This story of Joseph Godwin would make you appreciate the effort of an African Mother
Meet Godwin Joseph Egbe, a graduate of University of Agriculture, makurdi who studied Agricultural/Environmental engineering, the first among six children. On this faithful day (2nd Feb., 2016), he innocently posted the picture of his mother, showing gratitude on his Instagram page and the picture went viral.
What was growing up like?
I grew up in a family of eight. My mum has 6 children (two boys and four girls) and I’m the first child. We lived in a two-room apartment in a remote area of Nassarawa, Kaduna State. We queued up on Sunday mornings to take our bath before going to church. Life was not easy growing up. It was full of ups and downs but God has been there for us. The important thing is what I have managed to achieve regardless of the hardships of our humble life. Life was hard because my family income was very sparse. I was forced to start hawking when I was in primary two. My mum made me understand that it was important for us to support the family. I hawked sugarcane and sold fruits; orange, mango, watermelon and pineapple with my mum to make ends meet. I also worked as a mechanic. After I finished primary school I had to get a job. I started my first job after primary school in a bakery where I made an average of N300 per week. In fact I also washed plates in a restaurant. I later gained admission into a public secondary school (Government secondary school Nassarawa, Kaduna.) where we sat on the floor to be taught in JSS 1. When I finished secondary school, I learnt how to operate the computer and also do hardware repairs and maintenance, then later got a job through my dad in a hotel. I worked for a year and a half before going to the university.
What inspired the photo you posted on your instagram page?
With a heart full of gratitude and appreciating the effort of my mother who stood by me all through my years in school. I came back from the orientation camp to see her with that love and feeling I took this amazing photograph with her.
How did you feel when the photo you took with your mother went viral?
I was sincerely surprised and speechless because I took the picture from a pure heart, full of gratitude to God, little did I know it would go viral
Since the photo went viral have you received any financial help?
Yes we have. Peak Milk has agreed to give her 100,000 Naira to pay part of her debt.
A brief story about your dad?
My dad is a good man who loves his children. I respect him very much. He played a role in my upbringing but my heart is endeared towards my mum for her consistent sacrifice. . He did the best he could do. Unfortunately, he did not go to high school or learn a trade so his job doesn’t exactly take care of the numerous bills at home and he doesn’t earn a lot of money.
Apart from you, are your other siblings educated?
Oh yes! Three are in higher institutions, while the other two are in secondary school. I honestly don’t know how my mum manages it all. She stays under the sun or rain from January to December selling fish. I don’t remember the last time she bought new clothes or a new wrapper for herself since I started school. Thanks to her, I am now a graduate of The University of Agriculture, Makurdi, where I studied Agricultural/Environment Engineering.
What are your dreams for the future?
I hope I get a good job in any engineering or oil and gas firm. I would also like to start a business later on. My dreams are big and achievable; I would like to own a big event hall, as well as build housing estates in all over the federation. I have tasted poverty and would like to reach out to people struggling to impact them positively. I want to be a global leader with a positive influence on the society and a blessing to my family,
How do you hope to repay your Mom back for her sacrifice?
I want to take her off the street and put her in a better place if she wishes to continue doing the business. I am still undergoing my National Youth Service corps so I am saving from my N19,800 alawee (allowance) every month to give her a surprise. If I hit my target, I will get her a shop, a deep freezer and capital to expand the business.
Any word for those who feel inferior to share beautiful moments like this?
In the words of Bishop Oyedepo, and I quote:
is not a place that makes people, is the people that make up a place.
This is what drives me; everyone has their own part of life story and you shouldn't feel inferior to share beautiful moments. Who knows, you might be inspiring someone at their darkest point.