Cursory: Aisha Janki Akinola, a Nigerian woman, accomplished an extraordinary feat by obtaining her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with honors from the University of Edinburgh on the same day.
Aisha Janki Akinola, a young woman originally from Nigeria, achieved an extraordinary feat by receiving both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with honors from the University of Edinburgh on the same day.
Aisha pursued her education in Architecture at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, after moving to the United Kingdom to further her studies.Before beginning her journey in the UK, Aisha obtained her high school diploma at Federal Government Sokoto, Nigeria.
Subsequently, she ventured to Ghana to pursue an Advance Levels Program, which serves as a standardized British qualification for university entrance.
One year after completing her A-levels program, Aisha was granted a Mastercard Foundation scholarship, providing her with the opportunity to transfer her bachelor’s degree credits to the Master’s program.
This enabled her to obtain both degrees concurrently.Aisha celebrated her accomplishments on her Instagram page, posting pictures from her graduation and describing her success as a triumphant outcome of all her struggles and endeavors throughout her pursuit of the degrees.
Moreover, she received the prestigious Sir William Darling Memorial Prize for her notable contributions to student welfare at the University.
In reflecting on her academic journey, Aisha expressed her determination to succeed, emphasizing that she could not afford to fail, considering the substantial investments made by the Mastercard scholarship and her parents’ sacrifices, as well as her personal commitment.
“MA architecture with honours, University of Edinburgh, I simply could not afford to fail. Too much has gone into this goal, from the Mastercard scholarship to my parents sacrifices and mine too,”
Despite the challenges she faced in obtaining her architecture degree, Aisha remained resolute and accomplished her goal, even receiving recognition from the Vice Chancellor of her University.
Aisha said.”I could not afford to disappoint myself, so I afforded myself the architecture degree! however tough it might have been to get it. I got it and I got a high five and thumbs up from the Vice Chancellor of my University, ‘she added.
Aisha faced several challenges during her education in the UK, including experiencing feelings of depression, going through heartbreak, being involved in an accident, and feeling uncertain about her career path. However, she remained determined and resilient despite these obstacles.
In 2020, she had to contend with both depression and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following year, she dealt with heartbreaks, and in 2022, she tackled her dissertation. Then, in 2023, she faced an accident, all of which tested her perseverance and determination to achieve her degree.
”There was the depression and Covid in 2020, the heartbreaks in 2021, the dissertation in 2022, and the accident in 2023 – all roadblocks attempting to test my resilience and determination to get this degree in the bag,” she explained.
Throughout her journey, Aisha admitted to being her own worst critic, especially as an architecture student where she felt a constant sense of inadequacy compared to others.
“Throughout this journey, I was my worse critic and it didn’t help that I studied architecture because there was always a lingering feeling that everyone else knew what they were doing and I didnt,” Aisha recalled.
However, she later discovered that many students were in the same position and were also unsure about their paths. Despite their fears, they all pressed forward and succeeded despite their uncertainties.
“I later came to find out I was so wrong! We were all pretending to know what we were doing. We were scared but we did it scared,” she added.
Aisha expressed profound gratitude to her parents, the Gambian family who welcomed her when she moved to the UK, and the Mastercard Foundation for sponsoring her education.
She also appreciated the support from her fellow Nigerian Mastercard Foundation scholars and numerous others who played significant roles in helping her achieve her degree.
”I can’t thank my parents enough for supporting me over the years one way or another. From the Mastercard team, to my fellow Nigerian MCF scholars and my adopted Gambian family and many others I can’t mention in this short post. The things I put them through with my constant questions and cry for help, ‘she said.
Aisha offered a piece of advice to everyone planning to relocate abroad, telling them to always step out of their comfort zone and network with people within their vicinity.
She also encouraged students who may feel tiresome about their studies to persevere till they achieve success.
“If there’s one advice I’ll give to someone moving abroad, it’s to get out of your comfort zone, put yourself out there, and connect with people,” she advised.
Currently, Aisha is a digital content creator, social media influencer, and YouTube vlogger with a substantial following on her channel.
Additionally, she established the ‘Black Ed Movement,’ a non-profit organization dedicated to combating racism and providing support and empowerment to black individuals, especially black students within the University of Edinburgh.