Oluwafunmilayo Akaka is an intelligent, astonishing, and beautiful lady who has been passionately following her dreams and doing the most to inspire her generation, older generation and of course the younger generation to pursue their dreams no matter the impediments on their way to success.

She is an aspiring beauty queen with a heart for philanthropy.


Growing up in Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria with her mum, Funmi had a very humble beginning helping her mum hawk food but always reading all sorts of books she laid her hands on- newspapers and magazines inclusive, which was how she discovered the world of beauty and fashion.

She has always dreamt of becoming a model as she believed she looked and walked like Naomi Campbell; but her dream was dashed when she had an accident which left her both physically and mentally scarred. She lost her confidence and let her dream to become a model and beauty queen die.

While serving her home country in the NYSC scheme, her passion for music, empowering young people and serving seniors blossomed and with that she gave back to her community in Nigeria, Halifax Nova Scotia, and now in Mississauga in those capacities.

Regaining her confidence

Currently, she has overcome her fears, built up her confidence and is running for the title of Mrs. Canada United World. Some of her reasons for competing in the internationally renowned pageant is so that believers like her can start changing the narrative that beauty contest is ungodly, ‘you can be true to God, yourself and your values and still contest in beauty pageants’, she said. Another reason is to give a voice to immigrant women and older women, that their dreams are valid regardless of background, age and scars. She also wants young people to believe in themselves and never lose their confidence no matter the situation they may have passed through or passing through.

Causes Olufunmilayo Akaka supports

When asked what causes she supports, Funmi mentioned that women empowerment (while also encouraging them to embrace their colour and beauty!), children empowerment and seniors care are causes she strongly supports. Which is why she started an initiative for bridging the generational gap between seniors and young people; and giving both worlds opportunities to benefit from one another.

Singing, reading, hiking, and networking is what she does when not working or volunteering.

Funmi Akaka

Follow Funmi on Instagram to know more about her work.

When a woman is determined to win in life, nothing can stop her. Nnenna Uboma is a woman who understands the power of consistency and the importance of living intentionally.

She is the Chief Strategic Officer (CSO) of Beyond Math, an initiative she started during the COVID lockdown, alongside her teenage children, Jasmine and Jami. Beyond Math helps kids to develop and retain in-depth analytical, complex problem-solving skills required to succeed.  The Canadian based initiative provides a strong STEM based capability to excel in mathematical and quantitative discipline.

Nnenna Uboma

Nnenna Uboma is also an Analytics Senior leader and has over 20 years of experience leading high performing analytical teams to develop industry edge solutions in one of the leading financial institutions in Canada. Her passion for tutoring and coaching analytical professionals over the past decade made her a sought-after speaker at different conferences across the globe. She has mentored many successful professionals in Analytics.

The amazon whose teenage daughter is the CEO of Beyond Math  spends her spare time nurturing High School kids in Leadership and Entrepreneurship skills. Nnenna was recently recognized as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women. She shares her inspiring story with Esther Ijewere.

Childhood Influence

My father was a successful lawyer, Barrister AT Udechukwu. He wanted me to be a lawyer basically because he thought I could put my perspectives rightly on the table. He marvelled at  my ability to ideate quickly. I did not pursue the law profession as I wanted a career in STEM.

However, my childhood which included visiting many legal courtrooms enhanced my logical thinking which I find very beneficial as a data analytics professional. I call myself a data solicitor which basically means I present my perspectives in a business court room instead of a legal courtroom. In my perspective, I am living the childhood dream of my father as a (data) solicitor.

Inspiration behind Beyond Math

During COVID, we were locked down at home and I wanted something worthwhile that will keep us all motivated at home. Beyond Math was birthed by my daughter Jasmine Uboma who is a second-year student. Beyond math kept myself and my two teenage children, Jasmine and Jami connected during COVID. Three of us authored Beyond Math workbooks. I led the project and managed through the cycle to ensure it was birthed. Math was something we had in common.

Read Also: I have Taught Over Ten Thousand People The Power Of Real Estate In Canada

My Role As A Senior Analytics Leader

I work in one of the leading financial institutions in Canada as a Director. It has been a journey in the analytics field. A career I pivoted into when I arrived in Canada. I remember analyzing the job listing on Indeed at the time and noticed SAS being mentioned in many of the analyst roles. Building a career in analytics involves knowing how to code in tools like SQL and use visualization tools like PowerBI.


