Chidera Chima recently won a scholarship worth N7.2 million for being the best male applicant in the Loyola Jesuit College’s entrance examination for the 2012/2013 session. But surprisingly, the Primary Six pupil of Saint Saviour’s School, Ebute-Metta, Lagos, whose parents and teachers expect to study Medicine only wants to become a footballer.
At the moment, nothing seems to make any sense to him than to see a volunteer, who could convince his parents to allow him become a soccer star in future as he presently dreams of.But his academic brilliance and his meticulous nature are some of the virtues Chidera Chime’s parents and teachers are considering to suggest the field of Medicine as a suitable career for him.
Out of over a thousand applicants, who chose to have their secondary school education at the prestigious Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, in the coming 2012/2013 academic calendar year, Chidera was announced the overall best male student for recording the highest score.In the same vein, the school’s Head Teacher, Mrs. Ailsa Griffiths, said Chidera is such a naturally gifted child who she said knows how to balance his play time with his studies, “and so it was not surprising that he made it because he really prepared very well for the examination.”
The prize, according to the school, will enable Chidera to run a six-year tuitionfree secondary education at the prestigious school, and this, the mother said ,is a great relief to the family. She, therefore, pledged to support her son with everything required to make him a “global scholar who would bring honour and prestige not only to Nigeria, but to the entire African continent.”
“I am from a family of medical professionals. Apart from my parents, about three of my sisters are also medical doctors, but there is a field in the medical line where there are less specialists and that is spine surgery. I will appreciate if he can choose that as a field and we will encourage him,” she said.
Also speaking on the expected career she would want Chidera to pursue, the school’s Head Teacher, Mrs. Ailsa Griffiths, said the pupil as a brilliant chap, who is naturally gifted, would expect him to be a medical doctor. “Chidera is such a brilliant gentle boy who is open and sincere. So, I won’t be surprised to find him in a medical profession because he will be an ideal doctor,” Griffiths suggested.
Surprisingly, Chidera would not want to be a medical doctor, but would prefer to grow up and become a successful football star, who would represent not only Nigeria in global competitions, but also play for successful clubs in Europe.
The pupil, in an interview with National Mirror, shortly before departing for South Africa on a vacation tour last week, said; “all I aspire to do is to play football at both national and international levels.”
And what has been his relationship with the round leather game? Chidera’s mother said any free minute for his son is expended on either playing or watching soccer. He said on several occasions, she would need to kneel down for him to drop football and read his books; the situation, she said, was not only frustrating, but also tiring.
Also, Chidera’s class teacher, who also accompanied the pupils to South Africa, Mr. Odusanya Paul, said the choice of footballing as a career by his student cannot be farfetched because he said he loves playing the game at all times and has represented the school in both intra and inter-school competitions.
However, the mother still believes there could be a middle ground for his son to achieve the two ambitions without one disturbing the other. While she would expect Chidera to concentrate on Medicine as a field of study, she would want him to see football as his second choice which can occupy his time only when he is through with Medicine.“Sport is not bad; it actually helps people to improve mentally, but when it is too much, problems set in. He can be like Ben Carson because Carson is also both a writer and a surgeon and writing is also a very tasking exercise,” she said.
While Chidera continues to swim in the pool of ambition, it won’t be out of order to seek the input of both psychologists and counselors in making the choice of a career for him.