A 17-year-old Nigerian girl named Mmesoma Okonkwo has been awarded the British Council Outstanding Cambridge Learner’s Award in honor of her emerging as the overall best student in the World Cambridge examinations.
Mmesoma Okonkwo is a student of Chrisland High School, Lagos in Nigeria. She received the British Council Outstanding Cambridge Learner’s Award for her excellent performance in the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education examinations.
Mmesoma was the overall best in English as a Second Language in the 2022 examination. She was awarded alongside another of her classmates who was the overall best in Law subject in the examination.
Talking about her achievement, Mmesoma attributed her success to her teachers and the school at large. She noted that her teachers were so helpful by giving them an area of concentration in preparation for the examination.
”I received a lot of help from my school, and my teachers, because I remember that they were so helpful before and when we were taking the exams. They made sure they gave us the right places to study for pupils who wanted to take the examinations alone,” Mmesoma said in an interview with Punch.
She also added that the school environment contributed to the success, saying they put up results of past students who had written the examinations successfully and this motivated her.
”My school in general was a great environment for this exam because they (the management) put up results of those who took the exam previously and seeing those results and how well they did, it sort of subconsciously put the desire in me to put my best and I’m glad that happened at the end of the day,” she addded.
Mmesoma mentioned that she took the exam not thinking about winning any prize but she focused on doing well to feel proud of herself, make God happy, and bring pride to her school and family.
She said she was excited to hear about her success from her supervisor, who kept the British award a secret until the ceremony. When she received the award, Mmesoma said she felt surprised and happy that her hard work had paid off.
”So when I got to the British Council on the day of the ceremony, I was surprised to hear that was what I won. I did feel excited; I felt overjoyed and it made me feel really great because of all the work that I had put in for the past months,” Mmesoma said.
”All the work that my teachers put in, and most importantly, my parents. All the efforts paid off at the end of the day. So, it did feel great,” she added.
Mmesoma said she hopes to build upon the achievement as she prepares to enter university soon with aspirations of studying both in the United Kingdom and the United States. She also said she believes that the award will open doors for her.
She stated that her plan is to leverage this recognition to pursue education wherever she can, fostering continuous learning, personal growth, and self-improvement.
Mmesoma said she will pursue a degree in Business Administration due to her strong passion and skill for business management and think it’s the right path for their future.