By Akin Ojumu

Like moths drawn to flame, people who crave the limelight are often consumed by the heat of the light they seek. Cameras and the klieg lights have a way of blinding the mind and stealing the soul. Consistently and habitually seeking the affirmation of man is a sickness of the soul and a disease of the insecure.

My close friends know I’m tightlipped when it comes to my personal affairs. Drawing attention to myself is not something I’m comfortable with. In fact, it is a behavior I detest a great deal. An impenetrable wall of privacy is built around my life, only a few are let in and that is on a need-to-know only basis. Except I'm convinced an event in my life or family is something worth sharing, and one that I strongly believe will lift somebody up or bring hope to someone else, I generally, as a matter of principle, keep it to myself. That’s just who I am and there’s nothing to it.

The story you are about to read is one I never wanted to tell. The reason I decided to share it is because it is worth telling. If it were someone else’s success story, I know I wouldn’t have hesitated to let the whole world hear about it; I would have been all over it in a heartbeat. 

This story should not be considered a boast of my good fortune or construed as a gloat at someone else’s misfortune. I’m giving this testimony because I know it’ll bless someone out there who needs a word of encouragement or a proof that God is still in the business of lifting up the Jabezes (1 Chronicles 4:9-10) of this world.

Having laid that preamble, now let me tell you about another African child who is knocking down the stereotypes of the African heritage. The following is an account of a black girl who is demolishing the white people’s misconception of the African gene. Here is a testimonial of a child of Nigerian immigrants who is making the children of Africa in America proud.

All good parents pray their child will exceed them. It’s always a delightful thing for a parent to see their child succeed. Even more so, it is such a joy when a child accomplishes feats that surpass that of the parent exponentially. As a parent of a child that is bound for the Ivy League, I am super excited and exceedingly proud.

For the child of an immigrant family like ours to be accepted into multiple Ivy League schools at the same time – ordinary us who are from a humble background and hail from some remote village in Nigeria that is not even on the map – is a major big deal. This is the sort of stuff about which Hollywood movies scripts are written. There have been bestselling books about a story like our daughter’s.

To find ourselves in a situation where we are helping our child review college admission offers from Ivy Leagues, and to struggle to make a choice among some of the most prestigious schools in the world, knowing where we are from, is nothing short of miraculous. It can only be God…I take that back…It is only God and no one else.

Our daughter’s story is a testament to the fact that a person who is diligent in their work will stand before kings and not ordinary men. Regardless of your background or the antecedents of your parents, if you work hard and trust God, providence will almost certainly shine on you.

Let her story be a source of encouragement to every young African girl out there to not let their humble beginnings define their destiny or allow the color of their skin determine their future. If you work hard, you too can do it.

A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Dunni, for her outstanding achievement. You worked really hard, and have been planning, for this a very long time. We are very proud of you.

Oluwadunni O. Ojumu, Harvard Class of 2025, has a really nice ring to it! Go get them, girl!!!


  1. What a blessing and inspiration!! Congratulations!!


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