This is his story: it may be useful to someone out there
20 years ago, the only thing I had was a dream; a dream to have a better future, to break the cycle of poverty, and to study in one of the best universities in the world. Though I had beautiful dreams, the physical resources to meet my heart desires were beyond my reach.
At a particular period, I was homeless and had to sleep in a C&S church despite not being a member, had to work as a “danfo” bus conductor in Oshodi Lagos (Nigerians will understand this), worked 12 hours shift in a factory line without personal protective equipments, did a lot of horrible jobs to survive….
Despite all these challenges, I dedicated at least 2 hours each day to develop myself – studying, reading biographies, trekking miles to attend church conferences in Lagos, spend hours in the study of the Bible, praying, fasting and in vigils….
I was told several times to quit trying. I was told to stop dreaming. I was misjudged without listening to my story. But I refused to quit.
To keep the story short, in 2006 I had my first degree and I graduated top in my class, though I was denied first class at the Department of Guidance and Counselling, University of Ibadan. In 2010, I had my first master’s degrees, also graduated one of the top students in my psychology class. Same year, I had a full scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge and I graduated in 2011 with my second master’s degree in Criminology.
In October 2016, I was awarded a PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Griffith University Australia. I was privileged to complete my studies on a full international scholarship from Australian Government/Griffith University. I had my official graduation ceremony in December 2016.
Today, to the glory of God, I’m a lecturer in criminology at the University of New England in Australia.
May I use this opportunity to thank Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, Australian Government, and Griffith University for their generosity. I hope someday I’ll be able to give back to support other students to achieve their dreams.
I would like to encourage every man and woman out there that, “never stop dreaming”. Develop actionable plans to see your dreams come to fruition. I know that with a great dream on your mind, actionable plans to back it up, a strong “never-to-give-up” attitude, and God on your side, you can become whatever you choose to be. And no kings, no lords, no knaves can say you nay.
It may seems late, start all the same. It may seems impossible, don’t be afraid to start. On your journey to significance, many will shout you down or try to redefine your vision, never give them a chance or allow them to distract you.
This is just the beginning, we’re just warming up, let’s meet at the top! Please feel free to share the story; you have my permission 🙂
Mike Olu. AKINLABI, PhD
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