German Physics and Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos

The then recognised head of German Science, the German Physicist Max Planck, once jested that those born in 1879 were especially pre-destined for Physics. In 1879, the well known German scientists Albert Einstein, Max Von Laue and Otto Hahn were born. They all went on to win the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Lisa Meitner, Planck said, “was born a small inquisitive girl in November 1878. She could not wait for her time to come.”

Lisa Meitner was an Austrian, later Swedish, Physicist who worked on radioactivity and Nuclear Physics. Meitner was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission 78 years ago.

According to the Wikipedia, “Meitner is often mentioned as one of the most glaring examples of women’s scientific achievement overlooked by the Nobel committee.”

Also in 1879, Methodist Girls High School (MGHS), Yaba, Lagos, was founded. MGHS was to produce  Chief Mrs H.I.D. Awolowo, born November 25, 1915, the very day Albert Einstein presented his equations on the General Theory of Relativity, to be described as the crown Jewel of Physics and Mrs Awolowo referred to by her spouse, Obafemi Awolowo, as a Jewel of inestimable value. MGHS also produced Ibiyinka Fuwape, who emerged valedictorian at the University of Ibadan, founded on November 17, 1948 – exactly 70 years after the birth of Lisa Meitner, whose birth date is sometimes mistaken for November 7, 1878.

Ibiyinka Fuwape (Nee Adedokun) was to be described by the University of Ibadan Physicist, Professor Ebun Oni (also a product of MGHS) as Africa’s first authentic Woman Theoretical Physicist.

Ibiyinka Fuwape was to be promoted to the rank of Professor in 2005, referred to as the Einstein Year, or the World Year of Physics to mark the publication of Einstein’s three “miraculous” papers of 1905. Einstein was a Theoretical Physicist.

Interestingly, Methodist Boys High School, Lagos, was founded on March 14, 1878 – exactly one year before the birth of Albert Einstein.

The world waits for the Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos,

Written by
Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth
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