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From grass to grace: how Jelani Aliyu rose from Sokoto slum to become a senior car designer at GMC

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From grass to grace: how Jelani Aliyu rose from Sokoto slum to become a senior car designer at GMC

From grass to grace: how Jelani Aliyu rose from Sokoto slum to become a senior car designer at GMC
January 28
12:01 2016

JelaniAliyu was born and raised in Nigeria. He originates from Sokoto State and beams with pride at the thought of his homeland, He says,

“I was born and grew up in Nigeria, Land of the Niger crocodile, The Baobab tree, and the midday sun; Nigeria, where smiles are free Like the bright blue sky and the beautiful stars of the night.”

He considers his childhood fascinating the wide open spaces, the bright blue sky and the very closely knit family that he grew up in all nurtured the imagination of this world class Automobile and Industrial Designer.

As far back as JelaniAliyu can remember he always wanted to be a car designer. He first studied Architecture, the closest thing to car designing in Nigeria at the BirninKebbi Polytechnic. He later enrolled at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan where he studied Transportation Design. Upon graduation from the College for Creative Studies, Mr. Aliyu obtained a position with General Motors, where he worked at the GM Tech Center for about three years and then an international assignment took him to Germany for nearly two years to work at Opel. After his tenure at Opel, Jelani returned to the GM Tech Center, where he came up with the design for the Chevrolet Volt Electric Car, a vehicle that is crucial not just to GM but to the whole industry and world in general.

JelaniAliyu says, “We must never underestimate the amazing power of human imagination, the ability to envision a dramatically positive and dynamic future. Every great city, every monument, every historic feat, as it stands for all the world to see, was once pure thought, pure imagination acted upon and brought into reality. To imagine is to dream, to dream is to tune in to the ever fascinating possibilities of the future. And when we do dream, it must be big, because to dream small is to totally underestimate the amazing capabilities that lie within each and every one of us.”

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Mojeeb

Mojeeb

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