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How we emerged best in international exams -Nigerian teens Mmesoma and Oluwabukolami

Two female students of Chrisland Schools have emerged best in the A-Level and AS-Level examinations held in November 2022.

The duo, Mmesoma Okonkwo and Oluwabukolami Adeyemi, came out on top globally in different subjects. Okonkwo emerged best in English as a Second Language (ESL); while  Adeyemi emerged best in Law.

The award ceremony, which was organised by the British Council Nigeria, was held on Thursday, July 6, 2023 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island.

Mmesoma Okonkwo

Speaking with Nigeria Info 99.3, Mmesoma said that the Cambridge IGCSE exams were challenging.

“Preparing for IGCSE was a bit difficult for me because, I think, IGCSE has been one of the most complex exams I have written. It’s a bit more pragmatic and not a lot of objectives; mostly theory throughout the whole exam”, she says.

She added that most of the exams she had written in the past had employed multiple-choice questions, hence, it was an unfamiliar route. “It was new for me, because most of the exams I had written prior to that time were just ‘a b c d’.”

When asked about how she emerged outstanding in an exam written in over 100 countries, she noted that she had to put in some extra work.

“Thankfully, I could practice for the exams with my friends. I stayed back in school, missed a few breaks. Although I didn’t miss the whole summer, it was still a bit difficult and stressful for me.

“Now, at the end of everything, I’m very grateful for it and I’m grateful for the people that were there with me”.

She also commends her English teachers for their relentless efforts. She describes her success in the exam as “surreal” and “surprising”.

Speaking about what’s next for her, Mmesoma says she wants to acquire a number of skills; including driving, hairstyling, and a few other skills that will make her study abroad convenient.

“I’m looking to go to university”, she says. “I am taking a gap year first. After this gap year, I will work on applying to schools. I am looking to study business management”, she discloses.

She added that Business Management is a versatile field and one that she is passionate about. She expressed confidence in her ability to excel in the academic path.

When asked about the possibility of returning to Nigeria after her degree programme, Mmesoma said if she gets a good job abroad, she could stay back and build a career. She added that coming to Nigeria wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

“Nigeria is really home for me. It is where I have lived all my life; my entire family is here. So, I feel like if I go and get a good degree, I could easily come back here with all the things I have learnt; put it into practice.”

Oluwabukolami Adeyemi

Also, speaking with the broadcast medium, Oluwabukolami said preparing for the AS-Level exams was a tough process, citing that she could not attend all the IGCSE lectures.

“The preparations for it was actually very tough because, having to write the exam in October/November, I didn’t have a summer in 2022. I was in school July, August the entire time.”

She noted that despite the challenge, “the end justified the means”.

“At the end of the day, the results I had for my AS-Level were exactly what was recognised by the British Council”, she says. “My Law was top in the world”.

Unlike Mmesoma, Oluwabukolami said she is heading straight to the university to get a Law degree.

“After this summer, I am going straight to university. I actually took a year gap before I went to Cambridge in Lagos. I went to fashion school and learnt a bunch of things, and now, I know I’m ready to go to university and I am resuming this September”.

She counsels students who want to study Law in the U.K to acquire the degree within three years, adding that this would be after the applicant might have successfully acquired the Cambridge A-Levels qualifications.

Like Mmesoma, Oluwabukolami hopes to return to Nigeria after her degree programme and contest for a political office someday. According to her, that is a way of giving back to the country where she was born and bred.

She urged parents who have access to financial resources to be willing to make sacrifices for their children’s education. She says education is paramount, and investing in the education of the younger generation will foster economic growth and development.

Abimbola Fapohunda
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