Young Nigerians have brought honor and respect to the nation with their outstanding performances in academics and other fields. Here are top ten young Nigerians who have impacted and influenced the world positively with their outstanding performances.
1. Ufot Ekong
In his first semester at Tokai University, Japan, Akwa Ibom native, Ufot Ekong, solved a mathematical puzzle that students have been unable to solve for three decades. The 24year old didn’t stop at that, he went on to break a 50 year old academic record by graduating the ‘Best All Rounder’ with a first-class degree in electrical engineering, and getting the highest grades the university had witnessed in 50 years.
The remarkable young man didn’t achieve these feats on a gold platter, Ekong worked two jobs to pay his tuition through school, and runs retail wears and accessories shop in Japan called Strictly African Japan.
Ekong’s talents aren’t limited to academia; the young lad is also a linguist – fluent in Japanese, French, and Yoruba, and had won a Japanese language award for foreigners. Currently working for Nissan, while undergoing a Master’s Degree programme in Electric/Electronic Systems Engineering, Ufot Ekong already has two patents under his name for developing an electric car.
2. Dr Victor Olalusi
Dr Victor Olalusi was honoured by the Federal Ministry of Education Nigeria for being an ambassador of excellence. As a medical student, Olalusi scored a 5.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) for seven consecutive years at the Russian National Research Medical University (RNRMU), Moscow. This made him the best graduating student in the whole Russian Federation in 2013.
Olalusi never fell below 5.0 in all the courses he took throughout his course of study, not even in the Russian language class. Prior to achieving this feat, this phenomenal young man had a string of notable achievements – Best WAEC result Nigeria, 2004, Cowbell Award in 2006, Highest Post UME score at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in 2006, OAU Medicine First Merit list in 2006.
For his astounding academic performance, the RNRMU placed Olalusi in the institution’s hall of fame for academic excellence. At the event organized to honour Olalusi, Artem Romanov, a representative of the Russian Embassy, said that Nigerians are blessed with abundant human potential, “It has been acknowledged in the Russian Ministry of Education that Nigerians have a lot of exceptional talents.”
3. Osarieme Omonuwa
At 22, Osarieme Anita Omonuwa bagged a first class honour at the University of Reading, United Kingdom, making her the first black woman to win the Reading University Chancellor’s Award in the history of the 121-year-old institution.
Just like Ufot Ekong, Omonuwa was awarded a total of six prizes – Student of the year, Best female graduating student, Council of Legal Education Star Prize, amongst others.
Omonuwa has always been a star child, always topping her class, right from her kindergarten days. In the 2008/2009 academic session at the Igbinedion education Centre, Benin City, she took home several prizes, including that of the best graduating student.
On her arrival in the United Kingdom, Omonuwa received the University of Reading scholarship award in 2010, and was also recognized as the best student in the international foundation programme.
The 22 year old was once described by her university chancellor, Sir John Madejski, as “a representative of our brightest and best students.” And to celebrate Nigeria’s centenary last year, Osarieme Omonuwa’s photographs donned the walls of the institution as a symbol of excellence.
4. Oluwatobi Olasunkanmi
In July, 24 year old son of former Minister of Youth Development, Oluwatobi Olasunkanmi, was awarded the William Charnley Prize for excelling at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Olasunkanmi graduated with the best First Class in Law at the renowned university, and was also the only black student in the graduating set.
Dr Philip Johnson, a senior tutor at the university, congratulated Olasunkanmi, “Many congratulations on obtaining the best Hughes Hall First Class in your BA in Law. In recognition, the College has awarded you with the William Charnley Prize.”
5. Peter and Paula Imafidon
Peter and Paula Imafidon: Sixteen year-old twins, Peter and Paula Imafidon, are Nigerian children Nicknamed “the Wonder Twins,” Based in London, Peter and Paula are Great Britain’s current highest achievers. At 9-years-old they made history as the youngest children in British history to attend high school and the youngest to ever pass the University of Cambridge’s advanced mathematics exam after participating in the Excellence in Education program. The twins joined the ranks of their gifted siblings, Anne-Marie, Christina and Samantha Imafidon who also hold world breaking records in academics.
6. Esther Okade
Esther Okade: If you haven’t heard of Esther, you will see her as just an 11 year old girl in love with cartoon characters like Elsa in Frozen. But she is actually a math guru with special love for algebra. At the age of 6, she sat for her first high school qualification exam usually meant for 16 year olds and made a C. She attempted it again the next session at the age of 7, and made an A. Her mum recounts that from the age of four, Esther began to show signs of the intense fascination that calculations would hold for her. Presently, she is writing a book called ‘Yummy Yummy Algebra’ to help other children with math.
7. Chimelum Tasi- Amadi
Chimelum Tasi- Amadi: A 13-years old Nigerian set a new academic record after writing the Cambridge Checkpoint Examination. According to a statement from the teenager’s school, the City of Knowledge Academy Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, his academic feat has landed him a spot at Phillips Academy Exeter USA- a world renowned Prep School that prepares students almost exclusively for the IVY League Universities in the USA. His academic performance was not totally a surprise as he had earlier dazzled keen watchers of educational terrain with award-winning performances at both the American Mathematical Competition and the Cowbell Mathematics Competition.
8. Amarachi Uyanne
Amarachi Uyanne is a Nigerian born dancer and violinist who became a household name and the youngest millionaire after winning Nigeria’s Got Talent in 2012. She attended South Point Primary School in Benin and successfully made her debute in the music industry with the chart-busting single “Amarachi Dance” in 2013.
9. Eveshorhema Samuel Alli and Ibukunoluwa Oladeinde
Eveshorhema Samuel Alli and Ibukunoluwa Oladeinde developed a cure for Halitosis or bad breath. They carried out research on African walnut (Coula edulis), a member of the tree nut family common in Nigeria. At the end, they discovered that apart from its cancer-fighting properties, it contains rare antioxidants that are beneficial for the heart and circulatory system, weight control, reproductive health in men, brain health, diabetes, and cures bad breath. They proudly represented Nigeria at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, California, USA. Their project won a Life Science Award of $1,000 in the Medicine and Health Science category, courtesy, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.
10. Tudor- Mendel Idowu
Tudor- Mendel Idowu: In 2014, 8 year old Tudor Mendel-Idowu and his sister 11 year old Hazelle Mendel-Idowu were the only Nigerians to take part in the Child Genius of the Year 2014 in the UK.. 20 highly gifted youngsters between 7-12 faced two grueling rounds: Logic and Reasoning and Memory Recall – where they had just one hour to commit 104 randomly shuffled playing cards to memory. Hazel Mendel-Idowu was out of the competition in the second round, but Tudor Mendel-Idowu scaled through to the final stage on Sunday August 10th and made it up to 2nd position. In 2015, he won the EuroTalk Junior Language Challenge on his third attempt.