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"My Journey As An Mtnf Scholar" By Jamael Ajah - Education - Nairaland

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"My Journey As An Mtnf Scholar" By Jamael Ajah by ThankGod001(m): 9:06pm On Aug 27
Original Post by Jamael Ajah https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/jamael-ajah-651426155?trk=author-info__article-link








N.B: This is a true life story. It actually happened to me when I was still in school. Currently, I'm proudly an MTNF Scholar Alumnus.

Episode One.

Sometime in 2013, in my 100 L in the university, I was asked about registering for any scholarship. I still remember my response to the question. I was like, “By God’s grace, my parents send me money each month and I currently have more than 100 K in my account. So, let me not be selfish. Let others who need the money more than I do apply for it”. Whenever I remember that conversation, it makes me laugh.

When I got to 200 L, by then cost of things had increased, money was now scarcer, things in the family were not moving too smooth, and my account had less than 80K. I heard from Victor, a computer guru who did registrations and online applications for people. He was staying near my room. He told me that registration for MTN scholarship was out. That was the only scholarship that didn’t require one submitting one’s JAMB admission letter. Prior to that time, I had not yet printed it. And I was kind of lazy to go do that. Another thing that piqued my interest was that we were required to write an essay as part of the application process. I was naturally inclined to that. So, I took his system, researched a bit about the topic, it had to do with communications, and then wrote my essay. I filled in other details and I was quite expectant. We didn’t hear anything from them until the session was over.

One very good hot afternoon, as I was coming back from the hospital, I saw a text message in my phone. It was from MTN. Something about me being successful in my application and to be ready for forthcoming information regarding the date of the exam. I was very ecstatic. I got home quite happy. Told my parents and siblings and we all were happy. Later on, in the following week, my friend Obi Olisa asked me whether I got the invite for the exam in my mail. I quickly rushed to check my mail but nothing was there.


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Episode Two

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I quickly chatted him up to send me a screen shot of what he saw. Then I really knew that there was a problem. “Maybe,” I thought within myself, “I didn’t really qualify”. But while discussing, he asked me whose email I used. I told him it was mine. He then asked for my sponsor’s email. It was then I remembered that while I was filling the details, I put my father as my sponsor. But I wasn’t sure whether I put his email or my sister’s. That was on a Monday, and we have fellowships every Monday. Immediately, I started trying my dad’s email but to no avail. I called my sister, checked her Gmail, but nothing was there. I was like, the devil is a liar oh. Put her yahoo mail, put the password. The response was “incorrect password”. We tried it again, it gave the same outcome. We still tried until it told us that the next wrong trial will result in the suspension of the account. My sister told me to wait for the light to be restored so that we could check it with her system because she had already logged in there. While we were in church, the light was restored. We started running back home in order to meet the light. I still remember that with fondness. As soon as we got home, she turned on her system and voila, there was the expected mail, staring us in the face. We immediately rushed and printed it and rushed back to church filled with excitement.

In the course of time, the venue for the exam was told us. It was to be in Federal Polythecnic, Nekede, Imo state. We had to start looking for whom to stay with for the exam. I remembered one of my friends and brothers in the fellowship. Bro Ike Nnaemeka. I called him and told him about the issue that I was facing and the pressing need. Coincidentally, he also told me that he too was invited for the screening. We agreed as to where to meet for me to stay in his home. While preparing, one of the criteria for us was to open a DYA (Diamond Yello Account). This I did with my phone. I also deposited one thousand naira there. To be sure that it was working.

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Episode Three


When it was time for me to leave home and travel, I woke up early that Friday morning, packed my things and got ready to leave. The exam was supposed to be the next day being Saturday. As I packed, I discovered that one of the required documents, my National ID card was missing. Slowly, I started searching for the document in places where it could and couldn’t be. From under the table, to under the chair, to under the bed to the kitchen. Round and round I went until my parents noticed my random movement.

“Jamael, what are you looking for?” my father asked.

“The ID card that I saw yesterday evening, I can’t see it again oh” I replied.

We all started looking for it together for about 30 minutes to no avail. My father, mother, and siblings joined me in the ultimate search for the missing ID card. After sometime, my father called us together for prayers.

“Oh Lord God, you have brought this opportunity to us, let this ID card not make us miss it. In Jesus name.” “Amen” we all chorused.

From that time, even till now, whenever I’m in a tight situation, I always take myself aside to pray. Less than three (3) minutes after that, I open my mum’s big bible, and there lay the ID card with my face in the passport staring at me. I stared back at it and gave a shout of “Eureka”.

