PEOPLE THAT MATTER: AVRIL EDERO -FORENSIC SCIENCE
Avril Edero presently works at the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital as a Forensic Scientist. She attended London South Bank University where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Forensic Science with Psychology. She is currently completing her Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology and Crime Investigation at the University of Liverpool (online) and completing her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) this October. She is 24-years old and definitely a person that matters due to the nature of her work and her work with the Dana Flight tragedies. We are happy she agreed to interview with Nonny’s List in what I will call our most interesting PEOPLE THAT MATTER interview. Enjoy!
***************** THE INTERVIEW *****************
NL: What inspired the name Avril knowing this is Nigeria?
AE: My dad loved the French culture and named my siblings and I after our birth month in French, so am Avril because I was born in April.
NL: What is the main objective of a Forensic Scientist?
AE: A Forensic Scientist uses scientific methods to analyze physical evidence from a crime scene, which includes a dead body, a living person, a house, and/or a car, for the process of investigating the crime to assist law enforcement officials in solving crimes. The duties include extracting DNA from a crime scene and matching that DNA with a suspect to serve as an evidence for conviction. After the analysis is completed and there is a match, we go to the court to present our findings as the expert witness.
NL: How has/is social media helping your work?
AE: Social media has been great for all part of forensics in Nigeria because it has made a lot of people aware of what Forensic Science is all about. It’s also useful in ensuring “the bad guys are off the streets”.
NL: What type of work and projects do you have planned for the future?
AE: I plan to improve forensics in Nigeria.
NL: What inspires you artistically?
NL: How has the Lagos community reacted to your work in the Teaching Hospital? Please touch on the Dana Flight and other major tragedies.
AE: People are beginning to understand the use of Forensics Science in Nigeria. The Teaching Hospital in Ikeja is the only place at the moment that offers forensic investigations. We try to do things as perfect as we can while we grow and have been involved in many crime investigations. These investigations include medico-legal autopsies, and presenting the findings in court. Recently, we were able to use DNA to identify victims of the DANA plane crash tragedy, which was the first of such in Nigeria. We performed autopsies including detailed odontology and toxicology reports.
NL: What challenges have you faced?
AE: The perception of Nigerians on Forensic Science is an issue because a lot of people here are not exposed to modern science. Therefore, some people struggle to accept the use of it. Some people object to having autopsies done for their lost ones because they think it’s wrong for the culture based on “traditional beliefs”. That’s only because they are not aware or ready to understand and accept its importance. Most people think it is morally inappropriate to interfere with the dead. In other cases, a lot of people do not report crimes because they believe they are meant to protect their family regardless of the crime committed against another person. However, I have noticed these views are changing.
NL: How do people react to you when they find out what you do?
AE: Well, I get mixed reactions from: “Oh, wow, why?” To: “What you are doing is very brave considering your age.” If you are referring to my love life…
NL: Yes, I am.
AE: (laughs) It’s fine.
NL: Is there a sustainable future to being a Forensic Scientist in Nigeria?
AE: Of course there is! I am passionate about what I do and it is for the benefit of society in terms of solving crimes and helping families gain closure after a loss.
NL: What is your trademark look?
AE: I love a simple, sexy and classy look, so a pair of deep blue jeans, a white vest and a nice blazer with a pair of colorful pumps works for me.
NL: Name three things you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
AE: A blazer, Spanx, and a nice pair of fitted jeans.
NL: Name three things you think every man should have in his wardrobe?
AE: I love blazers so he has to have a good fitted one, a nice pair of shoes, and a white Oxford shirt.
NL: Why do you think Nigerian fashion industry is doing well right now?
AE: People at home are beginning to appreciate quality, home grown designs despite the large use of tailors. They are now willing to take risk of investing in a Nigerian up market designer’s creations. Abroad, people have started appreciating the creativeness of Nigerian fashion designers.
NL: Who are your favorite fashion designers, Nigerian and non-Nigerian?
AE: My favorite Nigerian designer is Eki Orleans because I love the edgy designs. Non-Nigerian is Henry Holland.
NL: What similarities do you see in Forensic Science and Fashion if any?
AE: Well, they are like two words apart! You can however, make a personal protective clothing (PPE) or lab coat trendy by adding accessories that enable you to work effectively. So, something like a small broche or silk scarf around the neck are where the two industries meet.
On Music and Film
NL: What is your favorite song of all time?
AE: Boys II Men’s ‘Color of Love’.
NL: What is currently playing on your iPod? Name three artists?
AW: Burns Boys’ Like to Party is in on constant repeat! I love that song. I’m also listening to Usher’s new album and Ice Prince.
NL: Who is your favorite artist?
AW: Usher Raymond! Have you seen him as a father? He is much more sexier!
NL: What’s the last movie you saw in the cinema?
AE: American Pie Reunion.
NL: What is your favorite movie of all time?
AE: Why do Fools Fall in Love.
NL: Who is your favorite Hollywood Actress and Actor?
AE: Taraji Henson and Morris Chestnut.
NL: Do you have another interesting hobby that people don’t know about?
AE: I love cooking, if everything else fails, I will open an Italian restaurant.
*Elle Blanche Photography at Lekki Beach Resort