Adeolu Olushola Adeyemi

Adeolu Olushola Adeyemi

I don't see problems, I see challenges, and I'm very passionate about resolving them.

Helping the school system understand your employment requirements.

There has been a lot of complaints about the quality of graduates coming out of the university system. While I agree that we (graduates) have not been topnotch, I consider it unfair to blame students in whom we have not invested.

I have seen students use LinkedIn, take online courses, read the news consistently and build soft skills only because we told them that these things are important. Instead of blaming young people, why don’t we create structures to help them know the demands of work so that they can prepare?

My experience with EduBridge Academy has taught me that young people will amaze you only when you let them know what is important.

So Employers, find ways of helping the school system understand your employment requirements. If the system is unresponsive, find ways of getting students to know what skills and qualities you need. They will help themselves.

Professionals, give back. Share your experience in your Alma mater or at other forums. A post on LinkedIn might suffice.

Students, help yourself. You have the internet, past students of your school, your network and books. Develop yourself. You might consider joining groups that can help you develop.

Truth be told, the system is failing young people. They are victims, we should help as much as we can.

By Babatunde Oladosu

Don’t Put it Off: Procrastination

We all procrastinate. Whether it’s hitting the snooze button again, not wanting to go to the dentist, or putting off an unpleasant task awaiting you (you know, that one …), we all have things we love to do and things we hate to do. We do them — eventually; the question is, what will it take to get us to do them? That sage of the early 20thcentury, Robert Benchley, may have put it best (as he usually did) in 1930 when he wrote, “Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.”

When assigned an article on procrastination, I (of course) put it off for various reasons (some of them were even legitimate): not enough time, laziness, or just a chance to tell people we were supposed to be writing an article about procrastinating but kept putting it off.

Faced with the choice of actually working and the ignominy of not turning in an assignment, once I started, I found that the topic of procrastination is quite interesting and gives us an insight into human psychology.

While there are probably as many reasons for putting things off as there are people who procrastinate, they all seem to share common roots. Five of them stood out:

  1. Fear
  2. Perfectionism
  3. Difficulty getting started
  4. Lack of motivation
  5. Distractions

Let’s take a little closer look at each of them and see if we can find any workarounds.


This is a large category, with many sub-categories: Fear of Failure, Fear of Success, Fear of Incompetence, and Fear of the Outcome.

The first of these — fear of failure — may be the most common. We’ve probably all been faced with something that seems beyond our capabilities: preparing an event, writing a research paper, passing a test — so much so that the task itself takes on greater importance and increases the need for alibis: “I don’t know enough about that!”,“Why did I agree to do this?!”,“I’m going to screw this up!”

The upshot is that when we don’t have enough confidence in our abilities, we build up scenarios about what could happen if we were to inevitably fail — getting fired, getting kicked out of school, losing status.

Hand in hand with that fear (ironically) is the fear of success. If we complete a task successfully, we may be expected to reach that same level of success — and even greater ones  in the future—setting ourselves up for a Peter Principle downfall, the idea that being so good at something that we’re promoted to the point of our own incompetence, which is our third fear.

We’ve all had that feeling of being in a position for which we don’t feel qualified. (Personally, when I appeared on Jeopardy, even though I knew I was prepared to play the game, I had decades of expectations packed into 22 minutes of playing the TV show game on camera. I had to put up or shut up. Fortunately, I won, but that didn’t ease the feelings of insecurity, wondering if I was actually up to par.)

The last type of fear is the fear of the outcome; the fear that the results won’t live up to our expectations. We worry about how correct our analysis is and whether the recommended follow-up is the right one. Will that mole need treatment? Will signing up at that gym yield the results we want?

While some of these fears seem foolish, it can be hard to see past them and get perspective. The best way to handle them may be to externalize them. Talk with colleagues, friends, and loved ones. Ask for help. Put something down in writing and get feedback. Getting confirmation that we’re on the right track or seeing where we may have erred — while the process is ongoing — is invaluable. Even if the final product is flawed, it can ultimately be corrected. Even the Supreme Court corrects its mistakes.

The most important thing is this: if you’ve been given a task, it’s generally because you’re the most qualified person to do it. You’ve demonstrated enough knowledge, skill, or expertise on a subject to make you the go-to expert on it. If it’s a personal goal (a diet, a new field of study, a new job, or moving to a new city), embrace the fact that change isn’t easy, but you’ll end up growing as a result of it. You’ve decided to pursue it because you have an interest in making a change and are intentionally altering the course of your life.



