BY OKOLI CHIDERA
Ifeanyi’s story is a tale of perseverance and determination.He was born into a very low income earning family somewhere in Eastern Nigeria. At the age of 13, he dropped out of school due to harsh financial challenges and was sent to join his elder brother in Lagos state to become an apprentice, against his wishes. He failed and was unsuccessful at all the trades he tried.
Young and passionate about education, he associated himself with a lot of students. He was very talented in soccer and played on the streets and at inter-village matches. He got fortunate and was scouted by a high-profile personality at one of his matches. Ifeanyi was invited to play for a football club in Lagos. He played well and the club won their next match. The players were rewarded and asked individually to pick either a car or scholarship fund till the university level.Smart and opportunistic, he opted for the scholarship.
Despite the fact that he was in his mid-20s, he moved back to the village and enrolled in the 7th grade. Mocked and ridiculed by his peers and classmates almost every day because he was the oldest in the school, he wasn’t deterred. He was successful in his exams and didn’t stop at that. He wrote JAMB and gained admission. He focused on his academics and was hardly seen at social events. His unwavering courage and commitment to education touched the hearts of various elites in his community and they decided to aid him financially. With the additional money he got, he supported his family.Ifeanyi graduated with good grades from the university. Later, he enrolled and successfully completed an MBA degree programme. His glory cannot be traced solely to the fact that he attended school but also to his avid dedication to his education which he nurtured when given the chance.
Today, Ifeanyi is one of the top management staff in one of the best Federal universities in the country. He is happily married to a successful nurse and blessed with five children. His success is the result of his dedication and hard work. He is the sole breadwinner of his extended family and has single-handedly trained several members of his family. He also gives back to the society by using his vocation to reform lives. He hosts occasional charity balls to raise funds for children from poor backgrounds like himself. Frequently, he is invited to prestigious universities to give motivational speeches and he would always talk about how achieving greatness is possible, if only students did things the right way and avoided the get-rich quick mentality. His amazing story of lavish grace has propelled him to receive several laurels and awards from his community.
Over the years, I’ve learnt that everyone works on their own time zone and anything is possible.