“Does she have two heads?” Nkechinyere Chidi-Ogbolo is that kind of child parents would use as a reference when advising their own kid, because she has proven to be a whiz-kid. At 18-years, Nkechinyere already has a Chemical Engineering degree from Howard University, Washington D.C, and is presently a Ph.D. student at the University of California.
The depth of her accomplishment piques the interest of many. How did she do it? What inspires her? How has her journey been so far? These questions and more were answered by Nkechinyere in her debut book “Tales of an Uber minor in college,” which was launched in partnership with GTBank at the Muson Centre on the 19th of December, 2017.
Recently, Nkechinyere dropped by our office to talk about her journey, and what’s the next big thing she’s working on. Here’s how our chit-chat session went;
Congratulations on the successful launch of your new book “Tales of an Uber minor in college.” What is the driving force behind your success, which you channeled into this book?
The driving force behind my success has been my support system, most especially my parents. My mom has always been there for me and she was the one who suggested I compile my story into a book to possibly inspire people that have doubts about achieving the same or similar things I achieved because they don’t have the privilege background that other people have.
What’s the one message you want young people to take from your book?
Information is a weapon and it’s up to you to use it, so as long as people don’t have access to information they are unlikely to do well. It’s important to have mentors and people in your life who will be your support system and it’s equally important to have a connection and relationship with your parents so they could help guide you. In situations where your parents are barely around, you can find other people within the community that will be your support system. If I can be that support system that will, of course, be great.
Has writing this book changed you in any way?
While writing the book, it dawned on me how much I’ve changed since my freshman year in college. Seeing my growth on paper was interesting. I don’t think the person who wrote the book is the same person I am today. Sometimes, I read it and say to myself, I wrote that? Did I have to tell everyone my business like that? (laughs).
You are a chemical engineer graduate currently doing your PhD in medical research and now you’ve added author to your feather. This raises that popular question we are asked in our younger years “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
(laughs) I do plan to do medical research long term. I’ll also have a lot of things to do on the side, I’m going to have a foundation to help young people empower themselves, there’s probably going to be a musical journey too because I do want to sing as well. There are a few other things but the main thing will be my medical research.
What are your other interests and passion outside your academic pursuits?
I love to sing. Singing makes me happy. I have a karaoke app on my phone that I use to sing whenever I want to de-stress. I also love to watch movies especially K-dramas, Korean movies are my favourite!
You’ve said Information is a weapon. What other topics and issues do you hope to tackle in your future books?
I’m hoping to tackle inequality, for people not to neglect other people in other positions because that can result in frustration and anger. That’s something my mom is very passionate about. I also hope to change the mindsets of people who think they can’t achieve something or get to a certain place because they feel they are lacking something. I want them to know they need not create a ceiling over themselves. Their dreams and goals are possible.
GTBank is committed to talented young individuals like Nkechinyere Ogbolo and to that regards is giving out her book to thousands of young people for FREE. Kindly mention someone, in the comment box, who needs to be inspired by this amazing book.