Britain’s Brightest Child | Sunday Observer

Britain’s Brightest Child

Nishi Uggalle
Nishi Uggalle
Nishi Uggalle

Nishi Uggalle was crowned ‘Britain’s Brightest Child’ on March 2, 2019. This twelve-year-old of Sri Lankan origin from Audenshaw, Greater Manchester fast tracked to win Channel Four’s Child Genius 2019 competition.

She is also the first Sri Lankan to reach the final 20. Nishi’s IQ stands at 162 and is above those of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, both of whom are her idols. However, this child genius is not happy about being compared intellectually with her idols.

Channel Four’s annual Child Genius Competition is meant to find the brightest child in Britain each year and is open to children between 8-12 years.

The competition challenges them on maths, memory, science, geography, spelling and vocabulary.

On the final day, the two getting the highest marks after the first round went head-to-head on a buzzer round with the first to get 10 points being crowned ‘Child Genius’ 2019. Nishi reached the required 10 points while the other contestant was on five points.

Nishi attends Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and has now achieved celebrity status at her alma mater.

Her spare time pastimes are reading philosophy and doing complicated maths problems. At ten years of age she had read Hawking’s 'A Brief History of Time.' She also prefers to do activities and study in her own time as this gives her the opportunity to choose what she is doing and do them at her own pace.

However, she does get involved in some group activities such as the Coding Club and STEM Club in school which are lunch time clubs.

In 2016, Nishi achieved the highest score of 162 marks at the Mensa test and was the youngest child to do so.

Nishi wants to follow in the footsteps of her idol Hawking and become a theoretical physicist and discover what is inside ‘black holes’.

She feels that her Sri Lankan roots have bequeathed her a multi-cultural and international outlook. She also says it has made her bilingual. Proud and happy parents, father Neelanga and mother Shiromi are both from Padukka, Sri Lanka.

Nishi’s acceptance speech showed that she was focused on gender equality even at this young age. She said that she wanted to debunk the myths of girls being unable to do maths or physics. Her message to females who are discriminated gender-wise is to believe in themselves and work towards their rights which they deserve. Nishi feels education is the best means to achieve this.

Naturally, Nishi is very proud and happy about her win and it is even more special to her as she is the first Sri Lankan to enter the top 20 in the Child Genius Competition and win it.

Congratulations and Good Luck Nishi!

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