Ten year-old Maths whizkid, Esther Okade, has joined the league of Nigerians in the Diaspora making waves in the academic world. Esther has made a mark as possibly the UK’s brightest kid and youngest undergraduate after securing admission into university to study for a degree in Mathematics.
- Esther Okade, a British-Nigerian from Walsall has been enrolled at open university
- After degree she wants to study for PhD before running her own bank
- The girl’s younger brother Isaiah, aged six, is already studying for A-levels
- The siblings are both home-schooled by mathematician mother, Omonefe
Esther, from Walsall, West Midlands, has enrolled on an Open University course months after she passed her A-levels – and wants to study for a PhD before running her own bank.
The girl, who gained a C grade in her Math GCSE aged six, has joined the course which started this month. Her younger brother Isaiah is already studying for his A-levels – also aged six.
The siblings are both home-schooled by their mother Omonefe, who has converted the living room of their semi-detached, three-bedroom house into a makeshift classroom.
Esther, who is obviously living out her mother’s name Omonefe (meaning child is more than riches), stunned her parents last year when she achieved a B grade in her pure math A-level.
She applied to the Open University last August – and after a phone interview, an essay and an exam, she was told in December that she had been accepted onto the course.
In the family
Mathematician Mrs Okade, 37, said: ‘Esther is doing so well. She took a test recently and scored 100 per cent. Applying to the university was an interesting process because of her age.
‘We even had to talk to the vice-chancellor. After they interviewed her they realised that this has been her idea from the beginning. From the age of seven Esther has wanted to go to university.’
She spends her spare time in a similar way to many other ten-year-old girls – playing with Barbie dolls and making loom bands.
But the key difference between Esther Okade and other children her age is that she has been accepted to study for a university maths degree – despite not going to school.
‘But I was afraid it was too soon. She would say, “Mum, when am I starting?”, and go on and on and on. Finally, after three years she told me, “Mum, I think it is about time I started university now”.’
Mrs Okade added that Esther – who will study for her degree at home – was ‘flying’ and ‘so happy’ when she was accepted by the university, and wants to be a millionaire.
She said: ‘For now we want her to enjoy her childhood as well as her maths. By the time she was four I had taught her the alphabet, her numbers, and how to add, subtract, multiply and division.
‘I saw that she loved patterns so developed a way of using that to teach her new things. I thought I would try her with algebra, and she loved it more than anything.’
Her father Paul, 42, a managing director, added: ‘I cannot tell you how happy and proud I am as a father. The desire of every parent is to see their children exceed them, and take the family name to great heights, and my children have done just that.’
Only recently, another Nigerian, Dr Oghenetega Ighedo became the first black woman to receive a PhD in Pure Mathematics at the 140-year-old University of South Africa (UNISA).