Tomisin Ogunubi clears 49,000 to win $1 bn

By Favour Nnabugwu



Meet Tomisin Ogunnubi, the 16-year-old Nigerian who beat 49,000 competitors to win $1 billion with her app.

Sixteen-year-old Nigerian tech kid, Tomisin Ogunnubi, shocked the world when she beat 49,000 contestants from 170 countries to emerge as one of the winners of the $1 billion Rise Initiative competition. She presented an app that could help track the precise location of lost children. “My Locator,” the app she developed, leverages the power of Google maps to track the minute-by-minute location of users.

As one of the 100 winners of the $1 billion cash prize, Tomisin received a scholarship to study abroad, mentorship, and career-shaping opportunities, as well as funding. It wasn’t surprising that her app emerged as one of the top picks of the competition, it attracted over one thousand downloads within a short period of time when it became public.

The app functions when users enter the contact details of their family and friends in the emergency checkbox. There is an inbuilt alert and saved location buttons that signal security agencies and families of users when there is a crisis. The user needs to tap on the button when they are lost. Within a minute, their location will be sent to the security agencies and emergency contacts for immediate action.

Tomisin is proudly one of the youngest Nigerian programmers, and despite her age, she has cemented her authority within the tech space. A year after rising to prominence, she was awarded a scholarship to study at Oxford University. She later furthered her education at the Imperial College, London, and was part of her school’s team which won the robotics competition organized by the US Embassy in Nigeria, according to authorpedia.

Tomisin started exhibiting her love for coding at the age of 12, and always aspired to use her skill to impact society positively. But she knew she could not achieve her dream without deepening her knowledge in diverse areas, and therefore made extra efforts to study web and mobile development, and apps that broadened her scope in several languages as well as frameworks such as JavaScript, Java, and Python. As curious as she is, she has also extensively researched machine learning, animation, and design. She currently works as a software engineer at Cascade, United Kingdom.

Tomisin is not only passionate about tech but makes time to explore other talents, including her intense interest in sports and music. She once ran a track for her school and won medals as a member of the school relay team. She also sang in her school choir and loves to play the piano. In 2018, she co-authored a book with her mother, Yewanda, titled “A Walk In Her Shoes”.
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