The Diary of the Japan MEXT Scholar Whose Dream Came Through After Five Years of Trial
Have you ever persistently pursued a goal that seemed impossible but you eventually got to achieve it? The sudden rush of adrenaline you feel supports the intense feeling of overwhelming joy you get from knowing that you didn’t take a “NO” for an answer and that the result you were able to achieve was worth all the effort.
I am excited to bring to you in today’s edition of the Achiever’s Diary, the story of a dogged scholar who against all hope looked rejection in the face, persevered on five different occasions until he was able to get rid of its ugly face and have the last laugh. This is no other person but our inspiring and exceptional scholar, Mr. Awe Ayodeji Lucky.
About Awe Ayodeji Lucky (family and background)
Mr. Lucky is a 23 years old Nigerian MEXT scholarship recipient currently studying in Japan. He grew up in a family of low economic status and had an upbringing laced with strict Christian morality that he emphatically professed to help him become who he is today.
His childhood dream was to break the chains of poverty in his family and become a wealthy person. He strongly believed that the only way he could achieve that is through education. He took his studies seriously and he stated that studying gives him this satisfaction that cannot be explained by the 26 letters of the alphabet. He also pointed out that life was not easy for his family because his father was unemployed for years and they had to depend on his mother’s meager income. Things were certainly not easy but he is grateful because it is a different story today.
Current Stage in His Educational Pursuit
Mr. Lucky is currently a student of the Department of Future Creation Engineering at the National College of Technology, Iwate, Japan. He will be studying robotics there until 2026. Before coming to Japan, he was a 400L student at Obafemi Awolowo University, Department of Agricultural Economics.
He described his time at OAU as great and memorable as he spent more time assisting other students than the time he devoted to his own studies. He stated that he had regretted doing so at some points but it later paid off and he is grateful to God. Mr. Lucky can be described as one who knows what he wants and doesn’t stop settling for less until he gets what he wants.
How He Gained the MEXT Scholarship
He gained the scholarship by applying for it through the embassy of Japan in Nigeria. His first application was in 2017 but he did not pass the first screening which was document screening. He attempted it again in 2018 and ended up with the same experience. However, in 2019, he stated that he had passed the document screening, sat for the examination, and passed (He was the only undergraduate applicant that had passed in Nigeria) and his interview was great. The embassy and everyone were hopeful for his success until the final result came from Japan in December 2019 and he did not make it. He relentlessly applied in 2020 for the fourth time. It was only a few days to the first screening but it got cancelled due to covid-19.
He still persevered in 2021 being the fifth time without giving up and at last, it was successful! He arrived in Japan in 2022.
He did not fail to encourage future applicants and advise them not to be afraid. Getting the scholarship is now easier than before, so he thinks because more successful scholars and information are available than in the past. He also pointed out that two successful students will be coming to Japan for undergraduate studies while about 7 or 8 will be in for postgraduate studies.
His Motivation to Keep Trying After a Couple of Failed Attempts
Lucky confessed in all honesty that this is a difficult question. But regardless, he thinks his future goals and the set of people he chose as friends motivated him. He owned up to know a lot of outstanding students. He enjoyed reading people’s success stories and later will try to connect and learn from them he makes good use of social media to connect with people. He learns from their struggles by asking them questions and seeking advice. He has been doing this since he was in senior school and even to date, he never gets tired of sending emails day and night to people.
Today, some of the best students in Nigerian universities are his friends. He also stated that in top universities like MIT or Harvard, he knows quite a number of students, especially those of African origin, who are there doing great things and he shares ideas together with them. He also knows some post-graduate Nigerian seniors doing well in Taiwan, South Korea, and China. These people are his motivation, mentors, and role models. He attested that they have helped him a lot. Having a great mind helps him to envision big things. The standard is always high for him, he stated.
Why He Was Particular About the MEXT Scholarship Considering the Several Number Of Scholarships Available
MEXT scholarship was his biggest aspiration for the past five years because of the opportunities attached to it. He added that he could not find it in any other scholarship. One advantage he stated is the opportunity to study in Japan, a land of futuristic technology and he is most grateful for that. Japan is an island nation with little to no resources, coupled with incessant natural disasters yet the Japanese were able to work their way out from the riverside of Babylon to the mainstream of technological prosperity.
