The Black Global Icon – Philip Emeagwali

The story of this great man is everywhere on the internet, so I’m not going to repeat same old story again. But I would like to share some insights with you about him. Kindly follow my argument keenly…

Philip Chukwurah Emeagwali is a Nigerian computer scientist who is well known as the major contributor to the invention of the internet and the fastest computers in the world. He is therefore nicknamed the “Bill Gates of Africa”. Philip was born into a very poor home where his family could hardly make ends meet, and as a result of that, he dropped out of secondary school due to lack of funds and support. Not long after that, the Biafran Civil war commenced, and he was obliged to join the Biafran army. The story has it that his Father kept teaching him mathematics at home and gave him complex arithmetic calculations to solve after he dropped out of school at about 14 years of age. Few years after the civil war, Philip was privileged to get a US scholarship to study B.sc Mathematics at Oregon state university.

I try to imagine how disadvantaged this man was…little opportunity to elementary education, acute hardship and poverty, the psychological effect the war would have had on him – dead bodies, blood, bomb noise, pains, hunger. Despite all the ugly experience, this young man still persevered, and excelled. The most amazing thing about his story is this…he travelled to US, a very advanced and developed country. I mean this young man went to meet the fluorescent bulb in US for the first time. He hadn’t seen a telephone before, not to talk of how to use it. He had so much to learn, and so much to catch up with. All the hurdles and impediments notwithstanding, He still stood out. How would such a person compete with smart minds who had been exposed to modern technology from childhood, and had the best education there was as at that time, and yet come out the best.

Philip received so many awards and made remarkable contributions to the world of computers and technology in general. Let me just mention two of them. 1. He is regarded as Africa’s most famous inventor of the 20th century with the Gordon Bell Prize. 2. He also won the Noble Prize for computation

He came up with a lot of mathematical formula, concepts, and easier methods for solving computational problems. The one that blew my mind was…He developed faster ways of making oil fields more productive which resulted in US saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Now the questions are:

  1. If he had the same privileges and equal opportunities as the US citizens, would he had done something greater?
  2. How much impact would he had made if he had remained in Africa?
  3. How farther would Africa had gone if such impact was directly effected on Africa?
  4. Will 100 million dollars every year not save Africa if it is being managed and controlled by responsible government?

These questions make make me weep inwardly for Africa. So great a star had been lost. Blacks have fabulous gifts and wisdom, but we have surrounded ourselves with an environment that kills vision and talents. We have created an atmosphere that doesn’t stir up innovation and encourages inventions. The government is so greedy and selfish. They have no thoughts about the people they lead, and every minute we keep losing such stars to the western world and to the Americans. Politics in Africa is the best and surest means to becoming wealthy. Things aren’t working here and one needs to seek for greener pastures elsewhere. One needs to go to the land where he could effectively maximize his potentials. It is a cause like this one that took great stars like the person of Philip Chuwurah Emeagwali to hustle his way into the United States

Philip Emeagwali would have been so exceptional if he had the opportunity to grow in such an advanced world from childhood. Africa would have been so blessed if Philip had made such tremendous contribution in Africa. In my next blog, I will be addressing the African government, and lament on how they have been the reason for our predicament. And then outline some suggestions to the government on how to make Africa great.

If you love Africa, please help me to always share this blog to as many – individuals, government bodies, NGO, African capitalists, entrepreneurs, so that we can all put heads together to see to the end of our problems. My passionate desire is to see that Africa comes out of darkness

Africa has potentials!!! Africa is gifted!! Africa is blessed!!! Africa is great!!! God bless Africa

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