Abdul Malik Tejan-Sie is not your average innovator. He is a Sierra Leonean who came to South Africa with only $3 in his pocket, but he had a vision to create something that would change the world. He is the founder of the African School of Technology, and the developer of the first operational humanoid robot in South Africa.
His story is one of courage, perseverance, and passion. He faced many challenges and obstacles, but he never gave up on his dream. He learned everything he could about artificial intelligence, robotics, and web development, and he applied his skills to create a robot that can speak, interact, and perform tasks.
He was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in 1992. He grew up in a family of six siblings, and he was always curious about how things worked. He attended the Methodist Boys High School, where he excelled in mathematics and science. He also developed an interest in law, and he wanted to become a lawyer.
He started his journey in robotics when he was 13 years old, when he got his first computer. He was fascinated by how machines could be programmed to do different things. He taught himself how to code using online resources and books. He also joined local robotics clubs and competitions, where he met other enthusiasts and mentors.
He decided to pursue higher education in IT, and he came to South Africa in 2013. He graduated from Durban Computer College with Cum Laude in 2014, and then he went to India, where he earned several certifications in Oracle, Microsoft, Cisco, Ethical Hacking, and ITIL. He also worked as a junior developer for a company for a few months.
He returned to South Africa in 2017, and he founded the African School of Technology, where he teaches young Africans how to use technology to solve problems. The African School of Technology is a place where youth distinction is celebrated and young people are moulded into adults with a sense of social responsibility, human values, and interest for the continent. The school offers one-year certificates, short courses, and corporate training in various fields of IT, such as web development, mobile development, data science, blockchain, AI, and robotics. The school also provides mentorship, career guidance, and networking opportunities for its students.
He also started working on his own project: building a humanoid robot from scratch. He used his own savings, donations, and sponsorships to buy the materials and equipment. He also collaborated with other experts and researchers in the field.
His robot is not only a technological marvel, but also a symbol of hope and inspiration for many Africans who aspire to innovate and contribute to the development of their continent. He believes that Africa has the potential to become a leader in technology, and he wants to share his knowledge and experience with others.
He is also working with local academic institutions and organizations to develop talents and skills among young Africans. He has plans to build a new School of Technology in Johannesburg, and he is also in contact with some government officials and potential collaborators in his home country, Sierra Leone.
He says he is proud of his journey, and he hopes that his robot will inspire more Africans to pursue their dreams and create solutions for their communities. He also wants to find a name for his robot, and he has started a competition to invite suggestions from the public.
He says: “I believe humans have names that people refer to them as, and I would like one too. Can you please suggest a name that is fitting for the first African built humanoid robot?”
Some of the features of his robot are:
- It has a human-like appearance, with a head, torso, arms, and legs.
- It can move its head, eyes, mouth, and limbs.
- It can speak English and other languages using text-to-speech technology.
- It can recognize faces, voices, gestures, and emotions using computer vision and machine learning.
- It can respond to questions, commands, and conversations using natural language processing and generation.
- It can perform tasks such as picking up objects, opening doors, or playing games using sensors and actuators.
- It can learn from its environment and interactions using reinforcement learning and neural networks.
- It can connect to the internet and access information using web3 and blockchain technology.
Abdul is a super brilliant and talented young man. Today, we want to celebrate this great gentleman. Keep pushing higher and higher and redefining what is possible. You are truly a Rising African and an able role model for the new African. Rising Africa is a dynamic platform that highlights the remarkable achievements of Africans worldwide and provides up-to-date information on scholarships and sponsorships available to African youth. Our vision is to inspire and empower the next generation of African leaders by showcasing the diverse accomplishments and talents of Africans across different fields, including technology, business, arts and culture, and social activism.
Through our Success Stories portal, we celebrate Rising Africans of all ages and sectors who have risen above challenges and made impactful innovations. Our Wonder Kids section features young achievers aged 1-12, while the Super Teens category highlights those aged 13-19, and Young Achievers profiles those aged 20-30. We also have dedicated portals for Women in Africa and persons living with disabilities.
In addition to celebrating African achievement, our Opportunities portal connects African youth to the latest sponsorship, scholarship, awards, and other life-changing opportunities. By providing access to these opportunities, we aim to empower African youth to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact in their communities.
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.