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BellaNaija Celebrates Academic Excellence – Class of 2013: Ifeanyi Ukwuoma



BellaNaija presents “Celebrating You! Class of 2013.” A few months ago we called for submissions of graduating students who had excelled in their course of study. We acknowledge the fact that everyone who has graduated this year is a winner. We, therefore, want to celebrate people who have gone over and above the norm. People who have gotten meritorious distinctions and awards from their institution of study. We hope that you are inspired and we look forward to receiving more entries.

Ifeanyi Ukwuoma‘s story is extraordinary. His father worked in public service and his mother supported through her food trading business. While Ifeanyi was in primary school he was always flunking his classes. He even had to repeat primary 4 because he did quite poorly. That was the turning point for him because he determined to excel going forward and that’s exactly what he did. We hope you are truly inspired by his story.

Academic Journey
For every exam I wrote back in school, I always came out at the bottom of the class. This made me to repeat primary four and I tore my report sheet before I got home. Of course, you can be sure I got the beating of my life. Everything changed after I read James 1:5 in the Bible, ‘if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraided; and it shall be given to him‘.

To the surprise of my teachers and classmates, I made a fascinating transition to coming first at every examination. I got into Lagos State Model College, Kankon, Badagry and I continued with this positive trend. While in SS2, I participated at the Bournvita Brain Match Schools’ Competition as well as represent Lagos State at the 2nd NNPC National Quiz Competition. For my SSCE, I came out with seven distinctions and was admitted into the Federal University of Technology, Owerri to study Geology. I graduated among the top students of my class with a CGPA of 4.13 out of 5. During my final year semester, I participated at the 2008 SHELL Geosciences Summer School at the University of Port-Harcourt in Rivers State.

European Commission Scholarship
After my bachelor degree, I decided I wanted to study for my Masters degree in either the US, Canada or anywhere in Europe. Funding was a major obstacle as I did not know where to get the money. I stumbled on a scholarship initiative administered by the European Commission for students coming from developing countries (including Nigeria) to study for a postgraduate program in several European universities. The selection criteria was very stringent and competitive. It was solely based on exceptional academic grades during your bachelor program and you must clearly show with your research proposal an ability to carry-out a scientific/technical research. Luckily, I was selected from Africa for this scholarship which covers tuition fees, living expenses, travelling, housing and insurance costs.

For the first year of my program, I had to study in about five European Universities for nine months, spending about two to three months in each of them. I studied in Poland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Hungary and Germany. After the first year, I got a certificate signed by all participating universities. For the second year of the program, I had to choose two of the universities to study for a period of six months each which would eventually award me the double masters’ degree certificates. So, I studied at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands (Msc Applied Earth Science) and the University of Exeter (Camborne School of Mines), United Kingdom (Msc Mineral Resource Management).

The entire program was really stressful as it has to do with a lot of travelling and studying several technical subjects that I had no prior knowledge about.

Going Forward
For the future, I want to do mining. Nigeria is blessed with vast mineral resources that could be used to lift communities out of poverty if managed properly. With my master’s degree in mineral resource management, I hope to be part of the few championing the change in the mining industry in Nigeria. I am opened for further collaboration in this respect. So far, one thing I do know now beyond any reasonable doubt is that regardless of where you are coming from, if you work hard enough and you are passionate about it, sooner or later the effort would bring forth the reward.

Fun facts:
I am a die-hard fan of M.I. and I love the T.V series ‘Everybody Hates Chris’.

If you want to be part of this inspiring and amazing feature or if you know someone who is part of the Class of 2013 who should be featured here, please send an email to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com. We look forward to reading from you and sharing your academic excellence.


  1. yemi

    September 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Congratulations to you! A perfect example of ‘u can achieve anything in life once u put ur heart to it’. Wish u d best in ur future endeavours.

