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Meet 24-Year-Old Hallowed Olaoluwa From Nigeria Who Is The Current Africa’s Youngest PhD Holder In Mathematics

Who would say he or she doesn’t love listening to a success story? The class of 2014 is definitely an outstanding graduating set.

After simultaneously acquiring two first class degrees in Mathematics and Physics at the age of 18, Hallowed Olaoluwa later obtained two master’s degrees at 19. Both at the University of Bangui, Central African Republic.

Hallowed Olaoluwa being awarded by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

Fast forward to age 24, Olaoluwa from Ekiti state is a proud Ph.D holder in Mathematics from the University of Lagos. He makes history as the youngest Ph.D holder from the tertiary institution.

Hallowed emerged the overall best doctorate student at the convocation ceremony held last week. His Cumulative Point Grade Average is 5.00. All As folks.

In an interview with Punch, he shares his story. Read excerpts;
On his primary /secondary education: “I had four double promotions in the primary and secondary school. In primary school, I was promoted from Primary 5 to Primary 6 in the middle of the session. I also obtained three other double promotions in the secondary school, always passing my exams with distinctions.

Thus, having started primary 1 at age 5, I was able to complete my Baccalaureate (or HSC/Diploma/A’ levels) at the age of 14 and entered the university through Direct Entry at the age of 15. I then opted to take Mathematics and Physics simultaneously and obtained two BSc degrees in the University of Bangui at the age of 18.”

Running two programmes simultaneously was not done before; neither has it been done after. I was an exception to the rule due to my performances and God’s grace. I then did two master’s degrees the following year and bagged them at the age of 19.”

On his social life: “My time on campus was dedicated to research and work. I would go to my department to work, see my supervisor, and collaborate with my fellow colleagues and then go back home when I am done with my tasks.

Besides, I have friends and I interact with them. I have hobbies like any other person. I love watching football and playing the piano. I am also a member of the Deeper Life Bible Church and I relate well with the brethren of my district. I even sing in the choir and go occasionally for evangelism sessions. So, even though my social life might be a little boring for some people, I actually think it provides a balance to my academic pursuits.”

On if he was ALWAYS successful academically: “My academic life has not all been rosy. Sometimes I look back and say I could have bagged my PhD at the age of 21. It might be surprising to know that I actually failed my Baccalaureate (HSC) at my first attempt at the age of 13. That was the hardest moment of my life but God used it to reposition me. I came back stronger and more focused thereafter.”

On future academic pursuits: “Having bagged a PhD in Nigeria, it will be interesting to explore other systems abroad. There are many other options, such as the Joint-PhDs and Distance Learning PhDs.

Since I have a BSc and an MSc in Physics too, I will not want those degrees to be disused. Moreover, there is a pressing need to address more life problems using Mathematics. That is why my next doctorate degree will be in Mathematical Physics or Physics or Mathematical Economics by God’s grace.”

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