Meet Dr. Adeola Olubamiji: The First African Biomedical Engineer(Ph.D ): Her Life & Projects

A few days ago my boss asked me to accompany her to a meeting where I eventually met a young promising woman from Nigeria who lives in Canada and is making Nigeria proud. The story was that this lady was already doing a lot to project Africa and empower girls, women and the youth. Now that’s the kind of story I love to hear and therefore I was delighted to go meet this inspiring lady. But I actually met her via a SKYPE conversation … hehehe. I tell you our conversation with her blew me away and left me feeling good about my heritage as a Nigerian woman. She is the kind of role model young people need to inspire and motivate them to go on to achieve their dreams and goals.

So here I am trying to celebrate and project the good things this beautiful lady is doing.

This post shares a bit of our conversation with Dr. Adeola Olubamiji the first black person to obtain a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of Saskatchewan . She speaks about herself and an ongoing project to empower young people in Ibadan in Tie-Dye Engineering. Dr. Adeola’s story went viral on the social media after she shared her story about how she rose from a humble background to become the scientist that she now is. Adeola went on to start STEMHUB FOUNDATION to inspire young people to pursue science and discover the possibilities therein. Bolatito Joseph- BJJ (Deputy Director Programmes- Radio Nigeria) conducted the interview.

Interview

BJJ: Tell us about yourself, a little bit about your background and why you are doing this project

DR. Adeola: Recently about a year ago I happen to be the first African to obtain a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan here in Canada. My upbringing, I was raised by two people with no formal education; from hawking pepper on the streets of Mokola, Ibadan to becoming a child farmer; having to help my mum on the farm and how all of this happened to me; then because of my love for science made me who I am today. I went ahead and posted my story on Facebook the day I convocated. That story went viral and it was in the news in Nigeria and the media basically. So I grew lots of followership on social media and as such I couldn’t hide anymore as a scientist who just wanted to live my life for myself. I realize that my life wasn’t mine anymore; a lot of people wanted to be a part of it; a lot of people were looking for a role model and some people were looking for mentors for themselves or for their children. So that’s how STEMHUB Foundation started.

Mokola, where the empowerment training on Tie & Dye engineering for young people is taking place in the neighborhood where I grew up. It is in this neighborhood that I hawked pepper. So I looked at my neighborhood and I found out that it is still the same. We still have people involved in vices and using prostitution as the only means of livelihood for them. So I was looking out there to see – what Is it I can help people acquire that they can use as a means to fend for themselves instead of having to do something shady or having to sell their body.

This Tie and Dye program is not the only program my foundation has sponsored. For the celebration of Women in the month of March 2018, I partnered with the Female Designers Movement in Lagos to sponsor design engineering for 150 women. We taught them graphic design making of posters; a user design for websites.

Right now after my Ph.D., I got a job and currently work as a lead material engineer in a company that basically manufacture Pollan, parts of engines of aircraft, fighter jets and all of that here in Canada. I am very passionate about anything engineering, 3D-printing which is my area and right now I focus on aerospace.

BJJ: Great! Ok can we talk about the many awards you’ve won

Dr. Adeola: Ok one thing I always tell people is, it is a lot difficult to talk about when it comes to hyping myself; I am not good at it.

BJJ: (Laughs)

Dr. Adeola: I believe something, “If your mission and vision in life are about you, you won’t go really far.

BJJ: Yeah

Dr. Adeola: But if your vision and your mission are about the people you will go really, really far. And often times those types of vision and mission are bigger than you and require a lot of resilient for it to happen. After my story broke out on the internet, the “Media Broadcast Corporation” which is our own “Radio Nigeria” here in Canada recognized me as one of the 150 black women making Canada better for the celebration of Canada at 150years last year. Also last year the Canadian Nigerian Association honored me as “The Woman of Outstanding Achievements in Education”, July 2017. Fortunately, Oni of Ife and some other dignitaries from Nigeria attended that event.

“If your mission and vision in life are about you, you won’t go really far. But if your vision and your mission are about the people you will go really, really far.

