On Friday, June 10, 2022, a young Nigerian student identified as Awe Ayodeji Lucky left the shores of the country for Japan on a fully-funded government scholarship called MEXT Japanese scholarship.
Lucky lived up to his name as he would get the Asian scholarship considered one of the toughest and hardest for African students on the 5th attempt. He tells Legit.ng all about it and his secret formula in this exclusive interview.
Lucky is a lover of problems
Growing up, young Lucky had always been a lover of problems. He told Legit.ng's Victor Duru that he infact thinks of problems on a daily basis and possible solutions to solving them.
The Obafemi Awolowo University Scholar said he got fascinated with how technology is solving problems for humanity around the world and took it upon himself to be an African problem solver.
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Lucky said he came to the realisation that there is a need for him to travel to developed countries and acquire the knowledge required to proffer solutions to some of Africa's problems.
And given that his parents weren't well-to-do financially, this drove him into applying for abroad scholarships.
"I have always wanted to travel out to study in the world of futuristic technology. I see how technology is currently solving many problems for humanity. It has always been my desire to solve problems for humans. Infact, I think of problems on a daily basis, I try to look for solutions too.
"I realized that to solve some of our problems in Africa, I need to go to developed nations to learn their technology.
"But there was no way my family could afford that. The only way is to seek scholarships.
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"I started applying for scholarships since my high school days,'' the Ondo state indigene said.
Lucky recorded successive abroad scholarship application failures for years
The young man said he began applying for abroad scholarships in 2016, but recorded no success.
He stated that he has applied for FSB/BEA, Turkiye Buslari, Hunharicum Stipendum, Mastercard scholarships, Finnish Universities and ALU scholarships but always came up short.
"Despite giving my best in the application, I might make the first or second stage but I wouldn't make the finals. It was serious. I have good knowledge of scholarships because I took my time to make findings."
At some points, Lucky said his failures made him depressed, but being a lover of problem that he is, he would pick himself up and keep pushing.
Lucky's secret to breaking his bad MEXT scholarship run
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He also learnt that African students do not record much success at it.
"I came across MEXT Japanese Scholarship in 2017. I read from many blogs that Africans hardly make the scholarship as it is one of the toughest scholarship in the world. Infact it is the hardest and most prestigious Asian scholarship."
Lucky said he personally discovered why Africans had been unsuccessful with the scholarship.
"So I found it that people find it very difficult to make the scholarship because the exam is too difficult. They set questions using Japanese curricular."
Armed with this knowledge, Lucky used Indian books in preparing for the MEXT scholarship. He said:
"So I started work on that. I downloaded Indian books because they are mostly written in English. I was able to solve some of their questions."
But despite his preparedness, it took him 5 attempts to get the scholarship. Narrating the cause for the failures, he said:
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"In 2017, I applied didn't pass first stage (Documents screening).
"2018, same thing.
"2019, I passed the first stage and I was invited for the written exam, I was the only Nigerian that passed the examination. I was really hoping I would get the scholarship but after four months, result came I didn't make it. I was depressed.
"In 2020, my fourth attempt, I applied, covid came it was cancelled.
"2022, I applied, passed the first stage, passed exam and interview and waited for months, result finally came. I made it. Now I'll be studying Robotics for some years in Japan on a fully funded Japanese Government Scholarship."
Now studying robotics in Japan, it is Lucky's desire to return to his continent and transform lives.
"I see myself in 2030 building autonomous remote control robots that can map, track, rescue and present real-time analysis to curb the rising insecurity in Africa."
Young Nigerian man bags US scholarship
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a young man had celebrated bagging a US scholarship.
Taking to his LinkedIn page, Emmanuel said his success was made possible by God who provided him with mentors, sponsors and advisors at each stage of the process.
In his words:
"Reflecting on where it all started, my first point of reference occurred in 2018 with my Laboratory Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Okuhon at Mobil Oil Apapa."