In a remarkable achievement, Blessing Chukwuma, a single mother and entrepreneur, has earned a first-class honours degree in Computer Science from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.58. Chukwuma, who gained widespread attention after her academic success went viral on social media, spoke exclusively to Punch newspaper about her journey of balancing academics with motherhood and business.
Chukwuma acknowledged that the path to achieving a first-class honour was not easy, given her responsibilities as a single mother and an entrepreneur managing her popcorn business. However, she emphasized the importance of studying smartly and effective time management.
The entrepreneur, who welcomed her child while in 200-level at FUTA, shared insights into her study methods. She highlighted attending classes, paying attention to lecturers, and studying past questions to understand the focus areas for examinations. Chukwuma’s approach involved a combination of smart reading and a well-organized study plan.
Reflecting on the challenges she faced during her pregnancy, Chukwuma mentioned that her child’s father initially wanted her to abort the pregnancy. Despite the hurdles, she decided to continue her education and received support from her Head of Department (HoD) when she disclosed her situation.
Describing the support from her family, Chukwuma noted that her mother was heartbroken upon learning about the pregnancy, and her father faced financial constraints. The absence of family support during the birth of her child meant she had to rely on others around her.
During her pregnancy and after giving birth, Chukwuma took on various jobs, including working as a cleaner and helping her landlady sell goods in a shop. Despite facing gossip and judgment from others on campus, she persevered, emphasizing that she had to pull herself together.
When asked about her dreams and aspirations, Chukwuma expressed a desire to further her education to the doctoral level. She aims to apply for scholarships and focus more on tech skills. Additionally, she aspires to own a restaurant and sees potential for her popcorn business to thrive at grand events, serving notable personalities.
Offering advice to undergraduates aspiring to earn first-class honours, Chukwuma emphasized smart reading, understanding individual assimilation patterns, working in groups, and effective time management. She encouraged students to surround themselves with reading partners and like-minded individuals who share similar goals.
Blessing Chukwuma’s inspiring journey serves as a testament to resilience, determination, and the pursuit of academic excellence amid challenging circumstances.