A LinkedIn user identified as Ngozi Andrew shared on her page some months ago, how she lost her dad when she was still a child, became a house help, entered the University at 30 years old and still graduated with a first class degree.
She stated that she lost her dad at a young age and had to drop out of school while in SS1 because of the financial stress and pressure on her mother. She was one of seven children.
She later travelled to Lagos from port Harcourt to work as house help so that she could pay her school fees and assist her family.
Her LinkedIn post read;
Today I’m going to tell you a deep , dark secret about myself. I was a high school dropout❗ Only my immediate family knows this about me, but I didn’t finish secondary school. I dropped out at SS1 which is equivalent to grade 10 in the American Education System.
My father died early, leaving only my mum to take care of 8 of us. Out of these 8 children, 2 were seriously sick and had to go in and out of the emergency room at regular intervals. The burden was just too heavy for one woman so I had to put my education on hold and get a job. This decision was doubly devastating for me because I was a straight A student and had such lofty dreams for my future. I wanted to be an international lawyer. I left the village for Lagos to take up work as a house maid, for a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who lived in Ikeja. My job was to take care of the their 3 children. Within a month of my stay with them, they sacked their children’s lesson teacher and I took over. In their words, I was better than the teacher so why pay when I can do it.
Apart from my regular duties and lesson teaching, I also work as office assistant in his home office, during the weekends. I thought that, with all the extra work I was doing, they would enrol me in a secondary school but they never did even though I begged them on several occasions.
When I think of it now, I wonder if I wasn’t doing as good a job as I thought I was doing for them or maybe I wasn’t asking the right way. I kept my dream of getting more education alive by reading. I read everything in the lawyer’s office, from the Nigerian law review to the complete works of Shakespeare and he graciously indulged me Then I left them and went to work for a lady who was a manager in UBA at the time. I negotiated with her to work without salary but she has to enrol me in an evening school so I can finish my secondary education.
I was never enrolled and neither did I get paid. Fast forward to 2010, after several menial jobs, I finally saved enough and registered for GCE myself and cleared my papers. In 2013 I did jamb and Post UME. My name was number 13 on Uniport’s merit list that year. By the time I got into University, I was hugging 30 and I was in a class of fresh brained 19 and 20 year olds.
But I was determined to put in my very best and I came out with a first Class. I decided to tell this story, not because that certificate made my life perfect but to encourage someone who might be on the verge of abandoning their dream. As we prepare to welcome 2022, hold on tightly to your dreams. If you can conceive it, then the strength you need to achieve it is already planted deep within you.
Hold on tightly to those dreams, let the winds buffett and the waves roar, don’t let go. Even when you come to what looks like a dead end, Don’t abandon the journey,just look for an alternative route, there is always one at the next corner. God bless you❗
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Social Media User Reactions:
Ene Tamuno Said:
Congratulations Ngozi. As indicated in your post you were by nature and inclination a straight A student. Your boss the Senior Advocate recognized you were exceptional and elevated over and above the original teacher, into his children’s lesson teacher.
You were very wise in seizing the opportunity of a good library at home to read voraciously, and thereby keep your brain sharp and active A pity about your boss the lady official of the UBA you negotiated to work as a domestic assistant in her home, forfeit your salary, in return for you being enrolled in school.
Quite disgracefully that female boss defaulted in honouring her side of the agreement. Accordingly you, in effect, worked as a modern day slave in her home, and she was comfortable exploiting you like that? The lady has the dubious distinction of having a dishonourable mention in your academic success story. It could have been different if she had honoured the agreement. A lesson for someone out there.
When God puts you in a position of authority do not ever exploit any of your subordinates. You never the heights God can elevate them to! Ngozi I hope you will not sign off academics with a First Class Bachelor’s Degree! I hope you will proceed to a Master’s, and to PhD
PETER AKHIHIEROH Said:
This is highly inspiring. I advise that you proceed further for a doctorate. With your First Class, you are well positioned to excel in the academics. CONGRATULATIONS
Abiodun oladipo Said:
Very inspiring story. It’s the beginning of greatness for you
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