Maria Magaji.2005/2006.

1st class degree BABCOCK UNIVERSITY.


It’s quite some time now in your service are you enjoying it:

Really,  it’s  lots of fun if you make up your mind to enjoy it. I’m enjoying NYSC despite the fact that things are not as rosy as they should be (even roses have thorns). Orientation camp was lots of funs even though we were given an unusual welcome. We had to carry our bags on our heads and do frog jump as soon as we got to the gate. To make it worse, it was raining heavily. Registration was hectic; first night  I  shared a six-spring mattress with my cousin (Udah) in a hall with guys and girls. Parade drills, morning exercises, endurance trek, Man-O-War activities, volleyball, Maiduguri flies, mosquitoes, hot sun and best of all “mammy” market made it fun. Best of all, I got posted to University of Maiduguri where I really wanted to be; so I have no reason to say I’m not enjoying NYSC.


The memories of your University days are still vivid, can you relate the experience?

University days… I got admission into the Babcock in September 2001 (right after secondary school) to study Computer Technology, I was excited but had my mind made up and ready to work hard. I never had a problem with the rules because I had been in that environment since I was 8 years old. 100level was good (at least my grades were). I got to know a lot of people but at the same time adjusted to the terribly hectic schedule. 200level came and went by very fast; 300level, the courses were more difficult so I had to put in more effort to scale. My toughest time was first semester in 400level. Combining project and schoolwork wasn’t one bit easy but I made my best result ever. Then came the very last lap. I was used to the stress by then but time wasn’t on my side. My project group mates and I scarified a lot to make the best. Traveling to make enquiries, researches and to the computer market was my favorite part. Then came defense, then final exams and before I knew it graduation. I wasn’t found in the very social circle but at the same time I wasn’t left out. School wouldn’t have been complete without Northern Student’s Association (NSABU) where I made more friends. It helps a lot to identify with your people even in another land. Extra stuff included volleyball, dorcasing (for those who understand) and student politics; I contested for the post of a senator and served for a whole session. In-house politics got me to the post of Chief whip of the house and that made it more interesting.


To leave the shores of school with a first class degree is noble-you are actually a success. Comments.

I don’t have much to say about this, just God was my all in all. My parents also encourage me a lot. when I almost lost focus; my siblings-Yauna, Agang, Anari, Luka, my friends Kwopnan, Wan, Chin, Ife; my lecturers and others encourages me a lot. My success wouldn’t have been real if all these people were not there when I needed them.


How did you make the magic happen?

Nice question but there was no magic. Trust God for wisdom and knowledge saddled with hard work and sleepless nights (sometimes) helped me a lot. I learnt to whisper a prayer always. It’s not about staying awake just before exams or test; you have to make up your mind right from the start that you would excel and by God’s grace you will.


What challenges did you face in the bid towards this admirable height?

There were a lot of Red Seas to cross in order to get to the Promised Land. One that still remains fresh in my memory happened two days before project defense. The model we built (a security alert system) stopped working. We had to start from the scratch (that included buying components) and work round the clock with a lot of prayers. We defended the next day (with swollen eyes because we didn’t get to sleep) and ended up with a very good grade.


How did you beat the odds of social, emotional, financial and other constraints?

Socially, I can fit anywhere so I had no stress at all but there were times when I had to give up some stuff (like shows) for my books; besides Babcock is not as social as other schools so that reduced the number of temptations. Emotional constraints almost formed a major part of me but I had to set my priorities right. Financially, my parents were always there for me.


Your early life nursery, primary and secondary schools experience must have been contributory through this adventure. Comments.

I attended ECWA Staff School (Jos), Calvary Science School (Jos),  Babcock University Primary School, and Babcock University High School. I had a solid background from Calvary and I’m glad I passed through that school. The headmaster Mr. George Akyepong discovered my abilities in Primary 1 and kept encouraging me even after I left the school. In Secondary School I got to represent my school several times in competitions and that helped to strengthen my academics because I met with very brilliant people from other schools which triggered me to work harder. My last year in secondary was very rough; with school authority on my neck for one thing or the other but in the end, I had the best WAEC result.


What token of advice do you have for young people, students who wish to join you on the side of excellence?

Put God first and work hard. Excellence is not a plate of rice, beans or gwete (pourage); you have to sacrifice a lot to achieve it. The road will not always be smooth but you have to be determined that you are going to make it. I had to sacrifice food and sleep (about my best pals b4 now), gisting, TV and even weight at one point; yours might be more but it’s your choice.


Were you acquainted with AMONSA while in school?

I wasn’t really acquainted with AMONSA while in school, I heard about it after 200level (that was when there was a dinner but I didn’t attend) and then January 2005 (elections in Jengre); apart from that there was no more.


Maria Magaji graduated from BABCOCK UNIVERSITY with First Class degree( B.Sc) in COMPUTER ENGINEERING.