The technology field is always evolving, and new applications are introduced into the market continuously. I built a niche for myself in Business IT as a Business Data Analyst which simply identifies me as an end user and removes the burden of learning the configuration of every new tool in the market. It is a very stable career path.

 Why I made My Daughter The CEO of Beyond Math, And How I Discovered Her Talent 

Yes, Jasmine Uboma is the CEO of Beyond Math. I am only playing the role of a mother and nurturing what you see or do not see is one great role of mothers. I see the best in people and with the methodology of “make believe”, we achieve a lot.

Jasmine is a very shy lady and introvert by personality, but I think I have succeeded in making her a talk of town. She recently got appointed as the Executive Director of External Affairs for Women in STEM, Western Ontario. She is one to watch out for.

My Thoughts On Kidpreneurs

From the production of Beyondmath, kids need a role model and a mentor to look up to as they take on very challenging tasks, such as being a kidpreneur. One thing I did at the time Beyond math was being authored was to roll my sleeves and carry the blocks as well.

Jasmine and Jami authored the 256 pages of Beyondmath while I did the editing and publishing as well as marketing. We raised over $5000 from Kickstarter pre-launch. They could see my real involvement and not just dishing out tasks. This kept the motivation going. With kids, playing at their level makes a great difference.

How I am Using My Organization To Create Room For Women In The Community

I participate in many immigrant platforms in Canada and have volunteered as a guest speaker or panelist in many of the community functions. I have also mentored many young women like Jasmine who are playing in their respective careers today. It’s been very fulfilling seeing my mentees grow. I also support immigrants who want to play in any data field with coaching and mentoring.

One Thing I Wish To Change In The Education Sector In Canada

I think that the classroom does not represent today’s digital environment. Students have still been taught with curriculum developed many decades ago. I think that subjects like quantitative reasoning should be introduced early to kids which is one of the reasons I love Beyondmath workbooks.

Nnenna Uboma

3 Women Who Inspire Me and Why

One woman that inspires me is Michelle Obama. I took a picture mimicking her pose. It is all about ‘Becoming’. It is either you own your story and write it or others write it for you. One fact is we are all becoming. It is not a matter of where you come from but where you are going. We are all becoming!

As a child I was very playful but quite intelligent. It took someone to get me focused and forced me to have dreams. My mom put in a lot to get me where I am. The dining table, study time, her tears when I don’t get the first position and many more. She remains my inspiration. At 80years, she proofread and edited my books. She is an English graduate. Mrs Uzoamaka Udechukwu is a lady. I admire her strength and passion to see those she loves to succeed.

Read Also: I Started Immiducation To Give Immigrant Professionals Access To Careers In Tech- Janey Buzugbe

I admire Jasmine a lot. She is my daughter but a very respectful and responsible young girl. There is a saying that one can only be a shepherd when you have a sheep. I am so excited to see how she has grown especially as we worked on the establishment of Beyondmath. I am happy to have the privilege to build with her what my mom built with me.

Other Projects and activities

I am authoring another “Lessons to my younger self” which is currently with the publisher. The book is designed to colorfully attract young adults. It will also be published as a journal which will allow readers to write their experiences as we go through my lessons.  Currently I am doing my Phd. and hoping to celebrate my graduation soon. I am also a leader in church and in everything that I do, spreading the word of Jesus is at my core.

My Work-Life Balance Routine , How Manage It All As A Mom, Wife and Business Woman

This is a question I get very often. How do you do it? It is mainly about delegation. Appreciating, trusting, and accepting what others do for you knowing you can’t do everything by yourself. It must not be perfect, it’s all in perspective. Give opportunities for coaching and growth. I am also good with prioritization. I focus on things that are critical and spread the projects out. Giving myself sufficient time has helped me mentally not to be in a race with anything.

Nnenna Uboma

Being A Woman Of Rubies

I see myself as a role model for my younger self. I have had my own rough journey of which one that comes to heart, was being told in my early career that I could not climb the professional ladder because of my Igbo accent. It was hurtful but at the same time great motivation to be my better self. My story is an inspiration to many like me as they try to navigate corporate Canada.

You can connect with Nnenna Uboma on Instagram- @triplejcounsulting or call: +12896278486

Maryam Muritala is a  Foreign trained lawyer with areas of specialization in Business, Technology , Copyright, Trademark law ,  and Contract Management.

She is  also an experienced Business Development Consultant.  She has  helped entrepreneurs across five continents launch successful and thriving businesses. Maryam  is the founder of  Canada Vendors a Business Development and Advertising Company using digital marketing tools to give structured visibility to businesses across Canada and the diaspora.


