Don Solace reveals 8-year plan to build worldclass computer school in Nigeria

Virginus Alajekwu Chinagbaogu, popularly known as Don Solace, who is the founder of Afobata Co. Limited, has revealed 8years master plan to build a world class computer school in Nigeria before he clocks 35.

As he celebrates his 27th birthday on Thursday September 8, 2022, the software developer looked back on how he transform his life and built a successful career.

Don Solace

You said you are going to build a world class Computer Institute before you clock 35years, what motivated you to do this?
I would have been 10 times of what I am today if I had access to direct computer education when I was a teenager. I struggled more to acquired a lot today without notable assistance except the ones from my family.

An average young Nigerian is faced with a lot of challenges ranging from data subscriptions, poor electricity, inadequate and unsynchronised computer networks, and so on. If the government loves the citizens, all these challenges can be covered as part of basic amenities replicated in the rest of the well-developed and civilised countries.

Learning is better at a tender age to help acquire knowledge faster. One needs to keep the brain busy with what will profit him/her in the future.

When a child begins to take responsibility, he/she tends to acquire less knowledge of programming due to the poor presence of enhanced facilities.

One basic problem militating the education system is the inability to channel a child toward the right goal at the right time.

What do you think the Federal Government should do to address this?
Can you imagine teaching a child who wants to be a Computer Programmer Literature as a subject up to SS2? When he eventually gets to tertiary institution, he will be learning programming with paper and pen due to lack of equipment for training.

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A child should have access to the right education relating to his career, early enough as the brain can accommodate it.

Research has proven that over 20 years, a person cannot easily learn programming mainly if he has zero knowledge of programming basics during his teenage age. So, computer programming is a critical career that hovernment should help assist interested people, in the right part and right time.

When you count top computer programmers in Nigeria, I believe that I, Virginus Alajekwu, will be counted as one. But I can tell you since I was born, no one has taught me anything about computers or programming both in school and outside. Nigeria needs to address this with immediate effect.

How do you plan to achieve this?
I have already acquired landed property for this plan in Lagos State and my state, Anambra and all will be rolling out soon as planned towards my 35 birthday. The only challenge is funding, but I am saving up already. But before then, I wish to further my education more which I have already started making arrangements for.

How can parents come in?
Parents have a greater role to play. We all know that we’re in a corrupt society but that wouldn’t be the reason why parents would deprive their child of access to modern technology. This was one of the challenges I encountered during my initial stage. I would spend over 20 hours on a computer, even starved myself because I do forget food, and whenever my parents see me, they would appear angry. They believe I’m wasting my time.

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My dad broke my laptop and phone once, though he later gave me money to replace them. You can’t blame them because it was not in their culture then. They see one who is always on a computer as one who is going astray. But today, I can beat my chest and tell you that my parents are happy that they didn’t stop me in those days. Parents should endeavour to see that they give the time and encouragement to their children.

I am ever grateful to my parents for the great role they played in my life especially as a teenager, I owe them a lot.

How did you get money to kickstart your career?
It began when I was 9 years and my first website launched at 13. It was through personal savings that I funded my career. I schooled in seminary – boarding school. Each time I travel home my parents would give me a reasonable amount as pocket money. I would skip buying provisions, even as I see my mates returning with loaded bags of provisions. I could only come back to school with Cassava fleece (Garri), milk, and sugar.

My classmates always thought that I came from a very poor family and couldn’t get enough provisions for myself not knowing that I was the ‘richest’ student in the class.

I used the gathered money to buy my first laptop and an android phone. I also purchased basic computer textbooks even though we were prohibited from using phones. So, I could study textbooks while in school. Whenever I have access to my laptop or phone, I practice whatever I have learned from the textbooks.

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In conclusion, parents should ensure that
their kids get laptops, and phones and ensure the kids have internet 24/7 and also try to watch closely the activities of their kids online.

It is obvious that I have got no other country but Nigeria, therefore, I will not bypass any opportunity to make my society a better place for young talents. And one way of making Nigeria a better society is lifting as many people as possible from poverty and helping them realize the potentials in them.

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