-“Every Child is a Genius”, says Father of World’s Brainiest Kids-
Nigerian-born Chris Imafidon, whose children have been described as “World’s Brainiest Kids”, has stated that “Every child is a genius”. He stated this in an interview published last Saturday (November 18, 2017) in the Punch newspaper.
He said, “…If every parent would believe that his child would achieve, that child would indeed achieve. We just need to work out the formula that would make that child achieve what you want him to.”
Though autistic, Imafidon is a Professor at the University of Oxford, England. His first daughter, Ann Marie, passed GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) exam while she was in primary school. According to Imafidon, “She was the youngest school girl in that year”.
Also, Ann Marie’s younger sister passed the same exam the following year, at the age of nine. This feat attracted the attention of the international media who declared that nobody had ever had two siblings from the same family getting that position.
Thereafter, Chris Imafidon’s third daughter, Samantha, wrote that same exam at the age of six and excelled better than her elder sisters. Imafidon said, “That was when they started saying those rubbish and calling them world’s smartest kids”.
He attributed Samantha’s achievements to the traditional game of “ayo”, saying: “You don’t need to read any book to play ‘ayo’. She understood big concepts just by playing ‘ayo’. It is funny that they are called the brainiest. They are not. They are just a people that consistently performed well.”
Chris Imafidon’s family received an award from the Queen of England who was awed by their feat. While recounting this, Imafidon said, “I didn’t know who the Queen was then. I only knew she is a powerful woman whose picture is on the currency. I never knew she could like me because I was following what my grandmother said I should do. She gave us an award and she became interested in knowing how we were able to do what everybody found so difficult. That was how our royal journey started. But it is not difficult to pass; you only have to know the steps.”
Imafidon attributed his family’s feat to his grandmother’s love and support. He said, “In fact, I would say my grandmother is the professor and not me. She did all the work to ensure that I am what I am today. If not that she kept ‘bribing’ me to do this and that, I would have just done anything I wanted.”
He explained that because he liked football, his grandmother always bribed him with promises of football, provided he came first in class. He said, “So, when you saw me working hard to pass an exam, it was mainly because of the football I was promised.… So, that is the story of my so-called intelligence. It wasn’t based on the love of school, it was based on the fact that I would gain something if I did well.”
Speaking on the steps to success, Imafidon said, “Just know the limit of your mentality. You have to have a mentality that you can do something. Then you have to have a mentor. The mentor would help you construct the next step, which is the module that you would follow. Then you have to have a modality.”
Imafidon recommended that parents should allow their kids to be themselves. He said, “Buy your kids toy instruments. Let them ruin them if they must. It sounds very expensive anyway but you are teaching the child more than any book because the child is doing it and knowing it and fixing it.
My children ruined a lot of my computers when they were growing up. I was so annoyed. But they turned out well. That is why my girl had to get me an iPad when she started working. She tried to compensate me for all the devices they ruined. But all that they ruined made them understand the internal workings of the devices.…
As parents, we are very careful with all our devices. We don’t even allow our kids to touch our phones. Allow them! Sometimes, they would even be able to restore and repair it. You don’t know where they will be exposed to tomorrow. Every child is a genius. That is what I believe in.”
Chris Imafidon migrated to the United Kingdom 30 years ago for postgraduate studies and did not return to Nigeria since then. However, he visited the country recently, and was at the University of Ilorin’s graduation ceremony where he promised to give a scholarship to the worst graduating student.
He justified that scholarship by saying, “If every child is a genius, then it shouldn’t matter if you are at the top of the class, bottom or middle. The lecturers were arguing with me but I told them that they would see what these people they judged the worst students would become. I would give them scholarships and if they don’t beat the ones you say are the best students after three years, I will publicly apologise.”
Imafidon’s twitter account (@ChrisImafidon) describes him as “Adviser to Governments, monarchs and leaders” as well as “#mentor to brainiest students ever”.
- Cornelius Ellah
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