19 Years After, Harvard Student Pays Tribute to His Nigerian Teacher

Nineteen years after his primary education in Nigeria, Destiny Ogedegbe, a Harvard Law student, recalls how his primary school teacher, Oseyande Idede, made him feel loved decades ago during a speech and prize-giving ceremony.

The student recounted this after the teacher commented with a picture of the event on a LinkedIn post where he was announced as one of the nominees for ‘Global Top 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD).’

Reminiscing on the past days, Ogedegbe said he fondly recalls the teacher for saving him an embarrassment during the event.

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“When he called my name – announcing that I took the first position in my class that term – I was too ashamed to leave my seat because my shorts were torn, with holes and patches behind. Also, I was wearing my regular school uniform, an unusual attire for such a ceremony,” he tweeted. “Other kids were finely dressed in their glad rags. My parents did not get new clothes for my sister and I, neither could they attend the ceremony. I remember crying so much that day. I felt very different in a way I did not really understand that day.”

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He added the teacher had noticed his discomfort during the occasion and he walked over to him and lifted him onto his lap for a picture.

“But this teacher saw me that day and noticed that I was uncomfortable. He brought me close and hauled me onto his lap. Took some pictures with me and a few other of his favourite students who were graduating. He left when I was in Primary 5,” the tweet continued.

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Ogedegbe further noted that the gesture by the teacher had significantly painted pictures in his life, which would serve as a reminder of hope to him.

“I’ll write about these stories someday in a book. Because they remind me that I’ve always had so much spirit for a man of my circumstance and that within me is a solid picture of hope that survives every form of chaos,” Ogedegbe stated.


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