A 17-year-old Nigerian Student of Chrisland High School, Lagos, Mmesoma Okonkwo reportedly emerged as world best in English in the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examination.
In a ‘Morning Crossfire’ interview with Nigeria Info FM, the young scholar affirmed her strength in English as a subject and confidence in the answers she picked in the examination. She however expressed shock as to hearing the news of her award. She further admitted that she hadn’t considered herself the best in the world until she set her eyes on the award bearing the label ‘First in the World’.
“When my colleagues told me I was the best in the world, I thought they were just exaggerating until I was invited to the ceremony and confirmed it myself,” Mmesoma said.
The British Council Outstanding Cambridge Learner’s Award is an annual recognition of exceptional performance of learners in Cambridge examinations worldwide. The awards showcase learners’ talent and hard work while recognizing the dedication and commitment of teachers and parents.
The news of this excellent performance by the Chrisland Scholar elicited positive reactions from Nigerians with some finding hope for Nigeria due to this achievement. While some expressed their pride in the girl’s excellence, others took note of her tribe as well.
Reacting to the news, an X (formerly Twitter) user, Mr. Kelvin Odanz said: “In the recent Cambridge Exams, a Nigerian girl Mmesoma Okonkwo emerged as overall best student in the World in English as a Second Language. Interesting how our girls are smashing awards and records left, right and centre both within and outside the country. Where are our boys?”. Another X user reacted saying “ Thank you Mmesoma Okonkwo for bringing back respect to the name ‘Mmesoma’. The name was almost substituting the English word for ‘forgery’. Also, thanks for bringing back honour to the dented image of Chrisland Schools. You’re forever a queen!”. His reaction appeared to allude to the recent news regarding a JAMB Candidate named Mmesoma, who reportedly forged result to attain recognition as the top UTME scorer in Nigeria, as well as the ugly incidents that affected Chrisland Schools in the recent past.
Despite positive reactions, some Nigerians have found the excitement around Mmesoma’s win as unnecessary. Another X user, Mr. Ulaga Igwe wrote: “ Deep down, we all know that Mmesoma Okonkwo doesn’t have to take a British Council Exam for Cambridge English in order to be certified intelligent, they have stolen another young intelligent mind of ours while we applaud. Black people”
In all, the excellent performance of the young Mmesoma has garnered more positive reactions from Nigerians than negative. It has also shed a light of hope on Nigerians and has given a positive shade to the image of Chrisland Schools.
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