

Almost like a dagger 3-pointer buzzer-beater in a basketball championship game. It was deafening. PRESEC, who continued their title defense as they yet blew all away to advance to the semis, have booked a titanic clash with St. Peters. Chemu feels like an underdog in the contest, but they’ve already knocked one giant out.

We can’t put it beyond them to make sure they kill two more bids with one stone. The other quarter-finals contests are in motion, but most fans are already predicting heavy hitters in the semis.

nsmq quiz mistress
NSMQ Quiz mistress – Dr. Elie Effah Kaufman


It’s a bit of a stretch, but maybe Chemu & St. Peters can give PRESEC a run for their money. If not, PRESEC can likely go on and claim a seventh title, doing a back-to-back win for the second time in the competition’s history. Prempeh College might fancy their chances.

But based on the predicted trajectory, they’ll have to make it to the finals to do battle with the reigning champion. Unless an unlikely contender comes out of the blocks to disrupt the narrative.

Wouldn’t we want a plot twist to it? Who do you think it might be, though? 

Let us know your thoughts on social media.

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