Ada Lovelace was the world’s first programmer. She is best known for creating the first algorithm, designed to run on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical computer. So you see, don’t joke with women programmers. Plus she even has an Igbo name “Ada”. Nigerians we hail thee!
Also, according to Bill Gates: “I wrote my first software program when I was thirteen years old. It was for playing tic-tac-toe. The computer I used was huge and cumbersome and slow and absolutely compelling.”
Another billionaire, Elon Musk, first learned to program when he was only twelve. His parents bought him a computer, and a few days later he built a video game you can still play today called Blastar.
What about the man who built Facebook? He was in 6th grade when he started to code. He built Facebook from his hostel room. Today he is among the top 10 richest people in the world.
Almost the same story goes for people like Steve Wozniak (One of the founders of Apple Computers), Jack Dorsey (One of the Founder of Twitter) and a whole lot more.
The point is you can never expect a person to become great without giving them the opportunity to do so.
Africa has one of the youngest population in the world right now, but still, it is very difficult to see young people emerge to greatness - simply because there is little or no opportunity to do so.
There is an abundance of young people in Africa who can become like: Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Ada Lovelace and Margaret Hamilton.
But without the right tools and exposure, they would never live to their true potential. Many go through school without having an opportunity to really interact with a computer, or having someone who can guide them early on.
If we are ever going to see an Africa that lives to the story of Wakanda; then we must begin to build and create enabling environments for Africa’s future.
Everyone must be part of this building process. Parents need to be more informed, teachers need to better grounded, SME’s need to contribute their quota, and every community at large must prioritize Digital Education as an essential.
CODECLUB.THS – OLD STUDENTS BUILDING A FUTURE FOR NEW STUDENTS
CodeClub.THS is an after school club program put together and sponsored by the old students of DSC Technical High School set of 92.
Not only did they get some of the best programmers to tutor and guide these young ones, they also inspire and motivate high performing members of the club with gifts such as; giving them their own Personal Computers and Laptop accessories.
This program has brought a new lease of light for the students. Many of the students, who before now saw Computer Science as a boring subject, now find joy and thrill at the amazing things they can achieve from sitting in front of a computer.
Projects like these give hope and encourage many more African young people to dream. Many more bodies like the Technical High School Old Student set of 92 will need to come forth.
The older generation must sacrifice and lend a helping hand to the younger generation. Africa and the world at large will be eternally grateful.
The CodeClub.THS program is expected to build up in crescendo (already students are beginning to build their own games and form their own startups), and hopefully spread into becoming a community-wide project.
It is sure that with many more projects like these; the sleeping potentials of Margaret Hamilton, Bill Gates or Elon Musk will be unraveled across the African continent.
And well may we begin to see the dawn of a reality for a truly ‘Wakandized’ Africa.
And just in case you have been wondering who Margaret Hamilton is, She helped write the software that enabled NASA to successfully fly and land on the moon, stretching previous notions of what people and software were capable of. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work.