Anyone who’s ever created anything, whether it’s building a bookshelf or baking a pie, has in their heads a Platonic ideal (an absolutely flawless version) of it. That image often bears little resemblance to the final product, though. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse, but it rarely ends up becoming what we envisioned.

That disconnect can stop us from starting a task. It’s a fear that the final product, no matter how much effort we put into it, won’t end up as perfect as we want. We might believe that we don’t have the skills or tenacity to pull it off. Instead, we can just keep planning or thinking or researching or putting it off.

Procrastination can be comforting — while the idea is in your head, it will remain perfect and immune from criticism. Everyone wants to do something great, and no one wants to show off something miserable. If you never actually have a final product, how can people criticize it?

In cases like this, we owe it to ourselves to acknowledge that while we may fall short, we shouldn’t give into the temptation of thinking that we don’t have to give it our best. How many times have we either seen something that was obviously slap-dash and thought “Well, they didn’t put much work into that”? How much better to put just a little more effort into something and get a result that far exceeds what we envisioned?

It’s important to realize — and acknowledge — that we can only do our best and give it our best effort. Nothing in this world — not the Eiffel Tower, not the Mona Lisa, not the Taj Mahal — is perfect, and if we give ourselves some leeway, we can accept that our creations have merit and are of interest.


Difficulty Getting Started

How easy is it to make excuses? “I haven’t done enough research,” “I just need to do one more thing before I start”, or “I’ve got plenty of time.”

Those excuses — especially the last one — are fatal. There may be external factors preventing us from starting projects — having to wait for a response, inability to get information, lack of physical proximity, or an official starting date. More often than not, those restrictions are self-imposed rationalizations. You’re only fooling yourself. The deadline, goal, or final product is still looming over you no matter how long you try to deny it.

Even if you’re waiting for something that is truly out of your control, are there parts of the project you can still pursue? Sections you can write? Research that isn’t dependent on external factors? There’s always some part of a project that you can get out of the way. It’s possible that working on something other than what you need to be working on may point you toward something new you hadn’t considered before. If nothing else, getting started means you might finish early and could avoid having the whole thing hanging over your head in the first place.

Lack of Motivation

This one is sort of a combination of the others. Unless it’s a topic or project that you’re extremely interested in, there’s probably going to be a cooling-off point before you’ve completed it. (If it’s something that really interests you, you’re much likelier to pursue it rather than procrastinate.)

Whether that pause comes from the fears listed above or you’re just plain putting it off out of lack of interest, or outside factors, you need to overcome them.

A study by Carnegie Mellon University’s Eberly Center showed that students lacked motivation when they had trouble understanding the personal relevance of their classes or the work they were doing in them. To find motivation, figure out why you’re doing a task and what meaning it has to you, and to your life. Things as simple as paying the bills or preparing dinner can be onerous, but when you realize that it’s less desirable to get calls from collection agencies or starve, the motivation will appear — as if by magic.

On a practical level, writing a report or tackling that job no one else wants will make you the go-to person on that topic and more valuable on the job. Cleaning up your apartment will make it a more pleasant place to live. Preparing an assignment for a class may let you learn something new.

The trick is to find your personal way into the subject or task. If you have to find something out to let someone else know about it, that information will be much more interesting because it has your unique spin on it. If your task is personal, realize how it’s going to improve your life. If nothing else, getting started on it — and finishing it — gets it done, out of the way, and either out of your life or a much richer part of it. And that in itself should be motivation enough.


Distraction is both the most common symptom — and the easiest — to get around.

It’s hard to get away from distractions. It’s easy when reading or writing something to have a television or music on in the background, your phone next to you, and the internet calling. There might be loud conversations near you, noise outside, or coffee shop employees calling out orders — anything that keeps you from concentrating fully on the task at hand.

Obviously, if we’re doing something we’re not totally invested in, we’ll be looking for something — anything — to keep up our interest while working, but those distractions aren’t good for you or your task. Content, for example, could be compromised by spelling errors, lack of fact checking, or shallow research. A physical job, like painting a room or fixing a car,  might be missing details or important steps. Despite all of our protesting, studies have shown over and over again that people cannot multi-task.

