Seven years after an unwanted pregnancy forced her to drop out of the University of Ilorin, Aishat Farooq emerged the best graduating student of the Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State.
When Aishat Farooq gained admission into the University of Ilorin at 15, to study Zoology, little did she know that she was not going to be an alumnus of the institution. That was in 2003.
Despite the fact that she was a high flyer in her first two years in UNILORIN, the now 25-year-old indigene of Ilorin West-Local Government Area of Kwara State got distracted along the line.
She played the campus love game and got a shocking result: she got pregnant.
It was in 2006 and in her third year.
She was pregnant for a fellow student whom she had been dating. She was disappointed in herself and thought the whole world was crashing on her.� Yet, she vowed not to terminate the pregnancy.
Although she wanted to continue her studies in the university,� she became disillusioned and dropped out at 18. She sought consolation in trading.
But her father, Mr. Shehu Farooq, who believed that his daughter’s academic prowess should not be wasted,� was determined to get her back on the academic track.
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. Fatima narrated to our correspondent:
�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.
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