You know how it is with stars, they shine ever so brightly; never hidden and always giving the world a beautiful outlook.
That’s exactly how it is with Paula and Peter Imafidon, the indomitable duo set to reshape the world. At 8, they set a joint world record when they passed an A/AS-level examination in mathematics. A year later they took and passed the University of Cambridge’s Advanced Mathematics (FAM) paper, becoming the youngest students ever to pass the rigorous examinations.
The wonder twins as they are fondly called are Nigerians from Edo State, who reside with their parents and older siblings in Waltham Forest in northeast London.
Now 14, the extraordinary pair already have a clear chat of what they hope to achieve in the future. Peter, who is also a 100m and 400m relay champ in London, hopes to serve as Prime Minister one day and his sister Paula, a county champion in rugby, would like to teach math. Interestingly, both students are musicians. I guess that’s to point out that it’s not just about books, but about having a fantastic balance.
For Paula and Peter’s parents, it’s no surprise how high the twins are flying as they are blessed with other high achieving children. The first of the Imafidon kids, Anne-Marie who spoke six languages and graduated from high school at age 10 has been named a “serial world record breaker”. In 2003, when she was only 13, she was granted a British scholarship to study Mathematics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Four years later, she obtained her Masters Degree from Oxford University. Anne-Marie was the youngest person to pass the A-level computing exam.
The young genius is also a child mentor and is involved in the S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program to help fulfill the need for math and science female leaders. She is currently working in a high-level position at an international investment bank in the United Kingdom.
At 11, Christina Imafidon was the youngest student in history to attend a British university – the United Kingdom University. Christina has also worked as an intern with the Citigroup Corporation as well as conducted research in mathematics with Oxford University. Nineteen year-old Samantha Imafidon had passed two high school-level mathematics and statistics exams at age 6. She became the youngest girl in the UK to attend secondary school at the age of 9. Samantha mentored Peter and Paula to pass their own math secondary school test when they were also 6 years old. She is a gold level champion in the 100m and 200m relays.
Now you see how much it runs in the family.
Their father Chris Imafidon, a researcher in ophthalmology and a renowned international education consultant to several governments insists that his children are not “super heroes” as some people imagine.
He strongly believes that anyone can achieve what he has achieved with his family through a specific model of education and proper nurturing.
“If you really want a child to learn anything, find out the best way that child learns,” he says “Every human being has a unique way of learning.” “Every child is a genius. Once you identify the talent of a child and put them in the environment that will nurture that talent then the sky is the limit. Look at Tiger Woods, or the Williams sisters – they were nurtured.”
The wonder twins have also co-authored a book with classmates to raise proceeds for charities and their school.
In the past we have also told the awe-inspiring stories of Harold Ekeh, Esther Okade, Maud Chifamba and Saheela Ibrahim. You know what attributes stand out in all of these stories; dedication, persistence and ultimately, excellence.
Every child is a star and a potential genius who deserves to be discovered and nurtured.