Interview: The Hidden Mental Struggles of Becoming the First Female UIMSA President

This month, we have amazing personalities in our interview series, among whom Jaachimma Nwagbara, a leader-par-excellence stands out.

The Prosperity Ark

Jaachimma who is the ex-president of the association of medical students at the prestigious University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She shares insight on who she is and her plans for the future.

Gbemi Writes Blog

GWC: Can we meet you? 

JAACHIMMA: My name is Jaachimma Oluwabunmi Nwagbara, I am a Medical doctor who graduated from the University of Ibadan. I'm from Abia state although my mom hails from Oyo state, hence, my middle name. I live in Kaduna though and I enjoy Medicine.

GWC: Wow, wow, wow! You've practically encircled the three major tribes in Nigeria! (Lol)

You are the ex-president of the University of Ibadan Medical Students' Association(UIMSA), and by the history of the association, you were its first female president. How did you feel when you were sworn in as the first female president?

JAACHIMMA: Oh my God! I wouldn't say it was unbelievable because I had been working towards that from my second year but it just felt good at that point and to me, a new history was made. 

It was a lot of work before getting there and I was relieved and felt honoured.

GWC: What came across to you as fears during your campaign period? Did you experience discouragement from people? How did you scale through?

JAACHIMMA: One of the major fears was that of people thinking I wasn't genuine about my interest in UIMSA - thinking I just wanted to do it for personal gains and it was hard to convince people especially when they already had their thoughts about you. I was also afraid about losing cos I didn't want to lose (chuckles), I had spent a lot of money, energy and time so I was scared I'd lose. I was also discouraged too because the responses from people that originally had my back became pretty low at some point. However, the balance was that some people came through for me at that point so they were my rock. It was a lot of mental stress for me and I'm grateful for God and these people who rose for me.

Read: The 4S' Necessary For A Change

GWC: What are your aspirations for the future?

JAACHIMMA: Uhm…I have them short-term and long-term. Getting through medical school, getting into a good program because I'd like to study cardiothoracic surgery, also, getting to the country of my choice, having a good family life and some politics - are all summaries of my short-term and long-term goals. Excelling in them makes me look forward to doing them.

GWC: Beautiful! I wish you ease in these aspirations ma.

What other things do you do apart from being a student and political leader?

JAACHIMMA: I do research outside being a student, I work with Polygeia - a student group based in the UK. I love visiting new places and having fun, taking photographs with my friends and trying new food recipes at restaurants. I also do Public Speaking, I was one of the speakers at the 2021 University of Ibadan, Jaw War, I anchor events and I am also involved in a social entrepreneurship group, Ecopac - we won the Hult Prize in 2020 and we're working towards getting our products out.

GWC: If you had the opportunity, would you like to enter the political sector in Nigeria?

JAACHIMMA: Yes, definitely. I want to do politics in Nigeria on a bigger scale. Hopefully, I hope to come back to Nigeria for this reason.

Gbemi Writes blog

GWC:  What and Who inspires you?

JAACHIMMA: Honestly, it's tough to answer this because there are a lot of role models around me but I think concerning the "what" is the fact that I do not accept mediocrity for myself, I strive to excel so that's basically what inspires me. The "who" is tough because there are others who are models to me but by virtue of who I stay with and learn from, I'll just say it's my mom who inspires me the most. The times I've spent talking to her and seeing what she does has made me glean a lot of strength from her and how to go through life.

GWC: What would you love to say to encourage other students who wish to enter university politics?

JAACHIMMA: Go for it, it's a great experience and I have enjoyed it since I started at 200-level. It's always good to be a part of the decision-making process that affects you and your studies. It's a really good thing and I think they should go for it, get mentors and just study where they would fit perfectly in.

GWC: Have you worked with any team you tagged "worst"? What made you come to this conclusion?

JAACHIMMA: So far, all of my teams have been very helpful. For my current team, I'm so grateful.

But if I were to pick a worst one, that would be when I was planning some events where some people just disappointed and didn't just do what was expected of them and that was some of them anyway, not the whole team.

GWC: Most Nigerian students tend to leave their fatherland after their university education to seek greener pastures abroad, what is your opinion on this?

JAACHIMMA: Yeah, I think one's priority should be oneself first, do things that will help you, your career and help you thrive but that doesn't mean you have to stay abroad and not come back forever. Personally, if I leave the country, I intend to come back. So, I think it's great to want a better life for yourself and your family but I also think it is important to remember where you're coming from and give back to the country.

GWC: What do you think about the Nigerian Medical Sector? What things do you hope to see improvements on?

JAACHIMMA: Well, it's common knowledge that the Nigerian health sector is nothing to write home about. I mean, we have the personnel, we have people that have been trained and we make the best use of what we have been given even though it's not the best. I think a lot still needs to be done. We cannot afford to joke about the lives of Nigerians and so, these limiting forces must be taken care of to bring the best out of the medical practitioners. 

All of these points towards funding - the health sector needs proper funding; equipment, facilities, and power supplies all need adequate funding to run very well.

GWC: Funding affects the health sector. Wow! What an eye-opening session. Thank you, Dr Jaachimma. We appreciate you and we wish you ease and speed in your endeavours.

To our audiences, you can reach out to our guest today on her Instagram page.


Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

© 2020 - 2022 Rights Reserved