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Sunday, July 14, 2024

70-year-old woman who sold food to sponsor her education finally bags masters degree, achieves dream

A 70-year-old woman named Onike-oke Mabel Ayodeji who worked as a food seller to sponsor her education has finally achieved her dream of graduating from the university.

Mabel graduated with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Crescent University despite her old age. Narrating how she could bag the degrees at an old age, she told BBC Yoruba that she has always loved education.

She mentioned that she left her town in Ondo state and came to Ibadan in 1967 because her parents could not afford to send her to school at that time. Mabel said she had to drop out of school after graduating from Modern 3.

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Mabel said seeing her other friends continuing their education made her sad but she did not give up. To make ends meet, she had to become a sales girl.


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Mabel said she worked as a sales girl in a canteen where she suffered different maltreatment because she was working in a shop filled with rude and uncultured men. She said while working as a salesgirl, returning to school to further her education remained her priority.

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She recalled how her teacher praised her exceptional performance in a Modern 2 test, which always served as a source of encouragement for her.

“One day, my teacher came to class when I was in Modern school and asked us to prepare for an impromptu test. After he had marked my script, he commended me and said he wished I’d become a professor by the time he returns in 10 years’ time,” she said.



Mabel said those words kept pushing her to strive for better despite all odds and limited finances to sponsor her education. She continued to work, earning different certificates while working as a government worker.

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She mentioned that one day she heard an advertisement for admission to Crescent University, which prompted her to apply to the university. During the application, she said an officer in the school asked her if she was there to enroll her child and replied him, “Am I too old to be in school?

Mabel fulfilled her dream of pursuing higher education by earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She expressed her desire to obtain a doctorate degree, but she would pray to determine if it is her next step.

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