A Nigerian lady, Adeolu Deborah Olubamiji has made history by walking tall in the world of science by breaking all barriers and obstacles to become the first black person to bag a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
Born in the ancient city of Brown Roofs, Ibadan, Oyo State, in 1985, the beautiful Adeolu Deborah Olubamiji who’s the last of the 5 children of peasant farmer parents beat others to the enviable record that was announced on June 5th, 2017.
According to sources, the academic ingenuity of the brilliant Deborah begun when after her primary education at Alafia nursery and primary school Mokola Ibadan, she became the Head Girl at the St. Gabriel secondary commercial school where she came out in flying colours by making one of the best results during the West Africa Senior Secondary School exams among the 2001 set.
And as if that was not enough, the brilliant Debbie soon made another outstanding record when she led the Physics department class with a Second Class Upper division at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, ago Iwoye, this, we gathered opened, yet, a new door, as she proceeded to Finland (University of Tampere) for her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering.
Coming from a humble background, it was not a walk in the park for young Adeolu, as she had no one, no money and being a black girl from a poor home, so she had to juggle, working as a part time Cleaner during this tough academic years studying for her Master’s degree. Out of determination, she applied to over 100 schools for her PhD and finally got a full 3 years scholarship ( later extended to 4 years) in the University is Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.
While at the PhD programme, she worked part time as a make-up artist, and seller at Sephora Canada. She braided hair and weaved for students including teaching jobs to make extra money. It was a harrowing experience, but she never gave up, she was already used to waiting for her time; as she muses , on her graduation day " As the 5th child of 5, I always had to wait in line for my turn. I was the last, a girl child and was raised by mum who is a farmer and my dad who had little. I hawked pepper on the streets of Ibadan as early as age 10 to help my mum. Went to a public primary and secondary school in Ibadan, attended OOU and studied physics, so it looked like I won't amount to much".
Today, Dr. Adeolu. D. Olubamiji is the first black person to have received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. Currently she works as a Lead Metallurgical/Material Engineer in an Aerospace Manufacturing company in Canada. She is single and in her early 30s, smiling with pride and fulfilment as she says to her future husband, " I walked tall for my future husband and 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.
Let's change the role models we are giving to Nigerians. It's about time to show them that being educated is the New way to pepper them.