Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Nkem’s techie…

She wanted to be a writer, but 25-year-old Nkemdilim Cay Uwaje ended up in software technology, and she shares the story.

What excites you about software technology?

The fact that it can help automated tedious and time-consuming tasks, as well as deal with huge chunks of data within seconds. I love efficiency and IT; especially software technology is the way forward to being efficient in every way, shape or form.

Is this what you’ve always wanted to do?
No, I always wanted to be a writer, but I never got round to it. IT has surrounded me all my life, as my dad is an IT guru and he had us playing with his PCs from the age of three. Later on he taught us programming, which sparked my interest in IT.

What schools did you go to?
I went to the German School, Tin Can Island Lagos (Primary & Secondary - Sept. 1993-May 20002) and then the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich & Technical University of Munich (Sept. 2002 — Feb. 2006).

What exactly does Futuresoft do?
Future Software Resources Nigeria Ltd. is a new turn-key web-solution provider in Nigeria that was founded in partnership with its American-based sister company, DigiRev LLC and its UK-based sister company Paperless Staffroom Ltd. Future Software Resources Nigeria Ltd.

And your role in the organisation...
I am one of the Directors. I focus mainly on business development.

How did you start/get involved with all these?
I guess it all started with the spark of interest in IT, which lead me to study bioinformatics and work in research. I found out how IT can reduce time needed to fulfil certain tasks and decided to come home and help Nigeria become more efficient. It took a while to find my feet, but now that I have I hope to be actively involved in taking this nation forward, thus bridging the digital divide.

How would you assess the level of development in the IT sector in Nigeria?
In the past 10 years, the IT sector has been growing from strength to strength. People like my dad and his colleagues have paved the way, writing Nigeria’s IT policy, trying to implement standards and ensuring that the government is aware of our IT needs. I believe that this growth will continue and make Nigeria a strong global economy. It can help the public and the private sector become more efficient, thus increasing economic wealth. My personal assessment is that Nigeria still has a long way to go, but we are on the right track.

How would you rate the contributions of young people, especially in ICT skills and innovations?
I think that these days, young people are becoming more and more aware of new technology. They explore new and innovative solutions and try to sell them to the older and more experienced IT folk. The problem is that Nigeria is a somewhat ageist society, where opinions and ideas of young people are often disregarded, but even that is slowly changing – especially in the IT sector. Going to conferences I have realized that the older generation in this sector is ready and willing to listen and is waiting for youths to come forward with their ideas.

Let’s talk about Nigeria; what do you love most about the country?
I would have to say the food and the people; Nigerians are happy and warm people, they always have a joke and a smile ready for you and the food is simply the best.

The new campaign on re-branding Nigeria; do you believe in it?
I personally think that we have bigger fish to fry. To me it seems like we believe that adding a coat of paint to a house that needs refurbishing both on the inside and outside is a good solution. In my opinion the inside needs fixing, before the outside. Why reflect an image if it’s not truly ours. Lets fix our electricity problems, our infrastructure problems, our educational problems and our health-sector problems, before we re-brand our outward image.

What’s your take on Nigeria’s future?
I pray that its future is a bright one, but this can only be achieved with hard work and dedication — we need to assess the problems and solve them permanently instead of coming up with half-baked “patch-patch” solutions, which I think is finally happening. I think that there are some very good leaders who are dedicated to making a change, which will impact everyone, thus raising standards and expectations.


How do you relax?
I relax reading a book, spending a day on the beach or hanging out with my friends.
Yoga, Gym, Reading, Travelling
Favourite food
Ogbono soup and pounded yam
Favourite colour
State of origin
Delta State
Itzehoe, Germany
Grew up in
Anthony Village, Lagos.
Biggest lesson life has taught you...
First, that life is too short to mope around, live every day to the fullest, because you never know when it’s all over. Second, that a dream is worth holding on to, no matter what everyone else says. Someone has to believe in it for it to come to life; that’s how all great inventions came into existence.

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