In my absence the Ondo state government honored me as 2018 female role model of young girls in the state. I have also been nominated by the Canadian Business Treat; these are a group of women whose passion centers on finding entrepreneurs and young Canadian women and honoring them. I have been nominated as one of the people that will receive an award this year, 2018.

Dr Olubamiji at a science training for some children

There is been a couple of awards here and there but to me, it is not about the awards. It is about what I can do for people. If it wins an award, yes I am happy but I would gladly celebrate the people and the progress we are making in the lives of the people than how many accolades I get or how many awards people have given me. This dream and vision are not about me, it’s about the people.

BJJ: You have done so well for yourself and I want to tell you that Nigeria is proud of you. Now, are you thinking of coming back home?

Dr. Adeola: The Industry that I work in right now focus on 3D-printing different on aerospace material. During my Ph.D. I was fortunate to use this same 3D-printing, to manufacture. So 3D-Printing is an area growing drastically around the world; Nigeria has not embraced the idea yet. If there is an opportunity to come and be a part of trading digital manufacturing space for Africa so that we can attract automotive companies to come and open their brands in Nigeria, I will definitely love to be a part of such change. Until that moment when this type of opportunity happens I think I will stay here in Canada to grow my knowledge and without money, I wouldn’t be able to help people in Nigeria.

BJJ: (Laughs)

Dr. Adeola: So I will stay here to be able to make some money and to be able to do what I do right now (Laughing). But if you ask me where is your heart? My heart is in Nigeria. I believe that positive role models are very, very rare to find in our society. And when we have such positive role models, often times they do not have the right platform to be projected so our young girls can see them. I feel that if I were to be present in Nigeria I will achieve way more; I will inspire and motivate way more. And I could be a part of those people who can help drive success among women and young people in Nigeria. Until that time when I get the opportunity, I have to be here.

But the good news is that I will be coming home to Nigeria in August for two weeks to receive an award. I will do all I can to inspire; to encourage and be a part of the people; to let them see what is possible if you study science, believe in God and if you work hard and are resilient, you can go really far in life.

BJJ: Thank you very much for speaking with us. I really enjoyed this conversation. God bless, bye

Dr. Adeola: Thank you too Bye

I look forward to following Dr. Adeola’s journey and contributions to society and sharing more of her story and the lives she is touching. In another post, I will share photos and stories of young people I met at the Tie & Dye Training which held in Ibadan for young people. It was sponsored by STEMHUB Foundation.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

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Guest Interview: A Political Scientist Clicking Away with Her Camera

My eyes, ears, and heart are always tuned to catch real-life stories at events, training or workshops. So here was I trying to take a few photos at a Management and Leadership conference for Female Journalists; this lady kept bumping into me or was it me interfering with her professional photography work. And look at me holding a simple Android phone trying to take my amateur pictures😀 After bumping into her a few times the light in my head turned on! 🌞🌞 The writer in me asked, “what’s her story? So here I am ready to bring this beautiful damsel’s story to you. An interesting, down to earth chat it was. Enjoy meeting this talent. 

Interview :
Me: What is your name? Any brand or pet name?

Tiwa: My name is Tiwatope Badmus… My brand name is Tiwa Badmus Photography.

Me: Could you share the schools you attended?

Tiwa: I had my secondary school at Adesina College, Ibadan.
Then I proceeded to the University of Ibadan where I studied Political Science.

Me: What was growing up like for you

Tiwa: Growing up for me was two-sided… We used to leave somewhere that I termed as a ghetto. I learned a whole lot as a young girl of 5. Street fights and drinking was the order of the day.  so I learned a lot of self-defense. I was a really gentle kid growing up.Then by age 6, we moved to a new environment where our movement was restricted then I became the ‘get inside’ kinda kid. I was a very shy girl throughout my secondary school days. But as soon as I entered the university I began to build up the courage to meet and approach people.

Me: Photography! How did you get into photography, what was your motivation?

Tiwa: Photography has always been in me. I remembered as a secondary school student how I used to save my lunch money so I can go take pictures with my friends… How I used to capture the sun moon and stars with my First camera phone which was a Nokia C1.
My Motivation: When I was in 300L at the university there was this very long ASUU strike that broke out and I decided to learn Photography as a passion and then it became my career path.

