Jelani Aliyu (Nigerian who designed GM’s First Electric Car) Honoured With A National Award

10 Sep

By Nwachukwu Egbunike

Mr Jelani Aliyu, the Nigerian Designer who  produced “GM’s most electrifying advanced technology vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt concept, a battery-powered, extended-range electric passenger vehicle” will be finally honoured by his country. According to a news report (see number 136): Mr Aliyu will be conferred with the national award of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) by President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria.

Who is Jelani Aliyu?

The post below (first published in February 16, 2010) answers the above question.

Jelani Aliyu: Breaking All Molds

Jelani Aliyu

Jelani Aliyu

“Our nation may suffer the frustrating challenges of a prolonged childhood but the nobility of our people’s dreams outpace the putrid vision of their leaders.” – Nuhu Ribadu

Watching Jelani Aliyu’s documentary on YouTube was edifying, for the simple reason that it breaks every mould. Jelani is not the typical soft-selling star that are foisted on our sight by the sleazy press. He is a northerner (from Sokoto State), a Muslim, he grew up in Nigeria, left the university to complete his studies in a polytechnic and above all his just secured the future for General Motors by creating Chevy Volt. He certainly does not fit any labeling.

What I find rather strange is the chilling silence on Aliyu’s story in Nigeria media. Trawling through the links, Mr Aliyu’s discovery was reported in 2007 in NVS and The Daily Triumph. I cannot but agree with Michael Oluwagbemi’s The Nigerian Who Designed an American Car that the nauseating attitude of not exalting industry but rather prostrating to mediocrity is a national malaise. Mr Oluwagbemi was incensed by the inability of our press in celebrating Jelani Aliyu’s success and I concur with him. Obviously Aliyu breaks the stereotype of ‘the goro-chewing Northerner’ – a picture which we have been feed to believe in. Asides I wonder who will dare add Aliyu into US terrorist list? If we also accept the pigeonhole that all Muslims are necessarily on jihad, then one will certainly have a hard time with the auto designer. That’s how Jelani Aliyu broke the first mold.

I have always maintained that we don’t all have to attend a university. In civilised economies, very few make it to a university while the majority attend a polytechnic or a skilled school. This fact in itself is not a measure of each person’s ‘success’; because highly-skilled workers earn more than the so-called intellectuals. Jelani Aliyu has broken mold number two, by abandoning a degree in Architecture from Amadu Bello University, Zaria and rather electing to study for a lower diploma in architecture from the Birinin Kebbi Polytechnic.  His passion was so grand that he could not find satisfy it within a theory-driven university environment.

Mr Jelani Aliyu triumph also illustrates the Nigerian spirit to excel despite all odds. The fact that we may be saddled by a putrid and clueless leadership should never preclude the people’s potentials. The American auto revolution was propelled by a Nigerian car designer. I can only congratulate Mr Aliyu for breaking all moulds and for producing “GM`s most electrifying advanced technology vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt concept, a battery-powered, extended-range electric passenger vehicle”. Mold number three, most Nigerians are not yahoo, yahoo.

24 Responses to “Jelani Aliyu (Nigerian who designed GM’s First Electric Car) Honoured With A National Award”

  1. Abu Shekara September 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Jelani’s rare accomplishment should break so many molds at Nigerian and global scales. But then, not even such feats can eliminate streotypes. Molds are products of incurable bigotry and lack of education and exposure. Although it atimes seems like even those with the best schooling do indulge in putting down others on primodial bases,such bigots are infact only literate,but not educated. One is a skill, the other is attitude.
    Stereotypes or not,nothing can take away achievements of this kind made by Jelani. He has made his state,country and indeed,humanity proud.

  2. Oladipo Ademola Ibrahim September 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Snr Jelani Aliyu, Your achievements may seem extra ordinary to many people but those that knew you from your elementary school days have continued to say, that the world and indeed humanity have not really seen much of you yet and that this is just the beginning of many more creative works from you. For those of us from your alma mata we say a big congratulations to you on your discovery and conferment of MFR on you by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This sky is just the beginning for you. Nigeria and indeed the whole world is really proud of you.

