We speak to the world's youngest professor as he receives the Da Vinci Laureate recognition in South Africa

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Sorbono Isaac Bari recieves Da Vinci Laureate Award in Johannesburg. Photo: Youtube Video/Screenshot
Sorbono Isaac Bari recieves Da Vinci Laureate Award in Johannesburg. Photo: Youtube Video/Screenshot

"We need to look at how our education is filling our students in general. Our education is fundamentally broken, because we do not teach our students the art of being creative, we do not teach our students to be imaginative," shared Sorbono Isaac Bari, the world's youngest Professor during his keynote address in Johannesburg recently. 

The 9-year-old received the Da Vinci Laureate: Social Architecture recognition at the Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management last week, alongside South African play-write John Kani.

This follows many more of young Bari's recognitions, which he has been racking up since the age of 5.

In an interview with Parent24, Professor Soborno Isaac Bari shared that it meant a lot for him to be invited by the Da Vinci Institute.

"It means a lot, especially since the Da Vinci Institute is one of the best and most prestigious universities in South Africa. I am personally so privileged not only to receive the greatest award from such an honourable institution but also to be able to speak to so many curious and wonderful people," says Bari.

He added, "It was also a great privilege to give a keynote address to great hardworking PhDs, some of which have pushed their endeavours longer than I've been alive."

Professor Bari shared that he manages his schedule no matter how busy it gets.

"My day starts with me studying, then taking a break by playing games like basketball or chess and playing the piano with my family, and then sitting down to think and realising that it’s been two hours since I last studied, and then I go back again," Bari told us.
"Sometimes, there are serious deadlines, because I sometimes have work that needs to be finished before a big event, which happened a few days ago with Manish and my trip to South Africa. Manish is my second book. And so I start pushing all the unnecessary stuff away to make way for the deadlined assignment, and I work hard because that's the only thing that can get you far," he added.

Because he is currently at school, he has to do his homework too and to keep up with everything, Bari says that he stopped preparing for interviews, as that can be unnecessary work.

"However, my old interviews and my new ones still have one thing in common: I have butterflies in my stomach right before them," he says.

Make your dreams come true 

When it comes to scheduling, Bari shares two vital tricks:

  • Have a good sleep schedule
  • Don't procrastinate when doing deadlined assignments. Get them done as fast as possible.

To the youngsters out there, Bari has a message for you. He says, "Remember to make your dreams come true. You must work hard for them. You must be imagining them. You must make time for them. If there's one thing that I can say, it's to trust the process."

"Even in the darkest times, when you feel demotivated and are turning away from your dreams if you put effort and imagination into what you do, maybe someone will notice your talent as they did to me. Remember what Nelson Mandela said: Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I have fallen down and gotten back up again," added Bari.

"Your strength and your talent is your ability to withstand hate, to keep going, to persevere. When things get tough, always remember two words: work hard," he told us.

Watch his keynote address below:

Bari Science Lab

Bari has also been commended by former president of the United States, Barrack Obama, in 2016 for solving PhD level Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Chemistry problems.

The little professor was then recognised as a scientist by Harvard University in 2018.

In 2020, Bari received Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State's recognition for his contribution to Maths and Physics , and he also received the Global Child Prodigy Award from Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. 

Bari has a Youtube channel known as the Bari Science Lab, where he shares multiple mathematics and science tutorials, and teaches college students.


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