At Canada Vendors, they offer Business Development Consultations and Solutions, Advertise brands using digital technology, connect service providers with prospective clients, and host Business Networking Events. Between 2020 and 2022 during the lockdown, they  interviewed 255 Small businesses across various communities in Canada offering support.

Maryam Muritala is also the convener of Brand Expo, a brand visibility event that showcases the work of different brands across Canada.


She recently launched a mini-series on YouTube in 2021 titled “THE ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY” spotlighting business owners across communities in Canada, so far they have interviewed entrepreneurs from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Alberta.

We celebrate Maryam for her tenacity, determination, and her support for female business owners in Canada.

Follow her: @canadavendors to know more about her work.


Rukayat Sadiq, is  a software engineer with over 5 years successful experience leading engineering teams to build and deliver scalable software products in multiple languages and technologies.

The need to solve problems around her led Rukayat to study Electrical & Electronics Engineering. The same zeal also directed her the field of software engineering field where she has focused on working with teams to build software solutions targeted at the health, financial and educational sectors through her career.

Rukayat decided to go into software engineering after she realised what she could potentially build through computer programs having successfully written code to solve her engineering mathematics problems in her undergraduate days.

She currently works as a software engineer with Influitive – a Canadian based marketing technology firm.

She had worked as a Full Stack Software Engineer and Technical Team Lead, Senior Software Engineer at Andela, after completing the Andela Fellowship Program. At Andela, Rukayat also co-foounded and co-led the Andela’s Ladies-in-Tech group. She is also a co-organizer of the Lagos Women in Machine Learning and Data Science Group.

Rukayat holds a bachelors degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Ilorin and is completing her masters degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Rukayat was one of the women celebrated in Tech Cabal‘s Tech Women Lagos series, which profiled 50 women in the Lagos technology ecosystem from different backgrounds and at different stages of their technology careers.

We celebrate Rukayat for pursuing her dreams and inspiring others to do so and we’re rooting for her!

Source: Bellanaija

Mariam Momodu Is an international trade lawyer, Ph.D. candidate, education advocate and CEO of Get In Education Consulting. She  obtained her  degree in law from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2012 and went on to become the  first female president of the law faculty students’ association in over 30 years of the association’s existence. In addition, she also graduated with the best result ever recorded from the law faculty in Ibadan in 35 years and won about 10 prizes upon graduation. To date, her academic record has not been beaten. However, the law students association has had another female president since my tenure. In 2015, Mariam  obtained a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from the University of Cambridge, where she was awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Shared Scholarship and the Cambridge Trust Scholarship. She is now  a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Where she  specialize  in international trade law. Last year, she was awarded the most prestigious scholarship for doctorate candidates in Canada, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship., making her  the only black person from the University of Toronto to be awarded that honour and   one of the 6 scholars of African descent in the whole of Canada that was given this award.

The scholar whose Inspiring story went viral weeks back shares her journey with me in this mind blowing interview.

Growing Up

I was very fortunate to be raised in a family that valued education. My father died when I was very young, but my mother was determined to provide the best education that she could afford. My siblings were also my mentors as they encouraged me to excel in my chosen endeavours and always provided the necessary resources.

I would read my sister’s novels, read books I found in my brother’s rooms and devour books that my mother would borrow weekly from the British Council Library. I remember when I turned 10 years old, I was asked what gift I wanted… I asked for more novels and books and I got them. Apart from being very academic, I have always been interested in looking for ways to improve my community.

In addition, I have been blessed to have encouraging teachers who took an interest in my education and always went beyond the average to ensure I succeeded. From Mrs. Obajimi of Sonbeam Preparatory School, to my teachers at the International School Ibadan, teachers at the Educational Advancement Centre, Ibadan as well as the lecturers at the faculty of law, University of Ibadan and the Nigerian law school. My teachers always encouraged me to be inquisitive and achieve my dreams, so I credit them for a lot of the success I have achieved today.

Mariam Momodu at the Arab and African Youth Forum

Breaking 30 years record at the  University of Ibadan

When I graduated from the University of Ibadan in 2012, I graduated with a 6.7/7 which is the highest CGPA ever recorded from the law faculty in over 30 years. I am eagerly waiting to meet the student who will break the record, as it is long overdue!

