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Inside the world of first-class mathematician languishing on Ebonyi farmland

Inside the world of first-class mathematician languishing on Ebonyi farmland
November 16
16:35 2020

In some countries, Emmanuel Nworie, a first-class mathematics graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, would have used his knowledge to advance the society, either in an academic environment or information technology sector. But the genius is wasting away on a farmland in Ebonyi state.

Had it been mechanised farming, Nworie would have, no doubt, made use of his skill effectively. But in a modern age, the scholar relies on hoe and cutlass for subsistence farming. The life journey of Nworie, who graduated with a cumulative grade point average of 4.92/5.00, is chronicled in an article shared by Michael Taiwo, a US-based Nigerian and sponsor of MT Scholarships.

Nworie had applied for the second edition of the scholarship which provides support for payment of graduate school application fees and TOEFL, GRE/GMAT — examinations required by candidates seeking admissions abroad.

The 27-year-old lost his father to diabetes and hypertension when he was in secondary school, and since his father’s demise in 2005, life has been challenging, making it difficult for him to proceed with his education.


According to the report, he took a job teaching mathematics “to grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 at the secondary school he finished from where he had the honor of being awarded the Best Mathematics Olympiad teacher in the State. His salary was $33.33 per month.

“Emmanuel lives with his mom and seven siblings in a house that is not hooked to the electric grid, doesn’t have indoor plumbing, has no address, and you need to walk a mile from it to get cellular coverage. Widowed, his mom took to cultivating cassava on the land their dad left behind. She also farms other people’s lands for a return of some of the harvest. It’s the type of arrangement only people without options take.”

Taiwo narrated how Nworie saved some part of his $400 (N185,000) per year teaching job to obtain education in a polytechnic where he studied statistics.


During his one-year internship after his polytechnic studies, he took other teaching jobs and saved more money till he was able to fund his university education.

Eight years after leaving secondary school, he gained admission to the department of mathematics, faculty of physical sciences at UNN.

In his final year, he won the gold medal in the university category of the 2018 national mathematics competition. After completing his one-year mandatory national service as a teacher in a secondary school in Enugu state, Nworie was retained to teach Advanced Mathematics at the school for $77.46 (N35,000) per month.

But as the coronavirus pandemic led to the shutdown of schools and businesses, the UNN graduate was forced to return to Ebonyi where he engaged in cassava planting alongside his mother.


When the lockdown was relaxed, Nworie returned to the city to teach. It was during the period that he learnt about the MT Scholarships and decided to apply.

Taiwo quoted him as saying it would take up to seven years to save for US graduate application fees.

“If the restrictions were still in place, there is no way I would have known about this from my house in Ebonyi. I have calculated that it would take me 6 to 7 years to save for this,” he said.

The cost of applying to US graduate schools is estimated to be $1,000, although it could be less.


“And punished for what exactly? For the “crime” of being born at the wrong place at the wrong time. There was a time in Nigeria a prodigy like him would have been calling the shots, regardless of his family circumstances,” the writer lamented.

“In many other parts of the world today, he would be pushing the boundaries of science, adding to the commonwealth of knowledge, exploring what is possible, preaching the beauty of Math. But alas, he was born poor in Nigeria.”



  1. CJC
    CJC November 17, 00:16

    This is a common unfortunate situation in Nigeria where merit has been relegated to the background and ethnicity, religion, nepotism and Godfatherism become the order of the day. Which way Nigeria?. This genus should make his contact available for well meaning Nigerians to help or open a gofundme account. May God help you.

    Reply to this comment
    • RO
      RO November 19, 15:30

      It’s a shame, and this goes to the root of the dysfunction of our educational system in Nigeria and the collapse of our society.
      The educational system doesn’t inform and enlightened the brains and hearts so that our graduates are informed and civilized in thought, deeds and character. The educational system that should have faculties that strives to nurture every student to achieve their full potential.
      This guy doesn’t need charity, he needs information and the drive to exhale. Even in the Nigeria of today, there are several postgraduate scholarship opportunities (government, international and multinational organizations) that are awarded on merit. He should be mentored to achieve his God given potential which is really where our educational system is failing all students.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Rith
    Rith November 17, 01:02

    Good evening Editor, can you please send me the no for Emmanuel Enwori, the mathematician graduate who is in your article.

    Thank you
    God bless you

    Reply to this comment
  3. Helen Olajide
    Helen Olajide November 17, 02:09

    It’s a pity, Emmanuel was truly born in a society that does not care for its citizen. But a medical doctor guy in my church from a poor home like this trained by people of moderate means beat Nigeria to it by saving in a small private practice and told us various exams he did here and final one in US before he got a visa to travel. Now living well in US. Nworie should not loose hope. He should be focused of various means especially on the internet now that he is in the city for scholarship for international students or even in schools in Nigetia. May the Almighty help you

    Reply to this comment
  4. Mr conscience
    Mr conscience November 17, 04:42

    They are many genius like him in the same state, laying fallow without help, our country has no regards for such outstanding performance,

    Reply to this comment
    • Charl
      Charl November 23, 17:14

      I’m surprised that even the UNN he finished from failed to retain him. Or don’t universities encourage outstanding students to come back to enrich the faculty anymore? Anyway help will surely come his way soonest. Nigeria should learn to promote merit based selection in every facet of the life.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Engr joel
    Engr joel November 17, 05:59

    Bad governance and poor institutions

    Reply to this comment
  6. Offia Cornelius
    Offia Cornelius November 17, 07:27

    Cable please, can you link me to the young man you described above.I need his contact.I am from Ebonyi State and resides in Abakaliki.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Mohan
    Mohan November 17, 23:36

    I would like to help this young man pursue his dreams

    Reply to this comment
    • Richard
      Richard November 20, 15:20

      My Dad wants to help him with a contract anyone that gives me his number will be compensated

      Reply to this comment
  8. Musiliu Aminu
    Musiliu Aminu November 18, 06:03

    Please provide his contact information. I’m willing to help if I can verify his story. It’s all about information.

    Reply to this comment
    • Wizzy
      Wizzy November 21, 01:58

      Am telling you… I also want to study mathematics … Emmanuel should keep soaring…I scored 8th best in the last round of the Nigerian mathematics Olympiad…but I should have been 3rd best… Just because Nigeria wanted experienced individuals who filled up the first 6 …so I was not given a chance to represent the country…how do we think we will grow if we can’t give young mathematicians a chance to express themselves..
      I feel your pain…but keep aspiring for the Fields medal.

      Reply to this comment

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