Mathematics is often considered a difficult and boring subject by many students, but not by Fatima Adamu Maikusa, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl who has a passion and talent for numbers. Fatima has won seven international medals in mathematics in different competitions across the world, making her a role model and an inspiration for many girls.
Fatima, who hails from Gombe State, Nigeria, is currently a Grade 11 student at the Nigerian Turkish International School (NTIC) in Kano, Nigeria. She started displaying her mathematical strength at the age of nine, and since then, she has participated and excelled in various mathematics contests, both locally and internationally.
Some of the competitions that Fatima has won medals in include:
- American Mathematics Competition (AMC 08)
- International Eduversal Mathematics competition, Jakarta, Indonesia
- International Math challenge, Bangkok Thailand
- Kangourou Sans Frontiers – KSF mathematics competitions
- Future Intelligence Students Olympiad (FISO)
- Mathematics without borders, Bulgaria
- Komodo Math Festival, Indonesia
Fatima attributes her success to her love for mathematics, her teachers, her parents, and her school. She says that mathematics is one of the easiest subjects for her and she enjoys it. She also says that the Olympiad camps that she attended during her junior and senior classes improved her mathematical skills, as well as the informatics classes and the mathematics camps that she participated in.
Fatima’s dream is to become a computer programmer and study at Harvard University in the United States. She says that she needs to win more medals to achieve this goal, as part of the requirements for admission. She also hopes to use her skills to solve problems in Nigeria and the world at large.
Fatima is not the only Nigerian who has shone in international mathematics competitions. Nigeria has a history of producing young mathematical geniuses who have represented the country and won laurels in various contests. Some of them include:
- Ufot Ekong, who broke a 50-year record by graduating with a first-class degree and the best grades at Tokai University in Japan in 2015. He also won six awards for academic excellence and solved a 30-year-old mathematical equation.
- Faith Odunsi, who won the Global Open Mathematics Tournament in 2021, beating contestants from Europe, Africa, America, Asia, and Australia. She also won a gold medal at the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad in 2019.
- Munachi Ernest-Eze, who won the Cowbellpedia Mathematics Quiz Competition in 2017, after winning the junior category in 2015. He also won a gold medal at the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad in 2018.
- Oluwafemi Oluwadara, who won a gold medal at the International Festival of Engineering Science and Technology (IFEST) in Tunisia in 2019. He also won a bronze medal at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) in Azerbaijan in 2019.
These young Nigerians have proven that mathematics is not a subject to be feared or hated, but rather a subject to be embraced and enjoyed. They have also shown that Nigeria has a lot of potential and talent that can be harnessed and developed for the benefit of the nation and the world.