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BellaNaija Celebrates Academic Excellence – Class of 2015: Uzoamaka Nduka



presents “Celebrating You! Class of 2015” 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.

Uzoamaka Chigoziri Nduka graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with a first class degree in Economics. The daughter of two professors,  she knows what it feels like to aspire for academic greatness. Her initial plan was to study Accountancy, but as a recipient of the CBN Scholarship, she was mandated to study Economics.

When she got into University at 17, she was anxious and excited to discover all that life, away from home, had for her. The rigours University and academic pursuits soon showed her a lot more.

In her words: I had a list of all the fun things I wanted to do; join the handball team, join a dance group because I love to dance and I am good at it, learn to play the guitar etc. I thought I could combine all of these with my study and still make good grades. How surprising it was then for me to find out that a Nigerian University is not extra curriculum friendly. So I had to sacrifice my passions for my studies. 90% of the time, I moved in a triangle i. e Hostel to Class, Class to Library and Library back to the Hostel.
Uzoamaka’s story of hard work and endurance is very inspiring and BellaNaija is very pleased to share the story of the first female First Class graduate from the Economics department, University of Port Harcourt.

Life At the University
On arrival to the University all eager for the experience. My first challenge was the learning environment. I had attended a Secondary school where we were about 25 in a class – you know everyone by name and surname. Each student has a seat in a ventilated classroom and there is a close relationship between teachers and students. Then I found myself in a place where we were about 200 in a stuffy class. You have to hustle to get a seat, else you run the risk of standing for the duration of the class. You are discouraged from being close to your lecturers by your senior colleagues for fear of harassment and you are told to get the thought of getting a First Class out of your head as it is impossible. It was a lot to take in at once but I adjusted quickly.

Not only must you understand the course, you have to understand the lecturer in charge of the course. Does he/she like lengthy answers to his/her questions or would he rather you go straight to the point? Does he/she like original answers or would he/she rather hear exactly what he/she had taught you? It was quite tricky and in my 1st year, I had only 3 A’s out of 13 courses. It was a terrible performance and my dad urged me to do better. Like the saying goes, when in Rome, you act like the Romans. I had to change my tactics. So I began to make friends with bright students who were in higher levels and they gave me invaluable advice. They told me the lecturers I should avoid and the ones I could see as mentors. Most importantly, they let me know the patterns of most lecturers I will encounter and that went a long way to smoothen my journey.


Of all the challenges, the biggest was the results. My first taste of this was in the 2nd semester of my year one. I had written Introductory Mathematics for Economists 1 in the 1st semester and made an A. The next semester, I sat for the part 2 of this course with the same lecturer and I was graded with a D. To say I was surprised is an understatement. I was shocked! I quickly checked the scores breakdown and realized that the questions recorded were not the ones I had answered in the examination so I brought it to the notice of my HOD. Filled out the necessary applications to see my script and it was discovered that there was an error. So my rightful grade of B was given to me. This same incident repeated itself in my 3rd year and I repeated the same process. But not all were as lucky as I was in contesting their results and having the problem resolved. Most times, the fear of victimization and the sheer tediousness of the process discouraged a lot of people from it.

Obsessed with My CGPA
Throughout my years in school, I monitored my CGPA like a hawk. I was always calculating and up till the 1st semester of my final year, I wasn’t sure I would realize my First class goal. The CGPA was always annoyingly close; 4.44, 4.45, 4.48 etc. It was my final semester that made all the difference as I had 6 A’s out of 7 courses including my project.

First Class, Girl!
I still remember exactly what I was doing when I got the news that I made a First Class.
I was in the kitchen making eba and my mum sent me a text that the University Senate had just approved our results and I graduated top of my class and the only First Class Honours degree from my Faculty. I screamed and ran into the parlour to tell my brother the good news as I did my victory dance. Words cannot express how I felt. I later found out that I had set a record being the first female to be awarded a First class degree by the department of Economics in the University of Port Harcourt since its inception. Also, finding out that not only was I the best in my Department but also the best in my faculty and the best graduating female student from the entire University was quite overwhelming. To me, all these were bonuses as my main goal was to get the First Class which I did.

