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True Life Story

From Okada rider to first-class graduate: Hezekiah’s inspiring journey

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Toyinbo Hezekiah’s story is one of determination and resilience. Toyinbo is 30 years old, he hails from Igude village in Ogun State, Nigeria.

Despite the weight of financial burden and the grind of unconventional work, Toyinbo clings steadfastly to a singular dream: the pursuit of higher education. With each brick laid and every mile traversed on his motorcycle, Toyinbo’s determination burns brighter, illuminating the path towards his ultimate goal – to grasp the coveted title of graduate.

When he started his degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, he didn’t aim for top grades. His main goal was to earn his degree.

However, his journey took an unexpected turn when he achieved a GPA of 5.0 in his third year. This success opened his eyes to the possibility of graduating with first-class honors.

Throughout his academic journey, Toyinbo’s passion for learning never wavered. From excelling in primary school to navigating challenges in secondary school, he remained focused on his goals. Despite growing up in a farming-focused village where education wasn’t emphasised, Toyinbo’s determination to succeed propelled him forward.

During his university years, Toyinbo faced numerous challenges, including financial hardships and balancing work with studies. While his classmates relied on support from family and friends, Toyinbo had to borrow money to pay for his exams and immediately start working to repay his debts.

Despite these obstacles, Toyinbo’s dedication paid off. He graduated as the top student in his department with a first-class honours degree, achieving a remarkable GPA of 4.55.

However, the recognition he received during convocation was minimal, leaving him feeling unsatisfied.

Reflecting on his journey, Toyinbo remains optimistic about the future. He has already immersed himself in farm work, rearing various breeds of chickens and providing free consultation to aspiring farmers.

His ultimate goal is to further his education and become a professor specializing in animal science and research.

When asked about his advice for underprivileged individuals aspiring to continue their studies, Toyinbo emphasised taking initiative and starting with what they have. He believes that with determination and trustworthiness, anyone can change their story, just as he did.

Toyinbo’s story is didactical, as it emphasises the need for perseverance and hard work, even the most unlikely dreams can become a reality.

True Life Story

The role of family: Olaolu’s support system in overcoming addiction

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By Suliah Lawal

Olalolu, a young and intelligent secondary school graduate, was a reserved and promising individual. He had a sheltered life during his school days, but later developed an addiction to smoking and fraud.

He learned how to smoke from his cousin during his UTME exam in Ogbomosho and became addicted. Despite being reserved and calm, he struggled with this addiction, which continued after gaining admission to Gateway Polytechnic in Ilaro.

There, he met old friends and made new ones, including a neighbour with whom he started smoking Canadian loud. His new friend introduced him to pills, which he took regularly, in addition to smoking and drinking.

One Sunday morning, feeling bored, they decided to attend a church program, where they were informed about an upcoming praise night.

After a football training session one Thursday, his friends wanted to get high, but Olalolu, tired of his lifestyle and the pressure to continue fraud, convinced them to attend the praise night with him.

However, his friends took pills before leaving, and their behavior during the church service was noticeable.

They left early, leaving Olalolu behind, and had a flat tire on their way back.

Meanwhile, Olalolu was deeply engaged in the praise night, and during the worship program, the pastor delivered a message that resonated with him. The pastor spoke about someone in the congregation struggling with wrongdoing and urged them to stop before it was too late.

Feeling the message was directed at him, Olalolu decided to quit his addictive habits and fraudulent activities.

He confided in his parents, who accepted and guided him toward a new life. With their help, he overcame his smoking addiction but struggled with masturbation and pornography. Frustrated, he left school and returned home, where his parents were processing his travel visa.

This decision proved beneficial, as he drew closer to God and eventually stopped all his addictions. He has since gained admission to his preferred university and is living a fulfilling life.

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True Life Story

Love, lies and heartbreaks: The ups and downs of unidentified relationships

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By Suliah Lawal

Roheemah, a self-proclaimed play girl, never thought she would find someone she thought would be her forever. It took her years to finally find someone she loved, but her first experience with love didn’t end well.

She had never had a guy show her love and affection, and when she finally tried love for the first time, it didn’t work out. She was getting attached to Lolu’s love, but she didn’t know how to love him right, and he eventually got tired of her and ended things.

Life moved on quickly, and Roheemah gained admission to the university of her choice.

She forgot about Lolu too soon, but still had flashbacks of their wonderful moments together. She thought he was her first and last love, and her plan was to have fun and not get attached to anyone.

However, when she met Oluwadamilare (Dami) while helping a friend campaign for a post, she didn’t know that karma would catch up with her.

They started talking, met each other, and she was drawn to his innocent and calm nature. He helped change her perspective on love, and her friends supported their relationship, wanting her to settle down with someone.

At first, Roheemah didn’t love Dami, but she was hoping to love him someday. She left her old life behind and started a new one with him. He took her on her first date, loved her, and showed her he was into her.

He introduced her to his family and friends, and she thought he was different. However, she soon discovered that he lied about little things, and their relationship was built on a foundation of lies.

She was hurt and wanted to end things, but he wasn’t ready to give up on her. After much begging, they went back to each other and promised not to lie to each other again.

Their relationship continued, and Roheemah tried her best to love Dami and not make mistakes. She sought advice from people on how to get him to love her and was willing to do things for him because he was different.

Far and near, their love was still intact, and she only told her close friends about her relationship when she knew he was actually into her.

Finally, she started loving him after months of being together, and that’s when guys started chasing her even more. She stuck to Dami and used others as a cruise, but their relationship wasn’t perfect because she wasn’t used to many things he thought were normal.

She didn’t notice that her soulmate was gradually detaching from her, and when she found out, she was already deeply in love with him.

They fought constantly, which she thought helped her love for him grow, but he lost his love for her. When she found out he was annoyed, she became restless, and she thought they were going places together.

Suddenly, she started noticing weird chats on his phone, and he would apologise and move on. She felt like their relationship was about fighting, settling, and getting back together.

She didn’t give up on him, but he did, and she was left heartbroken once again.

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True Life Story

My unsettling encounter with a Yahoo+ guy

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In November 2020, I had a chilling experience at a bar in Alimosho, Lagos. I had stopped by for a drink and snack after meditating at home.

When I tried to pay, the waitress informed me that someone had already covered my bill. Assuming it was a prank or a kind stranger, I called my friends to join me.

When they arrived, I asked the waitress again if I needed to pay, and she confirmed that my bill was taken care of.

Curious, I asked to meet the person who had paid for me. The waitress pointed to a slim guy sitting with four girls in the corner.

As I approached him, he stood up and greeted me with a bow. To my surprise, it was Ahmed, a former junior student of mine from secondary school.

I was happy to see him doing well, but our conversation took a dark turn. He revealed that his wealth came from questionable sources and warned me not to pray for anyone’s kind of money if the source wasn’t clear.

He shared his story, telling me that he had made a ritual sacrifice to help his parents but was now bound by strict rules. He couldn’t help his family or stay in one place for too long, and his life was marked by a series of twisted sacrifices.

I was trembling with fear as he spoke, and his words left me unsettled. He offered me money, but I declined, sensing something was off.

He refused to give me his contact information, citing his need to constantly move and find new victims for his rituals.

Before parting ways, he made me promise not to reveal his secrets to his parents, fearing it would harm their mental health.

Our encounter left me shaken, and I couldn’t shake off the feeling of unease. I realised that the allure of quick wealth and power can lead people down dangerous paths, and I was grateful to have escaped the situation unscathed.

Ahmed’s story served as a warning, reminding me to be cautious and mindful of the company I keep.

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