Me: Do you do anything else besides photography?

Tiwa: Right now, I don’t do any side jobs… I only do photography.

Me: Is it lucrative, I mean pay your bills?

Tiwa: Photography is a very lucrative job.. Especially when it comes to events. I have met several people I would have never imagined if I was on other jobs within a short span of time.

Me: What has been your challenge following this career path?

Tiwa: The first challenge was procuring all the necessary equipment… OMG!!! Photography can be a very expensive biz to start with. Getting clients too was another challenge but when you know what you are doing and they see your work, they will eventually want you to work for them. As a female photographer, I have had experiences of some sexually related insults like a guy was trying to hit me on my back(bum) the other day.

Me: When you feel like giving up, stressed out, what keeps you going?

Tiwa: My passion for the job keeps me going. Most of the time I don’t look at the money. I work because I enjoy what I do which is why I am into so many voluntary groups.

Me: So if I want to become a photographer like you *wink, what do I need to do?

Tiwa: What you need to be a good photographer is in You. You need just your eyes to see something picture worthy of your environment. And then you need to be creative with that you can get behind the cameras and shoot your shot!!! It doesn’t take long to learn if you put your mind to it. In the space of 2 weeks, you can start shooting!

Me: You must have a favorite food…

Tiwa: My favorite food will always be Amala with Abula as a core Yoruba girl that I am 😃

Me: What is your parting word for young people like yourself especially ladies?

Tiwa: Believe in yourself, believe you can do it… Birth your dreams in Prayers. Don’t ever let anyone talk you down from following your passion.
You are strong
You are powerful
You are beautiful!!!

Me: I am so having fun and enjoying your story but hey we to wrap it up somehow😀. On a final note, what else would you like to share about yourself?

Tiwa: I am a Christian and I love God with all my heart.

Me: Don’t go away without giving out your social media handles

Tiwa: Instagram @tiwabadmus_photography
Facebook page @tiwabadmus_photography
Twitter @i_am_tiwatope
Thank you very much for the opportunity, ma’am. I do not take this for granted… I am so very grateful🙏🙏🙏

Hope you enjoyed meeting Tiwa? Go leave your dream, don’t let anything stop you!

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Project Director Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Radio Drama.
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

#IWD: Celebrating Amina J. Mohammed

Economic and Social Council: Operational Activities for Development Segment
Opening Session
Credits: Foreignpolicy.com DSG

Amina J . Mohammed is representing Nigeria on the international front and we are really proud of her. She is the current deputy secretary general of the United Nations. A former minister of environment between 2015 and 2016. She once coordinated the tax force on gender and education for the UN Millenium project.

Amina J. Mohammed also served as the special adviser of post-2015 development planning to the United Nation secretary general Ban Ki-moon. She was the CEO & Founder of the think tank for development policy solution. These and more achievement earn her the award of 2017 Diplomat of the year by foreign policy magazine, she is also amongst Fortune magazine’s annual list of the2016 world’s greatest leaders. Amina was also profiled by Vogue magazine as one of the 13 female warriors on the frontline.

In 2006, Amina J Mohammed bagged the National Honours Award of the order of the federal republic of Nigeria and was inducted into the Nigerian women’s hall of fame in 2007. Despite being married with six children she has continued to make a difference for all women and her world.

Credits: Damilola Agbaje on Savvy Woman: XX FILES radio program.

Adebisi Adetunji(C) Project director Beehyve Empowerment & Development Initiative

#IWD – Celebrating a Woman – A Young Doctor shares her dreams

In commemoration of the International Women’s Day celebration which is marked every year on the 8th of March, femininmaterz will bring you short stories of women young and old who are doing great things

Below is the story of a young doctor I interviewed who intends to also be a big-time farmer:

My name is Dr. Obadigie Josephine an Optometrist who also want to go into farming big time. Apart from farming I also have other businesses I want to do. I discovered that if you want to make an impact you need to earn more than a salary. You need to have multiple streams that will earn you income because if you really want to impact lives, you need money. And once you get this money it is not just to Can all you can but give back to the society.

One of the ways I want to impact lives is by giving scholarships to young ladies and young men especially those from an indigent background so that they can also achieve their dreams. I believe that once one person is able to achieve his or her dreams then he/she can go on to empower others.