Words on Marble
My advice to all students who aspire for success is never get discouraged or disillusioned. Even when it seems like your efforts are not counting, do not stop pushing. Surround yourself with people who share the same dreams with you and not naysayers. Be kind to people because it will attract help to you when you need it most. Endeavour to not just pray but trust in the Will of God because the ways of God are not the ways of Man. Above all, listen to that still small voice within you. The stories I could tell you about the various instances when that voice literally saved me are endless. I wish you all the best.

If you want to be part of this inspiring and amazing feature or if you know someone who is part of the Class of 2015 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. Strawberrycandy

    June 19, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Way to go girl! CONGRATULATIONS

    • polypoly

      June 19, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      yassss gurlllll yasss!!!! go forth into the professional world and SLAYYYYYYYYY hunty!!!!

      who RUN the WORLD???? girlllssss getting their degrees!! be it first class, or lower class, we are all doing something with our lives and not waiting for no man.

      I just wish she wont settle for marriage and continue to chase her dreams. cos one of my friends was the valedictorian at an Ivy League school couple years back (I wont reveal skool name but its well known). This babe was the achiever type that everybody always said will be the bext inventor or CEO or sha be great in STEM. Anywho she was top of the class for Masters in Engineering too. Only for this babe to marry and give up her degree. She is a royal housewife now, for a man that doesn’t make half of what she wulda been making with her qualifications.

    • Nduka Uzoamaka

      June 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      I understand your fears for me but I do not plan on being a housewife. Like so many women who are excelling in the world, I will find d balance between work and family. Thank u for the advice and encouragement

    • Bayowilson

      June 19, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      @polypoly……. Love is blind

  2. New bride

    June 19, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Not sure why but I have tears in my eyes! I don’t know you, but i’m proud of you! First class is only the beginning, may God continue to reward all your hard work with success.

    In this day and age where young girls are sleeping with their father’s mates for handbags and such, you have shown that education is still valuable.

    I’ll advise that you consider getting a master’s degree abroad (in US especially), this will open you up to a whole new world and give you a more more balanced educational experience (including the extra curricular activities you so much craved).

    All the best in everything.

  3. info

    June 19, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Well done!!!

  4. teeA

    June 19, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Good on you girl! Congrats.

    P.s: Nigerian universities sha! see all the many ‘inconsequential’ factors she had to consider and barriers she had to overcome (wrong results ) instead of focusing on understanding the course material and just studying.

    • chukwukadibia

      June 20, 2015 at 4:05 am

      She’s very lucky she had professor parents in the university,that gave her some edge.becuase I know some people that dared to question thier scores in uniben then,the lecture will just make life useless for you till you graduate. All the best dear,i thank God for your life.

  5. Nne

    June 19, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I studied Economics too, and to learn you made a 1st class is highly commendable….. It is not a small something!

  6. Ennie

    June 19, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Congratulations Girl.. You are blessed

  7. niyola

    June 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm us 1st class in engineering , or physics, maybe mathematics . Who has time for all these mickey mouse courses…

    • matilda

      June 19, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      How very very very IGNORANT!…. its pitiful really. I actually pity you if you were serious with that comment.

      My dear Uzo!!! CONGRATS! you did amazing girl. make sure you continue with that zeal and determination. you will excel. you wanted to study accounting? its not too late, ACCA babay!!

    • Scared homosapien

      June 19, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      May God wash out the bitterness in your heart with Vim and Iron sponge.

    • yeah

      June 19, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Vim and Iron sponge,LMAO!!!I’m gonna copy and paste this your line to dem Haters

    • cute

      June 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      @ niyola,A person’s words are the most powerful things he or she has. It’s your job to keep them positive and reliable. So, if you have something to say, first ask
      whether it will hurt someone. Second, ask how what you say will benefit someone.
      We often fail to realize the negative effects our
      words have,if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.Time and time again, we bring negativity into our
      lives without realizing the negative things we say
      about people are like boomerangs.
      I don’t know you uzoamaka,but I love your honesty n fighting spirit.

    • Dr. N

      June 19, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      I be doctor O! Economics no be mickey mouse at all

    • Idongesit

      June 19, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      Ignorance is realy not good. Its easier to have a 1st class in this courses than economics.

    • Just Saying

      June 20, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      LOL. Niyola She was the ONLY person in her faculty that graduated with first class. I think that shows that the “mickey mouse” course is not as easy as you portray it to be.
      PS: I hope you graduated or would graduate with a first class. Please share your story with us! Smh.

