As far as I remember I have always struggled with education, but that’s not to say that I was a dumb or a lazy student. It just that my earliest memories of education consisted of corporal punishments and competitions to be at the top of the class with the best grades, which never really motivated me to do well in school. I went to school in East Africa, where corporal punishment was the norm. I was led to believe that if I didn’t get the right answers to a question, my back side would be whooped by my teachers and trust me the type of whooping I got in my class, you wouldn’t dream of getting a question wrong!
When I moved to London, this perception of education was replaced by the thought that if I didn’t get into the best secondary school, college or University, I would ultimately fail in securing a successful career.
Luckily, I was fortunate enough to learn at that stage that education is not actually determined by how hard you were punished by your teachers or by which school you went to. It is determined by what you do with your education to shape your future and the life’s of your loved ones. This became most evident to me on my trip to my home town in East Africa. While I was there I completely absorbed my culture and got in touch with my roots. The experience was overwhelming; it made me very appreciative of the benefits that we take for granted here in the UK, such as free education and free health care. I saw poverty that I could never have imagined and this experience made me sensitive to the human condition and more compassionate to give back to those with fewer opportunities. From that point, I knew then that succeeding in life was mandatory, if I wanted to make a positive difference and live a fulfilling life. While I was there I remember seeing a quote on a bus that still resonates with me today. The quote said “Life is a School”, which made me realise that education is a life long journey that never ends when your formal education comes to an end.