In reality when I entered UI, my goal was to graduate with a 7.0, a perfect score from the law faculty. I remember confiding in two senior students about my goals and they laughed at me! They told me it was impossible and if I was going to make a first class from the law faculty, the best I would obtain was a grade close to 6/7. Once I got that negative feedback, I realised I was being like Joseph in the Bible who was sharing his dreams with the wrong people. I decided to keep this dream in my head and continue to work.

I eventually did not finish with a 7.0 largely because I was involved in politics in my 4th year (and that took a lot of time from my studies) but I am proud to say that in my 3rd year, my CGPA was 6.96/7 and in my 5th year, my CGPA was also 6.9/7. So even though I aimed for the moon and did not hit it, at least, I fell among the stars and was able to break the existing record. My academic record in the University of Ibadan opened the door for me to obtain a masters in law from the University of Cambridge on a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. I would also argue that my grades from university continue to open doors for me today.

I really love that I went to the University of Ibadan. I am the first to admit that the education sector in Nigeria needs a lot of work (and the change needs to start from the government) but I must admit that despite difficulty with funding and so on, University of Ibadan is one of the schools in Nigeria that continues to uphold a very high standard of education. I knew the current vice-chancellor while I was a student and he was one of the people who, in my experience would listen to students’ concerns. I have maintained a relationship with him and my professors in the law school and from time to time I communicate with them to give feedback on my progress or to ask for advice.

I was happy that the school administration shared my story and more importantly, I was very humbled when I read messages from people who were inspired by my story.

Canadian Scholarship & it’s impact as a black woman in a foreign land

I was ecstatic when I received the Vanier last year. We could not announce the award for a while, so I was just sitting on good news! When I applied for the scholarship, I hoped I would win because winning the scholarship will send a signal to other people like me that they too can succeed in academia no matter who or where they were.

The Vanier is a very competitive scholarship that ranks students based on their leadership potential, academic record as well as the potential of their doctorate research. Candidates go through several rounds of application starting from the faculty level to the university level and then national level. I am very thankful that I was nominated by my faculty as this started the process. Apart from my research potential, I really believe my application stood out because of my academic record as well as my leadership experience.

As a student and even after I graduated from University, I always pushed myself to make improvements no matter where I was. In primary and secondary school, I was selected as the head-girl because of my leadership potential and in University I was also elected as the President of the Law Students’ Society, the first woman to be so elected in over 30 years.

For me, leadership has always been about service and trying to make my immediate environment better and it was quite interesting to see that my past leadership experience played a huge role in getting the scholarship.

As a black woman, I am happy to hold the forte for black women, women and anyone from a minority background who has a dream. There are so many challenges along the way for many of us. If I tell the story about the struggles I faced in the first year of my PhD, this article cannot contain it! The Vanier was a big boost for me and I am glad that winning the scholarship has inspired others to reach for more no matter where they come from!

Reaction to my story going viral

This is actually the first time I am thinking of it as a viral story! I would say the reception has been very positive. Many people have asked how they can achieve the same or similar goals and I am inspired to continue to provide support to other people through my company Get In Education Consulting (www.getineduconsulting.com) as well as on a personal basis.

My Inspiration

I think I am inspired by problems. I describe myself as an “extra” person because I am always thinking of the next problem to solve. Any Nigerian that is immune to the problems of the country needs to wake up! My core areas of interest are international trade (particularly intra-African trade and improving connectivity in Africa) ,which is the core of my PhD Thesis , as well as education, which is the core of the business I run at GetIn Education Consulting.So, I am inspired to act when I see problems as my interests are driven by the problems that need to be solved in these areas.

Apart from my family, I am also inspired by people who have overcome adversity and are giving back. Dr. Deola Olubamiji is one of my mentors and people like her inspire me to do more.


I think the greatest reward is seeing someone say “you inspired me to pursue XYZ”. A lot of people reach out to me online, particularly on Instagram @mariammomodu_ and they tell me how I inspired them to pursue their dreams, study hard or achieve a goal and this is very rewarding.I was also very happy when another woman was elected as the president of the law students’ society in UI, because it showed that the glass ceiling had been broken there.

Challenges of being a female  scholar trying to break boundaries both home and abroad

I have faced several challenges and I am still facing several!  One of the biggest challenges has been adjusting to a new environment with new expectations. Academia is a constant learning curve for me. So, I need to really know how to conduct myself as an academic and ensure I am ticking the right boxes that will make me competitive after school. Funding is also a big challenge for many people, but thankfully, the Vanier came through!