      Uzo Congratulations girl! Your achievement is commendable!

    • niyola

      June 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      okay…i apologise….sorry for the comment….congrats to the girl…maybe its because am still struggling with my one course work as we speak….lol…anyway, congrats to the girl…am sure nobody can stop you….

  8. charles

    June 19, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I have noticed the trend of Girls making first class more than guys. I learnt how smart girls could be while in school. They would party hard with us, but still read their books. They would be the first to come for lectures and even be the ones to know when we had lectures or not or when we had quizzes. when results come out they would be the first to head to the notice board to check.
    We block headed guys would check our CGPA’s to see we barely scaled the hurdle. We would then console ourselves with statements like;
    “Na only God know who go make am or not. No be by CGPA”.
    Some other male folks who were barely scrapping for CGPA’s would go as far as saying;
    “Why she no go carry 4.00, when Flapapa (lecturer) dey run the babe.” Na so we guy men take dey fool ourself for school..

    A girl with brains is a blessing to society. Uzoamaka, I dey use one eye look you. Wish you the best.

  9. Leah

    June 19, 2015 at 4:21 pm


  10. tolly

    June 19, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Your end will be greater than the the beginning

  11. jeff

    June 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm


  12. mywifeisfiiiiiiine

    June 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Something to finally celebrate on BN; you go girl, you rock! I was in Nigeria 3 weeks ago and I went to ikeja city mall, there is a restaurant upstairs, not the beer place but the other one. Any way I was in the non smoke section with my baby because my wife decide she wanted to look for stuff our Lil one. Members of the Governors team came in, this where men in their fifties and sixties, it was the bday of one of dem. Next thing I saw where girls that could not have been more than 22 or 24 in tow, frolicking with men old enough to be their pops. And all I could think is there goes a wasted generation all for money and designer items. When my brother came to join us, I said to him pls when you are older, promise me you won’t destroy the lives of small girls like these old fools; because all I could think of was my little angel who was by now asleep in my arms and how I would murder any old fool that tries to steal her innocence. Uzoamaka, you have done your parents and yourself proud. Your country salutes you for excellence

  13. Zadera

    June 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Well done!!

  14. Nice One

    June 19, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Proudly Igbo Girl

  15. teekay

    June 19, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    you go girl!!!!!!
    i finished from the university of port harcourt too and i know how life is there…. the greatest huddle of all was contesting results, alot of us just let go because of the fear of challenging a lecture….Congrats girl,Im proud of you.

  16. cute

    June 19, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Love your honesty!!The best is yet to come for u.

  17. Eruteya Elohor

    June 19, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Am literally inspired and happy 4 u….you deserve these moments and many more

  18. Lizzie

    June 19, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Congratulations girl..

  19. AsMyself

    June 19, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Congrats Uzoamaka. I’m so proud of you. #UNIQUE!

    Uniport though! That was how the result for a exam I wrote in first semester year one came out after second semester exams in year two. Missing result. I had to go for an immersion program for the whole of year three. There was no way I could stay and remedy that issue.

    On getting back in final year, the lecturer barked at me : “go and rewrite the course, your result is missing”. In Uniport, a single carry over will bar you from making a first class. Even with this one result missing, my CGPA was 4.75.

    I complained to my father who is also a lecturer In another university. He came to school a few weeks later (he was an external examiner for Ph.D students) and dragged me to my Dean’s office. My Dean told me that no lecturer had the right to tell me my result was missing. As far as I signed the attendance register twice (at the beginning of the exam and after submitting my script, as is done in Uniport), and after collation, the lecturer never officially reported my script to be missing, he had no right to tell me my script was missing. It was in the student handbook, he said. He ordered me to write a strongly worded letter calling for my script to be produced I did and copied everyone copiable.

    “Are you too big to carry this course over next semester? Why are you giving us all this stress for a year one course and you are graduating now”…the lecturer and his secretary spat at me. I was so frustrated, I had to go back and report to the Dean. He followed me to the Computer Department in Offrima, climbed all those flight of stairs and demanded that they start the search for my script immediately. “Prof is that why you came all the way here? Please go back, we will find it”. He insisted and they started sorting through piles. They didn’t go too far…my script was found in less than ten minutes. That was how my CGPA shot up immediately to 4.88 and I became the valedictorian for that year.

