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 How a Nigerian, Elvis Chidera, Began His Programming Journey With A Nokia Feature Phone

Passion is the key to unlimited success. For Elvis Chidera, success is giving access to education for all.

Elvis Chidera

Elvis Chidera is a young android developer at Dot Learn Inc with only a dream and a Nokia feature (J2ME) phone.

Currently living in the city of Lagos, the young man had the dream to improve his world by using technology. As noted by CNN, the village boy from rural southeastern Nigeria, took his journey to the epicenter of West Africa’s tech boom.

Recounting his childhood and his love for technology, Elvis Chidera says:

“I began programming at 11 years old. As a kid I spent hours on websites and downloading and playing the latest games. After a while I became curious about how websites, which seemed to almost by magic, were built—and how I could build one myself.”

Perseverance

With the help of Google, Chidera learnt how to develop production app. When he was 12 years old, he was also gifted with a feature phone (Nokia 2690 model) by a relative which he used to develop several production apps. He would save for weeks to buy a 10MB internet bundle for 100Naira, ($0.28), which could last a month.

Using this phone, he developed websites and built an app and learnt the language of programming, HTML, CSS, and Javascript.  Inspired by Mark Zuckerberg, he built an application called J2ME SDK Mobile on his Nokia phone.

The urge to know more existed but there was no money to buy a laptop, and so he persisted. At the age of 14 years old, he launched an app, Xmx Me, which made text messages cheaper and easier to send. Through determination and tenacity, he eventually saved enough to buy an affordable laptop. At 16 years old he launched PrepUp, to help his fellow students pass their exams with a burning passion to make education more accessible in Africa.

Chidera is currently the 19 year old developer at an MIT-backed startup called Dot Learn Inc.

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Adepeju Adenuga

Adepeju Adenuga is a writer (considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense). She holds a Masters Degree in Literature in English from the University of Lagos.

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