Wednesday, 27 June 2012

22 Year-old Nigeria, Emmanuel Ohuabunwa Emerges as Best Graduating Student From John Hopkins University, USA.

Emmanuel Ohuabunwa
It’s always wonderful to hear news of Nigerians doing great things in the diaspora. Emmanuel Ohuabunwa, a 22 year-old Nigerian has made history at John Hopkins University, United States of America.

Emmanuel, who hails from Abia State was adjudged as having the highest honours during the graduation that was held on May 24 this year. He made a Grade Point Average of 3.98 out of 4.0 to bag a degree in Neurosciences in the University. For his efforts, he has won a scholarship to Yale University to pursue a degree in Medicine. Besides, he has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Society, a prestigious honour group that features membership of 17 US Presidents, 37 US Supreme Court Justices, and 136 Nobel Prize winners.

Emmanuel was born in Lagos, Nigeria and attended Lilly Fields Primary School, Lagos. He left Nigeria after his Junior Secondary School education at Air Force Comprehensive School, Ibadan, Oyo State. “My parents moved the whole family when I was 13 years old. I was about to begin SS1 at Air Force, Ibadan. When I got to the US, I was enrolled with my age mates, which meant at 13, I was in middle school. I went to Fondren Middle School, which was in the middle of the ghetto. 
That was one of the darkest years for me because I encountered a lot of peer pressure. Some of the students, ignorant about Africa, bullied me and called me names such as ‘African booty scratcher’ because to them, Africans were dirty and scratched their butts all the time. “Some asked me if I lived in mud huts and ate faeces for breakfast. I remember one day, when I was walking to the school bus, a boy came from behind and punched me in the face, called me an African and walked away. It took everything in me not to retaliate. I knew that God had put me in the U.S for a purpose and it did not involve fighting or selling drugs or doing the wrong things. “My experience during that year gave me a thick skin

I learnt to stand for what I thought was right even when the opposition seemed insurmountable. I also learned to look at the positive in all situations. Even though these kids were bullying me, I was still gaining an opportunity to school in America and nothing would stop me from making the best of this opportunity.
“The shocker was that the kid that punched me in the face was black. I would have expected the blacks to be nicer to me. Nevertheless, I don’t blame those kids because they were ignorant about Africa. All they knew about us was the stuff they had watched on TV or documentaries, showing primitive African tribes, living in the jungle and making noises like monkeys. “In regards to the whites, there might have been some minor episodes but again I don’t blame them for it because it is a problem with stereotypes,” he said.

But in spite of this humiliation and racial prejudice against him, the first in a family of three was not discouraged. He faced his studies and was always coming top in his class. After he completed his middle school education, he passed the entrance examination to DeBakey High School for Health Professions. It was at this school that his interest in neurosciences and medicine started.
“I knew I wanted to go to the best school in the US. I had heard that Johns Hopkins Hospital had been ranked the number one hospital in the US for the past 21 years and I wanted to be in that environment.’’

Worried that his parents might not be able to sponsor him to the university, Ohuabunwa purposed to work very hard. He did and when the result of the PSAT came, he performed so well that he won the National Achievement Scholar. By virtue of this award, he received certificates of recognition from various organizations including senators from the Congress of both Texas and the US. He also received scholarship from the University of Houston; Rice University, Texas A&M Honors College and many more. He had also won the Principal’s Award during the annual awards ceremony at DeBakey High School. But his breakthrough came when he won the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation full scholarship to any University of his choice. He worked hard and gained admission to Johns Hopkins University to study Neurosciences.

Upon completion of his programme at Yale, Emmanuel said he would like to come back to Nigeria.
“I am absolutely interested in the health care policy decisions in Nigeria. Because there are many changes that need to occur, I will not rule out the possibility of coming back after my studies, in order to join hands with the leaders to make these changes possible.”

News Source: Punch

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Pride Makes You A Douchebag!!!!!

According to the urban dictionary, a douche bag is a fellow with inflated ego that rates himself far above his worth; simply put it as: people repellant! Now, a story to illustrate the douche bag.

I saw a movie series about a girl, we will call her Tessie. Tessie was conceived on the night of her parents’ high school prom. Her parents got carried away by the thrill of graduating from high school and the hype of the night, had unprotected sex and the girl was conceived.. Her father, we will call him Jade, who was a quarter back in the school’s football team denied the pregnancy, so her mother, Anne, who was the valedictorian of the year had to go through the pain of the rejection and the stress of the pregnancy alone, bore the child and gave her up for adoption. 16years later, the girl reappeared at the door of Jade’s house, asking him to sign some papers for her to be free from foster care. At this time, the Jade was 30+, neither went to the university nor had a professional football career and was running a not-flourishing bar, while the Anne was a famous and successful radio presenter; they both decided to be responsible parents now that the girl found them and decided to transfer Tessie to their high school. This action brought memories to Jade, seeing his high school awards and pictures of him on the pitch sent him into deep thoughts and he said “some people reach their peak in high school”. He simply became a douche bag after his fame as a quarter back in his high school football team. He thought he had reached the peak of his life, he had no idea of the downward spiral his life was about to go until 16years after when he took his daughter to the same school.

 It is not funny when you reach your peak in high school when your life is meant to be just starting!  The question becomes what happened? How did “what” happen? As teenagers with relatively few experiences in life, it is easy to get carried away with success and start feeling superior to other mates; this is an onset of pride! It might not even be as a result of a success, it might be the financial status of parents, their car, house, neighborhood, your cloths, etc. anything at all that makes you as if you are superior to your mates. Once you are proud, you act like everyone else should worship you and pay you royalties for being around them, you may even ask them for sacrificial offerings before you can be their friend. This makes you repulsive to potential friends and this qualifies as a douche bag!

An old adage says pride comes before a fall, what does this mean, how does it apply?!       
For you to be proud/arrogant means you see yourself as being at the peak of your desire, your dream, your goals, your aspiration, you see no one as a competition or of any additional value to you and somehow, you get comfortable with the spot you are at and you start to get stagnated; but in life nothing remains stagnant, you are either going up or coming down. Getting stagnated marks the beginning of a fall. Always remember, as a teenager, your life is just beginning, getting stagnated at that point is no option, so, you cannot afford to be a douche bag and you cannot afford to rest on your oars. Becoming a douche bag at this point means you base yourself and life worth on some ephemeral items which you can work to improve and make permanent or better still, an item which you did not work for e.g. your father’s wealth. The douche bag mentality makes you grow up subconsciously not being able to create your own wealth or maintain your father’s wealth, which, means you are only preparing for a bleak future. While your mates are busy working hard to improve their lives, you are busy gloating over yourself; all you need is to blink and you will see them fly past and above you.  If Bill Gates had been a douche bag, maybe he would not have been friends with Steve Job, may be there would not have been fine fonts for Micro Soft today, remember, they were both brilliant and in the same business, but Steve was broke; if Barack Obama did not have the right words and attitude for people, maybe he would not have been the president of the USA today, just may be. 

Never look at yourself like you are on top of the world or look down on other people, always remember, as a teenager, your life is just starting, people are bundles of potentials and you need the right attitude to tap them, else, you will be left alone like stagnant water that can only stink and breed mosquitoes.
Remember, you belong to a royal tribe, the pride of today, the joy of the futureJ.