    Tell every student you know to not accept stories of missing results. I’m not even going to talk about a lecturer in my department who bragged that he would fail me because I “feel too big”. He toasted me and I didn’t agree. He gave me a B in the course. Of course I called for a remarking of my script and I finally got my A. No time to waste time, mbok! Most students are totally unaware of these things…Please tell anyone you may know that it’s actually possible.

    Sorry for the too-long comment.

    • yeah

      June 19, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Glad u didn’t settle for less.In my case I wasn’t bold to face the lecturer and I rewrote the course again.

    • Concerned

      June 20, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Welldone AsMyself for scaling those obstacles. It’s a shame you had to be put through all that but reading your story was inspiring and worth it. Hopefully many will keep up the fighting spirit like u did to avoid being cheated. My sister was a victim of a similar incident and it cost her quite a lot. It’s a shame that people work hard and some people will use their power and non chalant ways to mess up their future. God is on His thrown.

    • Concerned

      June 20, 2015 at 12:22 am


    • AsMyself

      June 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you.

    • chukwukadibia

      June 20, 2015 at 4:14 am

      @asmyself,you see what I said earlier,your father’s connection helped you scale through,God help us in Nigeria oh,if don’t no people at the right places,OYO for you.congrats all thesame girl.

    • AsMyself

      June 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      My father’s connection? He met the Dean for the very first time that day. And the said Dean lectured me in two final year courses. And I did write that the Dean said guidelines on recalling scripts and contesting results were in the student’s handbook which everyone receives as a fresher. So where in all this, is the connection?

      I was knowledgeable enough to contest my result because it was a regular occurrence with my seniors in the department. That I didn’t know how to go about calling for my script which landed me in my Dean’s office was not connection. Say something else and stop imagining that nothing gets done in this country if one has no connections. It’s misleading.

  20. Rrrrrrrrr

    June 19, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Graduated from Uniport, Pet Eng. Department. School was crazy, and for you to go through all the crazy and come out on top is beyond brilliant. Nothing is impossible! Moral of this story. Am soo proud of you

  21. zainab

    June 19, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Congratulations dearie, it runs in the family, her elder sis was my course mate in pharmacy school! We are all proud of you!!

  22. Opara Boy

    June 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    #KeepInspiring Congratulations!

  23. Fazeena

    June 19, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Well done Uzy baby, im proud of u… Wish u all the best in future endeavors xoxo .. GBU

  24. Ebere

    June 19, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Congratz sis…keep shining!

  25. Dr. N

    June 19, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Ezi nwa! Well done. God bless u

  26. Ugochi

    June 19, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Congrats dearie, wishing you more success. Keep breaking records

  27. keeks

    June 19, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Only bitter people will not wish you well. A simple congratulations will not kill you. More grease to your elbow.

  28. Gbafaa Felix

    June 19, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    We both graduated from the same institution; university of port, department of economics. She was my course mate. I can still remember vividly the difficulties we went through while we were in school. The cold from night classes, mosquito bite and the library reading etc. Most of us were afraid to apply for remarking because of the stories we heard from our senior colleagues. But I thank God I was able to graduate with 2:1. Congratulations Uzy. Graduating as a first class student is not an easy task. #na Godwin#

  29. Enwongo Cleopas

    June 19, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Uzomaka dear I’m so so proud of you.

  30. Idongesit

    June 19, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Congrats Uzzyy!!! Go gal

  31. Dr. Feezzy MD

    June 19, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Congratulations dear…U made us proud.

  32. Saviour

    June 19, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Fortune favors the brave…. Congrats Girl…

  33. oversabi

    June 20, 2015 at 1:02 am

    I don’t have any good stories of Uniport. I came out with a 2nd class lower because in my first two years, I was terrorized by 3 lecturers in chemistry, math and Botany. God help me make I no publish their names. I will leave clues. It was 1989. Congratulations girl. The sky is your limit. Don’t let anyone tell you who you are and what you can be. Aspire for the sky and its yours. You have the gift of a brain. Don’t go into teaching. The world bank, the presidency and the Nigerian stock exchange need you as advisors. Take a job that is revolutionary. Do something to impact humanity and you will always look upon your past without regrets. Soar girl, high on the wings of the eagle, soar!!

