Some stereotypes about Nigerians are that they are loud, arrogant and poverty-stricken, yet few people pay attention to their rich cultural history and the contributions they have made to music, fashion, the arts, food and much more. There is a drop of greatness in every Nigerian.
This exclusive list mirrors the great endeavor of Nigerian inventions and inventors – both living and dead – who have left indelible marks in their respective fields both nationally and internationally. So, here is a list of the top seven Nigerian inventions and inventors. This list is not arranged in any particular order.
In the 1970s, Fela Anikulapo Kuti was experimenting with different forms of music, especially from the west coast of Africa and Black America. He eventually made Afrobeat, a combination of Highlife (from Ghana), Fuji (from Yoruba) and jazz. This focused on chanted vocals and heavy percussion. The music not only spawned several other genres, but there are several bands worldwide playing Afrobeat.
2. Philip Emeagwali
Philip Emeagwali is the Nigerian inventor and scientist who received the Gordon Bell award in 1989 for the application of the CM-2 massively parallel computer for oil-reservoir modeling. In simple terms, his work with building a connected system of devices fed into the long, winding path that led to the creation of the internet as we know it. Did you know that Philip Emeagwali has a higher IQ than Albert Einstein? Philip Emeagwali has an IQ as high as 190 and is one of the smartest people in the world.
3. Shrubs and Vines
In 1936, colonials took seeds of the coconut palm from Nigeria and crossed them with pond apples from California swamps. The results are the coconut groves in many American beaches, particularly Florida. Other seed offerings include the Utowan Eugenia and the Gold Coast jasmin.
4. Bennet Omalu
Bennet Omalu is another Nigerian academic based in the United States. His discovery of the brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) was at first dismissed by the National Football League (NFL) in the USA. This was because it was linked to the frequent blows to the head in games of American Football. However, in 2009, the NFL admitted that it was a problem – after a number of NFL players had died of the disease.
Nigerians have always loved music. They make it, invent new dance steps, and have exported it to the world for decades. In recent times, artists like Davido, Mr. Eazi, and Wizkid have been propagating a new sound: Afropop, a mixture of hip-hop and Fuji music. Other genres that have been exported to the world include Juju music (like King Sunny Ade), Apala (like Haruna Ishola) and Fuji (Sikiru Ayinde Barrister).
6. Seyi Oyesola
Seyi Oyesola is a Nigerian trained doctor and inventor. He received his basic science and medical education at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He also got specialist training in Anaesthesia and Critical Care in the United Kingdom and the United States. In order to help bring surgical care to every region of the continent, Seyi co-developed CompactOR, or the “Hospital in a Box”, a portable medical system that contains anesthetic and surgical equipment. One major advantage of this invention is that the operating suite is light enough to be dropped into inaccessible zones by helicopters. It can be powered by solar panels.
7. Fastest Computer
Ever heard of the world’s fastest and most efficient computer? It was invented by a Nigerian, by Dr. Philip Emeagwali. Dr. Emeagwali carefully studied the efficient ways in which bees communicate and build honeycombs and decided to create a computer that could work that way. He successfully combined 65,000 processors to invent the world’s fastest the computer. This computer performs computations at 3.1 billion calculations per second.
Today, Dr. Philip Emeagwali’s invention is applied in weather forecasting supercomputers as well as computers which can predict global warming.
light sleeper, heavy dreamer.