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Whatever It Takes - Season 1 - Episode 27
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Source: coolval22

It was a good thing I grew up hustling and knew how to use my free time profitably. besides my
Monthly stipend and yearly travel allowance , we saw the need to work while studying as that way
we could support our families back home as well as save for the rainy day. By ‘we’ I mean Ifeoma
and I. While I was lucky enough to have won the scholarship, Ife wasn’t as lucky and even though
she had paid for the first year using the money her mother raised by selling one of the properties
she knew she needed to be proactive so as to earn money for the second year as well as send
some back home. Being an international student was quite a challenge as international students
paid more than double the fees of local students and when you look at average income in most
African households you will understand the meaning of sacrifice. People who love us always
sacrifice so much to ensure that we may become self reliant and help bring development at
household, community as well as national level.

I equally had huge dreams for my family and so I decided to send part of my monthly stipend back
home in Order for them to carry out renovations to the house, support my young siblings school
and lighten up the living costs which my poor parents could endure if left to it all on their own.

I knew I had the capability to change my family’s lives and wouldn’t stop at nothing.

We were lucky to have found two part time jobs vis the university’s job shop service. Those two vacancies of course had been at the cafeteria but we applied for them either way despite all the

mockery they attracted. We went through interviews successfully and we were hired. Ife also helped me get a family to babysit for through the many people from her country she met.

There were a lot of Nigerian nationals in London such that she didn’t have a problem getting off campus evening jobs.

Despite all our efforts to be useful, we occasionally encountered culture shock which we learnt was normal under the circumstances but if not overcome could lead to anger and stress.

We would especially miss our families and friends from time to time and would converse whenever we could but it just wasn’t enough. At times we were reminded of our primitivity by some rude locals who thought Africa was a jungle but overtime we gently took the time to smile at people who tried
to trample us down. You know repaying evil with kindness is the best anger management strategy anyone could employ.

I was used to being taunted but not the same could be said for my friend Ife
who was very loud at times and would make sure to put the locals in their place.

She would say that the reason why people still think Africa is a jungle is because African
immigrants don’t do it justice.

They are either too scared to face off against the locals or not bold
enough to speak proudly about their countries. I couldn’t agree with her more and so I found myself asking the people who had never heard of Zambia about our famous natural wonder.

I eventually learnt to walk with my head held high even in classes and it seemed to work. I mostly
talked proudly about the wonderful people found in my country and our warm climate. One particular old man angered me one time when he equated me with monkey so I found myself telling him to visit Africa and get some real sunshine.

That a lack of sunshine was probably the reason he was too grumpy. You should have seen the way he had looked at me like I probably had too much to drink. One fateful day, about a month or so later, the same man came looking for me and had quite a glow on his face ..know why? He had taken my words seriously of course and had visited south Africa. He even informed me that next he was going to visit Zambia after thanking me. You see even in anger you should be able to influence others positively.

We were too preoccupied juggling work and studies that we didn’t realise that we had come to the
end of the academic year as we eased through the exams. After the exams we decided to bypass
traveling back and opted for holiday jobs. Ife had by this time earned enough to pay for the the next year and hoped her scholarship application for the rest of the studies could be successful.

That holiday I volunteered for a couple of hours each day at the home for the aged with Amber and Sheridan . The jobs included Feeding them, cleaning and providing social company for them.

There was always some allowance and I saved every single penny I earned. At first it was quite hard as some refused to have me near them because of racial differences but in time warmed up to me after their friends kept bragging about what terrific company I was. If I wasn’t volunteering I was doing my paid up jobs sometimes sorting products in warehouses as well as babysitting a job
I discovered came naturally.

One day Ife came to visit us in Camden where I stayed with the two terrific ladies who by then had become more than a family as they considered me as their little sister. We were just about to drive
to the home for the aged so Amber asked her to tag along.

When we reached the centre boy you should have seen how lovely the place became. There was so much humourous noise and the
person responsible was no other than Ife.

The girl could tell stories nonstop and you should have
seen how they all listened attentively as she spoke and broke into raucous laughter frequently.

From that day onwards Ife was on our volunteering team and provided the therapeutic laughter
necessary for people to feel significant again.

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