Education

‘I Never Had A Boyfriend’ – Enugu Girl Who Made 9As In WAEC.

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Chinecherem Cynthia Ali, a former pupil of
Shalom Academy, Nsukka, Enugu State, whose
story went viral after she made A grade in all the
subjects she took in the West African Senior
School Certificate Examination, has shared her
success story.
In an interview with Punch correspondent,
Toluwani Eniola, she revealed what motivated
her to achieve such great feat among other
things.
Please introduce yourself.
I hail from Umuagama community in Enugu
State. I am the third of eight children. I am 18
years old. I attended Shalom Academy in
Nsukka, Enugu State. My parents are not so rich
but they gave me adequate care. My dad is a
teacher. He also has a poultry farm. My mother
works as a medical lab scientist in a district
hospital.
You became the first pupil in your school to
earn A grade in all the subjects you sat for in
WASSCE. What motivated you to achieve the
feat?
While I was in school, my priority was to make a
wonderful result. I had clarity of purpose in what
I wanted to achieve. My elder brother was the
chief motivator. He made six As in his WASSCE
last year. He told me I could do better than he
did. He planted that goal to surpass his feat in
me. Whenever I had a problem with my studies,
he was always around to help me out. He
practically taught me the techniques to excel in
the subjects. He prepared my mind about the
syllabus in SS3, who the teachers were and what
would enable me to get the best from each of
them.
He told me I needed to put in extra efforts in
whatever I was doing. On my first day in school,
when I got to SS1, my chemistry teacher called
me and told me certain things about my goal. He
told me no one had ever made nine As in the
school. He said he heard an inner voice that I
could break the record. I was just laughing when
he told me. I had a note which I titled, “My
future WASSCE results.”
I wrote down my results on the note, filling As
across all the subjects I was to sit for. I prayed
to God to help me achieve the goal. My friends
who saw the note said I was going crazy. But I
told God to help me. Another teacher that helped
me a great deal was my biology teacher. She
prepared a study timetable for me to follow. She
told me to study at least two hours at a stretch.
The two teachers (chemistry and biology) told
me my goal was achievable.
Have you always had an excellent result like
this?
By God grace, I have always excelled in my
studies. My results were always among the best.
What did you say when you saw your
outstanding result?
I was overwhelmed with joy. It was a record-
breaking result because no one had ever made
that result in my school. On that day, I was
sleeping. My brother came to wake me up and
broke the news. When I saw it, I thought I was
dreaming.
How many hours did you study daily?
In our school, we were mandated to observe our
preparatory classes for day students. From
2.30pm to 4pm, I would go home to cook and
do other things I needed to do till around 7pm.
From 7pm till 10pm, I was always reading my
books daily. Sometimes, I could set aside five or
six hours to read.
How did you cope with the distractions from
boys in school?
I never had a boyfriend. One thing I learnt along
the line was that once one is serious with one’s
studies, it will be difficult for boys to approach
one for a relationship. When I was in SS1, one
day I entered the class. There was this male
classmate of mine who was always disturbing
me. I was reading my book. We had just finished
the computer practical. Others were discussing
while I was reading my book. Then the boy said,
“What’s the problem with you? Is it that you
cannot rest, at least talk to people.”
He said I didn’t need to be reading every time. I
was able to overcome the pressures of male
pupils because I didn’t entertain any unserious
talks. They knew me for that so they avoided
me. Also, I was a day student, so I spent most of
my time in class. We had preparatory classes by
4pm so I was always at home when I was not in
school. This made it impossible for any boy to
approach me. Maybe if I was in the boarding
school, it would have been a different story. I am
a quiet girl. Because I rarely had time to chat
with others, they said I was a proud girl. But I
taught a few of my classmates in my spare time.
What subject was the most challenging for you
and how did you overcome it?
I think physics posed the greatest challenge. I
always found it hard comprehending the subject.
The situation changed when I got to SS3. Our
physics teacher always gave us tests every
week. If you failed the test, he would cane you. I
was afraid of his cane. I then made up my mind
to study hard. Along the line, I realised that
physics was not even as difficult as I thought.
Mathematics was easy for me. God was just
helping me at every stage. I found out that I
understood what I was taught quickly. We had
five mathematics teachers. While in school,
mathematics was divided into five areas. We had
separate teachers for arithmetic, algebra,
statistics, geometry and vector. Each of these
subjects was taught separately. The way
mathematics was split into five areas really
helped me to have a thorough understanding of
the subject. I usually excelled in my
mathematics examinations even without
studying. I love the subject so much.
How did you feel meeting the Enugu State
governor?
I thank God for the privilege to meet the governor
at my age. I am grateful to God for making it
possible. Thousands of pupils in our state would
like to meet the governor. For me, it is one of the
most memorable moments of my life as I shook
hands with the governor. The governor
congratulated me and said the commissioner for
education would reach out to me.
Later, I was told that the governor had given me
a scholarship to study in any university of my
choice in Nigeria and a prize of N1m. I felt
overwhelmed. I never believed that I would be a
beneficiary of a scholarship. I appreciate the
government for this noble gesture.
What role did your parents play in your success?
My dad is an English teacher. He always
encouraged us. He taught us English after school
hours. He made sure I didn’t use a mobile
phone. Once I got to secondary school, I neither
used a phone nor had access to any gadget. It
was a serious offence at home. It really helped
me because if I had a mobile, I would have been
distracted. I might have spent less time on my
studies. My mum always encouraged me too.
She told me that when she was my age, she
excelled in her studies too. She emphasised that
I could break the record. When I was in primary
school, my father supported me with extra
lessons at home. He also got part-time teachers
for me.
Do you think you are a genius?
I don’t think I am one. I think anyone who
studied hard and relied on God can make a
similar feat.
What is the next step for you?
I want to study medicine. I chose medicine
because I believe it would enable me to save
lives. It is also a noble profession.
What did you score in the UTME?
The UTME was out before I took WASSCE. I
scored 266. I was discouraged when I saw the
result because I felt I should have got above 300
marks. The good thing is that they also use the
WASSCE result to select candidates. They grade
prospective candidates, using 60 per cent for the
UTME and 40 per cent for the WASSCE result.
When I saw my UTME results, I was just praying
to God to excel in WASSCE result a wonderful
one. When our principal saw my UTME result, he
didn’t believe that it was my result because he
expected more from me. UTME was very easy
for me and I was disappointed when I saw the
score.
Which schools did you apply to?
I applied to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and
Ebonyi State University. The universities have
not started issuing admission letters. They have
started uploading the results. The cut off mark
for medicine is 290 or so in UNN last year. I
checked my result and it was 319.6, so I am
hopeful I would be admitted.
Why don’t you study abroad instead?
I want to study in Nigeria first. I guess I am too
young to study outside the country all alone. But
I would like to do postgraduate studies abroad.
Was cramming part of your studying methods?
I am not good at cramming books. I develop
many codes to remember what I read.
What are the most remarkable lessons you have
learnt from your success?
I think the most important part of my success
story is to do one’s best and to trust in God. I
always believe that it’s only God that can enable
me to fulfill my destiny.

About Nwagboso Ifeanyi

My name is Nwagboso Ifeanyi...I am a World technical blogger/Journalist. I just love Sharing Gossips!.

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