IN THE SPOTLIGHT AROUND THE WORLD – ALABI O. STEPHEN
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Alabi O. Stephen, an intrepid youth, author, writer, and a professional Mathemagician. As an author, I’ve been able to write three scholarly books to help students build their arsenals:
(1) Why Am I Not Getting A’s? – Exploring the D’s of successful students
(2) Mentally Calculate It – Gateways to becoming a human calculator
(3) Mathematical Thaumaturgy – Doing the math that makes you laugh.
As a writer, I preach the ‘change’ message and I influence my readers to positivity by giving them proven life strategies which will help them live a significant life above mediocrity. As a professional Mathemagician, I visit schools and educational institutions to perform my stage show (The Mathemagic Show), to help students surmount the phobia of math and help the in developing numeracy skills.
Tell us in brief your story of impact?
I am the CEO and founder of MATH PHOBIA THERAPY (MPT) an offline and online organization whose vision is to help students overcome the fear of numbers. I have a team and The Mathemagic Show is one of the ways we achieve this goal. What we do is, we visit schools (primary and secondary), and perform some magic tricks which are only possible through mathematics (Example of these tricks is racing calculators – calculating faster than calculator with my head, figuring out the day of the week the students were born with my head, creating magic squares etc.) and make them believe they could do exactly that and better than that if only they can trash the fear of number and open their hearts to the beauty of numeracy. Over the years, we’ve recorded great successes, received a good number of testimonials, and I can tell you that our passion to see students develop numeracy skills by first overcoming the fear of it is increased daily by the good news that we receive daily. As a teacher, I am a co-founder of a tutorial centre – EXCELLENCE TUTORS. It is an organisation with the vision to teach and train students to be self-reliant in their pursuit of academic success. We do our best to inculcate into our student the passion to be responsible for their successes. The problem faced by the educational system of Nigeria now is students succeeding without efforts, but if it persist, our nation is heading toward an iceberg. So as a visionary that I and my co-founder are, we established the tutorial with the aim of building the spirit of self-reliance in our students. So far, we’ve succeeded in leading over 700 students to higher institutions across Nigerian universities and Abroad. It’s been a success story so far.
What’s your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is being a Mathemagician. I know most of us will find it funny but that’s the truth. I mean, I didn’t even know how to solve a simple equation in my SS1, but here I am as a Mathematics teacher who teaches mathematics from O level to A level, and not just that, but a man who is capable of not just making you learn the math, but to love the math, it’s really my greatest achievement. Believe me!
What are your greatest challenges?
Funding! I said I’ve written three scholarly books, but they are yet to be published. Getting the finance to publish the books is really a challenge.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
My greatest strength! Self-motivation! I’m a self-motivated person, and that’s why I’m getting more of my goals crushed.
My greatest weakness! I play a lot.
What is change to you and how do you hope to effect change in your community?
When I see youths in my community playing a way their time, and ruining their future with reckless passions, I shed secret tears. Because I fear the bleak future ahead of them. A life filled with infinite regrets, and abject poverty.
How do we help them? Change to me is revolutionary. It is a dramatic transformation. That’s why I believe we need a ‘change’. A change of mentality, because most of them are affected by their locality and that is what promote their ravaging and wallowing in mediocrity. I’ve been up to few things like, setting up seminars to awaken youths from their slumber and teach them the power of responsibility. The greatest tool for change is – responsibility. If responsibility can be infused into every youths in our community, I strongly believe that the change we desire will begin to surface.
Who is your mentor?
Allow me to use mentors – because I have many of them. To cite a few, Professor Arthur Benjamin, Simeon Taiwo, Christian Nonso, Ohaju Obed Ifeanyi, Emmanuel Uti among others.
Where did you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself at a ministerial position in the educational sector of this nation where I will be able to effect some radical changes in the structure of the educational system.
What did you want people to know about you, your organization and what you are presently working on?
MATH PHOBIA THERAPY (MPT) my organisation teamed up with LIFE FORCE (a neuro-cognitive re-patterning organisation) and we are currently working on how to help reshape the lives of students by helping them gain clarity and understanding in their studies. We hope to have reached out to 1,000 schools 500,000 and before the end of 2020.
How are you when you are under pressure to achieve a goal?
Pressure! I’ve learnt how to navigate. I am never pressurized because I love what I do, and I only do the things that I love.
What have you done to improve your knowledge in your chosen field?
Books – I read a lot! I also find time to reach out to experts and sought for expert suggestions, and from the information obtained, my knowledge bank is increased. A word of encouragement for you audience. Don’t just read this words that I’m going to say, internalize them and integrate them into your life: ‘Stop trying to be successful so you can be happy. Instead, be happy so you can be successful.’
You can contact me on:
FB Page: @Mathemagician Alabi
Alabi O. Stephen (Mathemagician) is from Nigeria and a Spotlight in all spheres