Two weeks ago, a female undergraduate student in Nigeria sent a Facebook message to the Vice Chairman of CSAAEINC Board here in the United States, Dr. Camellus Ezeugwu. The student is from Edo State but she is studying at Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi State. She was asking for tuition support. She said that they have long resumed classes but she has not been able to pay her tuition.
Dr. Ezeugwu is not only our Vice Chairman, he is also a mentor at CSAAEINC and funds CSAAEINC’s Just Heart Help Foundation Scholarship. It is not clear to me whether this lady knew about this or she was just contacting people randomly. Either way, our Vice Chairman brought this to my attention and requested that I ask one of our Emerging Nigerian Leaders to get more details so we can help her pay the school fees.
I called one of our Emerging Nigerian Leaders from Bauchi State to get in touch with the student to get more information. Our Emerging Leader called the student to arrange for a meeting. The student declined to meet with him. Rather the student wrote again to our Vice Chairman pleading for help. The Vice Chairman then suggested that I get in touch with the student myself and asked whether he can ask the student to contact me. I agreed. Last week, the student sent me a message on Facebook while I was on my way to Mass. I told her to call me on Whatsapp and gave her my personal phone number.
She said that she does not have a smartphone. I told her to find someone that has a smartphone and call me from there. She said okay. Later, she wrote back and said: “Where am I going to find someone with a smartphone?” I did not respond to her. Instead I went to her Facebook profile to learn more about her. I could not find sufficient information about her to make a decision.
I have been wondering what manner of student this lady is. She wants help and we are talking of up to N100, 000.00 here and knowing who Dr. Ezeugwu is, he may likely continue to help till she graduates. Yet she cannot find someone that has a smartphone in the whole of Edo State to call and identify herself. I work with African youths and my goal is to help as many as possible to achieve success so they can contribute to African socioeconomic development. While quite a number of them are focused, there are still many who need to be driven out of their cocoons.
If this lady is your daughter, sister, student, niece, friend or Church member, what would you say to her?