For Akorede Abeeb Bello, studying Electrical Electronics Engineering was never part of the plan. He had his eyes set on becoming a medical doctor. He did all he could. But when things were not falling in place for him to realise his life-long ambition, he changed direction. And his story has never been the same again. It was a story of latent passion never realized on time until doors to medical college closed. He did not even like Physics and Further Maths, two subjects that had come to define what he currently d
oes and enjoys. Nevertheless, when he realised he would not also make headway in the new direction he was looking, he deliberately focused on mastering the two subjects. Today, he is all happy for his determination to conquer the two dreaded subjects.
For the 25 year old man, call him an inventor, he would reject the appellation. Tell him he is a genius, he would simply say his love for Quantum and Electronics Physics has led him to a number of designs and constructions. His educational journey so far has shown that he is one Nigerian youth who knows where he is heading to.
Akorede is a youth corps member currently serving in Ibafo, Ogun State, Nigeria. He planned to read Medicine and Surgery immediately after his O Level. Providence led him to The Polytechnic, Ibadan to study Electrical & Electronics Engineering where he picked serious interest in Physics and Further Mathematics. In a system that lays little emphasis on practicals, Akorede stood out on the basis of his unquenchable love for hands on. His raw love for practical application of what learnt in class made him once a victim of scam. He was duped by someone who came in to capitalize on the weakness of the system.
According to Akorede, the man had shown up promising to teach the unsuspecting students how to make an inverter. He made his price known. Akorede paid in full. The man took him for a fool and bolted with his money. The passion in the boy did not allow him to rue the situation for long. He went further to enrol himself in a workshop outside the campus to learn more.
Soon, his love for higher education propelled him to seek admission to the Federal University of Technology, Minna where he was admitted to study Physics with Electronics. FUTMinna did two great things for him. One, he was able to explore more around the subjects of his interest. He developed a deeper interest in quantum physics, classical physics, optics and electromagnetism at what he called theoretical level.This spurred him to invest his time in the practicals.
For this, he stood out among his colleagues as a result of his deep knowledge in Electronics practicals. Two, the young man also found an enabler in one of his lecturers who had a workshop off the FUTMinna campus. Akorede worked with him there. Through this angel lecturer, he was able to lay his hands on programming projects such as SMS based home automation, SMS based human detection robot and SMS based gas leakage detection.
This made him a teacher of his mates. He tutored them effortlessly. In his final year, the young man constructed a FingerPrint-based Attendance System as his project. The norm was for students in Akorede’s shoes to contract their project construction. However, he chose to source materials and designed the attendance system. Since leaving FUTMinna, Akorede also has to his credit designs such as Burglary Alarm System, Led Display Message, SMS based Home Automation, SMS Based Human Detection Robot, Line Following Robot, Temperature Control Home Appliance and SMS based Water Level Indicator. If Nigerian education were a system that gave room to creativity and ingenuity, the young man should have been called back to serve the system that produced him.
The compulsory one-year service period will soon be over. Akorede looks to the future with eyes full of hope. Yet, he has his fears too. He would like to go further in pursuit of knowledge. He as well cherishes teaching. He is dreaming of a Master’s Degree abroad so that he could to come to class to make future physicists realize their own dreams too. He says being a lecturer would assist him have a workshop, train future engineers and contribute more in his field of Physics and Engineering. On this, he is willing to even read to a doctorate degree.
Despite his abundance of talents and passion, his dream may not fly if he does not get people to enable him. The pangs of surviving in a system that does not support her talents may snatch him away on this great journey of discoveries and inventions. Akorede Abeeb Bello is another Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe in the making. This could only happen if he is giving the mentorship and nurturing he requires to live his dream life of a Physicist who will not only contribute in solving the problems of the country in the short term but also assist in raising generations for the future in the long term.