Things you should know about Ekene Ezeunala, the topmost UTME 2019 candidate


Ekene Franklin Ezeunala is the highest scoring candidate in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

With a total mark of 347 out of 400, Ekene scored higher than the One million, eight hundred and eighty-six thousand, five hundred and seven (1,886,507) other candidates with whom he registered for the examination.

The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Is-haq Oloyede had announced his emergence as best among equals last Saturday, 11th May. presents you some details you should know about him.

Things you should know about Ekene Ezeunala, the topmost UTME 2019 candidate

Product of Nigerian public school system

Ekene Franklin Ezeunala is a product of the Nigerian public school system. He is an SS3 student at Meiran Community Secondary School, Meiran, on the outskirts of Lagos. This gives some hope in the system, which many had derided several times.

Participated in several competitions

As a student, he had represented his school in numerous inter-school competitions either organised by the Lagos State government or other bodies. Over the years, he had always maintained top prizes.

He partly attributed his feat in the 2019 UTME to this.

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“The competitions impacted positively on my preparation. Some of the subjects I did I had done them in preparing for the competitions and met the same thing in the exams,” he said.

Targeted 370 but scored 347

Though, he aimed to score 370 he scored 347. He clearly aimed high.

“The score I was targeting was 370. I still feel happy that I still achieved a good result.”

May lose admission due to age

Ekene is fifteen years old and may lose admission to study in the University. He had chosen Mechanical Engineering at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), while registering for the exam.

Part of the requirements for entry into tertiary education in Nigeria is an age limit of sixteen at minimum. A guideline set by JAMB states that a candidate must either be sixteen or should have attained the age by 1st October of the year of UTME registration.

Son of a teacher

Ekene’s mother, Mrs Chinelo Ezeunala is a chemistry teacher at Hightree College, a private school at Berger, Lagos. The mother must have played an important role in prodding him to success. His father was a technician in the defunct NITEL and had been practicing the trade with the little retirement benefits he recently got under the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

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Started schooling early

As early as age two, Ekene had started schooling. That may have accounted.

The Chemistry graduate said her son had always shown brilliance in his education and as a result skipped some classes in primary school.

“He started school early at two years plus because I was serving when I had him. He attended Philthel Primary School, Akoka. 

“In primary school he was very bright so he was promoted twice that was why he is 14 years in SS3,” she said.

Offered scholarship in private university

After the announcement came from JAMB that candidate Ekene may not gain admission into the university due to age limit, a private university has offered him a scholarship.

The management of Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State said it was also offering full scholarship to another top scorer in the UTME, Emmanuel Chidiebube who scored the second highest mark, 346.

Ekene is among the candidates writing the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), which ends on 8th June. We can all wish him success with that too as he makes history.

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