The best — though potentially most painful — advice is to focus solely on the thing you need to do or should be doing. Shut off your phone (whether physically or by using one of the many apps that will limit your time to use it), go to a quiet space — or at least one with minimal distractions. The price may seem high at first, but the payoff of a really successful result will be more than worth it.

Source : Evernote

Learning From the Feynman Technique

They called Feynman the Great Explainer.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988), an authorgraphic novel hero, intellectual, philosopher, physicist, and No Ordinary Genius is considered to be one of the most important physicists of all time.

  • He pioneered an entire field: quantum electrodynamics (QED).
  • In the 1940s, his invention of the Feynman Diagram helped bring much-needed visual clarification to the enigmatic behavior of subatomic particles.
  • His work helping scientists understand the interaction of light and matter earned him a share of a Nobel Prize in 1965.
  • His work has directly influenced the fields of nanotechnology, quantum computing, and particle physics.
  • In 1986, his research and explanations were critical in helping to understand the cause of the space shuttle Challenger disaster.

In addition to his groundbreaking research, Feynman was brilliant, eloquent, and an exquisitely passionate thinker. In the world of science, he stands unequivocally for his ability to synthesize and explain complex scientific knowledge. His lectures are the stuff of legend —Albert Einstein attended Feynman’s first talk as a graduate student, and Bill Gates was so inspired by his pedagogy that he called Feynman, “the greatest teacher I never had.” Gates purchased the rights to his lectures and made them publicly available on a video portal nicknamed “Tuva” in honor of Feynman’s famous failed quest to reach the Russian region later in his life.

I do think that making science cool to people when they’re young and therefore getting more people to go into it in an in-depth way, I think that’s very important right now,

Gates saidwhen announcingthe purchase.

Feynman’s lectures, many of which were delivered during his time at California Institute of Technology, were aimed at students who had no previous knowledge of particle physics or deep science. Taking the mystery out of complex scientific principles was Feynman’s forte. His lectures were underscored by a conviction and passion for science.

If Einstein created the ‘beautiful equation,’ then Feynman brought an unparalleled sense of beauty and romanticism previously absent in the world of scientific research. A vast majority of Feynman’s life was as vividly eccentric and illustrious as the unpredictable movements of the atomic particles that defined his life’s work. When he wasn’t in the throes of researching particle physics, he spent significant time dabbling in the arts, sketching, and even playing the bongo.

The Feynman Technique

Have you ever had a coworker who used business-speak, or had a teacher explain something with language that was difficult to understand?

You’re not alone. The Feynman technique for teaching and communication is a mental model (a breakdown of his personal thought process) to convey information using concise thoughts and simple language. This technique is derived from Feynman’s studying methods when he was a student at Princeton.

At Princeton, Feynman started to record and connect the things he did know with those he did not. In the end, Feynman had a comprehensive notebook of subjects that had been disassembled, translated, and recorded.

In James Gleick’s biography of Feynman, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, he recalled his subject’s technique. “He opened a fresh notebook. On the title page he wrote: NOTEBOOK OF THINGS I DON’T KNOW ABOUT. For the first but not last time he reorganized his knowledge. He worked for weeks at disassembling each branch of physics, oiling the parts, and putting them back together, looking all the while for the raw edges and inconsistencies. He tried to find the essential kernels of each subject,” Gleick wrote.

You can use this model to quickly learn new concepts, shore up knowledge gaps you have (known as targeted learning), recall ideas you don’t want to forget, or to study more efficiently. Taking that concept further, you can use this technique to grapple with tough subject matter, which is one of the great barriers to learning.

Feynman’s technique is also useful for those who find writing a challenge. Feynman had an interesting relationship with writing. Instead of committing his knowledge to paper like many other scientific figures, he chose to use speech as the foundation for many of his published works. He dictated most of his books and memoirs, and his scientific papers were transcribed from his lectures.

“In order to talk to each other, we have to have words, and that’s all right. It’s a good idea to try to see the difference, and it’s a good idea to know when we are teaching the tools of science, such as words, and when we are teaching science itself,” Feynman said.

Feynman relied heavily on verbal and spoken communication, and when he turned to his cartoonish diagrams of highly scientific principles, for example, he could tap into ideas with shapes, squiggly lines, and drawings. It stripped away clunky language and allowed the power of verbal storytelling to take root.

Explaining the essentials of particle physics is extremely difficult. Before Feynman’s diagrams that earned him a Nobel Prize, there wasn’t a clear way to explain their meaning.

