Meet Selorm Lavoe

By: Danny Paez

ACCRA, GHANA – Selorm Lavoe remembers playing Mortal Kombat 4 as a child and asking the same question that has inspired countless other computer scientists throughout the years. “How does the computer know when to block and duck when you’re trying to attack?” Lavoe, now 22, recalled in an interview. “I used to think that there was a tiny human-being inside my PC doing all that stuff.”

Today, he is only one year away from receiving a degree in Business IT from Greenwich University. Although he has never traveled to London, Lavoe is remotely completing his courses at IPMC-College of Technology in Accra, his hometown.

Ghana has been battling with a blight of youth unemployment in recent years and many college graduates are struggling to find a stable job after school. Lavoe is hopeful that the entrepreneurial and technical skills he has gained from his studies at a European school will give him a competitive edge.

“Our job market isn’t about what you know, it’s about what you can do,” said Lavoe as he adjusted the pair of black headphones around his neck. “It’s crucial that you take the theoretical parts of school and apply them to practical things.”

Aside from spending hours of his time on schoolwork, Lavoe has not stopped watching cartoons or playing video games. Instead, he has applied his technical knowhow to a hobby: 3D modeling.

After joining the IT club in senior high school, he was introduced to the 3D content-creation program Blender. Without an instructor or a textbook, Lavoe honed his skills until he was able to create detailed models of his favorite superheroes and complex buildings. He hopes to one day be able to create the special effects that Hollywood blockbusters are so well known for.

“I see myself as being similar to Brainiac,” he said, in reference to a comic super villain who gets stronger by amassing knowledge. “I want to try and learn as much as I can about everything I can. That has turned me into someone who wants to be a creative director like Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay, ya know.”