Faith Odunsi wowed the world in 2020 when as a 15-year-old she displayed exceptional wizardry in Mathematics, that arcane discipline that many students find hard to comprehend. And she did it on a great stage, at the national Mathematics TV quiz show, Cowbellpedia. Not a few were mouth agape as she crunched through 19 questions in 60seconds. That was quite a record.

Dr. Fidelis Ayebae, MD Fidson Healthcare Plc. 5th from right, in a handshake with Faith Odunsi as he hands her a cheque for $10,000.

Since then she has done well for herself and her growing reputation by further going ahead to represent Nigeria at different international mathematics competitions staged in different countries of the world. She did not always come out winner but many times she did. And when it counted most, at the Global Mathematics Competition in 2021, she emerged overall tops, beating stellar competition from the UK, China, the United States and other countries.  That has been the crowning moment of her yet unraveling glorious trajectory as a Mathematician of renown.

After her well publicised heroics, she got admitted to the world famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. It was on a partial scholarship so there were still bits to be covered to ensure she would be able to fully concentrate on her studies while in Amherst.

Dr Fidelis Ayebae, Founder and MD of Fidson Healthcare Plc. quickly stepped up to the plate with a $10,000 grant which Faith will get every year for as long as she is an undergraduate at MIT. This award was done under the aegis of the Astymin Brilliance Reward, a programme ideated by the company for “developing mental and academic performance among students by rewarding hard work and academic excellence”.

Dr. Ayebae personally received Faith and her family at the Fidson office in Obanikoro, Lagos. He found he actually knew her father, Dr Afolabi Odunsi, and was also friends with the proprietor of the secondary school Faith attended, Ambassador Schools, Ota, Ogun State. So he felt a personal need to honour this young woman doing her family, nation, race and humanity proud.

Faith has since departed the shores of Nigeria for her new quest to be a robotic engineer. We do not doubt that as she stays focused on her quest, she will win yet more laurels and help advance the cause of humanity.

It is important to highlight the intervention by Fidson. It goes a long way. And the Astymin Brilliance Programme, being one that catches our child prodigies at the grassroots, will be highlighted on our pages very soon. The intellectual theories around CSR and Sustainability, they find concrete expression in interventions like these.


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