Can you remember doing anything that should attract national attention at the age of 10? Probably not! Because at the age of 10, an average Nigerian child would be preparing to sit for the ‘Common Entrance’ examination that will qualify them to get admitted into secondary schools. The idea of a university is not even in sight and can’t be thought of. In fact, talking about the University education to an average Nigerian child at the age of 10 is largely considered to be an anomaly. But not in the case of African Pride, Esther Okade.
Esther Okade, a British-Nigerian from Walsall, an industrial town in UK’s West Midlands region, may seem like a normal 10-year-old, but the kid has become a UK university undergraduate and also one of the country’s youngest “jambito” at such a tender age.
Having been enrolled at a UK-based distance learning college in January, which meant she will study from home, thanks to her age, the math prodigy has already topped her class in a recent exam and plans to do her PhD at the age of 13 and OWN a bank at 15. Who does that? Is that even imaginable? See what she says:
“I actually wanted to start when I was seven. But my mum was like, “you’re too young, calm down.
I want to (finish the course) in two years. Then I’m going to do my PhD in financial maths when I’m 13. I want to have my own bank by the time I’m 15 because I like numbers and I like people, and banking is a great way to help people.
It’s so interesting. It has the type of maths I love. It’s real maths – theories, complex numbers, all that type of stuff. It was super easy. My mum taught me in a nice way.”
Mathematician Mrs. Omonefe Okade, 37, noticed her daughter’s flair for math and numbers when she started teaching her at home when she was just three years old. She then started by teaching her basic number skills, but Esther was miles ahead. By four, her natural aptitude for maths had seen her move on to algebra and quadratic equations.
She sat for her first Math GSCE exam, a British high school qualification, at Ounsdale High School in Wolverhampton at just six, where she received a C-grade. A year later, she outdid herself and got the A-grade she wanted. Then last year she scored a B-grade when she sat for the A-level Math exam.
And Esther isn’t the only maths prodigy in the family. Her younger brother Isaiah, 6, will soon be sitting for his first A-level exam in June. You can say it’s in the bloodline.
The math whiz kid is surely bent on breaking more grounds as she is currently writing a mathematical workbook for kids called “Yummy Yummy Algebra” which will come in series.
“It starts at a beginner level – that’s volume one. But then there will be volume two, and volume three, and then volume four. But I’ve only written the first one. As long as you can add or subtract, you’ll be able to do it. I want to show other children they are special,” she says.