On Giving up

There have been so many moments! January this year I had to prepare for an examination that would determine whether I progressed to the next level of the PhD. It was very intense and there were many days I questioned if I was doing the right thing, but in the end, I came out successful. Also, during the PhD, you have to apply for grants, submit papers and apply for workshops. I am successful with many applications, but I also face rejection. Initially, I used to be bothered by rejection, but now, I know the path to success is filled with rejection, so I have to persevere no matter how I feel.

Being a Woman of Rubies

I am a woman of rubies because I am not defined by what I own or what you can see. I am so much more. I am a woman who keeps striving to make an impact on her environment by touching one life at a time with the hope of making my corner of the world better.

Advice for  women who are scared to break boundaries and be more

If the voice in your head is not encouraging you, then don’t listen to it! A lot of times, we are holding ourselves back because we think we are inadequate when we are actually more than enough. Research has shown that black women are more likely to have feelings of inadequacy compared to many other groups of people and these feelings of inadequacy have has been described more technically as imposter phenomenon.

 I know fear can be crippling, but you have to find a way to overcome it. What I do is to keep myself accountable by sharing my dreams with those who understand my vision. I have mentors that encourage me and chastise me as needed. I am also learning to live “uncomfortable”. This means that I am constantly reaching for things that I think are difficult to achieve no matter how I feel.

Appreciation of Black Women

I think black women need to stop waiting to be appreciated. Instead we need to just be who we are “boss babes!” You don’t need anyone’s permission to excel. Neither do you need permission to be proud of your achievements. Where you need to, demand your accolades, demand that promotion and so on, but do not wait for external validation before you appreciate yourself.

If I could change one thing  in the Education Sector

Education should be fun. Students should be excited to go to school because there is something for them; something that can relate to. If I could change one thing, I would change the kind of syllabus we have in many universities in Nigeria. I would work to decolonise our syllabus and make it contextual to Africa and the 21st century. Oh, I would also ensure that 30% of Nigeria’s budget for the next 30 years is dedicated to education.

How to reach me

I enourage readers to visit www.getineduconsulting.com and read all the free resources we have available, as well as inspiring stories that can get you started on your journey to using education as a tool to change your life. Also follow @getinedu on Instagram and Twitter as well as @mariammomodu_ on Instagram

Melanesians are black island people in the south pacific that migrated over thousands of years ago, long before the blacks that came to the Americas as slaves.

Melanesia is a sub-region of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. The region comprises most of the islands immediately north and northeast of Australia, including the countries of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Island, and New Caledonia. The name Melanesia was first used by Jules Dumont d’Urville in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia.

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands
Melanesian people of Solomon Islands

Until recently, the indigenous melanesian people practised cannibalism, head-hunting, kidnapping and slavery, just like the Asmat tribe, but with contact with Europeans, the population is now predominantly Christian. However, more than 90% lead rural lives.

Melanesian Blonde hair

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands
Melanesian people of Solomon Islands

The Melanesian people of the Solomon Islands are the point of interest when it comes to dark skin and blond hair. The Solomon Islands are located in the South Pacific, the very heart of Melanesia, just Northeast of Australia, between Papua and Vanuatu and is an independent state within the British Commonwealth.

Although the indigenous Melanesian population of the islands possess the darkest skin outside of Africa, between 5 and 10% have bright blond hair.

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands
Melanesian people of Solomon Islands

There have been several theories on how they got their blond hair — from sun and salt whitening, high fish intake, or genetic heritage from mixed-breeding with Americans/Europeans who founded the islands.

A geneticist from Nova Scotia agricultural college in Canada, Sean Myles, conduced a genetic analysis on saliva and hair samples from 1209 Melanesian Solomon Island residents. From comparing 43 blond Islanders and 42 brown Islanders, he found that the blondes carried two copies of a mutant gene which is present in 26% of the island’s population. The Melanesian people have a native TYRP1 gene which is partly responsible for the blond hair and melanin, and is totally distinct to that of Caucasians as it doesn’t exist in their genes.

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands
Melanesian people of Solomon Islands

It is a recessive gene and is more common in children than in adults, with hair tending to darken as the individual matures.

This contributes to the theories that black Africans were the first homo sapiens and that all races came out of the black African race.

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands

Melanesian people of Solomon Islands
Credit: Pulse

A new study has analysed the differences in library size and monthly cost of Netflix subscriptions around the world.

