Get A Mentor If You Have not Got One
12 February 2018
My name is Sa'ad Umar Sa'ad, 23 years old, currently in my third year studying for Pharmacy at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria
My science heroes are my father, an Engineer, and two other mentors I met when I was in Secondary School; Dr Mahmud Bukar Maina (University of Sussex, UK/Gombe State University, Nigeria) and Mustafa Shehu (Gombe State University, Nigeria).
My love for sciences started when I was in primary three. I loved science subjects especially Mathematics, but I also loved Fine Arts. My friends used to say since I was good in Fine Arts, I should consider becoming an Architect. However, my love for mathematics was also very high. Indeed, it enabled me to get selected for mathematics competition when I was in primary five, and Science and Technology Competition at both State and National levels when I reached primary six. That swayed my love for science over Arts. Moreover, my father used to occasionally take me and my younger brother to his workplace, where we used to see many machines used for the generation of electricity, such as a transformer. That made me start thinking about becoming an Engineer.
In Secondary school, I started loving medical sciences due to lectures in Biology. However, I was still unsure what to pursue as a career because I was not clear about the career options. However, that changed in 2013, when the Outreach Team of TReND in Africa visited our school and inspired us about medical sciences and informed us about different science career options. The scientists talked to us about the brain; it was the first time I heard about Alzheimer's disease. We were over a hundred students in the hall, and the majority of us were extremely inspired that we wanted to become Neuroscientists.
It was that outreach that connected me to these mentors, who continued to guide and encourage me about my interest in science that I eventually decided to go for a degree in Pharmacy. This experience made me realise the importance of mentorship. To students like me, I would like to say - get a mentor if you have not got one.
I want to one day become a scientist, especially a Pharmacologist, with a particular interest in using local herbs to treat brain diseases.