  34. h

    June 20, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Congratulations it is not easy.please and please do a masters in any ivy league or canada.even if ivy league dull will still land in a good skool. abeg no go uk ohh will be a star and it will give a balance education.all dese american student nor reach especially if you grad for naija.people with 2’2 sef na star for here.the sky us ur stepping stone!!!!.a future star.God grace be with you. Ps….i wish my babe sharp like you her own na jusy to the chop my money with her dull business ideas.

  35. Beauty and Brains

    June 20, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Congrats dearie, More grease to your elbow,
    My younger sister studied Economics and it’s not beans ooo.
    No,course is bigger than the Other the only difference is in the Work load..
    Whatever you are studying just be the best in it..
    But wait even in my school the Overall best Student was a female from Pharm.. and her dad was a prof, and her mother a PH.D holder..

  36. Isaac

    June 20, 2015 at 7:11 am

    dear you deserve it. despite the odds we met in that unique uniport , you triumphed. God bless you.

  37. Ejiro Teejay

    June 20, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Congrats @ Uzoamaka. Am so proud of your achievement. 1st class in Uniport nor be beans. What a uniquely wonderful family the Ndukas are! Keep soaring gal.

  38. kwo kwo

    June 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    congratulations dear.
    I also graduated from unique Uniport.
    I didnt have a missing script situation but a mistake in matriculation number when the results were published. and the lecturer refused to corect it.
    I tried my best but gave up and accepted to re-write it the next year…..

    Go on and make up proud.

  39. kwo kwo

    June 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    make us proud

  40. Sarima Emmanuel

    June 20, 2015 at 11:07 am

    All d best Uzy….it was really a great pleasure knowing u!!! Dis honour is just d beginning!

  41. neliglad

    June 20, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    You are very correct. Her dad is the immediate past deputy Vc admin. Her mum a professor of animal &environmental biology. Very humble professors. I passed tru dem as a student and presently as a staff.

  42. AsMyself

    June 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    My father’s connection? He met the Dean for the very first time that day. And the said Dean lectured me in two final year courses. And I did write that the Dean said guidelines on recalling scripts and contesting results were in the student’s handbook which everyone receives as a fresher. So where in all this, is the connection?

    I was knowledgeable enough to contest my result because it was a regular occurrence with my seniors in the department. That I didn’t know how to go about calling for my script which landed me in my Dean’s office was not connection. Say something else and stop imagining that nothing gets done in this country if one has no connections. It’s misleading.

  43. Jice

    June 20, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Why did the school text her mum and not her? Nigerian universities are not serious.

    A thousand congratulations girlie o!

  44. sugar

    June 20, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Congrats Uzoamaka…….the sky is your stepping stone. I just graduated from Uniport too, class of 2015…..even though I didn’t make a first class, I am super proud of myself for making a second class upper in Petroleum Engineering. It’s nt easy……this is just the beginning for us all. May God bless our future endeavours

  45. TA

    June 20, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Uzo Congratulations. You have no idea how proud of you I am. And I don’t even know you. ? Best wishes and if you wish to do Masters please don’t think of going to the UK, schools in the U.S. will give you better leverage, countless opportunities not to mention the extremely influential alumnis, opportunities to join any Fortune 100 companies etc. The opportunities are literally endless

  46. Angiee

    June 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Uzy, my name sake. Am so proud of you. I think there is something about the ‘uzoamakas’ that has to do with brains, yes we gat it. Congrats dear!

  47. Diana Festus

    June 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    All these lovely comments made me smile so hard for my darling friend. Proud of u uzi deari… So keep making us proud

  48. Samuel Nwabueze

    June 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Being her course mate,I witnessed d rigorous tasks she passed tru in order 2 achieve this.She realy deserved it.Congrats Uzy 4 makin us proud.I pray u make it 2 d top.

  49. Akonye K. Chidobe

    June 25, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Boo, I’m just seeing this.
    Congratulations. ?

  50. DJ U.V

    June 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Congratulations!…May the creator continue to grant u the happiness that comes with achieving greatness. Amen.

  51. Udim

    September 28, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I am proud of you, Uzoamaka. Well done! Well done!!

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