It is true that the making of a success story comes with labour and sacrifices. The academic success of Egemole Obinna, a first class graduate of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, gives credence to the statement.
Obinna, who was resolved to make a first class, never allowed his financial challenges distract him from his academic goal. Instead, he found a way by putting the resources around him to work; his hands and laptop. He was able to augment the little financial assistance his parents could afford by working as a typist.
Talking about sacrifices, the 24 year old chess enthusiast had to give up chess when he realized that he could not successfully merge the demands of the elite game with his academic demands.
“Actually” he stated “one of the things I wish I was able to do as an undergraduate was to play chess very well and represent my school at NUGA. Chess is a game that takes a lot of time when one is playing with someone that is good. So when I realised I wasn’t performing so well academically, I stopped going to play chess” Obinna explained in an interview with the Punch Newspaper.
His love for sports did not just start in the University. While he was growing up in Sabon Gari, Kano state, he represented his team several times during inter-house sports competitions. His parents later moved to Rivers State, where he had his secondary education and where he discovered his love for Chemistry- a field he would later spend four years studying.
Unlike many of his colleagues who opted for chemistry only as a last resort, often because they failed to get in for Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacy or any of the esteemed medical professions, Obinna was interested in learning about compounds and molecules.
However, his passion for chemistry did not automatically translate into a smooth ride for him. In his freshman year, he had a D grade which almost killed his first class ambition.
“In the first semester, I didn’t do so well; I had 3.91 GPA but by that second semester, I decided to work harder to graduate as a first class student and I was able to make 5.0 GPA twice”.
He also believed the reason for his success was because he shared with others, teaching them to be better in their courses. “Teaching others compelled me to study more. There wasn’t a semester I didn’t teach people. Being a teacher made it easy to remember what I studied. I must say that I learn better when I teach others. So all I had to do was to make sure I taught people.”
He believed that determination and God’s grace played major roles in his life. He was able to look past the criticism from colleagues who felt he was too serious, even when he was tagged ‘Hyper’- a Moniker to mock his dedication to his studies- he did not allow that to distract him from the bigger picture.
Every diligent work has it rewards, and it was a leap of joy for Obinna when he saw his final result, much more as well when he told his parents about his feat. “They were really happy when I called to tell them I made it, after seeing my final results. It’s something they really prayed for, I’m happy I made them proud” he said.