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18-Year-Old Uchenna Ohiaeri Reflects on How SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition Helped Develop Her Confidence to Excel

SystemSpecs CDEC Alumni Speaks:  

18-Year-Old Uchenna Reflects on How SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition Helped Develop Her Confidence to Excel  “SystemSpecs gave me a platform to express my talent better, as it was the first essay  writing competition, I participated in, and I won”.  

Uchenna is an exceptional young girl who, at the tender age of 15, won the first position in the highly competitive SystemSpecs Children’s Day essay competition in 2021. Today, at 18 years old, she continues to excel and impress with her writing skills. Her journey with SystemSpecs began with our competition, and she has since gone on to participate in several other exciting competitions and activities. 

In this post, Uche shares how her experience with the SystemSpecs Children’s Day essay competition three years ago has impacted her life. She talks about the rigorous process involved in writing and submitting her essay, as well as the thrill of winning the competition. She also discusses how her journey with SystemSpecs has helped her grow as a writer with a strong interest in a tech career. 

Uche’s story is a shining example of how SystemSpecs is positively impacting the lives of young people through the annual Children’s Day Essay Competition.  

  1. Introduce yourself

My name is Uchenna Rita Ohiaeri. I am 18 years old and a graduate of Queensland Academy, Okota, Lagos. I participated in the SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition in 2021.  

  1. What was your overall SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition experience? What did it teach you?  

I thought it was going to be very challenging after looking at the number of words, and realizing that I had to perform a lot of research to produce an excellent work,  but I was determined to write and submit the essay, so I dedicated two days to it, and to my surprise, I was able to finish it. It taught me that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to achieve.    

  1. What changes did you observe about yourself after the competition and how have the lessons from the experience shaped you?  

It was the first writing competition I had ever participated in, and I won. It made me more  self-confident, and I participated in more writing competitions after that, bringing more  wins to my name.   x

  1. Why did you choose to participate? 

My secondary school put up posters about the competition, and apart from the very  attractive prizes that were available to be won, I have always loved writing, so I thought  to myself; “Why not just give this a shot?”   

  1. As a technology company, what are your thoughts on how SystemSpecs is inspiring tech stars through essay writing? 

The essay topic for the year I participated in was: BUILDING A MORE SECURE  NIGERIA THROUGH TECHNOLOGY. They gave young tech stars like me the ability to  think outside the box, to proffer solutions to problems using technology. It helps us realize that the solutions to Nigeria’s problems can come from us if only we can think  divergently.  

Also, after taking a look at this year’s essay topic, I was overjoyed because young tech stars and writers can research on how the the Internet can become a safe space for themselves and other children. I was also glad  because I believe that some of these children will implement these solutions in their use of online technology, and not fall victim to the hands of cyber bullies, scammers, and other dangers.   

  1. What were the most positive aspects of your time with us? i.e. fond memories you would like to share?  

SystemSpecs made sure they kept to their word. For a whole year, I received data from them every month, and I didn’t even have to remind them. I remember Aunty Lucy would  always call to confirm if I had received my monthly data. I made sure the data didn’t go to waste. I dedicated a good percentage of it to my projects and assignments. They invited me to attend the prize-giving event the year after I won, and I was glad to witness the great minds that Systemspecs celebrate each year.   

  1. Who is your tech role model and why? 

My cousin, Nneoma Onuoha. I am currently an aspiring software engineer, and I admire a lot of successful men and women in tech, from Neal Mohan to John Obaro to Mark Zuckerberg, but being able to be around my cousin Nneoma and watch her do some  work opened my eyes to the sacrifices and diligence that people in tech showcase  behind the scenes before producing an amazing software, and having people think it took them nothing. I also hold high regard for my cousin Nneoma because she didn’t study any IT-related courses at the university, yet she was still able to learn and perfect her IT skills. I’ve also been able to learn some aspects of coding from her and I have discussed interning with her when I am free.  

  1. What are your career aspirations? 

I desire to study software engineering at the university and use my skills to proffer solutions to environmental issues such as the greenhouse gas effect, plastic pollution, and many others.   

  1. To what extent did the essay competition prepare you for your studies and or the career path you are currently pursuing?  

As a writer, I have always been very fond of technology, but after participating in the Children’s Day essay competition in 2021, I realized that technology is the future of the world. The essay competition made me aware of the fact that most of our problems can be solved using technology, which is why I desire to study software engineering.   

  1. What has your experience in the essay competition taught you, as it pertains to national development in Nigeria?  

It made me realize that our country is behind in the tech industry, and the solutions to a  lot of issues facing us are already available to us, but issues like ignorance prevent the government and the citizens from implementing these technological solutions.   

  1. In what ways do you believe technology can be used as a transformative tool?  

The insecurity facing Nigeria presently can be tackled using technology. The energy supply in Nigeria can be improved through technology. Technology can also be used in curtailing plastic pollution. In the health sector, technology can help make diagnosis and operations easier.    

  1. What advice do you have for other students as they look for future careers, especially in technology? 


They are on the right track! Technology is everything, and everything is technology. All it takes is a little creativity here and there to create solutions to the issues facing the world, and remember, the successful people in tech are problem solvers.   

  1. Anything else you would like to tell us about yourself that you feel is fun/important?  

SystemSpecs gave me a platform to express my talent better, as it was the first essay  writing competition, I participated in, and I won.  In 2022, I was awarded a bronze medal by the Commonwealth of Nations after participating in the Queens Commonwealth Essay Competition. Also, in 2022, I participated in a Maritime Writes program organized by the Maritime Writes Agency of Nigeria and I was taught how to write better stories, and the effects of climate change, plastic pollution, and the rising sea level on the earth and its inhabitants. After the program, we were tasked with writing books within a given period, and my book was one of the books the Agency selected to publish.   

In 2023, after writing a STEM essay, I was selected alongside 39 other Africans to participate in an all-expense paid Engineering Leadership Program organized by Chevron and African Leadership Academy (ALA) which took place in South Africa. After the program, another competition was organized, and my team won the star prize.    

In the same year, I was called back by the Maritime Writes Agency to give a keynote to the 2023 participants on the topic “My Maritime/Creative Writing Journey.” During summer break in 2023, I went back to my alma mater, May Day School, Isolo, to give back to the school. I volunteered to teach the pupils in year 4,5 and 6 creative writing and ICT, and I had an amazing time with the pupils. Also, I organized a creative writing competition for the pupils after the summer program, and I rewarded all the pupils for their progress in creative writing and gave the top 3 best essays extra rewards. I also desire to sometime visit my secondary school to give back to the school and impact the knowledge I’ve been able to further acquire on creative writing and tech to the students.  

During my graduation in July 2023, I was awarded the “Ambassador of the School” plaque by my secondary school. I was able to meet lots of Africans from different African countries and explore Johannesburg, South Africa all because I was able to express my thoughts on paper. Also, I still use the laptop that I won from Systemspecs up until now. I have been able to use it to produce more and more pieces of writing and enhance my coding skills.  


Watch Uchenna’s testimonial video in 2021 via this link