  2. Dora the explorer

    September 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    woaw woaw woaw!!! James 1:5!!! I Key into this scripture as I am about to commence my masters degree studies.. Ifeanyi may you never loose your fighting spirit.. Amen..

  3. slice

    September 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Ah maybe our boy Ladi Delano (featured on BN) can help u. I’m sure he’d want a smart guy like u on his team. And when u find him, tell him slice thinks he’s cute 🙂

    • new bride

      September 23, 2013 at 9:13 am

      See your mouth like ‘our boy’

    • slice

      September 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      lol sorry you’re right. I should have said “my” boy. hehe

  4. beautifulonyinye

    September 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Wow!Awesome.Congratulations.Keep up the good work.

  5. fiyin

    September 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Wow…God’s word can heal…

  6. Swave

    September 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Well done… Wish i had the funds to invest in ur talent…oh well

  7. DestinedtobeGREAT

    September 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    The Word of God is “too” complete jare.May God continue to strengthen you Bro

  8. Obiefuna

    September 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    You just inspired my age 30 i just secured admission at one of the best polish university but still have this in mind..That at 30 i supposed to have masters but your story have given me courage to push forward..Thanks…

  9. Tess

    September 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Very inspiring story! truly there is nothing hard work and God’s grace cannot do. Welldone Ifeanyi, more grace and grease…

  10. Amebo

    September 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Congrats. You just motivated me.

  11. Gbenga

    September 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I know this guy…his nick name back in secondary school
    was ‘ochuko’…that guy know book ehhhh…Brain Master…didnt know
    he got an European scholarship…well, i wasnt surprised…the guy
    too know book..congrats ifeanyi

    • d baby

      September 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      lasmock what set?

    • lola

      September 24, 2013 at 9:47 am

      i think 2003…

  12. That African Chic

    September 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Sucecess= Hard work + Determination + Persistence Ifyeanyi
    is a living example

  13. Rubies

    September 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Very inspiring. Kudos to you bro

  14. olaide.

    September 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Am so inspired. Well done.

  15. Soraya

    September 23, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Ok, so what was your final grade then? *sigh.. why are Nigerians so obsessed about academic achievements? Will that put food on the table? Will it repair the social, moral and economic ills of the country??? I don’t want to put a damper on this guy’s achievements, as good as they are- I would be more interested in knowing that you did on a social and political level rather than through education- at least you have control over education but what will you do to make the corrupt powers that be in Nigeria quake in their beds?

    • lagos is my Home

      September 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Nigerians are obsessed with so many things , …………from Academic to Wedding this and that to Stay in a marriage by force by fire …….so take you pick .
      I tire for my people ……….

    • new bride

      September 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Maybe you should list your own social and moral achievements first! smh!!

    • John

      September 24, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Soraya… He doesnt owe anybody anything. He is living his life and doing the things he wants to do, while being successful at it. . Heres another fact, you are bitter.

  16. okesanjo Rachael kemisola

    September 23, 2013 at 1:42 am

    this iss great and happy to see Nigeria moving forward


    September 23, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Wow!!! This is lovely…

  18. maxwell

    September 23, 2013 at 4:58 am

    Wow congrats

  19. Ayomi

    September 23, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Congratulations, guys check dis out

  20. Iny

    September 23, 2013 at 9:06 am

    So nice, Congrats to him. Its the Erasmus mundus Scholarship.

  21. oge

    September 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    wooow! I am really inspired by this success story!

  22. Rexie

    September 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Congratulations!! Great success story.

  23. Sisi

    September 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Well done bros….what a great turnaround at a young age. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it and believe what God says about you


    September 25, 2013 at 11:44 pm


  25. fredysleek

    September 26, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Yes Ifeanyi Ukwuoma was my classmate back then in FUTO.
    We’re geology 2003-2008 set. He was really good. He was among our
    four pointers from year one. Am happy cos he’s my friend. Congrats
    bro…..great FUTIOTE! Who no go associate with success?

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