Over the years, Nigerians have shown the world that they are endowed, and have the capacity to break new ground irrespective of the barriers and limitations. One of such Nigerians is Esther Okade, a genius who has exhibited an extraordinary intellectual ability to a level associated with genius. Esther is indeed a genius.
In 2015, the news broke out about Esther Okade, then a 10-year old math genius, born of Nigerian parents, enrolling at the Open University in the UK. According to reports, Esther who lives in Walsall, an industrial town in the UK, did not attend a formal school as she was homeschooled by her mother; Omonefe Okade simply called Efe, who happened to be a teacher and a mathematician. And in case people think her parents have pushed her into starting university early, Esther emphatically disagrees.
“I actually wanted to start when I was seven. But my mum was like, “you’re too young, calm down.”
After three years of begging, mother Efe finally agreed to explore the idea.
A marvelous mathematical mind. Esther has always jumped ahead of her peers. She sat 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 the Math A-level exam.
Esther was said to have grown up like every other girl-child of her age as she loves playing with Barbie dolls and dressing up as Elsa from Frozen but aside that she is above her age mate and peers academically. She started school like her age mates but the once vibrant girl changed drastically and luckily her parents noticed the change and decided to teach her from home.
At six, Esther took math GCSE, a task generally undertaken by 14 -16-year-old in the UK and passed. The genius loves math so much that she wrote a book series titled Yummy Yummy Algebra.
She started her university course on an excellent note as one of the youngest undergraduate students and was already top of her class, getting a perfect score in her first exam.
Talking about her university course of study, financial math, Esther said she wants to finish the whole course in two years and wants to own a bank by the time she is 15 because of her love for numbers. She claimed she likes people and banking is a way to help them.
“I want to (finish the course) in two years. I want to have a bank by the time I’m 15 because I like numbers and I like people and banking is a great way to help people.”
Having perfect scores in her courses, she is to obtain her PhD before she turned 14.
Esther’s mother noticed her daughter’s flair for figures shortly after she began homeschooling her at the age of three. Initially, Esther’s parents had enrolled her in a private school but after a few short weeks, the pair began noticing changes in the usually-vibrant youngster.
Efe says: “One day we were coming back home and she burst out in tears and she said ‘I don’t ever want to go back to that school — they don’t even let me talk!’
“In the UK, you don’t have to start school until you are five. Education is not compulsory until that age so I thought OK, we’ll be doing little things at home until then. Maybe by the time she’s five she will change her mind.”
Efe started by teaching basic number skills but Esther was miles ahead. By four, her natural aptitude for maths had seen the eager student move on to algebra and quadratic equations.
And Esther isn’t the only maths prodigy in the family. Her younger brother Isaiah, 11, is equally gifted. Esther’s academic excellence has been profiled by various international news media. Agapen Media Inc. celebrates Esther Okade and Nigeria.