What They Taught Me in Ikeja Computer Village Nigeria

What They Taught Me in Ikeja Computer Village Nigeria

I do electronics. I hold a PhD in electrical & computer engineering from a top global university. I have also worked in a top global semiconductor company. I lead my firm’s design efforts. Yet, there are things I do not know how to do in the field. And some are not things that I can easily find someone to teach me. They are things no company develops expertise and competence around. People that know these things are tinkerers who seem to have new insights on electronics. No professor spends time mastering those things. Yet, markets need them.

By nature, I am extremely simple because America makes you so.  That gives me the capacity to come down and learn when I need to do so. It does not matter who is teaching.

Few months ago, a bad guy blew people up in America. FBI wanted access to the guy’s phone to help their investigations. They asked Apple for help. Apple went to court to challenge the request. While Apple and FBI were getting into legal matches, FBI hired a company that helped it to access the iPhone the bad guy had used. It was rumored that FBI paid millions of dollars for that heroic act.

But on Nairaland, one Nigerian geek said he could easily do that. My team tracked him.  I have two guys that do such in our business. We do prepare reports for clients on markets and we want them to be relevant. So we spend efforts on chat rooms and first-hand sources to understand the true market dynamics.

My Nigerian team tracked the guy. He was real and confident. Then I put a request that I would attend a four-hour training under his guidance. But we would use a PC instead of iPhone. I wanted him to teach me that art he claimed he knew.

I went to Walmart in U.S. and bought two laptops. I came to Computer Village Ikeja in this trip and met the guy.  I came like nobody with slippers, and within three hours he delivered.

His name is Engr Seun. He has no degree. He has a 3-month diploma from UNILAG and a 6-month diploma from NIIT Lagos. But he is brilliant. In short, I could not believe what I saw. It took him 3-4 minutes to dissemble a laptop. He has 15 years of experience in his art. I videoed the training and took many photos.

At the end, he gave me a price. He looked at me. He noticed that I was getting emotional. He asked me “Oga wetin happen”. I said “Engr Seun, I was surprised how little you charged me”. In my mind, this guy has a top-class skill that could make him a very successful citizen. I paid him twice his fees.

Engr Seun has opened the laptop to begin work

To cut this story short: I told Engr Seun to look for a business partner with a business experience. I noted that I would be happy to provide initial seed funding of N5 million for him to go more upstream in his business. He promised that he would do so. He is the finest engineer I have met in a long-time.

Engr Seun taught me something really valuable. There is no book on earth I think anyone could read what he did. He went straight to a PC motherboard and soldered things, changed many things and did other things. What a country!

Engr Seun working. He is shorting some wires

I will make a longer post when I have time on this topic with more photos. The brilliance of his skill cuts across platforms. I gave him HP and Gateway laptops and he was able to navigate them without issues. I changed the original challenge because I had no locked iPhone to be unlocked. Yet, he delivered on the things I wanted him to demonstrate with PCs. That was enough for the application we plan to use the experience for.


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25 thoughts on “What They Taught Me in Ikeja Computer Village Nigeria

  1. This is amazing. The truth is that we have lots of these guys around in Nigeria. Thank you for the recognition. I also planned doing something similar because I follow some of them as well. Well done Prof. Your works are speaking for you.

  2. Dear Ndubuisi, this is one of the many IT guru’s we have at Ikeja. If you want to unlock a foreign mobile phone, configure a techno to have an apple interface, you will be answered right here at Ikeja. I think it’s an open opportunity for Nigeria to start making mobile phones that can compete in the global market.

  3. I love Nigeria and her talents despite the stupidity of our “political class” that has failed to understand the special talents.
    Our leaders must look inwards to harness these talents.

    Thanks Prof. See you soon

  4. What an encouraging piece. It’s rather unfortunate that Nigerian Government does not recognize, appreciate and encourage pure talents like Engr Seun who are just rusting away.

  5. Good day Sir, I am seeing this piece today. I understand that the piece was written last year but nevertheless, I am eager to get into your team Sir. I have the skills. Computer Engineering.

  6. Prof , I dont know how you do it but you re simply amazing. Two things were profound to me from the story (1)the guy’s performance 2) More importantly your attitude in terms of recognition given to the guy, your resolve to invest and make the guy a great guy . The guy has been there for 15 years, trust me with little or no attention and nobody to help him scale up. Nigeria needs more of you. Thanks for sharing


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