They say if you a train a man you have simply trained a man but when you train a woman you have trained a nation.

I believe that when women are empowered that puts them on a platform to also help their children and others like her husband and even extended family members.

Adebisi Adetunji(C) Project Director Beehyve Empowernment & Development Initiative

An Opportunity on a Notice Board- What She did with It.

A notice board on a national highway. Credits: Alamy.com

There are people that you meet and see every day and simply don’t know their story. They lift their heads each new day ready to make the best of the day. Opportunity comes once in a while and a window into someone’s life opens and then you are blown away by what you see and hear. I got such a rare opportunity with Nifesi (Not Real Name). She is one of our cleaners in my office (Why do I keep meddling?) and I heard something recently about her that lifted my spirits.

Nifesi’s Story – She dares to dream and pursue

I had a conversation with  Nifesi, who dared to pursue an opportunity she saw while sweeping on a notice board.

A week ago I heard that Nifesi now features on the station’s Language (Yoruba) news commentary and had even read a major news bulletin on one occasion. So when I had an opportunity to chat with her to find out more about what inspired her. The road to appearing in the news commentary report started with an announcement placed on the general notice board. Members of staff of the organization were asked to see the management and put their names down if they had skills in presenting Yoruba programs. Nifesi while sweeping the corridor saw the notice and something lite up in her head. “I can do this”, she said to herself.

Opportunities jump out in places least expected sometimes…pay attention and take your chance.

As soon as she was done cleaning, she went in search of everyone that matters and she was advised to start translating news bulletin in English to Yoruba. Nifesi started to practice translating this bulletin every day after her cleaning job. He would then show her translation to those experienced on the job. When she was ready to showcase what she could to, Nifesi approached the news director and programs director to beg them to allow her to read what she had translated. They listened at first politely not wanting to embarrass her. They told her to go and register her interest at the top management level. Nifesi kept going back and forth and would not stop until an audition was sanctioned. After this, others could now listen to what she could do and approved and fell in love with her voice.

You never know what you can do until you try, make that effort, go that extra mile

Even after this nod of approval that Nifesi had what it takes to translate and read news items in the Yoruba language nobody gave her a chance to come to the microphone. Nifesi kept on in hope doing her cleaning job while also still practicing translation of old news bulletin. A day came when those rostered for the news where unavoidably absent. Nifesi strolled in to pick a bulletin as usual to practice her translation and she was given the bulletin to be read for that day. She was trembling and very nervous, carrying out this task that she had dreamed of for months felt like been taken to the court to receive a life sentence. Nifesi in spite her nervousness took the challenge by the bull’s horns and faced it headlong. After featuring as the newsreader for that day, Nifesi received a lot of commendation and that is how she became a newsreader while still carrying out her duty as a cleaner who sweeps our offices and washes the toilet.

Keep pushing until you get a YES!!

I looked at Nifesi in admiration as she shared her story. I was curious and wanted to know more about her. My inquiry revealed that Nifesi while still working on her job as a cleaner had struggled to get a National Diploma(OND) at a Polytechnic as a part-time student. It was tough paying for her school fees. Nifesi would go cap in hand begging the school authority to allow her to pay in installments. Finally, she finished a course in Business Management. When I asked if she had collected her certificate Nifesi said she is yet to because she still owed the school a balance of her school fees. I hope she is able to raise the money because I sense that she may soon be ending her time as a cleaner.

You have what it takes to make that dream happen.

I raise my hands to salute a woman like Nifesi; a woman whom her husband abandoned because they had trouble with bearing children. A strong woman determined to move on with her life and pursue her dreams and goals in spite of her many trials and challenges.

YOU WILL MAKE IT, NEVER BELIEVE LESS OF YOURSELF.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Fade’s Touch – Reignite Your Beauty: How to Harness Your Child’s potential

Meet Federera Okunubi at work:

Fade doing makeover for a client
Finishing touches to the makeover

She is the daughter of my 16years hair stylist….really I am amazed that I have stayed with her for this long. The secret of course is good service and a good customer relationship. We are like family now I believe. It is difficult to get me into the salon of another hair stylist to make my hair.

