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Thursday, February 29, 2024

From homelessness to Principal Assistant Registrar—Story of a woman who defied the odds to become an author

Life doesn’t always grant your desires, but it consistently offers opportunities. The key lies in mastering the art of maximizing each opportunity for personal advantage.

Today, we delve into the inspiring journey of Uzezi Eniyome Oyise, who didn’t only defy the odds but has transformed her humble beginnings into a catalyst for success.

Eniyome was born in Uzere town, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State. She attended the Federal Government College, Warri, for her secondary education.

While growing up, she wanted to become an actress, but life had something else for her. Her father died when she was still very tender, and her mother struggled to train her in secondary school.

Reflecting on her journey, she said, “After my secondary school education in 1991, I had no one to sponsor me further. I was honestly praying to go to the university, become an actress, and be able to take care of my mother. But at a point, it seemed like my dreams were unachievable.”

my first salary was about ₦750.00, and it wasn’t enough to pay my bills

While Eniyome was still searching for an opportunity to further her education, she applied to work as a teacher at a private school. She also enrolled in a program to acquire secretarial skills, which she believed would help her get a good job at oil companies. After she completed the program, unfortunately, the use of computers had started emerging, and employers were requesting computer proficiency.

“I remember my first salary was about ₦750.00, and it wasn’t enough to pay my bills. At that time, I was living with my aunt, but one day, she sent me out of her house. I couldn’t go back to my village, so I started sleeping in an uncompleted building. One day, I decided to share my plight with the proprietress of the school, and she took me in to live with her.”

While Eniyome was still teaching at that school, she met a man who hired her to work as a home tutor for his kids. One day, during their conversation, she shared her desire to acquire computer skills. Fortunately, he offered to enroll her in a computer school.

After she acquired the certificate, she got a job in a private company where the salary was ₦2,500.00. That amount was huge when compared to what she was earning as a teacher. She was excited and soon vacated her former employer’s abode and went ahead to rent a room.

Despite the challenges, Eniyome still pursued her dreams of becoming a graduate. She attended Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, where she obtained a degree in Public Administration and an MSc in the same field.

By the time I completed a program in secretarial studies, the use of computers had started emerging, and employers were requesting computer proficiency

This resilience and triumph over difficulties have become a source of inspiration for her, leading her to embark on a meaningful book project titled, Broken But Not Destroyed.

Reflecting on her career journey, she said, “I am a teacher and a public administrator by profession. Currently, I am a Principal Assistant Registrar at the Delta State Polytechnic.”

Eniyome’s job naturally brings her into regular contact with many students, enabling her to support, guide, and positively influence their lives. She went further to narrate how she helps her students.

“I once met a first-year student who was an orphan. She was living with her grandma who was struggling to train her in school. During the second semester, she came to my office to talk about her ill health. When I looked at her, I suspected that she was pregnant, so I sent her to run a pregnancy test. When the results came out positive, she was shocked and started crying.

She had made the mistake of sleeping with another student, and considering the responsibilities that come with pregnancy, she wanted to abort the child. We invited her grandma, who was a poor farmer, and we also got the boy’s family involved. Fortunately, they accepted the responsibility. So, she had the baby, and today, she has graduated and is making progress in her life endeavors.”

While discussing her views on the current reading habits of students in higher institutions, Eniyome remarked, “Most students don’t read books anymore. The invention of the internet and social media has played a role in this shift.

you can be anything you want to be without selling your body

“In higher institutions, we meet students who just want to obtain good grades without burning the midnight candles. So, they bribe some greedy lecturers. This underscores the dual challenge of dealing with both unscrupulous lecturers and students who lack dedication to their studies.”

She further emphasizes the need for increased efforts to instill a reading culture in children, starting from kindergarten, and advocates for the use of technological devices basically for educational purposes rather than mere entertainment.

Rewards for teachers
Teaching is a life-molding profession where characters are shaped. While expressing her passion for positively impacting lives, Eniyome joyfully shared, “I am not just a teacher; I positively influence and shape lives. There is this common saying that a teacher’s reward is in heaven, but I believe it can also be experienced here on earth.”

Drawing from her wealth of experiences in the teaching profession, she recounted touching instances where former students earnestly expressed gratitude to their past teachers for playing pivotal roles in shaping their characters.

When asked her opinion about the state of some public schools in Nigeria, Eniyome criticized the poor work attitude among average Nigerian public workers.

“When the public schools teachers are mandated by the government to be serious with their jobs, I believe they will see reasons to sit up and pay adequate attention to the education of the children under their care,” She said.

Final words
Eniyome counsels, “To every young lady out there, if you are determined, you can be anything you want to be without selling your body. It will cause you a lot of sacrifice, denying yourself many pleasures. You will be broken, but not destroyed.

“Were there times when I was broken? Yes! Were there times I felt like ending it all? Of course, but God’s grace and mercy kept me going.

“The same person who was thrown out to the streets twice—today, I have two houses and a good job. So, I urge you never to give up.”

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