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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

#NigeriansinDiaspora- Ayo's Story

I was always up for anything, always prepared for anything; nothing ever really fazed me, but nothing could have prepared me for this; for moving countries. As a teenager, this was my ‘Welcome to life’.I moved in winter of 2010, February to be precise, it was tagged the coldest winter in England in a very long time; I was received/ welcomed by the -4 degree winds of London. However, contrary to what I thought, I almost immediately adapted to the temperature, what I didn’t get used to was being alone and lonely, not having people around me, people I could talk to.

This didn’t get to me initially, probably due to the fact that I seemed outgoing and jolly; outside of the cosmetics and the new “friends” behind all that, deep down, was a lonely boy trying to find his feet. I didn’t realize this until after a while; I mean leaving my family, my friends, my support system to a foreign land where frankly no one cared. This reality affected everything, leading me to moments of self-pity.
So I reached out to a cousin who had expressed the most faith in me, second to my mother and brother. I gisted him about my experience more like complained, he said to me

“Build your family there,
  Forget about friends,
  Recreate your Family there,
  Build your Hertfordshire family,
  Don’t worry, you’d fine, I trust you.”
Then I realized, I had been presented with an opportunity to build more than “my family”, I had been presented with an opportunity, to reinvent myself, sculpt myself, and that was my coping mechanism for 52 months. In those 52 months I faced two remarkable trials that almost broke me. I had passed all the requirements to be accepted into the university, but the college had to forward our applications as they would not accept individual applications. For some reason, the director of our college decided not to forward mine, we went back and forth about it for almost two months. This threw me into a mini depression as my mates in Nigeria had completed a full session, and I’m yet to be admitted .But God, He reminded me that I cannot build myself without Him.So He sent a helper- my lecturer, who took it upon herself to make sure I started Uni that year, and she was successful.

In some of the notes I wrote to myself then, I said:

  1. Always have a positive mind and attitude towards whatever you do, whatever you lay your hands on, no matter how difficult it may seem.
  2. Trials will always come, even in the easiest things, but you have to take your stand, keep your head up, because I know you can breakthrough.
  3. The road to success is always under construction, rough and uncut,but someday your efforts are going to pay off, just keep keeping on.
  4. Always remember that someone is always listening- God is always listening- just call Him

In the words of a great man I know;
“If the passion be more than the pain, fix your eyes on the passion.”
The latter; the university had just introduced the Electronic assessment systems, so we were the guinea pigs. I was in my second year and we had completed the session, so I visited Nigeria in the summer, unknown to me, there was a problem with the system; our scores could not be computed. Consequently they required us to retake the tests, which counted as 30% of our final grade yearly and unfortunately for me I didn’t get the memo, because I didn’t check the student portal until I was about to return to Uni. Anyway, I checked and discovered that I had been advised to retake the year, not the semester, the whole second year!!I was devastated, depressed! I had never repeated, and for the first time in about 6 or 7 years I cried, nobody believed me, nobody believed that a British assessment system had failed, in fact I was in denial until I returned to school and had a reality slap.

See what had happened was that I fell short of having A's in all but one of my courses, the rest were B's and C's, A's-70+ , B's 60-69, C's 50- 59 and so on, so subtract 30 from the B's and C's , that was an automatic fail. I appealed the result, in fact till I graduated lol, nothing was done about it, it was brushed aside. My associate Dean told me to stop chasing the appeal and focus on getting back on the first class train, even though he confessed that it would be almost impossible for me to graduate with a 2:1. Numerous people, including my Mother, advised me to change Unis. I don’t know where the courage came from, I neglected all of their advice and focused on getting back on the first class train, but unfortunately for me I had a lot of other issues.

Then I remembered that I had been faced with situations where people had limited me and I remembered a note I wrote to myself during my first trial, and again God showed Himself. I graduated with a 2:1 with just 3 marks short of a first class, my lecturers were awed, the associate Dean tagged me “Miracle”.
In introspection, my entire experience in Britain was a reflection of God’s faithfulness and His part in my coping mechanism.


  1. Wow, such a powerful first Nigerians in Diiaspora story. It was as those I was there in the moment with him.
    I can't wait to read more.

  2. Olukanni Oluwatomi.February 3, 2017 at 6:14 AM

    Wow!!!👏👏👏👏 This is so wonderful! So inspiring! And a very good writing skill, I must admit. I love it, Moyo!!!😘😘 I'm definitely getting my friends to read this! This is a really good eye opener for all of us who want to come school in 'the abroad' some day. Lol. But the best part was his amazing testimony. The same great God in Ibadan, Nigeria is the same in London and Paris. He never changes. Well done, girl! Can't wait for the next one already.

  3. Thank you ladies!!! @Tomi YES!! Share with your friends! There is so much more to come and b uncovered in this series.
    Love y'all

  4. WOW!!! How did that happen, Ayo?? You personal history with God gave you the courage to push through all adversity. Great you survived life in diaspora; I totally relate to this one. I remember me !!


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