A couple, Ajaegbu and Oguchi Chigozirim, who bagged doctorates the same day, tell SAMUEL AWOYINFA the story of their love life and academic feat For Dr. Ajaegbu Chigozirim and Dr. Uwom Oguchi Chigozirim, who had their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, what many people regard as destiny is likely to have been at work in their lives.
Both of them drew the attention of guests who attended the institution’s fourth postgraduate convocation recently.
These included the immediate past governors of Lagos and Kano states, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The President/Vice-chancellor of the institution, Prof. Kayode Makinde, had announced while presenting the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) to the postgraduate students in different disciplines, that therewas a couple “who are bagging Ph.D degrees the same day.
”Uwom bagged a Ph.D in Mass Communication with specialisation in Broadcasting/Development Communication while her husband got his in Computer Science and Information Technology, with specialisation in Networking and Telecommunications.
Besides, she got the institution’s Senior Vice-president Prize for her Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.74.As they savoured the excitement generated by the feats, our correspondenthad an interview with the couple who are 29 (wife) and 32 years old.
Both Ajaegbu and her husband appeared reserved and were even reluctant to speakto the press.But eventually, Ajaegbu said,
“We are lecturers here in Babcock University. My wife lectures in the Mass Communication Department while I lecture at the Computer Science and Information Technology Department.
”He noted that both of them had their undergraduate and master’s programmes in the same institution, and that they later started lecturing there.
He said, “We had our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees here.
While I studied Computer and Information Technology, my wife was in Mass Communication at all levels. My wife and I met on campus, and we got married in May, 2015.
”Uwom took over at this point. She said they had begun their Ph.D programmes before they began to take notice of each other.She said,
“In the real sense of it, we did not meet during our undergraduate years.I had my undergraduate years between 2005 and 2009, while my husband had his between 2003 and 2007.
“It was during our master’s programmes that he really took notice of me for the first time.
That was around 2010. He then took my telephone number. But for a long time he did not call me.“I never knew what he was doing with the number. But we later met in class during one of the general courses, and we got talking.
That was in 2012. It was in 2013, during our Ph.D programme, that the relationship became serious.”Now that they have achieved this academic feat, they are already looking forward to having their own nuclear family.
According to Uwom, they have agreed to have three children: two boys and a girl.She explained, “My husband said he wouldwant twin boys at a go, and then a baby girl. I quite agree with him, and I pray it will be so.
”Uwom has no plan to force any of her children to take to academics like them, as she said she would allow each of them to choose their career paths.She, however, agreed that teaching or lecturing allowed for flexibility of time.She said,
“I don’t like a job that will tie me down from 8.30am to 5pm. Here, we are also very busy but teaching or lecturing allows for flexibility of time. If you are not taking any class, you can use that period to rest or do some other things.
“My mother has a master’s degree. She has remained in the teaching profession ata public primary school as an assistant headmistress. She never forced any of herchildren to embrace teaching.
”Expressing her joy about her new degree, Uwom said,
“I don’t know how to express the joy in my heart but I feel very happy and great. It’s just like a dream being fulfilled. I didn’t know I was ever going to be a Ph.D holder, but when I found myself on this path, I had to go with the flow.
“But this is just the beginning. Now I have to go back and think about what I want to be. Besides, I am in academics. So, while I am here I have to go with the flow. Research is the utmost thing now, before Idecide to do something else.
”And what advice do they have for their students and other youths in the society, aspiring to be like them some day?Uwom said, “My advice to the students is that they should put in their best. Really, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And it’s something you should have started long ago.
“Hard work is important. And with God all things are possible. For me, I was actually surprised because I didn’t know it was going to happen. It’s God who gives us strength to do everything, and He also gives the wisdom to read.
”Having got a prize at the convocation, would Uwom see herself as being more brilliant than her husband?Although she conceded that her husband’scourse is more technical, she noted that she would not see herself in that light.
She said, “Why should I say that? We are indifferent fields. His field is a more technical one. So, I cannot match up in that area. So, I cannot say I am more intelligent than he is.
”Uwom loves watching movies during her leisure while her husband loves reading and playing football.While she hails from Isiala-Ngwa, her husband hails from Osisioma-Ngwa, both in Abia State.(punch)