The authors of the study looked at the figures based on the number of TV shows and movies available in 78 countries(according to the most up-to-date figures from both uNoGS and Finder.com) which they divided into the monthly subscription price to establish each country’s cost per title per month.

The study, by Comparitech, showed the disparity when cost per title (TV shows and movies) is analysed between different countries.

“American customers may have the largest choice of titles on Netflix but they don’t get the best value for money. Our study shows a massive disparity when cost per title is analysed between different countries. Due to the cheap price and number of titles available, Canada is actually the most cost-effective country to watch Netflix in, with US and UK customers paying 10 or 13 percent more per title than Canadian customers, respectively,” the authors of the research, said.

The study revealed that customers in Denmark pay 98% more per title compared to Canadian customers and around 90% more than U.S. and UK customers.

See top 10 cheapest countries (on cost per title basis):

See data on other countries below:

This study is a follow up to Comparitech’s research on Netflix’s war against VPNs. Based on over 5,000 tests the study highlights how effective 59 different VPNs are at unblocking 30 international Netflix catalogs.

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are a popular means of accessing Netflix TV shows and movies that are not available in the user’s home country.

Credit: Bella Naija

Adeola Deborah Olubamiji was born oin Ibadan to the family of Mr. & Mrs. Isaac & Juliana Olubamiji. She attended Alafia Public Primary School and St. Gabriel’s Secondary Commercial School in Mokola, Ibadan, Nigeria. Despite her humble beginning as a child hawker, she surmounted all odds to become the senior prefect girl of her secondary school. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physics (with Electronics) from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria in 2008 and a Masters of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland in 2011. In June 2017, Adeola received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada and made history as the first black person to have received this PhD from the university. Dr. Adeola is currently the Lead Metallurgist / Material Engineer at Burloak Technologies (The Advanced Additive Manufacturing Division of Samuel Sons & Co) in Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Adeola is a consultant and the founder of 3D-Tech Centrix, Ontario, Canada: A consulting firm specializing in development of 3D-printing technology and related manufacturing solutions for use in different industries. In July 2017, Dr. Adeola was chosen and celebrated as one the top 5 of 150 black women making Canada better for her contributions in Science and Technology by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She was also recently presented a prestigious award as the Woman of Outstanding Achievement in Education by the Nigerian-Canadian Community in a ceremony held in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Adeola’s passion for community building through volunteering is limitless and unquantifiable. Dr. Adeola is an “ardent” STEM advocate and she has continued to serve as a positive role model to the inner-city black youths in her Canadian community and around the world. From her savings, Dr. Adeola organizes regular STEM events and industrial tours for black youths in Ontario’s black communities to help youths discover what engineers do, and to expose them to STEM career opportunities available to them. Adeola whose story went viral two weeks ago shares her inspiring story with me in this mind-blowing interview.


Growing Up

I have 3 brothers and my only sister is late. I was born in Mokola Ibadan and attended Alafia Primary School and St Gabriel’s Secondary Commercial School in Mokola, Ibadan. We didn’t have much, so my siblings and myself learned to share and work together as a team quickly. My parents worked hard to ensure that we had food to eat, clothes to wear and made it a point of duty to get us to our schools on time. My mom is a workhorse and she woke up at 3 am daily to go to “Shasha Market” in Ibadan to conduct her pepper buying business.

Although my dad was unable to attain tertiary education, he is from a well-educated extended family. A few of my dad’s family members had PhDs, so my dad hung their photographs on the wall in our living room. At every opportunity my dad got, he regaled us with their success stories and explained how education took them abroad. Therefore, I ended up following the footpath of one of my uncles, Professor Abiodun Francis Oluwole who is a Professor of Nuclear Physics, to obtain a BSc in Physics with Electronics from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.

Hawking at age 10 made me more determined

Looking at my parent’s life, they both worked hard to care for us but we didn’t have any form of luxury. So, I learned quickly as a child that “to earn more, you must learn more.” In addition, the daily reminder was on the wall of our living room and it was clear that I needed to be “EDUCATED” to make valuable contribution to a knowledge-based society, to earn respect and to earn more money than my parents. As such, I promised myself to strive to know more critical facts, gather more information than the average person and be the best and nothing but the best.


