Meet the Nigerian Genius - The first African to be awarded a degree of Doctor of science.


Ayodele Oluwatuminu Awojobi (12 March 1937 – 23 September 1984), also known by the nicknames "Dead Easy" The Akoka Giant", and "Macbeth", was a Nigerian academic, author, inventor, social crusader and activist. 

He was considered a scholarly genius by his teachers and peers alike. He quickly advanced in his field to become the youngest professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 1974.  was born on the 12th of March 1937 in the Oshodi area of Lagos in Nigeria.

His father was Chief Daniel Adekoya Awojobi and his mother, Comfort Bamidele Awojobi.

Education

He attended the St. Peter's primary school in Faji, Lagos for his primary education and and the CNS Grammar School Lagos for his Secondary.

While at CMS, he earned the nickname, "Macbeth" reason because, Williams Shakespeare's play, Macbeth was to be performed in the school and a week to the play the lead actor fell sick. Ayodele was therefore called upon to take the lead actor's role. It was alleged that he mastered the whole lines as lead actor (within such short time) and that of the entire play. Subsequently, he got called "Macbeth" for his wondeful performance and skills.

While performing wonders in the arts , he was equally gifted in the Sciences as he excelled brilliantly in Mathematics and science related subjects.

In 1958, he sat for his General Certificate of Examinations GCE , (Advanced level) where he had distinctions in all his papers and upon which he was granted a scholarship by the Federal Government to study at the then Nigerian College of Arts , Science and Technology, Zaria. (Now, Ahmadu Hello University, Zaria) where he graduated with first class honours in Mechanical engineering- a BSc (Eng) in 1962.

He was awarded his second scholarship by the Federal Government in 1962 to further his studies at the post graduate level in the field of Mechanical Engineering at the Imperial College London.

Upon completion, he was awarded a PhD in Mechanical engineering in 1966.

 Career 

He returned to Nigeria and became a lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos.

His mode of teaching which students understood easily earned him another Nickname, "Dead easy".

He was the youngest person to be appointed Professor in the Faculty of Engineering.

He was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (DEc) at the age of 37, making him the first African to be decorated with such award .

Inventions

He was said to convert his family car an Opel Olympia Rekord , from right-hand drive to a left hand drive .

He also designed a vehicle which he called 'Autonov 1' which was able to move in both forward and back ward directions with all four-existing gears which have it an ability to attain it's highest speed at a moments notice in the normal reverse direction .

Prof. Ayodele Awojobi was also an activist , as he widely criticized the Federal government of Nigeria most especially for the election that brought back Shehu Shagari as president.

He also went from university campus to campus to give speeches at student rallies in a bid to sensitize them on the ills of the government.

Ayodele Awojobi died at the age of 47 in September 1984 .

He was survived by a wife and children.



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