Attribution for Feynman diagram: By JabberWok at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

This is the first-ever published diagram by Feynman helped scientists track particle movements in illustrations and visual equations rather than verbose explanations. What seemed almost improbable at the time is now one of the greatest explanations of particle physics — the squiggly lines, diagrams, arrows, quarks, and cartoonish figures are now the established nomenclature and visual story that students, scientists, and readers will see when they learn about this field of science.

Essentially, the Feynman Technique is this:

  1. Identify the subject

Write down everything you know about the topic. Each time you run into new sources of information, add them to the note.

  1. Teach it to a child

If you can teach a concept to a child, you’re way ahead of the game.

Start with a blank note and write the topic or subject you want to teach. Then, below that topic, write everything you know about it. But, the trick is to write it plainly and simply —so that a child can understand what you’re talking about.

Doing this takes into consideration a few things:

Speaking in plain terms: Children don’t understand jargon or a lexicon of dense vocabulary. Science is full of complex terminology, which is the reason Feynman’s diagrams became so valuable. His charts illustrated things that other scientists delivered marathon lectures about.

When we speak without jargon, it frees us from hiding behind knowledge we don’t have. Big words and fluffy “business speak” cripples us from getting to the point and passing knowledge to others.

Brevity: The attention span of a child requires you to deliver concepts as if you were pitching a business idea during one short elevator ride. You better get the concept out before those doors open. Children also don’t have the ability — or mental capacity, to understand anything longer than that.

If you had difficulty putting thoughts into your note, that shows you have room to improve. This is also where the power of creativity can help you reach new heights in learning.

For Feynman, much of the pleasure in science was in this first step —unraveling his levels of understanding.

  1. Identify your knowledge gaps

This is the point where the real learning happens. What are you missing? What don’t you know?

Highlighting knowledge gaps will help you when you collect and organize your notes into a cohesive story (which is the next step.) Now you can call upon your source material (lecture notes, ideas, etc.) when you run into questions about how much you do know about your topic.

If you don’t know something, hit the books. Go back to the source material and compile information that will help you fill in the cracks.

  1. Organize + simplify + Tell a story

Start to tell your story. Piece together your notes and begin to spin a tale using concise explanations. Bring the most vital pieces of your knowledge about the topic together.

Practice reading your story out loud. Pretend to tell the story to a classroom of students. That way, you’ll hear where language stops being simple. Stumbles could indicate incomplete thoughts.

Use analogies and simple sentences to strengthen your understanding of the story.

This sentence, written by Feynman, encapsulates the power of this technique. What started as a question about our existence has been translated into a single sentence that can be understood by a middle school student.

“All things are made of atoms—little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.”

Basically, Feynman says that if you know nothing about physics, the most essential scientific knowledge to understand is that everything is made up of atoms. In one simple sentence, Feynman conveys the foundational existence of our universe. It’s a master class not just for scientists, but for writers of any stripe. Get to the hypothesis in as few words as possible. Avoid clunky, verbose language.

Drawing on passions

Feynman was a believer in a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and found connections to his work in creative outlets like drawing and music. He never stopped asking questions—who, what, and why?

Einstein had his violin. Werner Heisenberg played the piano. Richard Feynman had bongos. And a passion for art. He was able to eloquently communicate, but he could also see the beauty in art, and the stories that art tells. It was as much a distraction as much as it was an unending source of inspiration he could connect to his work in particle physics.

“I wanted very much to learn to draw, for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It’s difficult to describe because it’s an emotion. … It’s a feeling of awe — of scientific awe — which I felt could be communicated through a drawing to someone who had also had that emotion. I could remind him, for a moment, of this feeling about the glories of the universe.” — Feynman discussing the intersection of art and science.

Making things stick forever

The next time you stare at an empty notebook page, think about turning that page into an opportunity.

As Feynman illustrates in his mental model, learning can be a lifelong pursuit. This technique is designed to help you study for exams and learn new subjects, but it can be easily adapted to pursue deep work. Dedicating a notebook to a place where your knowledge can grow and evolve your ideas and provide inspiration to continue following a path of ongoing learning critical to the fundamentals of deeper, meaningful work.

