Women June 11, 2017 at 03:11 pm

Nigerian Woman Becomes First Black PhD Graduate of Biomedical Engineering from Canada University

Mark Babatunde June 11, 2017 at 03:11 pm

June 11, 2017 at 03:11 pm | Women

Adebola Olubamiji is the first black person to graduate with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada Photo Credit: Naij

Dr. Adebola Olubamiji recently made history by becoming the first black PhD graduate of biomedical engineering from the university of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Ms. Olubamiji took to her Facebook page to share her inspirational story after receiving her doctorate degree on June 5,2017. In the post, Olubamiji, the 5th and last born in a family of five children talked about her impoverished childhood in which she had to hawk pepper from an early age to support the family.

“As the 5th child of 5, I always had to wait for my turn. I was the last, a girl child and raised by a mother who is a farmer and a father who has little, I hawked pepper on the streets of Ibadan (South West Nigeria) as early as age 10 to help my mum,” she wrote.

Her childhood difficulties notwithstanding, Olubamiji always excelled at school. She first earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Nigeria where she graduated with upper credits. She then received a scholarship to pursue a Master’s program in Biomedical Engineering in Finland.

Photo Credit: Naij

Photo Credit: Naij

“Out of determination, I applied to over 100 schools for my PhD and finally got a full 3 year scholarship (later extended to 4 years scholarship) at University of Saskatchewan, Canada to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.”

Olubamiji wrote that during her Masters and PhD programs, she had to hold several odd jobs including working as a cleaner and a hairdresser to support herself.

“While in that PhD program, I worked part-time as a makeup artist, teaching assistant, braided hair and fixed weaves to make extra money.

Olubamiji, who currently works as a Lead Metallurgical/Material Engineer in an Aerospace Manufacturing Company in Canada, is encouraging everyone to find the strength to pursue their dreams.

“Today, I walked the stage as the first black person to bag a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from University of Saskatchewan, Canada!!! I walked this stage for you Mama Africa and for my Motherland Nigeria!!! I walked the stage for all of you black women disrespected and looked down on!!!! I walked for all of you from my ghetto hood “Mokola”, Ibadan.

“I walked for all OSU students and ex-students that got that look from people who think we are not brilliant!! I walked for all of you Africans in Finland wondering what is next for you!! Specially, I walked for you my parents. siblings and extended family in fulfillment of your dreams!

“Specially, I walked the stage for you my late sister Omoleye Olubamiji and my late mentor Ayodele Olatunbosun. Today I walked for my future husband and my unborn children who patiently waited for me to fulfill my dreams so that he can have a wife he will be proud of and they can have a role model to look up to.

“I walked for all immigrants and all young adults who strived everyday chasing their dreams!!! I walked in celebration of the unfailing love of my first and one  true love Jesus Christ (in you I walk in you I live and in you I have had and will continue to have my being)!!!”

Ms. Olubamiji’s post has since gone viral with several likes and shares from social media users in Nigeria and beyond.

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