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Monday, April 15, 2024

Nigerian man who hawked as a child to pay his school fees finally wins big, bags $1.5 million scholarship to study for his PhD at US university

A Nigerian man named Ugochukwu Madu who hawked as a child to pay his school fees has finally become successful as he bagged a 1.5 million dollar scholarship to study for his PhD at the University of Iowa in the United States.

Ugochukwu was awarded a fully funded scholarship to study for his doctorate degree at the University of Iowa in the United States. Narrating his story on LinkedIn, Ugochukwu said that growing up, his parents did different legitimate work for them to survive.

He mentioned that his mother engaged in the business of selling a variety of household items, as well as food, snacks, and drinks. Both he and his siblings actively participated by going out to hawk the items.

”Mum sold fried fish, akara (bean cake), doughnuts, “mama-put” by the roadside. She’d fry and we the kids would carry them on our heads hawking all over the streets. We also hawked local brooms, cold “pure water” (sachet water), “cold minerals” (soda), “okrika” (thrift clothes),” he said.

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Ugochukwu said his siblings and I were always going late to school because they had to assist with sales, and most days left school before closure to go hawking. Regardless, they remained one of the most intelligent kids in their school maintaining first positions.

He stated that after he graduated from high school, he wanted to enter the university but because of the difficulty of admissions he opted for a polytechnic. Ugochuckwu earned his National Diploma in Mass Communication with a first class at the Osisatech Polytechnic, Enugu Nigeria.

Having bagged a distinction at the polytechnic, Ugochukwu got a Direct Entry admission to study Mass Communication at Ebonyi State University. He said financing his studies at the university was difficult.


Ugochukwu said his brother had to sell a piece of expensive equipment he uses for his craft for his last tuition. He graduated from the university with first-class honors.

He said despite his poverty-rooted beginnings and struggles, he never gave up on academic excellence. He took the first position throughout primary and high school and was the best-graduating pupil with 7 awards. Obtained distinction and first Class from my diploma and bachelors.

His excellent academic performances earned him six fully-funded scholarships in American universities worth over 1.5 million dollars in awarded funding. Ugochukwu chose the University of Iowa, in the United States to study for his PhD in Mass Communication and Journalism.

Ugochukwu said his achievement is a result of hard work, persistence, patience, and God’s grace. He stated that he is on a journey to global relevance and he is just embarking on it.

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