Few amazing success tales can compare to Dr. Adeola Olubamiji’s motivational journey. She overcame all odds to become the first black person to receive a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the esteemed University of Saskatchewan in Canada, starting out in obscurity as a pepper vendor on the streets of Ibadan, Nigeria. Dr. Olubamiji’s journey to success, which was fueled by tenacity, fortitude, and an unwavering spirit, is proof of the strength of aspirations and the ability of people for development and success.
In Ibadan, Dr. Olubamiji started her career by selling pepper to help her family. She frequently had to wait her turn as the fifth of five children and dealt with the difficulties of being a girl in a community with little chances. She persisted in her resolve and dedication to her study in the face of these challenges. Dr. Olubamiji attended Ibadan public elementary and high schools before graduating with a 2:1 in Physics from Olabisi Onabanjo University.
Dr. Olubamiji set her eyes on extending her studies and achieving her aspirations because of her stellar academic record. She ventured out on a limb and moved to Finland to obtain a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. Her voyage did not, however, come without its share of difficulties. She worked as a cleaner part-time when she was a student to help support herself. She persisted in her quest for academic greatness despite the challenges.
Dr. Olubamiji’s desire for education and ambition drove her even farther after earning her Master’s degree. She submitted more than 100 applications to PhD programmes before receiving a full scholarship at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. Her life changed as a result of this chance. Dr. Olubamiji moved to Canada and kept pushing on with her mission there.
Dr. Olubamiji had a financial stability difficulty as she worked for her PhD. She took on other part-time jobs, including those as a makeup artist, a teaching assistant, and even a hair braider, in an effort to make ends meet. She managed the rigours of her multiple duties while achieving academic excellence because to her unrelenting work ethic and steadfast dedication to her studies.
During her PhD programme, Dr. Olubamiji conducted ground-breaking research on the creation of 3D-printed cartilage constructions and the non-invasive evaluation of those constructs using computed tomography based on synchrotron radiation. Her thesis solidified her status as a leader in her chosen subject and demonstrated her proficiency in the field of biomedical engineering.
As the first black individual to receive a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 2017, Dr. Olubamiji created history. Her successes and commitment to her profession have not gone unnoticed. She has received various honours and prizes in recognition of her contributions to science and ground-breaking research. The accomplishments of Dr. Olubamiji have opened the road for next generations of aspirant black engineers and scientists.
Numerous people all around the world find inspiration in Dr. Olubamiji’s experience. Her experience shows the value of self-belief, tenacity, and resilience in overcoming challenges and attaining extraordinary achievement. Dr. Olubamiji is an inspiration to aspiring scientists and engineers due to her ground-breaking research and constant commitment to her area of biomedical engineering.
Dr. Olubamiji is dedicated to supporting aspirant scientists and engineers because of a strong feeling of appreciation and a desire to better the lives of others. She actively mentors and encourages young people, especially those from underrepresented areas, to pursue their aspirations in the STEM disciplines. She works to build a more inclusive and diverse scientific community that showcases the diversity of human potential.
Dr. Adeola Olubamiji’s extraordinary path from an Ibadan street pepper vendor to a biomedical engineering PhD recipient is proof of the strength of perseverance, resilience, and unflinching self-belief. Her narrative serves as a reminder that everything is attainable with effort, tenacity, and a tireless pursuit of one’s goals. In addition to breaking down boundaries, Dr. Olubamiji’s successes have empowered and motivated many people to aim high and write their own incredible success stories.
Another outstanding personality worth the mention is Priscilla Akwagu from Ghana. She is a single mother of two who has overcome many challenges to achieve her dream of becoming a graduate. She recently completed her four-year Bachelor of Arts in Twi Education at the Faculty of Ghanaian Languages Education at Univrsity of Education, Winneba.
Priscilla’s journey was not easy. She had to balance her studies with her work as a food hawker, selling buffloaf (also known as bofrot), a popular snack in Ghana. She also had to take care of her children and pay for their education. Despite the hardships, she never gave up on her ambition. Read more about Priscilla’s life story here.
You have our admiration at Rising Africa, Dr. Adeola and Prsicilla. We now know that nothing is impossible if one is determined, persistent, and hardworking. You are an excellent role model for the younger African and a true Rising African.
At Rising Africa, we believe in the limitless potential of Africans to create a prosperous future for the continent. Join us in celebrating African excellence and building a brighter future for Africa.