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Basil Okpara Jr, 9-Year-old Nigerian Programmer Who Built 30 Mobile Games

Meet Basil Okpara Jr., The 9-year-old who spends most of his free time tapping away on his laptop keyboard. Well, productively!

The youngster is building a hide and seek game, using a free programming application called Scratch 2.

Scratch 2 allows users to create games, animations, and stories online or offline. So far, Basil has used it to generate more than 30 mobile games.

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In his latest development, he is developing a Bat that hides. The player gets a point every time he catches the bat when it emerges from its hiding place.

I learned how to build games at a boot camp. Now, I build to keep me busy when I am bored

Basil

Having the support from his family, he was signed up for a boot camp in March. The camp, organized by Codefest International, was put in place to give children like Basil access to emerging technologies like robotics and virtual reality.

As a child, Basil played a lot of Video games, and instead of setting him off, his father challenged him to channel his energy into greatness.

I bought him a tablet when he was 4 years old because I saw that he was always grabbing phones to play games with. He played Candy Crush and Temple Run a lot

Okapala Sr.
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But Basil’s interest in creating his games grew at age 7 after he got scolded for spending all of his time playing.

There was this day he was on the tablet, as usual, he was so carried away with the game he was playing that I got upset with him. Out of annoyance, I said to him, ‘you are always playing games, can’t you think about building your own games so others can play yours too?’. I was angry when I said it, and I did not know he took it seriously.

Okpala Sr.

Since then, Basil actively showed interest in learning how to make his own games. This prompted his parents to buy him a laptop and register him to learn the first steps of building games.

Basil, who wants to be a scientist in the future, titles his games based on what they are about.

Africa has the largest youth population in the world. Like Basil, this population is taking the lead when it comes to innovation on the continent.

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