Fade and mum braiding my hair

I first met Iya Fade as we all call her in 2001, then Fade the all grown lady wasn’t even in secondary school yet. This post is set to promote the need to pass down your skills to your children. You will be simply equipping them with tools for a better future. She has grown to become a very beautiful lady and I imagine the suitor’s queue is really long. This is her story as I chatted with her while she and her mum braided my hair.

At first, Fade was not interested in learning how to make other people’s hair. She was young and did not understand why she had to get her hand all dirt in wet waters. However an unce and aunty of hers convinced her that it was good to acquire this skill alongside getting an education. At least she did not have to pay to learn. Slowly and grudgingly at first she began to pay more attention while in her mother’s salon. Soon she picked up interest and became passionate about making hairstyles for customers.

What I admire  Iya Fade for is that she is got taste and is classy; she is creative, hardworking very good at her craft. She seems to thrive on all handy craft as often she makes hair creams, soaps, body cream to cater for the hair needs and treatments of her customers. And she uses natural products to make the blend. If you’ve got issues with your hair Iya Fade is a hair stylist you need to see.

So you can begin to understand the rich skills Fade stand to gain from her mother by paying attention. Thankfully she did pay attention. Right now Fade is competing well with her mum and even doing more.

Fade got admission into the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife to study the course: English Language. In school she was learning and making some change making fellow students hair. So that means she is never broke.

Right now Fade is done with her University education and waiting to go for her National Youth Service Corp(NYSC) but she got busy going to a makeover school and also started to attend a business management school in order to be able to manage her own business.

Fade is now the CEO of Fade’s Touch. Her business provides these services for clients:
1) Hair-do – All kinds of hair styles ranging from braids, dread, weaves, natural style, natural hair care, fixing of weavon.

Looking cool in my newly braided hair by Fade & mum
Fade styling the weavon of her customer

2) Makeover – Bridal makeover, home services, Owanbe-party make up, dinner makeover, casual makeover
3) Pedicure/Manicure
4) Sale of Make-up products
5) Sale of shoes & Bags
I told Fade that she will probably soon start employing her colleagues😀😀👍

I am so pleased to see that this young woman has carved a niche for herself. She will not be under pressure in the labour market looking for a job. She has become an employer herself.

Allow your children get more than a school education. Harness that gifting and talents. Let them acquire skills that will put more value on them in the labour/business market.

You can reach Fade’s Touch for your beauty services on:
Phone No: 08164423645
Instagram : Fade_rera
Twitter: @fade_rera

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Celebrating a Woman: Yinka Bode – Are (A photo Journalist)

Photojournalism is an art which takes time to build. They tell stories of real people, real life situations. A picture always tells the story better than words and you never forget it. Your mind’s eye captures the message. A photo-journalist can stir up action more quickly than many words of appeal will do.

I met this fantastic woman wearing a plain wine shirt on a simple trouser at a journalist training workshop(Writing Feature Stories on Family Planning) facilitated by DEVCOMS/NURHI. She looked all ready for work and moved smartly while walking alongside her. When we introduced ourselves I got to know that she is a photojournalist. I was fascinated and very soon she showed her skills clicking away with her camera taking different angles in an attempt to capture our own workshop story.

I simply could not pass up the opportunity to know a little more about this fellow woman journalist. So here are a few things I came away with from my chat with her.

Meet Yinka Bode-Are a photojournalist with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Yinka has been practicing for over 25 years now. 

What she finds interesting about her job: Working in what is considered a men’s terrain as a photo-journalist

Challenges on the job: Yinka sees no challenge too big to surmount. In her words, “I love what I do”.

Do male photo- journalist have any issues with you : The people I meet really appreciate me for what I do. Sometimes I hear people say that I do a better job with my photos than my male counterpart.

Married? Yes I am happily married

How do you manage your family life & work: My family understands what my job entails. In this profession, I don’t have public holidays and I work sometimes 12hrs a day.

Kudos to this hard working woman.

You can live your dream; You can be anything…The world is waiting for you!! At least I am *wink*😀😀

Adebisi Adetunji (C)