Young lady who survived car crash that killed her entire family set to bag PhD at 27
Chigoziem Emereuwa survived a car accident that claimed the lives of her entire family. Today, she’s set to graduate with a PhD in Pure Mathematics at 27.
Chigo, as she is fondly called lost her entire family to a car crash that claimed all her siblings and both parents. She didn’t only survive this traumatic experience, she became a trailblazer.
She chose Mathematics eventually because it was one of the few subjects that didn’t bore her at school and she thought it would give her a wider career option in the future. She’s grateful to her family for helping her understand her strengths and weaknesses.
Chigoziem Emereuwa is clearly fascinated by her course of study and is currently doing her PhD in Pure Mathematics where she studies the flow of Chemicals in Porous medium. For her Masters degree in Pure Mathematics, she studied homogenization.
The incident that changed her entire life, the night she lost her entire family casts a dark cloud over her cheerful disposition whenever she talks about it. On the 17th of August 2001, whilst traveling with her parents, siblings and one of her aunts for her Mum’s sister’s wedding, their vehicle got hit by a truck. No member of her family made it to the hospital as they died in the accident.
She recalls that dark day with sadness, “I only remember being in the back seat, playing a travel game with my sister and then waking up in hospital. I don’t recall any form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as my paternal family made sure I wasn’t alone, I didn’t even get a chance to mourn properly. It seemed like the loss hit my aunts more than it did me so I had to be strong. However, my grades did go down and my mom was no longer there to push me. I felt no urge to work hard since I had learned that you could lose everything in a second so, why bother? Every time I wake up, I remind myself that I am my parent’s legacy so I try to stay focused on my end game which is to be better than I was yesterday”.
According to the ever resilient Chigoziem Emereuwa, her happiest day was her Masters graduation. Some members of her family had flown in from Nigeria and some of her closest friends had attended the event too. Their presence had made her feel loved and special that at the end, the certificate didn’t seem that important. She felt the close bond she shared with them.
For young women who have been through similar traumatic incidents like herself who have at one point or the other toyed with giving up and losing hope, Chigoziem advises them to take one day at a time, focus on the good and pray if they believe in God.
In 10 years, Miss Emereuwa would love to be an established researcher making a difference in the lives of orphans. She would be the youngest to graduate in her class. This is not just significant for herself or her extended family alone, but for Nigeria also.
Nigeria has suffered bad press in South Africa, so, she is successfully changing the narrative. `She wants the world to know that not all Nigerians are fraudulent or up to no good. Her story is one of resilience and strength. Chigoziem Emereuwa serves as a constant reminder that a woman get through anything she puts her mind to as long as she believes. A woman’s experiences doesn’t have to define her.
Ypoung women in Nigeria should emulate the exemplary life of Chigoziem Emereuwa. She rcoks!