Team Hexa and Team Shield: The Winning Exypnos Ladies

Whooping N300,000 for each team!

Earlier in the week, team Shield and team Hexa brightened up our smiles and had us cheering for them as they bagged a spectacular win at the 2024 Mega Designathon, held at the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in Yaba, Lagos.

The Exypnos ladies, Team Shield and Team Hexa, were at the competition pitching innovative solutions to promote HPV vaccination among girls and birth-dose hepatitis B vaccination for newborns in Nigeria.

It would an understatement to say that we are happy for them. We are immensely proud to associate with such greatness and today, we will be learning more about these winners.

Let’s get to meet team Shield first…

Hello winners, it’s feels so good to identify with champions. We will like to know you better. Can we meet the Team? 

Bright: We are Team Shield, a group of 5 Medical Students in their fifth year of study and Our names are Akanni Shukrah,  Elufioye Victoria, Eshemokhai Okhesomi, Ibironke Bright and Akinmoladun Precious.

I feel like I need to get the backstory on how you came up with that name. I really hope it’s not Avengers thing related. Before that, can you tell us how you all got to know about this contest?

Somi: We got to know about it one Saturday night when we were gisting as a group in one of our rooms. Aisha, a member of the other team, came across the post and asked if anyone was interested. We all were, and we decided to divide ourselves into two teams based on our interests. for instance, I opted for the HPV pitch because I was more interested in HPV & Cervical cancer. So that was how we got to know about the contest and fixed ourselves into groups. It’s beautiful to see that both teams got shortlisted for the designathon, we both got awarded and now we’re both proceeding to the next phase- the Bootcamp.

Interesting, were you all friends before or how was this team formed?

 Shukrah- We are classmates, we decided to come together since we are like-minded and Team Shield was born.

 Hmmm… liked minded people. All of you are just brilliant anyhow. Tell us Pamilerin, how was the experience at the Designathon?

Pamilerin: It was an amazing experience. We were mind-blown. You know when you’re trying not to expect too much so you don’t get disappointed, but you end up getting mind-blown. Yeah, that’s it!

I can imagine how the organizers blew your mind. Must have been real fun there. Next question, who among you came up with the idea that you pitched? And in what ways did you all add your touches to this project?

Pamilerin: Who came up with the idea? I can’t really tell at this point. All I know is, we were all in sync and everyone’s idea was really important and vital. We wrote everything down and just all worked really HARD to see it come to life. So, it was our idea. We’re that TEAM for real!

You guys are the real deal, honestly. I can still feel the thrill and excitement. Alright, how will you describe the preparation process and what do you think was the most difficult part of this phase for your team? 

Somi: The preparation phase? Omo, it was intense😅. A whole lot of brainwork went into it, especially during the designathon event. Several mentors taught us about Pitching. We also had panel sessions in our respective groups; HPV, HBV, Music4Health & HIV, where experts shed more light on the context of our specific topics. Lastly, they gave us time for roundtable discussions where we worked on our project as a team.
However, the most intense part of the preparation phase was the night before the pitching competition, you can imagine right? “Emotions were high 😅”; having to do multiple rehearsals to ensure we don’t exceed the 5 minutes Pitch time, criticisms,  corrections, motivation and demotivation. We slept at 3am that morning and had to wake up before 6am again. Ultimately, the preparation phase was where we collated our individual skills and strengths, and everything they taught us to make it a success. And looking back at it all, I can say it was worth it.

Awwwn🤭, that’s so sweet. Tell me, how did you all feel when they presented the award to you? 

Bright: You needed to see the excitement,  we screamedddd.. The joy came from the deepest part of our heart. Let me use these 4 words to describe our feelings (excited, grateful, startled, joyful).

I can imagine. I wish I was there too. In retrospect now, was there anything you feel you all could have done differently? 

No. We won, so there’s nothing we could have done differently.

Beautiful! Next up is the top question. How did you go about funding for the event? Was it all expense paid?

It was an all expense paid trip.

An all expense paid trip? Tell me more. Is this the end of the competition or are there other stages? 

Precious: It is the beginning really. The next stage is the summer bootcamp where our idea will be better refined alongside those of other teams that qualified.

I bet you’re looking forward to that already. What was your biggest take-home from this event?

Precious: Lesson learnt? Take chances! You never know when you will hit. Biggest take-home besides the prize is also the amazing bond created among the team members and the network we made with big personalities and members from other teams.