He gave his shots at other scholarships like the Turkiye Buslari Scholarship, Federal Scholarship Board (Bilateral Education Agreement), Hungary Christian Scholarship Program, Mexican Government Scholarship, Indian ICCR, Finnish Applied University programs, and so on. He got several rejections but those he helped got in easily. He mentioned that it was crazy but that didn’t stop him from helping people. One of the things he used to do in his free period is to search for both domestic and foreign educational opportunities online. He enjoys doing that a lot because he gets a lot of useful information.
He added, “There is this saying that if you are not informed you will not perform and you will be deformed. Information is essential. Many talented Nigerian students are losing out because they are not informed. It is sad.”
Discouragement: How He Was Able to Overcome It
Mr. Lucky affirmed being discouraged. “Yes, in fact, the last five years for me were inundated with rejections and as a result, I was discouraged many times”.
He was able to overcome discouragement because he was very passionate about the MEXT scholarship and admitted that the passion was like a huge force that helped him sail through difficult storms. Also, he stated that he had seniors who had it rough before they finally succeeded and they always encouraged him not to give up. He saw the MEXT scholarship as a life-changing opportunity. He made a lot of findings and connected with experienced people. Despite the difficult selection process, it looked achievable and possible to him. He did not give up. He put all his best into it, saved money in advance for months, studied hard during the holidays, and made friends. And he stated that he thinks all these made it possible for him.
How He Felt After Getting the MEXT Scholarship
During the interview, he said, “Honestly, I did not understand my feeling but my family was the happiest on earth. The whole thing looked like a dream I think”.
What His Goals Are for This Degree
Mr. Lucky’s goal for this degree is to put in his best in learning new things as much as possible and also make friends all over the world. He stated that there are a lot of challenges ahead of him and he needs to prepare and work hard.
Encouragement To Other Scholars Who Would Like to Tow His Path in Search of Scholarships
Lucky strongly affirms that he will encourage other scholars to tow his path while in search of scholarships.
Advice to Those Looking Forward to Being Accepted for The MEXT Scholarship
His advice to them is to seek information first, stating that it will make the entire process easier for them. He added that everything they need to know about the scholarship is on the internet.
His Plans to Be a Positive Impact on His Immediate Community And The World At Large
His greatest future goal is to solve as many problems as possible in Nigeria and Africa at large through technology. According to him;
“For instance, when you look at what some nations are doing today, people are pushing the boundaries of human existence through Artificial Intelligence. Life is easier for me in Japan than in Nigeria because of technology. There are surveillance technologies everywhere that enhance safety, top-notch transportation system, and amazing learning technologies; there is just a machine for everything even cleaning rooms and stuff, all these make things easier for me here. It is great. Africa is very far behind in terms of development and it makes me sad. After I achieve my aims abroad, I want to return to Nigeria and contribute my quota”.
Mr. Lucky is also thinking of joining politics in the future.
Random Personal Information About MR. LUCKY
When asked if he misses Nigeria, he replied “Yes!” and emphasized on missing his family, friends, and Nigerian meals.
Random fact about him; he is an indoor person.
He likes surfing the internet and making plans/schedules.
His dislikes; “I dislike our politicians and other greedy people”.
His philosophy about life is hard work and consistency will never remain unpaid.
When asked about one thing he would have done differently in his educational pursuit, he answered that he doesn’t really know because he thinks that he gave his best in everything related to his education in the past.
General Advice to Scholars
“Get informed. Makes good friends. Life could be difficult at times but do not lose hope. Nothing is impossible. May God help us all”.
Our scholar, Awe Ayodeji Lucky’s story is a typical representation of resilience in the midst of discouragement. And as he mentioned in his philosophy, hard work and consistency will never remain unpaid. Keep putting in your best in all that you are doing in the best way possible and you will eventually get that result you are seeking.