At nine years, Master Lucky Ayolu, from Ekeni in Southern Ijaw Local Government of Bayelsa State, lost his father and mother.
Unexpectedly, life became cruel to him as he learnt to fend for himself. He told our correspondent that he took to fishing to pay for his fees in primary and secondary schools, as his grandmother, whom he stayed with, did not have enough.
However, as someone who is destined to succeed in life, Ayolu, now 17 years, has become a beneficiary of Shell Petroleum Development Company’s overseas scholarship.
The scholarship scheme, whose yearly budget is about N120m, and managed by Bassan West Cluster Development Board, saw Ayolu as one of the 14 beneficiaries.
Ayolu, who spoke to PUNCH Metro, said his life was a testimony that “absolute faith in God and hard work are very important in life.”
He said, “Life has been unkind to me. But today, I have every cause to glorify God for lifting me up beyond my imagination.
“At a point, I lost hope completely and started nursing the idea of taking my life. It was so bad that when I heard about this scholarship, I could not raise transport fare to the venue of the examination.”
Ayolu said one of his cousins assisted him financially to obtain the scholarship form and also gave him transport fare from Ekene to Yenagoa where the test took place.
“At the end of the test, I was successful. I am going to read Computer Science at Wisconsin University, Ghana. The discipline has been my lifelong ambition and I am grateful that God has used my community and Shell to make the dream a reality.”
He advised other youths in difficult situation not to give up, saying that with hard work and trust in God, they would achieve their desires.
He also urged the governments at all levels to look into the plight of the orphans in the country.
“Governments should look into the plight of orphaned children in the country. They should not abandon them. The government should institute a scholarship scheme for the orphaned,” Ayolu said.