Aminat Kamaru is both friendly and quiet, and she enjoys staying away from social media troubles, but always finds it easy to get along with new faces. She draws her inspiration from the Nelson Mandela quote: “There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Aminat scored the highest marks in Strategic Business Leader (SBL) module of her ACCA exams.
She was born in Ondo Kingdom, Ondo State into the family of Alhaji & Mrs. Kamaru, but has her roots in Osun/Kwara State. She grew up with her siblings in a middle-class family where getting educated was an integral part of life, and he says the moral support from her parents cannot be overemphasized. Aminat
Distinctions From Very Early
I attended Saint Louis Secondary School, and excelled with 6 distinctions and 3 credits for all the nine (9) papers registered. I further studied Economics at the University of Ilorin, where I was mostly seen as a quiet scholar. I surpassed my departmental record with 15As, 1B and 2Cs in my second-year results, and finally graduated with a strong Second Class Upper Honors (Degree).
The Favour Market
While serving my fatherland under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), it was glaring that the time to get into the “favour” market was near. From studying and writing GMAT, SHL, and Kenexa examinations amongst others, to attending various assessment centers, the hustle and bustle took some years, but I was eventually able to secure an entry level position with a big-four firm in Nigeria. One of my greatest worries in life was living in Lagos, which made me reject some job offers initially. My mummy got wind of this offer and made it clear to me that I wouldn’t be rejecting it (thanks mum)! So the Lagos journey began.
Determining What Certification To Get
As a big-four personnel, to deliver exceptional services to clients, you are required to have certain certifications. Coupled with my passion to be a force in my area of work and interest, I chose the Association of Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) professional examination and decided to see it through. I felt that with ACCA in the bag, a big-four experience, and my self-developed soft skills, the sky would be the starting point.
ACCA journey and its challenges
Writing ACCA came with a lot of challenges and Doubting Thomases. Combining full time work with professional examination studies in Nigeria is a big challenge on its own, but facing Lagos traffic to and from work every day is also another trial. There were days I literally cried to sleep because I was so overwhelmed with the preparation and workload.
A major moment I doubted my ability to surpass previous achievements was when I had my examination plan shifted by a year due to work pressure and demands. This happened at a time when I had finished reading one of the planned papers – if you know how voluminous ACCA text + kits are, you would understand my frustration at reading it again in another few months. At that point, I knew I had to do something special to meet my desired goals, so I registered for four papers at once. I must confess, it’s so draining. But hey! I passed all in one sitting.
Another major threat to my goal was the introduction of new papers at the professional level. At some point I got so scared about passing the examination. A few minutes into entering the examination hall for my papers in December, I would call my parents to ease the mental stress. During the examination for one of my papers (Advanced Audit and Assurance – formerly P7), I had only attempted 35 out of 100 marks before I heard only one hour was left. My bladder got filled, my heart beat increased, and I just wanted to give up. Then I asked myself: What do I have to lose by attempting 50 marks within one hour? So what I did was I split the time left between the questions and wrote faster than I ordinarily should have in an exam.
My unique success formulae: An excellent way to make a difference
To remind me every day of my deliverables, I wrote my registered papers on sticky notes and stuck them to the wall. It aided daily reassessment of my preparation level. With my final paper came a relief of having my weekends to myself, but I did ask God for a miracle because I got scared. I read my textbooks, solved all specimen papers under examination condition (timed), and attended all the webinars provided on ACCA Global website. Also, I watched videos by the ACCA examination hub, and student support as well as other free online materials, including open tuition, were exhaustively read while I prepared for the examination. It was like a war! All these were possible with exclusive and disciplined time allocation and management to each practice sessions.
On the day the results arrived, I checked my mail and saw my score. I spun around multiple times, shouting and thanking God at the same time. There was a massive flood of my late nights and early morning push and my effort had indeed paid off. A few hours later, I saw the prize winner mail – as the Global Best Student with a score of 91 in the Strategic Business Leader (SBL) examination, and almost lost consciousness. Like really? Me? Doing better than the Indians and the Chinese franchise? Being one of the first blacks to win the awards? Happy is an understatement of what I was feeling that evening. January 14th , 2019 is a day to be remembered in my world.
Surprisingly, it did not end there. I was invited to get my award from where it was sent to the ACCA Nigeria office. I was also informed of being the 5th global best student in Advanced Audit and Assurance, a paper I had to even rush to complete due to time constraint.
To recognize my achievements, I was also awarded the CEO Performance Award for 2019 by our Country Senior Partner, Uyi Akpata. “It always seems impossible until it’s done. Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” – Nelson Mandela.
Thus, I am letting my greatness blossom and I hope to reach the peak of my career in no distant time – to become one of the first female presidents of an investment firm in the world.
The most indispensable asset is your immediate people and you
There was a period in my life when I was down. Extremely down. I have had multiple fractures and dislocations on major parts of my body at different stages of my life. The last incident threw me into depression. I gave up on myself totally. It happened at a time my support system was down financially and I just resigned to being immobile. But the same support system wouldn’t let me give up in peace. My parents, siblings, and friends rallied round, got the money, and I was up again. In my mother’s words: If you are still alive, you have the world at your feet. So at all stages of my life, I challenge myself to achieve the unthinkable in order to make my support system happy and proud of taking all those sacrifices to bring me to where I am.
So here I am today living my mother’s popular saying. With God, prayer, hard work and sacrifices as applicable, you can also achieve the greatest of all goals.
To you reading this, I say be forward-looking, courageous, determined, prayerful, inspired and motivated by Aminat Kamaru’s story!
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.