That’s so true. Like they say, you miss 100% of the chances you do not take. Do you want to give a shoutout to anyone? 

Somi:  In no particular order, we’ll like to give a shout out to the organizers of this program. It’s such an amazing initiative and the past week was inspiring and life-changing.We’ll also like to give a shout out to all our mentors at the event for being so friendly and helpful. Furthermore, a shoutout to our parents & friends too for their encouragement and to Mrs Eshemokhai for her inspiring story. And lastly, a big shout out to our friendship group for fostering growth in every individual, academically and beyond.

Lastly, say a word to MediVoice Readers

You all can attest to it that Medivoice is doing a fantastic job, so…keep reading them!👍🏼

Can you hear the crowd? Yes, MediVoice is the best in the game. Thank you so much team Shield. It was a splendid time with you all.

Next up, we will be reading from Team Hexa’s lead, Aishat. I hope you’re not getting tired because the ride just got better!

Hello Aisha, the reigning champion, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Can you introduce the Team?

Hello MediVoice, we are Team Hexa. Made up of 4 people. Olowoyeye Aishat, Akindele Bolu, Ikotun Taofikat and Obaniyi Oluwatotele.

Tell us how you all got to know about this contest?

I was scrolling through Instagram one Saturday morning like that then I saw it on Abdulhamid Babatunde’s story.

Please can you tell us more. What did you do after seeing the IG post, how did you register?

I sent it to a friend on WhatsApp and asked if he was interested and then shared it with others too. Initially, we submitted an idea in the open contest and we were selected for the mega Designathon in Lagos

That was such a ride. I’m sure MediVoice readers will like to know, how did you form the team or was it a case that you were all friends before?

Yeah, we were friends. I told a couple of my friends about it and they picked the ones that interested them. When the group was not complete, they reached out to other interested people.

Hmmm… so the moral in this story is that all your friends are exceptionally brilliant and like minded. I’m taking note. How was the experience at the Designathon?

It was a great experience I had a swell time, there was a lot of food, we were lodged in a standard hotel, we were taught how to pitch, and human-centered design thinking, provided mentors to guide us through. It was a worthwhile experience that I won’t forget for a long time.

Who would even forget their winning moments? Alright, who came up with the idea that you pitched? And in what ways did you all add your touches to this project?

The idea we pitched was a joint effort, everyone had a say in it. We had this great idea that we thought was the best to improve Birth-dose HBV Vaccination only for our mentor to tell us it is not feasible as at now provide the resources we have in the country. So we have to filter out some, improve on the other ones we had, and make a better pitch.

That must have been hard. To get the feedback that you have to come up with something better. How will you describe the preparation process and what do you think was the most difficult part of this phase for your team?

The preparation process was a bit intense and
The most difficult phase was the second day of the mega Designathon when we had to make all deliverables ready for submission the next day, we were to submit a presentation, executive summary, and prototype. Yet still, we came up with an idea worthy to be pitched. That day was stressful at the point where my head was banging, we slept late that night because we had a lot to do.

How did you all feel when you got the award?

I felt excited and elated. I mean they love our idea, the fact that we came up with an idea and it got accepted by the judges. Worthy enough for second place out of 10 teams I am very happy.

Was there anything you feel you all could have done differently?

I don’t think so, I gave my best to it.

How did you go about funding the event? Was it all expenses paid event?

Yes ooo, all expenses paid down to our transport fare

Is this the end of the competition for you or are there other stages?

There are other stages, Bootcamp where the winners win 1 million naira to help with the implementation of the idea.

Rooting for you o… you have to bring the 1M home. What were your biggest takeaways from this event?

My biggest takeaway is the fact that Nigerian youths are not lazy. I mean over 100+ youth brainstorming on ideas to improve and make the country a better place. Also, it was nice to bond more with my teammates; we laughed and stormed.

Whoever said Nigerian youths are lazy must have been on to something else. Do you want to give a shoutout to anyone?

Definitely, to Team Hexaaa, my teammates you guys rock. Keep winning. Also shoutout to Dr Richardcross, Dr. Badru, and Yungmasta

Finally, say a word to MediVoice Readers

I know this might sound cliché anyway. If you want to go fast go alone. if you want to go far, go together

MediVoice readers, can you hear? Do not walk alone. Be a Liverpool fan. 👍🏿

You have come this far with me reading through the success tale of team Hexa and team avengers, sorry team Shield. Thank you so much. Soon, it will be you that MediVoice will write about.

Keep winning dear readers. Click here to read more of interviews

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