Today, researchers are still parsing through Thomas Edison’s notebooks and are constantly learning about how he cataloged his ideas and innovations. For Feynman, after he was done cataloging his knowledge with his technique, he had a comprehensive record of his knowledge that became a notebook he was incredibly proud of.

Armed with the Feynman technique and Evernote, anything is possible. How could you use this technique in your work? Share your story in the comments.

Source : Evernote

Albert Einstein’s Unique Approach to Thinking

“I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.” — Albert Einstein

In the arena of scientific achievement and the quest to discover genius, Albert Einstein stands alone. He remains a profoundly important figure who undertook extraordinary, groundbreaking work that not only shaped the pillars of modern physics but greatly influenced the philosophy of science.

Quite literally, Einstein changed the way we see and travel across the world and cosmos. He was responsible for the world’s most famous equation and for discovering the theory of relativity, considered to be mankind’s highest intellectual discovery.

Einstein went about his work in unique ways. From visualization to daydreaming and even a dash of musical inspiration, Einstein’s creative insights and philosophical vantage points help guide the work we tackle today.

The power of play

“A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.” — Albert Einstein

Einstein took breaks from his work to play the violin. Beethoven favored “long, vigorous walks” in which he carried a pencil and blank sheet music. Mahler, Satie, and Tchaikovsky all believed in the power of the regularly-scheduled mid-day walk.

For some, it’s walks and breaks in the day. For others, it’s applying time to deep interest in areas that are completely different from their professional work. From music to painting, the pursuit of creative endeavors has the ability to help us discover and connect what we know to what we aspire to know.

He viewed taking music breaks as an important part of his creative process. In addition to music, he was a proponent of ‘combinatory play’ — taking seemingly unrelated things outside the realms of science (art, ideas, music, thoughts), and blending them together to come up with new ideas. It’s how he came up with his most famous equation, E=mc2.

“Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought,” Einstein wrote in a letter (italicized in part below) to Jacques S. Hadamard, who was studying the thought process of mathematicians.

“…Words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be “voluntarily” reproduced and combined…but taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought — before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others.” —Albert Einstein

Creativity can’t be taught, but it can be harnessed and embraced. Nothing stokes the fires of our creative wants more than the thought of instantaneous creative inspiration—the lightning bolt or apple falling from the sky. In reality, creativity blossoms when you feed it like a fire hungry for more logs. And, creativity reaches its maximum potential when it’s stoked in combination with knowledge, ideas, and skills you’ve acquired throughout life. It’s why filmmakers seek out inspiration in art museums and why composers find notes in the daily music of everyday life.

Ideas and interludes

As Maria Popova, author of Brainpickings writes, organic synthesis of ideas happens when we step back and examine the patterns. Don’t mistake these moments for the illustrious and oft-debated lightning bolt of inspiration, even though they can happen while we are walking, showering, or even meditating. Think of them as important moments that are part of a sequential creative process that happen while we work and play. Think of the work as peering through the lens of a microscope in a lab, and the creativity starts to percolate when you take a break from the lab, pick up an instrument, or go for a walk.

These interludes helped Einstein connect the dots of his experiments at opportune moments when he picked up the violin. “I fell in love with Albert because he played Mozart so beautifully on the violin,” recalled his second wife, Elsa. “He also plays the piano. Music helps him when he is thinking about his theories. He goes to his study, comes back, strikes a few chords on the piano, jots something down, returns to his study.”

Beauty in the science

“This kind of mental play uses both unconscious and conscious thinking: scanning various stimuli and information, perceiving patterns and clear or hidden similarities between things or ideas, and playing with their interconnections, relationships, and links,” notes researcher Victoria Stevens, who explored the neuroscience of creativity in To Think Without Thinking.

Stevens notes that the link between problem solver and creative thinker is essential. “Combinatory play provides a fertile field for neuroaesthetic investigation into the direct link between play, imagination, creativity, and empathy,” she writes.

While this imaginative combinatory play was an essential part of Einstein’s productive thought, the same type of thinking and a playful nature are essential to all artistic creations.

“Personally, I experience the greatest degree of pleasure in having contact with works of art,” Einstein said. “They furnish me with happy feelings of intensity that I cannot derive from other sources.”

Einstein’s work was greatly influenced by art, and influenced artists, in turn.

Salvador Dali’s surrealist work has roots in the tiniest scientific elements of Einstein’s work. Dali had great interest in quantum mechanics and nuclear physics, and these atomic particles are the foundation of his painting The Persistence of Memory, thought by some to represent the flexing of time.

