Mr Chukwuemeka Victor Mokwe (20/12/2022)
From transport, food, housing, water to internal academic expenses like school fee and books, the many challenges of high cost of living in Enugu and the inflation in Nigeria is the bane of students from low- and middle-income families in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
As a medical student currently at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, I have thrived this far by living double lives to the best of my effort, either as a student and a private lesson tutor, or as a student and weekend worker. I engaged in multiple tasks to earn some money for my studies and upkeep in order not to be extra burden to my parents. At the same time, I had to make sure I was not a liability to my academic performance. Going on an empty stomach to the point of having one out of the supposed three-square meals of the day became a necessity in the face of the clash between financial inadequacy and my quest for excellence.
I learned the hard way about how well the human body and spirit can adapt to unfavourable circumstances under the pressure to survive, and a great deal about how to instrumentalize the power of hardwork to meet my goals; about subsistence, how to be calculative, miserly and economical with the littlest fund to achieve maximum results; about how the unapologetic economic divide in society always entitle and rule in favour of the haves, and subject the have not to a generational circle of indigence such that the rich tend to get richer and the poor, poorer; above all, about how my zeal to widely explore opportunities and develop my potentials is helplessly limited and degraded to the question and options about the weight of my pocket.
My study of medicine has been a bittersweet experience where despite living my dream of training to be a doctor, scaling through on this path was almost a curse. This was the story of my student life until I met the Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation.
I, Chukwuemeka Victor Mokwe, a 2022 awardee of the OCI Cyfed Bradley Hope scholarship wish to express immense gratitude for the irrevocable impact of the foundation in my life. I was overjoyed when I got the award email and till this moment feel excitement and a fulfilling satisfaction in my heart to have been selected a beneficiary.
The Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora Foundation has proven that even with the strongest heart, mind, and spirit, no single person can carry the weight of the world on their own but with helping hands, the weight can be shared and reduced to nothing. Indeed, in the spirit of the motion behind her motto, ‘We rise by lifting others’, and the origin of the Cyfed Bradley Hope scholarship revolving around the Bradley Hope family, I promise not only to keep the ball rolling, but also to think outside the box and dream big enough to equip myself with the best qualities, skills, and morality of a leader, changemaker/activist and doctor, giving back to society in full.
I am more than honored to be part of the OCI foundation family and humbled to make the best of this entitlement. Thank you so much and God bless.
Chukwuemeka Victor Mokwe (Medicine and Surgery student, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria).