Growing up as a child I saw myself as a Judge sitting at the Bench, at that point I realised that my dream is to be a renowned judge having the highest qualification, which is Doctor of Law. Along the line, I missed my goals, I got pregnant and had lovely twins. However, I never gave up on my dream even when life was tough, and I was practically mocked by the society of having kids without a university degree. I kept dreaming, one day I said to myself it is time I go back to school. I gained admission to study law in the Niger Delta University and then my kids were just two years old. My kids gave me inspirations, peoples comments and mockery made me stronger, I told myself from the day I gained admission that I want to be my kids mentor, I want to make a difference in the society as a single mother. With God’s Grace and determination, I graduated with a second-class upper in 2014. Thereafter I went straight to the Nigerian Law School and I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2015.
My quest for more knowledge and determination to fulfil my dreams made me search the internet to see available scholarships, fortunately I saw bilateral education award between the Governments of federal Republic of Nigeria and Hungary and I applied. Fortunately, for me I was chosen as one of the successful candidates amidst of thousands of people. Then I realised that indeed, there is nothing you can’t achieve if you are determined to work toward your Dream.
My stay in Hungary has been in three-fold to wit: studies, fun and service to God. I met very good Hungarians as well as international students. I could remember when I went on Europe tour for 8 days with Hungarian law students, we visited the EU Parliament, EU Commission, CJEU, ECHR and many lovely places in France, Luxembourg, Brussel and Germany. My lecturers were down to earth, they are approachable, friendly and supportive, the library staffs are all friendly and kind. The school environment is very quiet, peaceful and conducive. Indeed, my stay here in Hungary exposed me to the fact that everybody can live peacefully not minding the religious, cultural and social background. Society can be a better if we choose to make it a better.
I want to use this medium to thank the Tempus Public Foundation, the Hungarian government for partnering with Nigerian government to create this scholarship opportunity to people like me who cannot afford travelling to another country for studies. I also want to thank the Nigerian government for counting me worthy to be selected among the few chosen without connections. Not forgetting all the professors and staffs of the faculty of law, University of Debrecen, my church here in Debrecen and everyone that made my stay in Hungary very memorable.
I want to say here that having a Master’s Degree is just the second step to achieve my desired dream of becoming a Doctor of law, so I can impact lives positively and also my story can be a source of encouragement to other people especially single mothers who have lost hope of becoming an asset in the society.
Long live the Government of Hungary.
Long live the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Long live Tempus Public Foundation.
(Graduation speech written by Appi Kieriboyegha Stephen from Nigeria)