From there, I rushed, put my things in my bag and zoomed off the park. Got to Owerri around 4 pm. Called my friend who directed me on where to get a vehicle to Mgbidi (that’s where he lived with his family). I got to the house and was treated with a bottle of blue wine (it tasted like Pure Heaven wine). We waited for his parents to come back. When they did, I was interviewed, in order to ascertain the veracity of my claims as a friend to their son, and a brother in the Lord and I passed in flying colours.

Later that evening, we went for a youth prayer vigil in the church. I enjoyed the first 30 minutes, after sometime, I found myself in a strange environment. When I regained consciousness, I saw young people praying. I felt bad at myself for sleeping on a chair. So, I called my friend, he opened the father’s bus and lay down to continue my sleep, only that this time, it was dreamless. Around 5 am, we went back to the house where I did the fourth and final lap of sleep (I first slept a little before going to the vigil).

We jumped up, prepared and left the house by 7 am, after feeding ourselves well. Thank God for Bro Emeka. I followed him bumper to bumper until we arrived at the venue for the exam. There, I saw Obi Olisa, my friend who first informed me about the exam, my course mates, Lekia Prosper, Oranyelu Chioma and Oranyelu Chizoba, Ukwuigwe Onyinye, Iyke, Cherry, Joy, Anthony and some friends from my school, Kinglsy and Kelechi. We stayed in the queue, got accredited and entered the hall.

There were 200 questions to be answered in 2 hours. It was a CBT with questions in Mathematics, English, Verbal Aptitude, Logical and Quantitative Reasoning and Current Affairs. When we first entered, some of the systems were faulty. I had answered some questions before some of us with faulty systems were asked to leave the hall.

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Episode 4

We went out to wait. While waiting, some of the male students in the school were watching a football match in the boys hostel. I followed the match with half attention. My mind was on the exam. I just had to calm myself well, cross check mentally some of the questions I had already seen and prep myself for our turn. After about 2 hours, we were called in to write.

Let me introduce myself. I am Ajah, Jamael. A graduate of Chemical Engineering. I love mathematics and analytical reasoning. I also read very wide. So, the questions suited me well. Even though we weren’t allowed to make use of the calculator, I scaled through the questions quite well. When it was about 20 minutes left, I started the last 50 questions of current affairs which was relatively easy, when compared with the English, Mathematics and Aptitude section. I finished all 50 questions in less than 8 minutes (yeah, I was running against time and I’m pretty smart, thank you).

As I got done, I just began to observe and look round at people sweating. Before I could say jack, my system went off.

I became very scared. I immediately called on one of the instructors to come to my aid. He came and checked it and told me that the system had submitted my work. When it came on, it requested for me to login afresh. The man told me not to be bothered that my work was already recorded. Boy did I bother. I got bothered until I had to leave the hall. As I was going, I kept on praying and asking God to help me. I told my friend and brother what had happened and he reassured me. We passed though the market where we got something before leaving for home. When we got home, we were welcomed by the aroma of a special delicacy of plantain porridge with chicken. We later rested, where I followed the live score of the El classico that was played between Real Madrid and Barcelona. That was Suarez’s first match for Barca. Madrid came back from a goal down to win the Classico 3:1, with goals from Ronaldo, Benzema and Pepe for Madrid and Neymar scored Barca’s first goal.

Hala Madrid.

I stayed with the family till Monday when I went back to school to do my hostel payment and clearance before travelling back home to Ebonyi.

We resumed for school by November for our 300 level. We were expectant to a large extent. But after about one month with no news, we all did what we should have done ad initio. Commit it to God in prayer. As it is in Engineering, once you get to 300 level, you leave the FEG Hall to go to your departments. It elevates your status and separates you from the 100 level and 200 level students. One Wednesday morning, after our "Gas Absorption lecture" (we were still basking in that "senior-men" euphoria) we had to go back to FEG Hall in order to receive our FEG 303 (Engineering Maths II) lecture, as we were preparing to leave, I noticed some of my coursemates excited. They said some people had gotten mails from MTNF. Boy oh Boy the tension in the atmosphere was high. Everybody began to look for android phone to log in to their different mails. For me, I wasn't sure whether it would be sent to my mail or my sister's. I just carried my phone under the desk and logged into my mail. The first mail I saw was a google alert.

