- Miss Vivian Chikwado Urama is the best ever graduate of UNN since its inception in 1960
- The 25-year old Soil Science first class graduate says she gained admission into the Ivory Tower few days to the semester exams
- She advises youths to be positive-minded all the time in everything
For Miss Vivian Urama, every thing is gradually falling on its proper place.
The 25-year old first class graduate of University of Nigeria Nsukka has broken a 63-year record in the Ivory Tower with an incredible grade.
Graduating with CGPA of 4.99, the Nsukka-born Soil Science graduate has remained the highest CGPA scorer and the best ever graduate of the University since its inception on October 7, 1960.
Miss Urama graduated in the 2021/2022 academic session.
On November 24, 2023 during the latest convocation ceremony of the University, she was announced by the University as the overall best graduate of the institution sInce its establishment.
WITHIN NIGERIA visited her in her hometown, Iheaka Igbo-Eze South local government area of Enugu state where they had an Exclusive chat on her tortuous road to success.
Briefly tell us about yourself?
I am Urama Vivian Chikwado, a graduate from the department of Soil science, University of Nigeria Nsukka. I hail from Iheaka in Igboeze south local government of Enugu State. I have always loved education and this passion for excellence has been my driving force.
This Victory I enjoy today reminds me of same feat I achieved in my primary and secondary education where I also graduated as the best student in Redeemer Nursery and Primary School and best student in Dr Williams Kupiec Girls Academy.
My parents are lovers of education even though they were not opportuned to go to school due to financial hindrance but they desired the best for their children academically. I grew up with this passion instilled in me and always aimed for the best.
Of all the courses in the University, why did you decide to study soil science?
Most times, people see students who study or studied agricultural course as people planning to end up as local farmers but that is not the case. Soil science is the foundation of agriculture. I said so because agricultural produce is a reflection of the soil’s condition. I chose Soil science because I want to be a problem solver and food scarcity is an alarming problem in the world. The best way to proffer solution to this global challenge is to promote innovative and sustainable agriculture. I decided to study agriculture to be groomed in the field such that I can proffer such solution. I decided to specialize in soil science because I desire to understand how best to put the soil into use and what management practices can be put in place to ensure maximum productivity. In summary, I desired in depth understanding of the soil and it’s relationship with crop growth.
How did you make it, getting first class degree in your department and at the same becoming the best graduating students in the University?
The journey was not easy I must say. My admission came when towards the end of the semester and exam was already in the corner. I couldn’t flow as a new student. I remember the first class I attended, I was lost and at the point I asked myself if it was still possible to make good grades. But I didn’t relent. I continued to attend classes with the belief that I will eventually understand. I registered for tutorial classes and read so hard. I remember going for night classes frequently so I could catch up with other students. Exams came and I was delighted I could write well. When results were displayed, my quest for a perfect CGPA (5.0) increased. If I could make As that semester, then I can continue on that track. That was my thought. And that was how the journey continued. I eventually didn’t have to go for night classes but that doesn’t mean I didn’t read at night. In first year, I experimented different reading patterns and discovered what worked best for me. I hate to read under pressure hence I can’t read well during exams because there is always this tension of reading to pass. While in secondary school, my uncle Urama John taught me something I still hold unto. He said a student should read not because he wants to pass exams, but read to acquire knowledge. Hence one should start reading from the very moment you start the session. That has been my way of life. Make reading a hobby. Getting it right from first year helped I must say. In addition, I gradually realized I had a lot of eyes on me as my excellent results became known in the department and in the Faculty. Hence, I couldn’t afford to perform below expectation.
What was your brightest moment during your undergraduate years?
My brightest moment was the period I received undergraduate scholarship awards. These awards made me realize that indeed there is reward for excellence and equally relieved me of financial burden
What was your darkest moment?
My darkest moment was when I got a B in a course with 69 score. I felt bad because my dream of a perfect CGPA was shattered but I eventually had to brace up and prevent such from repeating itself.
Who sponsored your education?
My mum. I lost my Dad just before I got admitted into the University so the financial burden was all on my mum with the support of her siblings; my uncle. Academic awards eventually came. First from Faculty of Agriculture Alumni Association which sponsored my third year fee, then Chevron scholarship Award from Funmi Omo foundation and Indorama academic award
Some people think that first class graduates are usually arrogant, how do you cope with this stereotype?
Arrogance is a personality trait. Anyone can be arrogant regardless of their degree class. So far, no one has called me arrogant. Yes I am happy with the achievement but display of arrogance is something I hate to do. Coping with such stereotype is not difficult for me. It takes action to make a difference. If I don’t display arrogance, no one will categorize me as arrogant. I try as much as possible to be humble about it.
What is your next plan?
I love the question. The plan is further. With this academic background, I hope to obtain scholarship to further my studies. The dream is still to seek better means of improving Agriculture. I am more interested in irrigation agriculture and water management and sustainable Agriculture.
Is first class grade for everybody?
Yes, it is for everybody but not everyone maximize the opportunity.
What is your GP?
What happened to the remaining 0.01? Where did it go?
I lost it when I scored a B.
How did you feel when you discovered that you have made First class?
It was a dream come true for me. I was in my mum’s shop when I got the news. I was so excited that I couldn’t concentrate in the sales of that day.
Who is your alter ego?
By alter ego, do you mean someone with similar personality or are u referring to a mentor?
My alter ego is my project supervisor; Prof Sunday Ewele Obalum. He is a very intelligent and I look up to him. I admire his intelligence and look forward to doing exploits like him.
What is your hobby?
Reading, listening to music, teaching
Did you belong to any social, religious, political and cultural organization during your undergraduate years?
Yes. Though I wasn’t very active. I belonged to the catholic Charismatic organization. I was also part of my faculty volleyball team
Did you have any side hustle during your school years?
Yes, I was a home lesson teacher. The salary helped me settle some of my financial needs
When exactly were you born?
I was born on 2nd January 1998.
Finally, what is your advice to the youths who have lost hope in Nigeria and future?
We can still rebuild the country. The change we desire has to start from us.