Daydreaming FTW

Einstein’s early academic and learning struggles are often debated.

As a 15 year old, he dropped out of school. Einstein left school because his teachers didn’t approve of visual imagination for learning, skills which became fundamental to his way of thinking. “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” Einstein would say.

It’s no coincidence that around the same time, Einstein began to use thought experiments that would change the way he would think about his future experiments. His first, at age 16, saw him chasing after a light beam which would help launch his discovery of special relativity.

His innate ability to conceptualize complex scientific details became a hallmark of his research. His work on gravity was influenced by imagining riding a free-falling elevator. This flight of fancy eventually led him to understand that gravity and acceleration were essentially the same.

Using these simple thought experiments, Einstein was able to understand that time and space are both shaped by matter—the basis for the theory of general relativity. It’s astonishing that this thought experiment changed everything we thought we knew about the universe. Newton’s ideas of the universe were one-dimensional, but Einstein proposed that our universe was four dimensions, where stars, planets, and celestial bodies formed a “fabric” that were dynamically influenced by the bending and curving of gravitational pull.

Only recently has mankind been equipped to explore much of what his theory had proposed—supernovas, black holes, and the evolution of our solar system.

An enduring legacy

Nearly a century later, Einstein’s legacy remains strong as ever. His theories of gravity, space, and time continue to influence a new generation of scientists. As Einstein continued his work, he maintained a natural sense of understanding of the world and compassion and kindness about people around him.

It’s only fitting that he was very aware of the incredibly short time we have on this planet, while at the same time understanding that all the work he accomplished was directly related to those who came before him. It’s comforting to know that he realized his work would be instrumental for all those who had yet to arrive.

“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people…a hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving,” Einstein said.

Source : Evernote

Canada denies Nigerians entry visas

The hours are counting down to the “Best in the World” a Microsoft Word and Excel world title championship holding in Toronto, Canada, beginning on July 30, 2009, and organised by Certiport.

But Nigeria’s representatives, 16-year-old Adeolu Adeyemi and Oluwaseun Oyewole, students of Thomas Adewumi International College, Kwara State, can only stare at their visa denials from the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria.

When contacted on Monday, Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry spokesperson, Ayo Olukanmi, said he was unaware that the country’s representatives had been denied visa by the host country. But he quickly added, “what’s the guarantee they’ll come back?” He asked. “It has happened before that people go and don’t come back.

There are so many cases like that, with too many people having fake passports and documents.” Mr. Olukanmi went on to say that only the ministry’s consular service director, Steve Egurube, in Abuja, could deal with the matter.

House of Representatives committee chairman on foreign affairs, Umaru Bature, also said he needed more facts on the issue. “I am just hearing this from you for the first time,” he said. “I will need more information on this matter before I can comment or do anything.”

On Tuesday morning, scanned copies of 14 documents the children submitted to the Canadian High Commission were forwarded to Mr. Olukanmi and Mr. Bature’s email boxes. The documents included Certiport’s letter of invitation dated June 25, 2009, the Canadian visa officer’s application refusal dated July 15, 2009, the Canadian High Commission’s undated Deficiency Sheet refusing and closing their second visa application, and the Lufthansa return tickets worth over $7,000 (their flight was confirmed for July 27, 2009). Neither of the officials have responded yet.

Certiport’s invitation letter, signed by the company’s president and CEO, Ray Kelly, stated that the two Nigerian teenagers were to compete against “about 40 participants from 50 countries”.

The letter further read: “All travel arrangements, including round trip airfare, have been purchased by and are under the control of Certiport and its partners.

Over the years, we have hosted hundreds of guests and participants… We are pleased to be able to say that… all of those participants have been faithful in complying with the terms of their visas and have returned to their home countries in a timely manner after their brief stays abroad.” In a response email to NEXT, the Canadian High Commission immigration section declined to comment on why the visas had been denied. “We are sorry,” the email read, “we do not deal with third parties under the Privacy Act.”


According to the high commission’s visa officer, the refusal of the visa applications submitted by the students on July 6, 2009 was based on the children’s nationality “which, balanced against factors” might motivate them to stay in Canada.

“You have not satisfied me that you meet the requirements… that you would leave Canada at the end of the temporary period if you were authorised to stay,” the visa officer wrote on the application on July 15, 2009.