Queen Elizabeth II honours Nigeria’s Imafidon
For her services to young women in the United Kingdom, with specialty in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, Nigeria’s Dr. Anne-Marie Osawemwemze Imafidon was yesterday decorated by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, with the prestigious honour of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). Anne-Marie, who arrived Buckingham Palace in company of his father, Prof. Chris Imafidon, becomes the youngest scientist ever to get this award, as most young people usually get the Queen’s honour for sports.
After the formal decoration and reception at the Queen’s residence, Annie-Marie, who is Head Stemette’ and Founder of social enterprise Stemettes, headed for a follow up and ice cream party at Kensington Palace.
“I’m ecstatic beyond words as this is divine and simply God-sent. Nobody would have expected this when my journey started with the mathematical and science games at Excellence in Education (EIE) programme a few years ago. This programme equipped me with the unique pedagogical techniques, which makes learning fun and it is radically different from conventional school. It helps anyone tackle educational and even professional challenges with ease,” excited Annie-Maries said.
Stemettes is an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles via a series of events and opportunities. In three years, 7,000 girls across the UK, Ireland and Europe have had attended Stemette experiences.
As part of the initiative she has also Co-Founded Outbox Incubator: the world’s first tech incubator for teenage girls. She sits on the boards of Redfield Asset Management, Urban Development Music Foundation and Inspirational YOU. She has previously worked at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.
The eldest daughter of world renowned Professor Chris and Ann Imafidon, whose family has been dubbed the ‘Brainiest Family in Europe,’ Anne-Marie holds the record of being one of the youngest managers of Fortune 100 top companies and later became an assistant Vice President with German’s top bank, Deutsche bank. In school, due to participation in the www.excellenceineducation.org.uk programme, she set a new record to become the youngest girl to ever pass two High school (GCSE) examinations — for Mathematics and Information Technology and A-level computing at the age of 11 in Britain.
Due to her high exceptional brilliance, she received a British Scholarship to study Mathematics at the John Hopkins University at the age of 13 in 2003. Two years later, she commenced a degree at Oxford University after which she enrolled for her Masters degree setting another record of the youngest Masters degree holder from the Ivy League university.
Her father, an eminent adviser to European, and American governments, presidents and monarchs, Professor Chris Imafidon, said he received the news of this honour with shock, and that the celebrations for this award will last a year and ripple over a lifetime.
“Like every parent would feel, we are still in shock. This is simply God-orchestrated. I, personally never believed that her young career would accelerate to this historic height. This is beyond belief,” he said.
Others Nigerians on the list of honourees this year include Prof. Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu, a Professor of Nursing, who gets an OBE for her services to nursing and the Mary Seacole statue appeal; Chris Ofili, an artist who gets a CBE for his services to arts and Jeremiah Oluwatosin Ayotunde, a Cadet Colour Sergeant who gets an OBE for his services to young people and the community of London. Meanwhile, former singer, Victoria Beckham gets an OBE award, and popular tennis star, Andy Murray is among the hundreds of achievers to be honoured.