Andrew Ejemai is the son of Nigerian couple, Sunny and Ronke Ejemai he’s set to study Mathematics at one of the world’s most prestigious institutions, Cambridge University in September – at just 16.Andrew Ejemai from Auriel Avenue, Dagenham, achieved A* in Maths as well as A in AS Physics, Grade 1 in STEP II and III, A* in Additional Further Maths, and As in the new Linear Chemistry and Economics to meet his offer to study Mathematics at Corpus Christi College.
The course is highly competitive, attracting more than 1,400 applications this year. Speaking to The Voice about the fact that he will be attending one of the world’s prestigious universities two years ahead of his contemporaries, he said:
“I’m mostly grateful to God Almighty for helping me to achieve this great feat. I believe that without hard work, perseverance, parental and school support this would not have been possible. I am indebted to all my teachers and headmaster of Brentwood School for believing in me, and giving me the opportunity to complete my three A level subjects in one year. Whilst I did not participate in any of the Cambridge programmes, I found the Cambridge online STEP Support Programme very useful in my independent preparation for STEP papers.” Brentwood School pupil told the Post”
Andrew said he owes his love of numbers to his mum Ronke. He isn’t daunted about starting university two years ahead of his peers, and is “mostly looking forward to the sports – athletics and football – and meeting other people.”
He is also a talented musician, a grade six in both piano and cello.
His proud dad Sunny, 52, said he was “elated, to put it mildly.”
Andrew’s headmaster, Ian Davies, called him “an exceptional student”.
“Andrew has been an exceptional student. In addition to his mathematical excellence, he has played a full part in the musical and sporting life of the school, as well as enjoying our Combined Cadet Force.
“These extra-curricular opportunities have provided a healthy balance and have enabled Andrew to develop into a well-rounded 16 year-old who will thrive at Cambridge.”
“After being interviewed, I studied past papers and worked extremely hard to gain the necessary exam results. When I was told that I would be going to Cambridge University, I was very happy.” he said.
The talented student, who has his sights set on a career in finance, added:
”My advice to other youngsters is to work hard, persevere and with talent, you can also receive a place at a good university.”
Ejemai recalls that his potential was uncovered at the approximate age of four, when a teacher asked him to write a simple formula for a sum and he pencilled down a complex equation, instead.
Describing his fascination with numbers, the high-flying pupil recalled:
“What I enjoy about maths is the problem-solving aspect of the subject. It always gives me satisfaction.”
Ejemai’s father Sonny hopes his son’s example will encourage other young black pupils to excel academically and apply to attend Britain’s top universities. He however insisted that black youths will only excel if they receive adequate support, primarily from their parents.
“The best mentor for children should be parents. Me and my wife believe that every child has the potential to be a genius, but parents need to nurture their talent. Andrew’s mother, Ronke, would give him various challenges centred around school subjects and outside activities, and this started at the age of three,” he told The Voice
“I saw that encouraging youths can be tough, but parents need to be focused and dedicated to the cause. It’s a marathon. But if they start early and have the G factor – the God-factor – it’s possible to provide a good foundation. It’s all about dreaming big and giving children the opportunity to try things.”
“My key advice is having plenty of parental involvement.”