‘I will not allow their actions to weigh me down’

Gbenga Ibitoye, student

I have a dream. A very big dream. One day I will be a leader and make my country great. I was about 17 or 18, in the final stage of my secondary school, when I decided to be a lawyer. I started at one of the state universities in Nigeria.

I remember how happy I was with my pre-degree program, which was supposed to be for just for a year. However, when the joy was cut short, I found myself on a depressing six-month strike. Due to my parent’s sacrifice, I got an admission to a private university to study law though the program was approved but not accredited, so that delayed once again my desire to become a solicitor. This delay affected me, my plans and my growth. I went to five or six different universities, even graduated in politics and international relations, and I was not even a lawyer yet.

I also studied in Ghana, realising that I could not go to law school so I decided to come to the UK and finish my law programme. I got a law degree in university of London, and then back to Nigeria, where I had the opportunity to practice for three years as an in-house counsel and in a company. However, inside my heart, I knew I had to go further.

I am about to finish my master’s in international tax law in Bournemouth University and, like a punch below the belt, lecturers and teachers down tools for days, which opened old wounds again.

I paid a lot as an international student and did not expect such action. I should have value for the money I paid as tuition fee. I do not want any interruptions to my studies, although I quite understand the importance of their action, they are fighting for a just cause.

I will not allow their actions to weigh me down because I have thick skin, and an art of not giving up which I embeded many years ago.

As told to Ana Bombardelli.

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