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Thursday, February 29, 2024

My Baby Daddy advised me to procure abortion in 200 Level -FUTA 1st Class graduate Blessing Chukwuma

Blessing Chukwuma, who became internet celebrity after announcing her First-Class degree in Computer Science, says her ex-boyfriend who impregnated her at 200 Level had advised her to abort the baby.

According to her, the young man also suggested an alternative idea — to take one year off, have the baby and then return to school.

She didn’t do any of the suggested ideas and she ended up going it alone, baby and study alike.

The graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) disclosed this in a media interview published by The PUNCH.

Blessing narrates:

I was in the 200 level when I discovered that I was pregnant and felt so confused. I didn’t know what to do afterward. The father of my child, who is now my ex-boyfriend, wanted me to abort the pregnancy, but I disagreed with him.

At a point in the pregnancy, my ex-boyfriend stopped communicating with me

Then, we planned that I would get a condonation (a fee that students have to pay if they do not have the required attendance at the end of the semester or year) form to allow me to leave school for a year. I got the form, but the process of approval involved going through the student affairs officer, head of department, and other offices.

So while processing the form, I was questioned about my reason for wanting to leave school. I said it was due to financial constraints. I kept giving them the same answer when I got to the various offices. On getting to my HoD, he volunteered to pay my school fees because my grades were good. That was when I finally told him the truth about my pregnancy. He told me that there were other pregnant students in the school and advised me to continue with my education. I thought about his advice and decided to go back to school.

At a point in the pregnancy, my ex-boyfriend stopped communicating with me. I then contacted his family and told them of my pregnancy. I told the family that he didn’t pick up my calls and refused to return them. His family reached out to him and told him to look after me. He started supporting at a point but later stopped. He insisted that we should continue in the relationship if I wanted him to still support me, but I told him I wasn’t interested in the relationship again.

my HoD volunteered to pay my school fees because my grades were good

The relationship was stressful at that time because I had to beg him for support. So, I had to tell him that I could not continue with the relationship. He then said that since I was ending the relationship, he would stop supporting me. I decided to pull myself together and work things out for myself.

My dad was alive then, but now he’s late. My family is based in Lagos. When I told my mum, she was heartbroken. She was also sick at the time. There was little she could do and my dad was not also financially buoyant. My dad also had problems with his eyes. So I was just all by myself. Since my mum was sick, she could not come around to help when I welcomed my baby in school. It was just me and the baby. I had to rely on some people around me then.

It was very difficult because I was holding a political position then. I was the deputy governor of the School of Computing in FUTA and was popular among the students. So I became a topic of gossip and even overheard some people talking about me. It dampened my spirit, but I had to pull myself together.

my mum was sick, she could not come around to help when I welcomed my baby in school. I had to rely on people around me

At a point, I stopped caring about the gossip. Also, I was the one responsible for financing my education and I had to work during pregnancy. It was not easy finding a job in that condition, as most employers would not want to employ a pregnant woman. I then decided to take up menial jobs. I even worked as a cleaner while pregnant.

When I was heavily pregnant and could no longer continue with menial jobs, I started working for my landlady. I was helping her to sell at her shop, while she fed me. That was how I managed till I gave birth. After I gave birth, I started working in a restaurant very close to the school.

Before I started my popcorn business, I had done several other businesses. I started working when I left secondary school because I knew I had to further my education. After secondary school, I worked at a cyber cafe in Lekki. I used the money I got from the job to buy the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination form and got admitted into FUTA. I planned on starting a business while in school. When I was at the 100 level, I sold hair treatment solutions. I also sold ladies’ underwear at a point in school. Other jobs that I’ve done included cleaning and hair styling. I had my child in 2019 and decided to start my popcorn business in October 2022.

When I got admitted, I didn’t have a goal of finishing with a first class. I just wanted to go to school and change the narrative of my family

When I started my business, it was no longer a new thing to manage business, school, and academics. I was used to working while schooling. My business was to make popcorn for almost all events around town and in school. I didn’t sell every day because I had to make time for my academics and my child, so I focused on only events. Gradually, I started packaging the popcorn. It was not difficult managing all three, because I was already used to it.

When I got admitted, I didn’t have a goal of finishing with a first class. I just wanted to go to school and change the narrative of my family. I had a first-class grade in my 100 level, then I made up my mind to continue with it. But at a point, I almost gave up because I was trying to balance my academics and other activities and thought the first class was no longer possible.

One of the administrative staff members in my school was a source of inspiration for me. When she found out that I was pregnant at the 200 level, she supported me. I started keeping my baby in the crèche at two weeks and the woman catered for the crèche bills monthly. So, because of that woman, I decided to keep trying to become the best in my academics. I didn’t want to disappoint her after all she had spent on me and my baby.

Bridget Benson
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