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Pregnant at 18, best graduating student at 25 – Aishat Farooq shares her inspiring story

Aishat with her son, Damilola
Oh wow, I just had to share this inspiring story – the interview was first published by  PUNCH.
We all make mistakes but this story will teach you how to turn around that big mistake and failure into a success story.

When Aishat Farooq gained admission into
the University of Ilorin at 15, to study Zoology in 2003, she got distracted along
the line,  played the campus love game and got pregnant 3 years after (2006).
She
was pregnant for a fellow student whom she had been dating. 
On realizing she was pregnant, she had to drop out of school for fear of shame – so she dropped out at 18 and sought consolation in trading.

Today, Aishat has a different story to
tell. On Saturday, she stood tall among her peers at the 5th convocation
ceremony of Bells University, Ota, Ogun State,  where she emerged the
overall best graduating student with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of
4.93.
“The rebel in me won,” she declared while
giving the valedictory address on behalf of the 208 graduating students
of the university.
“I hope my story will inspire at least
one person to change his or her circumstance. I was pregnant at 18 and
by 19 I was already a mother. I had disappointed my father who believed
so much in me. He had such big dreams for me and feared the dreams would
become unfulfilled,” she added.
Breaking the news of the pregnancy to her
father,  who was at the time based in the northern part of the country,
was not easy. Aishat’s mother, Fatima, who stayed in Lagos with the
family, did not break the “sad news” to the man until the lady was
almost due. The mum feared her husband would be too angry.
Her mum, Fatima said “Looking back, we knew her to be very brilliant. But all of a sudden she
got pregnant. Though her father and I were always discussing on the
telephone, I hid it from him. Whenever he said he would  be coming to
Lagos to visit us, I  would quickly chip it in that I would  like to be
the one to visit. So, I ensured I was the one always visiting him.
“That was how I managed the situation
until the pregnancy was eight months. But even when we broke the news to
him, he felt really bad. Although there was nothing he could do, he
couldn’t go out for three days.”
Aishat studied Business Administration
with specialisation in Human Resources Management, and received the
Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for the Overall Best Graduating Student with a
cash reward of N50,000 and a plaque. She also won the College of
Management Sciences Prize and Department of Business Administration
Prize for the Best Graduating Student.
Aishat, who attended Nazareth Nursery and
Primary School, Lagos; Penny International College, Lagos and Model
Secondary School, Maitama, Abuja,  said she bagged several academic
awards while growing up and noted that she secured admission to UNILORIN
the same year she completed her secondary education.
She noted, “I did exceptionally well and
bagged awards in the schools I attended. I had the overall best result
at the Senior Secondary School Certificate level at Model Secondary
School, Maitama, Abuja. In fact in UNILORIN, I was on the first class
grade in my first year but in 200 Level, I dropped to second class upper
division because I had already started getting distracted by the boys.
“It just happened that things turned out
the way it did. But here I am, a product of God’s unending mercies,
unconditional love and grace – all coupled with the faith my dad had in
me and my fierce determination.
“I’m a goal getter. I push myself hard.
Even here (BELLSTECH) in spite of being a mother, I was pushing for the
best despite the challenges. I wanted to make my dad proud again. Once
you are determined, nothing is impossible. Nothing can stop you.”
She said her decision to study Business
Administration as against the sciences, which she was studying in
UNILORIN, was informed by her two-year experience in the world of
business after she dropped out of university.
She explained that incessant strikes by
the Academic Staff Union of Universities, however, informed her decision
to attend a private university. “Age was no longer on my side and I
wanted to do it fast. And my dad could afford it because he was a
businessman,” she added.
Asked if she was involved in any
relationship at the Bells, she explained that she was a popular “snob”
on campus because the majority of male students were younger than her.
Besides, she did not want to get distracted or disappoint her parents
and herself again.
The second child in a family of eight
children, Aishat brought her six-year-old son, Damilola, to the
convocation. It was, however, learnt that the Edo State-born father of
the boy has since got married to another woman.
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5 Comments

  1. Inspiring indeed. Being pregnant at a young age is not the end of life. Look at Geneveive today, she didn't let her teenage pregnancy stop her from achieing her dreams.

  2. This made me feel guilty and sad. My younger sister got pregnant at 18 too while in ss3 and we all showed her pepper, even though she was brilliant, we weren't ready to send her back to school, now she is a full time hair dresser, I wish i had convinced my dad to send her to school

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