Precious Mbajiorgu, a remarkable 28-year-old undergraduate studying guidance and counselling at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria’s Anambra State, shared her inspiring journey of losing her sight at the age of 11 while solving a Mathematics question
Despite the challenges she faced, she recently received recognition from the West African Examination Council (WAEC) as the best candidate in the physical disability category for the 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination.
In an interview, Precious recounted the moment she lost her sight during a math class in primary school. “I was not born blind. I used to see perfectly when I was a child until I turned 11,” she explained. “I was in the classroom solving mathematics on the board with my friends when suddenly, I discovered that I could not see the board anymore, and everything became dark.”
The incident occurred between 2007 and 2008 at Awada Primary School, Obosi, near Onitsha. Despite seeking medical help, no specific cause for her blindness was identified. “I visited many hospitals, and after diagnosis, the doctors told me that there was nothing wrong with my sight and that they did not see any defect, yet I could not see with my eyes,” Precious said.
After struggling with her visual impairment, Precious’s fortunes changed in 2018 when she learned about the Oji River Special Education Centre. There, she took remedial courses using assistive tools such as typewriters and other technological aids. Subsequently, she enrolled at St John of God Secondary School in Awka, completing her secondary education from SS1 onwards.
Precious, determined to overcome her challenges, postponed writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) until the age of 27. “My visual impairment delayed me and prompted me to enrol in remedial courses to perfect my use of reading with study aids,” she explained.
Her resilience paid off when she emerged as the best candidate in the physical disability category of the 2022 WAEC Senior School Certificate Examination. Precious’s story serves as an inspiration, showcasing the power of determination and the ability to overcome adversity.