In our everyday life, we are faced with series of challenges that sometimes tend to discourage our focus on reaching the end of the tunnel, but we should remember that there are still people who pass through same challenges yet actualized their destinies. In this light, we bring to you the life encounters of relentless Godwin Obiora
Growing up, School Years and their Challenges?
My name is Godwin Chukwudebelu Obiora , and I go with the nickname ”Made it’ right from secondary school. I see people and I tell them ”you have made it ooo” and since then, they call me ‘made it’.
I am an indigene of Igboukwu, in Aguata L.G.A of Anambra State. I had my primary education at Sacred Heart Nursery Primary School, Odoakpu, Onitsha and secondary school education at Christ the King College (C.K.C), Onitsha.
I got my BSc in History and International Relations from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Growing up for me was interesting because there were people I was better than and there were so many that were better than me. Can you imagine that I trekked to-and-fro school from a far distance? We had schoolmates that their parents dropped at school with their cars but mine was different. It was not unbelievably bad because I had people who trekked same distance with me. It was in my university days I had some difficulties because people may want to intimidate you with fake life styles. It got to an extent that I got so depressed back then in school. My first two years were so bad, because I was sunk in depression. I had a lot of expectations that I did not meet up with. My family expected a lot from me, but I felt I had not met up with that, so I went into depression.
I had to go through a counselling session for some time and then gradually, I began to realize myself. It was in three hundred level that I began trying out newer things to develop myself. I am a public speaker, but back then as a new student, I could not realize my potentials, and no self-realization. Probably because I had little or no opportunity to express myself. When I got the opportunity from my third year to do a presentation in class, I began to realize myself. Gradually, I began to feel much better with myself and the school environment. As time went by, I began to do better in school, I led in class presentations often, did very well in examination, and then I began to mingle with people who introduced me to better things like going to learn Chinese language. With the new friends I made, I started making good plans that could help me outside school.
Adventure into the Chinese Language
I met a friend turn brother, Mr Sabastine Ezeazuka when I was studying during one of my night classes. This guy inspired me a lot. He was a senior student and he had already enrolled in Confucius (for learning Chinese Language) even as a student in another department. He propelled me to enrol by letting me know the importance of learning Chinese. I had to enrol with all optimism. I was a three hundred level student of History and International Relations, and now, a Chinese student. It was not easy! But my friend, turned brother, kept challenging and encouraging me with materials and tutorials to ensure I did well. As time went on, my friend graduated and got a job with a Chinese company. I was left alone. I had to pair with other people who were exceptionally good at the language. These people motivated me. Looking at them made me work harder to be better. I never slept at night because I had to read for Chinese as well as my regular school course.
There was a time I felt like giving up because, it was difficult learning the language. But my friends spurred me on to be better.
Life after School
When I graduated, I left school with double qualifications, one with History and International Relations and the other with Confucius. The same year I graduated, even before service, I was called for a job interview at Dangote Refinery in Lekki, Lagos, to be a Chinese translator. It was not easy at all. It was then I knew I had to work harder to learn the language and the accent. In school, you are not taught everything. It’s when you get to the field that you will realize that. I failed because I did not have the accent. It was then I went to Edo State to freelance with a Chinese company to get acquainted with the system. The working situation there was harsh and difficult. After there, I got the job I do now at Ogun State. I was employed to be their Chinese translator, but I also worked in the factory for seven months. It was not easy to be a translator and working in the factory as well. But that groomed me to develop myself in the business. Within few months, I had learnt a lot in the business that my boss was so impressed, and that gained me a lot of opportunities in and outside the company. Because I knew things (by my working in the factory) that could help me overcome those foreigners who cheated the company when the former person was there. The foreigners are smarter and wiser, so if you do not soak yourself in the business, you will be cheated. I worked like never, both as a translator and in the factory. It was in this process I earned their respect, love, and trust. They planned for my travels around the business world, introduced me to several opportunities and then the opportunity to manage their businesses. I even got several job opportunities for my classmates in the same firm.
Between International Relations and Chinese which would you prefer more?
I would go with Chinese. Studying International Relations is good, but Chinese is more encompassing. Chinese has done a lot for me, both as a business person, rendering services, speaking publicly and interacting with people from across the globe. These are the things I had dreamt of and Chinese Language has helped me achieve them. Need I remind you that I have not even gone for my National Youth Service, but I have gotten a close to fulfilling job for myself, and I find satisfaction in it.
Looking at what you have achieved at this short span after graduation, would you say you are on the right track? Are you successful?
I will say I am. Throwback to January 2019 till now, I have been able to achieve things I never thought I could in this short span. I have had the opportunity to do business with great people, providing jobs for some of my classmates, being able to visit places I never dreamt I could be, and I had the opportunity to task myself to doing exploits. Studying Chinese was just a plan B for me and now… Most of my classmates are still waiting for NYSC but with God and the plans I had three years ago, studying Chinese is now helping me.
Is there anything you regret not doing right?
Anything I have not done right, I gained lessons from them and build on the mistakes.
Where do you see Mr Godwin Obiora in the next 5years?
He will be an Entrepreneur. I plan to expand my horizon and then meet more people, because I have worked extremely hard with the Chinese folks and this has given me a lot of platforms, opportunities, and ideas. Currently, I am running their businesses in Lagos. Now, I can seek for partnership and grow my own business. Chinese people have occupied the business world and my sticking with them intelligently would help me.
Yes, I do. My friend that propelled me to learning Chinese and then, a lady, Amanda. I met her in the Confucius Institute at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. They have been people I look up to in the field. They inspired me then and now.
How many people have you impacted?
A few of them, but I plan to do more: in the religious circle, in Chinese and in the business world.
Your advice to young chaps like you
Never overlook any opportunity because you never know when you will need them. There is this favourite quote of mine, ‘I will prepare and wait, one day my chance will come”. Young people should keep building, prepare yourself because an opportunity might pop up and if by then you are not prepared, the opportunity will go elsewhere. We all can remember the parable of the ten virgins: that extra oil is always important. As a student or a graduate, add something extra to what you have already.