    • aliyu s ahmed June 27, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      you have personally made be proud for the fact that we attended the same school. though in different department i was in mechanical class while you were in architect
      i known sky is your limit cos even at then right back to the school days you were seen as a genius and talented with potentials that you are exhibiting now
      However i wish you all best in life and in your career

  3. zakari nadabo September 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    a pride indeed mr aliyu,,i only pray that the larger population of youths will be harnessed to improve their and general wellbeing,,this should be particularly so in my dear enclave northern nigeria where heroism is measured by d kind and number of vehicles in ones fleet,d size of house or d naira amount one spent in a super store,this is not to mention d expensive shadda one wears,,may GOD help us to overcome the tiptaps,,jelaneeeeeee,bravo and May GOD use u to change d fortunes of many of ur brodas,ameen

  4. Asubiaro busayo September 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    This goes to the press such achivement would not be seen on our tvs and in the dalies. Nigerians are making waves outside this country and if not for the national awards nothing will be heard. jelani u are GREAT.

  5. feathersproject September 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    I got this email and I think it’s worth sharing.

    “I listened to your interview with Edmond Obilo on Splash FM and also happy about the write up you did on ALIYU.You probably gave him the National Honours. Thanks Brother – Victor Ejike”

    Thanks Victor for the nice words, but I did not give Aliyu the MFR National Award, President Jonathan Goodluck did. Did I contribute? Only history will judge. Cheers, NE

  6. Yusuf Sidi Yahya January 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Pls. Who sponsored Aliyu’s education at abroad?. I also wish him and other Nigerians successes in all thay do in life

  7. Otache kentbiller March 14, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    he’s surely a symbol of hope to many Nigerians here.I am a car designer here in Nigeria too hoping that someday I’ll get to meet him because he’s my mentor.As a car designer here,I got limitations.

  8. olami March 29, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    advise me… were can i lean automobile Engineering in lagos.

  9. Samson Bitrus September 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    evnin @ Otache kentbiller, kindly contact Me on 08037479719.
    waitin to hear 4rm U soon pls. tnx
    Samson Bitrus

  10. OLuyomi March 20, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Mr Jelani Aliyu U are an hero & made us proud but our country has lost his dignity to foreing nations , i think Nigeria need a switch !

  11. Sanusi usman March 22, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I wish 1 day i wll be came like jelani aliyu and wish me 2 successfull lving in his life time

  12. Abdulrahmanmuhammad May 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    My god reward him for his effort.

  13. Abdulrahmanmuhammad May 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    That is good jelani

  14. Basheer badamasi May 23, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    I regards u jelani for all the efforts and u will be great forever!!!!……..

  15. MUHAMMAD AUWAL November 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    We are highly pround of u carry on Mr jelani,Oneday our nation will need ur contribution for technological advancement.

  16. Abubakar saidu Ubandoma November 8, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Hard work and dedication lead to success, you are a symbol and hope of the African youth,how I wish more of yourvtype in a diffrent field

  17. Gaddafi Abdullahi Goronyo November 23, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    Mr Jelani Aliyu Sokoto you are Great.

  18. habeebullah. January 25, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    good how can I know his website please

    • abusadiq May 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

      I pray the best of lock for u jelani aliyu

  19. Femi Rufus June 15, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    very gud bro…see u at the top..Am so happy for u..Congratulations

  20. mohammed yunusa October 13, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    jelani ALIYU, you have make us proud I wish you all the best.I,m also a car designer and I have here with me five hands skitch of modern beautiful car that look like firrari.but more advance than firrari?I will be glade if I can have jelani website so tha we can talk more.and this is my email.mohammedewan72@gmail
    .com I will be happy to here from you thanks

  21. LAWRENCE CHUKWUDI NZENAGU October 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

    my name is lawrence chukwudi nzenagu, ill like Mr. Jelani Aliyu to contact me,
    i am an artist, an inventor. a sculptor ,

  22. SANI UKISSA October 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    Iam proud of you keep up. My brother and I wish you best of luck

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


A Beautiful Mind

The Failed Rift

Gist from a triple-junction.

Susan Daniels Poetry

Poetry from rural Western New York

Diary of a Media Junkie addicted to studying the media and i'm proud of it


Giving voice to my visions and views



Nzesylva's Corner

A repository of my thoughts


Uncommon Thoughts. Silent Screams. is the best place for your personal blog or business site.


... a personal blog of Nwachukwu Egbunike. A Nigerian writer and book publisher


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,975 other followers

%d bloggers like this: