Kemery Oparah 11-Year-Old Atlanta Linguist Wins National RAM Pitch Contest

Kemery Oparah with her parents and little brother with one of the judges after winning the Raising a Mogul Pitch contest in Atlanta, Georgia in June 2019

By Arthia Nixon

Atlanta, Georgia… At just 11-years-old, Kemery Oparah beat out over a dozen finalists in the first-ever Raising A Mogul pitch contest to win funding for her business, Kemery Kreates, that teaches Japanese to children online. 

The seventh-grader wowed judges by conversing with her three-year-old brother, Jeremy, in Japanese. Oparah, who is the daughter of a physics teacher and a school psychologist, inherited their love of learning and explained that her parents wanted to give her a heads up by exposing her to languages early in life. When she was old enough to realize how costly it can be to learn a foreign language such as Japanese while living in Georgia, she set out on a mission to teach others at a fraction of the cost. She has since been featured in classrooms across the country as a Microsoft Skype in the Classroom guest educator, talking about entrepreneurship and her Japanese programs.

Oparah pitched her newest program, Japanese Lunchbox to judges.  Kemery started her business in January 2017, when she was invited to go to Japan with her teacher and classmates. Her family did not have enough money for the trip. Her business has evolved over the past two years and she’s loved the journey. Now, she’s on a quest to introduce 500 children to Japanese culture through language, fashion and experiences. Proof that hard work and dedication truly pay off, Kemery’s excited to put her Japanese skills to the test and what better place to do that than in Japan!

Kemery Oparah shows off her Japanese language teaching program and Japanese inspired fashions and backpack.

“We’ve been saving for two years to go to Japan,” she said. “My parents told me that we have tickets and we are going to Japan this fall and that  and I’m so excited!” Kemery knows she and her family still have work to do as they plan their business trip to Japan. Business? She plans to make connections with other children and businesses while in Japan.Kemery has plans of helping other children experience traveling to Japan in the future. 

Kemery’s parents, Kia and Chinenye, said that they wanted to give their children the gift of communicating on a global scale. When Chinenye was a toddler, being born in Nigeria, he spoke three languages. After his family moved to the United States, he lost two of the languages from not being able to practice speaking. Kia took six years of French and remembers very little, though she was able to help the family navigate in a trip to Canada, enough to not get lost. The Oparahs agreed early in their relationship that when they had children, languages would be key to their learning experiences. They explained the process in their series of books, the latest being the Raising A Mogul collaboration with other parents of exceptional children.

“Kemery is very determined and we are here to help her remain confident in her journey,” said Oparah’s mother. “She has an exceptional eye for culture, a gift for wanting to share what she’s learned with others and even though we don’t speak the language, it’s amazing to watch her excel with learning Japanese. By ensuring our oldest child was fluent, she is able to pass that on to our younger child but she decided to go even further and share with the gift of language with other children,  online and in-person.”

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