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Re: "My Journey As An Mtnf Scholar" By Jamael Ajah by ThankGod001(m): 9:10pm On Aug 27
Episode 5

I quickly scrolled down till I got saw something encouraging.. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was from MTNF inviting me to the award ceremony that was to hold in FUTO. I calmly went out of the class and immediately called my father. as I calmly told him the news, he shouted "Praise God". Calmly, I responded with a "Hallelujah". My mom was nearby so she took the phone and congratulated me. I was so excited but my parents where even more excited.

We were required to bring one person along for the award ceremony. I told my dad that my sister could come if he wouldn’t be chanced but he was having none of it. My father came around for the ceremony. We both lodged at Villa Maria guest house in Owerri. That was a very proud moment for me as a child and as a student. We were taught quite a lot. I also discovered that MTNF had another similar program for blind students, SSBS. The precondition for maintaining the scholarship was told us, CGPA not less the 3.5. We learnt a lot of things and ate very well. (My phone along with the pictures in it was stolen, else, I would have shown you guys our jollification). My dad travelled back home after the program and I returned to school. Two weeks later, I received an alert of #2500 from MTNF (which was the money paid for transportation). 5 minutes later, another alert of #200,000 entered my phone. I immediately called my parents to inform them. It was a great day indeed. I normally walk with a swagger, but with 200K in my account, a spring was added to my swagger. There were about 8 of us in my department who got the scholarship that year.


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Episode 6

I maintained that scholarship and was paid thrice. Sometimes in September, 2018 my friend told me that my name was not on the list of those who would be paid for the fourth time. I couldn’t believe my eyes (we were chatting on Whatsapp). I had maintained CGPA of more than 4.0, graduating among the top 6 in my department (4.05 CGPA). What had happened?

At this time, I was still in NYSC camp, Batch B stream II. I told a man of God there who counselled me and prayed with me. I called the STSS number, made my complaint, called my HOD, called the man in charge of the results. “What had happened”? I asked each of them.

[When the time came for payment, 11th of September, 2018, I wasn’t paid. On that day, I was present in the alumni induction program. What happened? How did the induction go? Did I later get paid? Well, I hope I do

[The process for rectification is still ongoing. I’ll be out with the story as soon as the process is completed]

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Episode 7

The entrepreneurship workshop ended on Monday. The next day, I woke up happy and excited but a little tensed. We went down to the restaurant to take our breakfast that morning and returned to our individual rooms to pack and arrange our things, as we would be leaving the hotel later on that day, in preparation for the alumni induction and inauguration of the new awardees.

The program was a supposed to be a fun filled ceremony, but I wasn’t having any fun at all. I was really tensed and apprehensive. Why, you may ask. Someone told us that those whose names were on the list had been paid by MTNF. It was then I began to ask some of my colleagues who were on the same table as I was whether they were paid, had hopes of being paid or if their names were on the list. They told me that they were not so sure about receiving any payments but that their names were on the list published. For me whose name was not on the list, the only thing I could do was to hope and pray silently.

The ceremony progressed smoothly. Some of the invited dignitaries made their well-prepared speeches and we learnt one or two things. A panel of two gentlemen, one, an alumni of scholarship scheme for the blind (MTNF-SSBS) and the other an alumni of the scholarship scheme for science and technology (MTNF-STSS) brainstormed and challenged us all. The depth of insight and knowledge they offered the audience was awesome and ethereal despite their challenges. Another highlight of the event was the induction into the alumni body and oath taking. We each had to decorate one another with the MTNF Alumni lapel pin, which we proudly wore. It was quite emotional when we were invited to receive certificates of induction. We had to go alongside our visually impaired colleagues to receive the certificates. Truly, despite any physical disability, as long as your mindset is not disabled, you can definitely excel. After that, the new awardees, those who just received the scholarship that year, were warmly welcomed and they received their certificates of the award.

The MC then happily informed everyone that their accounts had been credited with the sum of N 200,000. Boy oh boy. I was really anxious. I gathered ‘morah’ to check my account balance. It was still N46 only. I checked it again and again, but the balanced didn't increase to even N50 despite my persistent effort. I just calmed down and maintained myself as though all was well. My fellow newly inducted members of the alumni body on our table also checked their accounts but saw the new sum credited to their account. Quietly, I told my one of my colleague, Udochukwu, who I shared a seat with the previous day, that I didn't receive any money.

