SHE was forced to wear her worn-out secondary school sportswear to the class that early morning because that was the only thing available for her to use.
She knew that if she wasted time, she would miss her examination for that day and the implications for her would be costly, given her family’s financial status.
For this reason, Hamatul Peter, a fresher at the Department of Mass Communication, Taraba State University, had to bury her pride and wore outdated clothes to her class.
And she proudly wrote her paper in that secondary school sports attire and returned to her home with a sense of accomplishment.
However, while she took her fate in her hands, she was oblivious of the fact that a fellow student in the school had taken her picture with the sports attire, apparently to shame her.
Before long, and to her greatest shock, the picture of her in the sportswear had gone viral, drawing a myriad of reactions from friends and foes alike.
Hamatul, the second child in a family of eight children from Gashaka Local Government Area of the state, was shocked and devastated.
Being the first in her family to gain admission into a university, the joy was overwhelming for her and the family as she left home to begin her academic journey, squatting with a friend in Jalingo.
Mockery turned miracle
Hamatul, who left home some weeks ago without enough provisions, was banking on her parents to send some more money to her when the picture of her with the caption “And, this 100 Level student decided to use her secondary school games wear”, emerged online stirring controversy in the process.
While some sympathised with her, others mocked and vilified her for coming to school with such an outfit. But luck was about to shine on her as a result of that dress.
Arewa Voice traced her through some commentators of social media who were soliciting assistance on her behalf.
Hamatul confessed that she is from a humble background and had no choice but to use that combination that early morning so as not to miss her examination, since that was the only piece of material she could wear at the time.
She confessed: “I come from a humble background and I am the second child of a family of eight from Gashaka Local Government Area of Taraba State where I live with my parents.
“I had a test that morning and I didn’t want to miss it. I wore my sportswear because it was the only clean clothes I had at the time.
“One of my coursemates drew my attention to the trending picture of me in sportswear, and I laughed over it thinking it was just a normal thing.
“But when I started seeing some negative comments under some of the posts, I felt bad. I regretted wearing the dress to school and thought it would have been better I missed the test.”
Arewa Voice also spoke to Neolyn Nehemiah, the media influencer whose post on Facebook first solicited assistance for the student with the viral picture.
He said: “I saw the viral picture and felt that was an avenue to help her. I took it upon myself to reach out to her and afterward posted her story on Facebook to seek assistance for her.
“By the grace of God, my post caught the attention of the member representing Gashaka/Kurmi/Sardauna Federal constituency in the House of Representatives, David Fuoh.
“After church service on Sunday, I received a call from him instructing me to look for accommodation for her so he can pay.
“He has also taken charge of her feeding for two years and also promised to pay her school fees until she graduates.
“I wish to appreciate everyone that shared my post and those that reached out to her as she needed it. May God bless us all.”
Commenting on the gesture of the lawmaker, Hamatul expressed gratitude for the support.
“I was overjoyed with the assistance of Hon. David Fuoh. I never expected this. This has removed the burden of my tuition and other needs from the shoulders of my parents.
“All I am left with presently is to face my studies fully now that the obstacles have been removed.
“This is something I never dreamt of. This is the first semester of my first year in school and I hope to make my parents and all those who have rendered their support to me proud by giving my all to my academic work.”
Source: Vanguard News
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