Friday, 29 January 2016

Celebrating Nigerians Making Waves Abroad

“It has been acknowledged in the Russian Ministry of Education that Nigerians have a lot of exceptional talents.” This statement by a representative of the Russian Embassy, in honour of a Nigerian student for academic excellence, is just an opening to view Nigerians’ exceptional abilities and talents in many other fields. Indeed, a lot of Nigerians have been making waves, breaking records and beating natives in competitions in their own countries. Here are Nigerians making waves across the globe. See them after the cut......., is a legal technology firm founded by three Nigerian female young entrepreneurs, Bola Olonisakin, Funkola Odeleye and Odunoluwa Longe. The company emerged winner at a recent Innovation Justice Award for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Empowerment Innovation Challenge, East and West Africa.

With over 200 innovators who applied, finals held in December 2015. The award was organised by the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HIIL). As one of eight finalists battling for a total of $70,000 seed investment prize, DIYlaw went home with a first prize of $40,000. DIYlaw, as an online platform, allows users to purchase registration packages online.

Omo Bello

Omo Bello, a Nigerian scientist, has become one of the world’s most sought-after opera stars. She was researching into genetics when in 2006, she was awarded a scholarship to train as an opera singer in France. She then left Nigeria for France.

Five years later, Bello graduated at the top of her class from the prestigious National Conservatory for Music and Dance.

Since then, Ms Bello has carved out a striking reputation on the operatic stage all over the world. She is indeed one of Nigeria’s young men and women making waves abroad.

Ustaz Yunus Usman (SAN)

Nigeria’s prominent lawyer, Ustaz Yunus Usman (SAN), has been nominated by the University of Brighton, United Kingdom, to deliver its 2016 Annual Lecture. He is one of the Nigerians making waves globally.

The lecture, which will lay emphasis on the administration of justice in Nigeria, will be delivered on August 6, 2016. Usman will be the first black man to give such a lecture as key note speaker in the history of the university’s annual lectures.

Professor Aidan Berry, director, Brighton Business School and Dr Pete T. Orji, a senior lecturer in Brighton Business School have both signed the letter of nomination of Usman to speak at the annual lecture.

Ado Abdulkadir

Kano State-born Ado Abdulkadir is an undergraduate in India. He displayed a rare and shocking talent during a musical competition in India in which he beat over 8000 natives in the music reality show to emerge top 17.

In his performance, Abdulkadir did not sing like a learner. He sang like a native Indian in whose family lineage, musical traits run in the blood. As he sang, his voice was Indian; his bodily demonstrations were also typical of an Indian singer.

Excited for what they saw in him, the spectators, including prominent Indian panellists, joyfully followed in his musical motion, nodding their heads, smiling, clapping while others got to their feet to dance and give Abdulkadir a standing ovation.

Ufot Ekong

In faraway Japan, Akwa Ibom State-born Ufot Ekong, is not failing to make Nigeria proud. In his first semester at Tokai University, Japan, Ekong, solved a mathematical puzzle which students have failed to solve for more than 30 years. The 24-year-old Ekong also broke a 50-year old academic record by graduating as the ‘Best All Rounder’ with a first-class degree in Electrical Engineering. He also scored the highest grades the university had witnessed in 50 years.

Ekong, determined to succeed, has been engaged in two jobs to pay his tuition fees. He further runs a retail wears and accessories shop in Japan called Strictly African Japan.

Victor Olalusi

Dr Victor Olalusi has proven to be one of Nigeria’s brightest students. He was once honoured by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education for being an ambassador of excellence. As a medical student, he scored a 5.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) for seven consecutive years at the Russian National Research Medical University (RNRMU), Moscow.

For this, he was recognised as the best graduating student in the whole Russian Federation in 2013. Even in Russian Language class, he maintained 5.0. Olalusi is not new to gathering academic laurels having emerged Best WAEC Student in Nigeria in 2004. He won Cowbell Award in 2006, Highest Post UME score at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in 2006 and OAU Medicine First Merit list in 2006.

Olalusi already adorns the institution’s hall of fame for academic excellence.

At an event organised 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”, the representative said.

Osarieme Omonuwa

In University of Reading, United Kingdom, Osarieme Anita Omonuwa has created a niche for herself and Nigeria. At 22, she bagged a first class honour from the university, making her the first black woman to win the Reading University Chancellor’s Award in the history of the institution’s 121 years of existence.

Omonuwa received six prizes from the school, ranging from: Student of the year, Best female graduating student, to Council of Legal Education Star Prize, amongst others.

In the 2008/2009 academic session, when she was at Igbinedion Education Centre, Benin City, she took home several prizes, including that of the best graduating student.

Oluwatobi Olasunkanmi

Another Nigerian student who has been making the country proud by his academic excellence is Oluwatobi Olasunkanmi, son of former minister of youth development. Olasunkanmi received the William Charnley Prize for excelling at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

He also graduated with the best First Class in Law at the university. Not only that; he was the only black student in the graduating set.

Perpetual Nkwocha

Perpetual Nkwocha is one Nigerian also making waves abroad in faraway Sweden, in the field of sports.

Nkwocha distinguished herself, becoming a football star in her own right. The multiple African Women’s footballer has seen her playing career take her from Nigeria to China and then to the northern town of Skelleftea in Sweden where she has been for more than seven years.

Apart from excelling in her field of play, she is a player-coach for a local team, but much of her spare time is being taken up in coaching a group of Afghan teenagers, some of the hundreds of young migrants who have arrived in the town.

The project, which started in November, 2015, was set up by her club, Clemensnas IF, in co-operation with the local football association and the Swedish church.

Perpetual Nkwocha’s main role this New Year, will be to lead Clemensnas to success once the season gets going again this May.