 First black person to bag a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the university of Saskatchewan

Biomedical Engineering is a recently added branch of Engineering with capability to bring us closer to huge healthcare-related innovations and inventions. However, Nigerians and the black population in general are slowly just breaking into the field. In fact, it is almost impossible to find journal papers or conference proceedings authored by Africans (at least from the last names or first names) in the field of Biomedical Engineering. The shortage of blacks in this thriving field and shortage of women in engineering makes me feel “lonely” sometimes among my peers. Therefore, I will to continue to advocate for the introduction of the branches of Biomedical Engineering to Nigerian Universities, encourage and advocate for admission of more women into engineering disciplines, and to continue to encourage other engineers who are willing to transition to come and join me in this limitless, exciting and innovative field.


Choice to study biomedical engineering

Several health impairments and issues of failed diagnosis that could benefit from Biomedical Engineering technologies face Nigeria and Nigerians. With a BSc in Physics with Electronics, the Biomedical Engineering career path paved way for me to acquire the knowledge needed to help develop solutions to tackle the above-mentioned issues. Some of the areas that I am currently vast on are medical physics and clinical engineering, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, material development and 3D-printing, and e-health and telemedicine.


What and who inspires me


What Inspires me: As a Scientist, I am challenged and inspired by the possibilities and potentials of technology, and the fulfillment I get from solving difficult problems. As an engineer, I am inspired by industry 4.0 (e.g. 3D-printing) and its design and manufacturing capabilities. As a Nigerian, the complicated problems that I faced or my people in Nigeria face inspire me. On a daily basis, I go to work knowing that I am paying the price to acquire the knowledge and the skill-sets required to help bring back innovative manufacturing solutions to fix, improve, and tweak Nigeria’s mostly dead metal and plastic manufacturing industries.

Who inspires me: The humble background and huge historic contributions of Jesus Christ made Him my first inspiration. My middle name is Deborah and the realization of Deborah’s role as the First Female Judge in Israel, a Warrior, a Wife and a Mother made me choose her my second role model/inspiration. Furthermore, one of the men on the wall of our living room, Prof. Abiodun Francis Oluwole, inspired me to study Physics. At the moment, I have chosen Dr. Ndubuisi Ekekwe as one of my inspirations for his ability to combine successful academic credentials, technology and entrepreneurship. 


Greatest Reward

There are a few of them, after many years of research and development; the ultimate reward is receiving the PhD honour itself.  Seeing my narrative go viral to touch lives around the world provided me with the re-assurance that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, hard work and prayers are not old school and they in fact can make you a superstar. Then, securing a job as a lead engineer after my PhD and starting my career in a company that allows me utilize most of my acquired knowledge and skills made the whole process well worth it. Lastly, the smiles and tears of joy that rolled down my father’s face when he heard that I successfully defended my thesis was rewarding and very satisfying.


In terms of recognition, I was recognized as 5thof 150 black women making Canada better during the celebration of Canada at 150 (link:http://cbc.ca.mevn.net/radio/upclose. I was also recognised by the Nigerian Canadian Association as a “Woman of Outstanding Achievement in Education” in celebration of Canada at 150 and the award was presented to me at a Gala attended by Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Bar. Ahmed Hussen, the Ooni of Ife HRM Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Mama Nike Davies-Okundaye of Nike Art Gallery and so on.



My PhD was not plain sailing; there were setbacks, frustrating moments, doubts, failed relationship and several failed experiments. The isolation that comes with embedding myself in research and making it my boyfriend, family and best friend was a challenge. There were moments when I slept at the University for several days in order to collect data and only went home to shower. But the most challenging aspect of the PhD by far was the job search that comes at the end of the PhD by far was the job search that comes at the end of the PhD. 


Perception of Hawking

Child street-hawking is often driven by poverty, deplorable living conditions, illiteracy and unemployment. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is an offence to involve children in child-labour practices such as child hawking. However, this is the only mean of survival for some families and its eradication will be very tough.


Has there ever been a time that you feel like giving up?

The thinking of giving up is inevitable for every PhD student. Half way through my PhD, I felt like I could do something else with my life. I felt like the PhD was standing in the way of me starting my life, buying a house, finding love and getting married. I felt like it was a shear waste of time and energy and that an MSc was already more than enough.

Unfortunately, I lost my sister to cervical cancer during that time and that gave me the motivation to carry on. I thought I would do it for my sister and my dad who already started calling me doctor and never stopped encouraging me.

