By Ahaoma Kanu*
The eldest daughter of Prof. Chris and Mrs Ann Imafidon from Edo State, Nigeria whose family has been dubbed the Brainiest Family in Europe, Anne-Marie holds the record of being the youngest girl to ever pass two GCSE examinations — for Mathematics and Information Technology and A-level computing at the age of 11 in Britain. The 27 year old Nigerian lady is being listed to receive national honour from Queen Elizabeth II on Friday, 19th May 2017.
Nigeria’s Miss Anne-Marie Osawemwemze Imafidon, 27, will on Friday be decorated by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, with the prestigious honour of Member of the Most Excellent British Empire (MBE) for her services to young women with specialty in Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
An MBE is an award given by the Queen to an individual for outstanding service to the community or local hands on service.
Due to her high exceptional brilliance, she received a British Scholarship to study Mathematics at the John Hopkins University at the age of 13 in 2003.
Two years later, she commenced a degree at Oxford University after which she enrolled for her Masters degree setting another record of the youngest Masters degree holder from the Ivy league university.
Imafidon, who is a multi-linguist, speak six languages and has worked with Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank, and Lehman Brothers. In 2013, she founded Stemettes, a social enterprise which inspires the next generation of women into pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with an objective to break barriers women who pursue a career in the field face.
Stemettes, which grants awards to young women, have programs workshops and events designed to introduce young women to STEM careers, concepts, and role models, have attracted over 7000 young women from across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Imafidon’s rather unique achievements at a young age has stood her out as a person to watch out for by the British press; she was named on Evening Standard’s recent list of ’25 under 25s’ and a Guardian ‘Top 10 women in tech you need to know’ as well as being the UK IT Industry & British Computer Society’s Young IT Professional of the Year in 2013.
Her father, Professor Chris Imafidon, a renowned government adviser to presidents, the royals and the Queen who is known also as the patriarch of Britain’s brainiest family, said he received the news last year of her inclusion in the 2017 honours list with shock.
“Like every parent would feel, we are still in shock. This is simply God-orchestrated. I, personally never believed that her young career would accelerate to this historic height. This is beyond belief,” he said in a chat.
The Imafidon family definitely have the achievers blood running in their DNA as not only Anne-Marie dominates their achievements wall of fame.
Her sister, Christina, 24, is the youngest student to ever get accepted and study at an undergraduate institution at any British university at 11; another sister, Samantha, 17, passed two rigorous high school-level mathematics and statistics exams at the age of six, while the twins, Peter and Paul, made British history as the youngest students to ever enter high school when they became the youngest to ever pass the University of Cambridge’s advanced mathematics exam, setting world records by passing the A/AS-level math papers at eight years.
With the Imafidon family has been setting across the world, he advised parents to change their methods of education in an obvious changing world in order to explore every child’s gifts and talents.
“The same God has given every child gifts and talents. We parents must join the www.ExcellenceinEducation.org.uk in developing such massive potential. As stated in my forthcoming book entitled “The Genius in You”, we can’t use the old methodology of learning. Schools and society must wake to the re-engineered system of education that understands that there is a genius in every child and greatness in every adult.
This genius is irrespective of ethnicity, gender, nationality, postcode, class or creed. So every family can equal or exceed our achievements.”
Prof Chris Imafidon who invented this accelerated academic and career development path, has tested it on people of diverse race and it produced the same or improved result and achievement as attain by his children. He stated that some of this exceptional educative methods are including in his book, “The Genuis in you. How To Win The Oscar”.
He revealed that he will be visiting Nigeria very soon to launch the learning methodology to enable Nigerian parents learning of their winning ways while Anne-Marie will be expand Stemettes to also offer Nigeria young girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM an opportunity to realize their dreams.“Our grandparents taught us that charity begins at home. We are very enthusiastic about Africa and must contribute our quota to the training and education of young minds. We want to launch a bigger program in Africa, particularly Nigeria and work with the corporate community, industry leaders so that we can deploy the re-engineered learning methodology of www.ExcellenceinEducation.org.uk program.
We know that with these programs young Nigerians can equal or exceed our record-breaking achievement. The next generation of Africans have no choice but excel because there is a genius in everyone.”
Others Nigerians who will also be honoured this year include Prof. Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu, a Professor of Nursing, who gets an OBE for her services to nursing and the Mary Seacole statue appeal, Chris Ofili, an artist who gets a CBE for his services to arts and Jeremiah Oluwatosin Ayotunde, a Cadet Colour Sergeant who gets an OBE for his services to young people and the community of London. Top ranking tennis star, Andy Murray, is among the hundreds of achievers to be honoured.
*Ahaoma Kanu is Chief Executive of Stage 4 Media and winner of CNN African Journalist Award