Helen Mukoro

Helen Mukoro, Nigerian-born Spanish lawyer, broke the ranks and shocked not a few with her emergence as a presidential candidate of an opposition party for elections in Spain, setting a new record as the first woman and an immigrant to emerge a presidential flag bearer of a political party in Spain.

Born in Delta State, Mukoro, a forensic expert and author of many books, worked briefly in the governor’s office before she travelled to Spain in 1992. She gained prominence in Spanish politics, when she founded a political party and later became the first Nigerian-Spanish to contest for the Mayor of Denia in May this year. Although she lost the election, her popularity soared higher as several people endorsed her for the highest office in the land.

Had she been successful, Mukoro would have re-enacted the story of triumph, following the trail of the United States President, Barack Obama, who was the first African-American to win the presidency.

She holds several academic qualifications. Aside graduating in Law at the Spanish National University Alicante, she also holds a Masters degree in Criminology, Master’s degree in Social Education, a post graduate certificate in Tax and Labour Management, a post graduate certificate in Forensic Psychology, and a post graduate certificate in Immigration and Domestic Violence. She worked as a legal consultant (Immigration Department) at the Red Cross Society, Spain and currently owns a legal firm. She served as the CEO and President at the African Europe Chamber of Commerce; CEO and President at National Agency of Forensic Experts, Mediators and Technical Professionals of Spain and Europe.

Jude Igwemezie

Jude Igwemezie, a Nigerian engineer, has been commissioned by the Iraqi government to design and construct a $500 million Iraqi Rail system.

Igwemezie, who was trained and lives in Canada, also heads TransGlobim International, the engineering company that won the bid. The contract is to construct what is described as “a viable rail transportation network” for the city of Najaf.

The network will connect three Islamic holy and historic mosques in Imam Ali, Kufa and Sahle.

In an interview, Igwemezie said that the project is billed to be completed in three years, and will be built in two phases. “The first phase, will cover the design, construction and operation of the system while the second and final phase will involve the expansion of the system and its extension to the Najaf airport, he said.”

50 Nigerian Students In Malaysia

50 Nigerians made first class honours out of 253 who graduated in various academic disciplines at the 2015 convocation ceremony of the Linton University College, Malaysia.

The Petroleum Technology Development Fund said in a press statement it released recently in Abuja: “Altogether 50 Nigerian graduates distinguished themselves with first class honours degrees, among whom were 13 PTDF scholars who earned first class degrees in Software Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Business Management and Civil Engineering.”

The Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria to Malaysia, Mrs Janet Odeka, according to the statement, said the unprecedented achievement of the Nigerian scholars in the university in Malaysia had contributed in creating a positive image for Nigerians living in the country.

She said, “I am really excited and grateful because this is the first time we are having such a large number of graduates who produced good results such as first class and second class upper. We have had students from Nigeria who were involved in criminal activities and other immoral acts, but for the first time, we are celebrating something we should be proud of as Nigerians and I wish to appeal to Nigerians here that they should emulate what these graduands have done to attract a good name for Nigeria.”

Harold Ekeh

A 17-year-old Nigerian student, Harold Ekeh, a senior at Elmont Memorial High School, made major news headlines as he gained admission into eight Ivy League schools in the United States of America at the same time.

With no expectations, the teenager applied to 13 colleges, hoping to “maybe” get into Stony Brook University, about an hour east from where he lives with his family in Elmont, Long Island.

The straight-A student has accomplished the rare feat of getting into all of the nation’s Ivy colleges crediting his parents’ work ethic for setting an example and a desire to strive in his adopted homeland.

Being one of five brothers, Ekeh said he wanted to study biochemistry and become a neurosurgeon. Inspired by his grandmother who began showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s when he was 11, he hopes to find a cure for the ailment.

Gerald Ezekwem

Gerald Ezekwem is certainly one that has made Nigeria proud in the midst of the problems bedevilling the country.

Popularly known as ‘Jerry Jack’, he completed his programme at Lancaster University in Lancaster, UK, with a first class Honours in Mechatronics Engineering.

Gerald attended Evangel Secondary School in Kano, before he moved to Britain to further his education.

Emmanuel Ohuabunwa

Emmanuel Ohuabunwa, a 22-year-old Nigerian made history at John Hopkins University, in faraway United States of America.

During the institution’s graduation that was held in May, last year, Emmanuel, who hails from Abia State was adjudged as having the highest honours, making a Grade Point Average of 3.98 out of a possible 4.0 to bag a degree in Neurosciences in the University.

Emmanuel was born in Lagos, Nigeria and attended Lilly Fields Primary School, Lagos. He left Nigeria after his Junior Secondary School education at Air Force Comprehensive School, Ibadan, Oyo State.

For his efforts, he won a scholarship to Yale University to pursue a degree in Medicine and was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Society, a prestigious honour group that features membership of 17 US Presidents, 37 US Supreme Court Justices, and 136 Nobel Prize winners.

Uwa Osamede

Also taking the education world by storm abroad is 24-year-old Uwa Osamede Imafidon, who graduated from the University of Texas in Arlington with a Master’s degree in Microbiology and a GPA of 4.0.

Following in the same foot step, at the recent Timberview High School class of 2013 graduation in Mansfield Texas, Moyinoluwa Adetiba and Chealsea Ndiulor where honoured with Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude respectively.

Oyindamola Nicole Akinseye bagged Summa Cum Laude, being one of the top 10 graduates of Frisco high school.

She was awarded with the prestigious National Honour Graduate, National merit scholar, Presidents Education Scholar Award for outstanding academic Excellence, University Interscholastic league Scholar Award for exemplary academic achievement, The State of Texas House of representative award for academic excellence, Health Occupation students of America Award.

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