Contributing to Nation building back home

In recent times, the society and social media has continued to showcase role models who make education look ‘old school’, who make science look too hard, abstract and for the exceptional ones. Africa as a continent needs to start projecting scientists are role models and investing in productive education and technology aside entertainment, fashion, and cosmetics. As a STEM advocate, I’m willing to help develop hands-on programs to help motivate these students to learn and love Sciences and get exposure to Technology in a fun way. Since kids learn by doing, these programs will provide an avenue for them to connect the theoretical science taught in schools with practical science that results from these theories.

In order to conquer the extreme dependency of Nigeria and Nigerians on China and the West for metal and plastic goods, Nigeria must invest in digitized manufacturing now. The combination of “3D-printing technology” and some other manufacturing techniques will allow achievement of faster product development and consequently enable manufacturing of polymeric and metallic products at reasonable costs. This will also foster raising of young entrepreneurs and enable creation of more jobs for our engineering graduates who are forced to work in the banking sector, wait for years to secure a position in the energy sector, or move abroad to seek greener pastures.

As a scientist who has a large network of professionals, has explored both plastics and metal 3D-printing and tried several conventional manufacturing techniques, my team is capable and able to help with the set-up of a “Manufacturing Hub for Africa” in Nigeria if given a chance. 3D-printing technology is rapidly growing across multiple industries and applications: medical applications (e.g. surgical implants, prosthesis, dental, and tissue-engineered tissues and organs), aerospace applications (OEMs for airplanes and fighter jets), automotive applications (OEMs for car engines), energy industries (customized valves, heat exchangers), tooling for plastics processing, and manufacturing of customized consumer plastic products and decorations.


I am a Woman of Rubies

 My life and my journey so far have made me conclude that I am an unrepeatable miracle of God. 

Final word for women who have or about to lose hope because of certain setbacks.

Dear woman, with the advent of technology, the world is at your fingertip. Do not wait to be served information on a platter of gold as your power lies in how much information you acquire. Dear woman, who are you and why are you here? My go to quote is “if you don’t stand for something, you will stand for everything or anything, and when you stand for everything or anything, you stand for nothing”. My dear women, let’s altogether renew our minds, be our own saviours, our own rescue and love ourselves enough. Finally, I beseech you to dare to be limitless, dare to start that business, dare to launch that company, dare to channel that cause, dare to be different, dare to study science and dare to be innovative







A young Nigerian lady, Adeola Olubamiji, whose story is that of the proverbial grass-to-grace has not only done herself proud by earning a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, her story is an encouragement that where there is a will, there is a way.
Read her moving tribute on her graduation day:

“As the fifth child of five, I always had to wait for my turn. I was the last, a girl child and raised by a mother who is a farmer and a father who has little.

“I hawked pepper on the streets of Ibadan as early as age 10 to help my mum. Went to public primary and secondary schools in Ibadan. Attended OOU and studied Physics.

“Because I had a 2.1, it opened the door for me to proceed to Finland for a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering. During this Master’s degree, I worked part-time as a cleaner and did this after my Master’s as well.

“Out of determination, I applied to over 100 schools for my PhD and finally got a full three-year scholarship (later extended to four years) at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

“While in that PhD programme, I worked part-time as a makeup artist, teaching assistant, braided hair and fixed weaves to make extra money.

“Today, I walked the stage as the first black person to bag a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada!

“I walked this stage for you Mama Africa and for my Motherland Nigeria! I walked the stage for all of you Black women disrespected and looked down on!

“I walked for all of you from my ghetto hood, Mokola, Ibadan. I walked for all OSU students and ex-students that got that look from people who think we are not brilliant!

“I walked for all of you Africans in Finland wondering what is next for you!!

“Specially, I walked for you my parents, siblings and extended family in fulfilment of your dreams!

“Specially, I walked the stage for you my late sister Omoleye Olubamiji; and my late mentor Ayodele Olatunbosun.

“Today, I walked for my future husband and my unborn children who patiently waited for me to fulfil my dreams so that he can have a wife he will be proud of and they can have a role model to look up to.

“I walked for all immigrants and all young adults who strived everyday chasing their dreams!

“I walked in celebration of the unfailing love of my first and one truly true love, Jesus Christ, (in you I walk, in you I live, and in you I have had and will continue to have my being)!

“Be bold, be innovative, be different, be you, be everything you want to be; but remember to put God first!

“Let no man, upbringing, money, circumstance, colourism, past mistakes, institution, company, partner, background, let nothing tell you ‘you can’t do it.’

“Go smart! Go hard!! Go for Gold!!! Go with God!!! Just Get Going!!!!! #Grad2017 #PhDConvocation #UofS