17 O’level attempts, suffered hopelessness, societal pressures, failures, low self esteem, depression and suicidal thoughts, yet didn’t give up!
One of the highly inspiring true life stories in Nigeria is that of Emmanuel Oluwasayomi Ahmadu, also Known as Mr Voice over.
Emmanuel is a Kogi-born graduate of Mass communication in University of Benin, Edo State and a Batch B Stream II Corps member currently serving in Kwara State.
He is also an award winning voice-over artist, Nollywood actor, anti-depression and suicide advocate, and has won multiple awards, while he recently got featured on ‘Great Stories’ on BBC.
His determination to succeed wasn’t a little hampered by different challenges in life.
In a chat with Selah Gist Hub, Emmanuel revealed some of his life experiences, and how he eventually had a breakthrough, despite the pain and shame he faced.
“My story revolves round how I wrote O’level exams 17 times in 5 years before I secured admissions into the University due to broken home.
“I suffered hopelessness, societal pressures, failures, low self esteem, depression and suicidal thoughts as a result of the pain and setbacks, yet I didn’t give up.”
Emmanuel revealed how the journey started at a young age and everything was rosy in the family until the situation turned sour and family crises began.
His father and mother separated due to irreconcilable differences, as a result, he couldn’t enjoy the fatherly love desired at a young age for 16 years, before his father eventually died.
“During this period I moved from one school to another and the cycle continued until I enrolled in 16 primary schools and 14 secondary schools in two years,” Emmanuel said.
On the motivating factor during the challenging times, he said;
One thing that kept me going was my belief system and God’s grace. I saw quite a number of my junior colleagues who became master’s degree holders and some were already working while I was still wearing secondary school uniforms to repeat SSS 1 & SSS 2, but I remained focused to succeed.
“My mother played a great role, although she was at some time frustrated and wept profusely and compared me with other children in the family and with my peers who were making their families proud.
Mr Voice Over also revealed how teachers nicknamed him “Coconut head” because of his difficulty in understanding what was being taught in class, and the last position was his usual spot in the class.
The turning point
“During a time I was rewriting my SSCE, our last born was also preparing for his first attempt in same exam at the Federal Government College, while my siblings were already in higher institutions.
“I felt traumatized but I kept hope alive, thanks to advice from close associates and people with loving hearts. In the end, I emerged as the first university graduate in the family.
“I became celebrated by the University Vice Chancellor for representing the school, my state and Nigeria to bag both national and international awards competitions.
“And as fate would have it, I was mobilized for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) months to when I will turn 30 years which is the age limit for Youth service.
“There is no doubt in my heart that God ordered my story to pass a message to this generation.”
Emmanuel is currently using his story as well as his Non-governmetal Organization as an Anti-depression and Suicide advocate to tackle the menace of depression and suicide.
“I am championing a nationwide campaign to restore hope to youths in schools and campuses who are almost giving up, or depressed and suicidal due to difficult situations around them, failures and emotional trauma,”
His Advice for Youths
“I advise youths to accept their challenges and see them as real life situation, and they should imbibe the spirit of determination and dedication towards achieving their dreams.
“They should also be God-fearing, not just being religious and taking into cognizance that they will give account of all they do here on earth before their Creator.”
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