I am a Biochemistry graduate from the University of Benin, Nigeria. I am also a cosmetic skincare scientist/formulator, founder of botafrik and I have particular interest in the education sector as well as the Health and Beauty Industry.
That was the series that inspired me to want to be a scientist rather than a medical doctor. I thought doctors were boring but biochemists? No. I cannot remember who the man was that played biochemist but I remember being fascinated because he worked daily at the morgue and his responsibility was to find out the exact cause of death of whoever was brought in. He would run tests and do researches and find solutions to mysteries by just testing a skin swab or looking at the skin. He had a young girl (I was a teenager) dream of being a scientist so when the time came to apply into universities and daddy suggested that I went for Biochemistry instead of medicine since we wanted to be on a safer side and because of some other reasons, it was easy for me to accept his suggestion.
School however had something else in store for me. I got bored of the system and wasn’t helped much by the challenges that life kept bringing my way. I became distracted because, you see, I am a practical learner. I do not learn much if I cannot see the picture but school was for those who could memorize and understand what was taught even without seeing the picture. I had no idea there was such an educative tool like Youtube and even when I eventually found Youtube, I still could not fathom what I was taught. What exactly is the metabolic pathway and how does it happen? Practical classes had us working as a crowded team of twenty students and the department had only one spectrophotometer so I just gave up on the system. There was absolutely no way I could learn in all that abstractness, nothing seemed real except my love for business.
I set up and managed a few businesses and gradually stopped going to class as there was no reason to, after all, the lecturers simply taught what was in textbooks rather than show to us. I decided to get notes and read instead while I faced my offices and made money to pay my bills. Several times, I wanted to just quit, forget the whole school system because it did not please me to keep getting poor grades when I knew I very well that I was very brilliant. There used to be a saying among the students back then that “no be who read sabi book, na who pass na im sabi”. I was the student wey sabi read but wey no dey pass. I soon threw the thought of being a scientist somewhere far from the ‘front of my mind’ and deliberated going to business school or doing something in literature as they were more practical for me. The university had its way of throwing students like me in the back. Classmates admired us and saw us as competitors only at life. They wanted to be like us – nonchalant and careless because we felt left out.
When my uncle asked me one day what I wanted to do after my first degree, I did not think twice before telling him that I wanted a spa. He laughed and I felt bad for thinking so shallow, he then told me about a younger family friend who had just got admission to study Biochemistry and who dreamed of owning a laboratory. I figured my uncle did not understand, the girl he was referring to, attended a private university and was from a wealthy home while I attended a public university and had to take care of myself. All these sound like excuses but truth is I never take kindly to failure. I fight that dude to the death so you can imagine how I felt when my grades were low despite staying up at night to force myself to understand the abstractness of what school was teaching me.
Three years later, I am working on getting the spa (because I can dream things true) and a laboratory. I still love biochemistry and that is the career path I am following. The system however does not recognize graduates like me, because I have tried to get admission into some universities to further study and make a badass scientist of myself but no one wants thinks graduates like me should have a shot at getting an MBA or a degree in cosmetic science so I have decided to let them go while I continue to do what I love to do – cosmetic science research. If I have lived with this dream since I was a teenager, and have not given up on it but have consistently pushed forward step by step to reach the goal, then there is no telling that it will definitely pay off good.
As always, I love you.