A young Nigerian lady, Adeola Olubamiji who hawked pepper as a child to help her mum on the streets of Ibadan, has done herself proud by earning a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.
Her laudable achievement also makes her the first ever black person to earn a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, from the University of Saskatchewan Canada, which she got her laurels from.
No ordinary feat for the fifth of five children who always had to wait for her turn. She was the last, a girl child and raised by her mother who is a farmer and a father who has little.
Adeola went to public primary and secondary schools in Ibadan and later attended Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) in Ijebu, Ogun State where she studied Physics.
Adeola graduated from OOU with a 2.1 which opened the door for her to proceed to Finland for a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering. During this Master’s degree, she said, “I worked part-time as a cleaner and did this after my Master’s as well.
Out of sheer determination, she applied to over 100 schools for her PhD program and finally got a full three-year scholarship (later extended to four years) at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.
While in that PhD programme, she worked part-time as a makeup artist, teaching assistant, braided hair and fixed weaves to make extra money.
On her graduation day, Adeola in moving tribute, said:
“Today, I walked the stage as the first black person to bag a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada!
“I walked this stage for you Mama Africa and for my Motherland Nigeria! I walked the stage for all of you Black women disrespected and looked down on!
“I walked for all of you from my ghetto hood, Mokola, Ibadan. I walked for all OSU students and ex-students that got that look from people who think we are not brilliant!
“I walked for all of you Africans in Finland wondering what is next for you!!
“Specially, I walked for you my parents, siblings and extended family in fulfilment of your dreams!
“Specially, I walked the stage for you my late sister Omoleye Olubamiji; and my late mentor Ayodele Olatunbosun.
“Today, I walked for my future husband and my unborn children who patiently waited for me to fulfil my dreams so that he can have a wife he will be proud of and they can have a role model to look up to.
“I walked for all immigrants and all young adults who strive everyday chasing their dreams!
“I walked in celebration of the unfailing love of my first and one truly true love, Jesus Christ, (in you I walk, in you I live, and in you I have had and will continue to have my being)!
“Be bold, be innovative, be different, be you, be everything you want to be; but remember to put God first!
“Let no man, upbringing, money, circumstance, colourism, past mistakes, institution, company, partner, background, let nothing tell you ‘you can’t do it.’
“Go smart! Go hard!! Go for Gold!!! Go with God!!! Just Get Going!!!!! #Grad2017 #PhDConvocation #UofS”