Surprised at that, he told me to get up. “You are in the place where the man thing is happening and you are still sitting down? Go and meet the men that matter, they’ll hear you out”. He also told me that previously, he hadn’t receive his payment twice at the set time but when he took it up with MTNF, they listened to him and after verification, paid him later.

Immediately, I stood up and met one of the big men there. He sat me down and we discussed together. I explained the problem to him. This was it:

In the first semester of my 400L, 2015/2016 academic session, I had my worst result ever. Due to lack of concentration, I had a G.P.A of 3.19. It was during that period that MTNF contacted the school to update our results to them. When they, my school, were contacted, only my first semester result was available. So the poor result, which did not meet their requirement for maintenance of the scholarship, was forwarded to them, but as God would have it, I had an A in my Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) defense the next semester thereby increasing my CGPA for that session to 3.59. A miracle indeed.

I was directed to another person who further directed me to meet yet another person. When I relayed the same issue, he told me to send a mail officially and wait for a response. After the program, I travelled home arriving in the night. The next morning, I constructed a mail and forwarded same to them.

Thus began my journey of patience.

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Episode 8 (Final Episode)


The first mail was forwarded on the 12th of September, 2018. As soon as I did that, I began to back it up in prayers. I really prayed well for it. I also informed my parents who joined me in prayers. While waiting, I had started my compulsory NYSC programme, teaching Maths and Physics in Community Secondary School, Obubra, Cross River state.

On the 14th of October, I got a reply from them in the night. That night was a night of joy, happiness and excitement. They informed to get back to my school for them to forward the actual and complete result officially on or before 28th of October, 2018. I immediately contacted my lecturers. The examination officer and the one in charge of the compiling the results, Dr. Ugonabo and Engr. Nonso respectively. I began to trouble them and they graciously understood me and absorbed my troubles. Fortunately for me, they obliged my request and forwarded the required mail to MTNF officially even before the set date.

On the 14th of November, about two months after forwarding the first mail, I got another awesome, joy-giving, sorrow-wiping reply from MTNF informing me that after proper and due consideration, investigations and verification, they saw that I was indeed qualified to receive payment, and that I should upload a complete guarantors form and supply some of my personal details. Even though they had initially acted on the results my school sent to them, which was no fault of theirs and though I complained much later (about 3 years after their verification), they still took their time to re-verify, apologize and inform me that I was qualified to be paid. It taught me a lot about the true definition of integrity and public service. I remain grateful to them.I did that the next day and then I began to wait. I kept expecting till December of 2018. At the end of the year, I didn’t get any further reply.

The next year, 2019, I sent a reminder to them in the month of April, showing MTNF a track record of our conversation. I kept praying, waiting and expecting. I would regularly check my account balance and kept on seeing that N40.

I forgot about it and began to prepare for my MSc entrance examination which was to come up on the 15th of June in Abuja. One Friday evening, on the 14th of June, after coming back from a tutorial class in readiness for the examination, I saw a message on my phone which I least expected. Surprisingly, it was from Diamond Yellow Account (DYA) courtesy of MTNF. Hallelujah.

It was a deposit of N200000. I literally had to count the number of zeros. It was a thing of joy, laughter, excitement, thanksgiving, prayers and further prayers for me, my siblings and my parents.

With that information, I had more zeal, strength and excitement to continue reading well. The next day, I went in to write the entrance examination. By the grace of God, I came out second in my stream and was offered admission for my MSc programme in Material Science and Engineering. To crown it all, about two months later, I was offered full scholarship for my Master’s degree in that same world class institution.

And on that high note, the undergraduate phase of my journey as an MTNF scholar comes to an end. I’m now proudly an MTNF alumni and a postgraduate student in one of the best research-oriented university in Africa.

Thanks to God and profound gratitude to MTNF for the privilege.

4 Likes

Re: "My Journey As An Mtnf Scholar" By Jamael Ajah by officialenny(m): 6:02am On Aug 28
good for u dude..life seems fair to you
Re: "My Journey As An Mtnf Scholar" By Jamael Ajah by Honduras01: 8:27am On Aug 28
cheesy I'm happy for you bro!
may God answer my prayers too!
Re: "My Journey As An Mtnf Scholar" By Jamael Ajah by ThankGod001(m): 3:55pm On Aug 28
officialenny:
good for u dude..life seems fair to you

Honduras01:
cheesy I'm happy for you bro!

may God answer my prayers too!

grin That's not me, the original poster is Jamael Ajah


Here is the link below

https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/jamael-ajah-651426155?trk=author-info__article-link

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