30 May We are the future —Teen robot makers set to represent Nigeria at world contest in US
The setting is the ground floor of a tastefully furnished duplex at Surulere, Lagos. It is raining lightly; it has been raining, in fact, since morning. At the gate, the security man and a few other people stand under a small shelter, and they all seem to agree that it is the Ooni of Ife who has mysteriously sent the rain to Lagos to disrupt the Eyo Festival.
The large hall which would have been the sitting room has been converted to a conference room. This is where they have been meeting every week since January – a group of seven teenagers who are building a robot. This summer, they will be in Washington DC, USA, to represent Nigeria at the First Global Robotics Challenge, competing alongside 163 other countries.
“They are upstairs, but they are very busy; in fact they are in the middle of a crisis,” Mrs Remi Willoughby, the teenagers’ supervisor says. A versatile teacher, Mrs Willoughby has taught robotics for many years, mostly in Texas, US.