Three times Nigerians represented the Black community in scholastic achievements

international students from Nigeria
Many international students from Nigeria have gone on to defy the odds to succeed in university life, and beyond. Source: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP

There’s no denying that international students from Nigeria are a talented bunch. The country has witnessed remarkable economic growth since its independence in 1960. They are the second-largest oil producer in Africa and are home to the second-largest film industry in the world, just behind India.

That’s not all many Nigerians understand the importance of education too, and have chosen to study overseas for their tertiary education. Statistics from ICEF Monitor in 2020 show that nearly 100,000 international students from Nigeria have gone on to further their scholarly pursuits in countries such as Canada, Malaysia, the UK, Australia, and the US.

Another interesting fact about international students from Nigeria? Many of them have gone on to bag scholarships, awards and accolades in the global arena of education.

We’ve scoured the web and curated three examples of outstanding international students from Nigeria if you’re looking for some inspiration.

3 inspiring international students from Nigeria

Dr. Addy Olubamiji

Dr. Addy Olubamiji has come a long way to get to where she is today, from toughing it out as a hawker in her hometown of Nigeria, to taking up cleaning jobs while studying for her master’s in Finland. According to her tweet, she is the first Black person to bag a highly coveted PhD scholarship in biomedical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

Olubamiji came from humble beginnings. According to the online news portal Legit, her mother was a farmer, and her father struggled to make ends meet to support the family, prompting her to hawk peppers at a young age. She eventually enrolled at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and graduated with an impressive second upper-class degree.

Olubamiji’s determination to succeed is also exemplified when she applied to over 100 schools to pursue her PhD. She eventually obtained a full three-year scholarship to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Her determination to succeed and remarkable achievements make her a great example for international students from Nigeria and in other countries to look up to.

Awe Ayodeji Lucky

According to Legit, Awe Ayodeji Lucky applied for scholarships to study abroad for five years, but to no avail. However, he finally got his big break when he secured the MEXT scholarship in 2022 to study in Japan. Lucky, who is keen on modern and futuristic technology — is excited to explore the fundamentals of technology and how it solves problems for humanity globally.

The 22-year-old Nigerian who loves solving problems aspires to solve some of Africa’s modern-day issues by applying his knowledge of technology.

His winning formula to securing the scholarship Africans deem “one of the toughest Asian scholarships to get”? Reading books that originated from India.

“I downloaded Indian books because they are mostly written in English. I was able to solve some of their questions,” he was quoted saying. According to Legit, it took him a total of five times to secure the fully-funded scholarship. Lucky is now studying for a robotics degree at a university in Japan.

international student from Nigeria

Among the inspiring international students from Nigeria is Solace Ojotule, who pushed through her scholarship rejections to secure Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme scholarship. Source: Solace Ojotule

Solace Ojotule

Solace Ojotule has come a long way since her days of hawking products on the streets of her Nigerian hometown. The Nigerian secured a Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme scholarship to study at a Russell Group university after seven heart-breaking scholarship rejections.

The outstanding international student from Nigeria isn’t just impressive academically, but has leadership skills to boot. She is one of the co-founders of She Rise Africa a non-profit to uplift girls in disadvantaged and patriarchal communities to strive for their own goals, personal development and to be the best version of themselves.

Ojotule is now pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in Africa and International Development at the University of Edinburgh.