Its a story of how I beat the odds to get an education and achieve my goals in life.
All my life, I have dreamt big dreams. Dreams of a great life and a life different from the average African girl’s life. My mama always told me, “You are who you make yourself to be. And your thoughts determine your actions. In turn your actions determine who you will be”. I clung onto these words all through my childhood. I worked hard at every school test, assignment and exam. I always emerged among the best 5 kids in my class. Mama was always proud of me and dad always gave me everything I needed in return. One cold February morning disaster struck, and so my school fees problem began.
The Accident, January 1999.
We received a phone call that mama had had a bad accident. She was rushed to hospital and good enough she survived it. The bad news was that it left her crippled in both legs. For a year mama could not stand or walk. Her businesses were crippled and eventually they collapsed. I watched dad struggle to pay school fees for myself and my 5 siblings. Sometimes we went without food. Somehow I made it through junior high. During junior high vacation, another disaster struck.
Dad’s Death, February 2000
My loving father died suddenly one morning. The doctors said he had had a heart attack. We were all shocked and devastated. Mama was strong for us all and she said everything would be okay. I wanted to believe her but I was scared for my education. We literally had no source of income anymore. I was so afraid I was going to become one of the many African women without proper education, jobs or a future. I couldn’t let that happen and my quest for a solution began. “Fear is misdirected energy and must be redirected or transmitted into faith” (Florence Scovel Shinn). I transmitted my fear into faith.
My Way to a Solution.
Mama decided to sell off some of our land and paid for my high school fees and my elder siblings. But I knew a high school certificate would not get me anywhere and I also knew that the fees for a college degree were quite high. After 2 years of high school, I passed and later enrolled for a Bachelor of Commerce course. Instead I was admitted into the BA Economics class on the pretext that I should cover all my fees for the first semester before exam time. I accepted, without a clue, on how I was going to raise that money. But well I had 2 months to think of something. I refused to accept defeat.
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