Queen D.Tardoo – Tsav, in this interview with Wisdom Nwedene, 9news Nigeria editor and reporter shared how she became first lady from Benue State to study Aeronautical Engineering. She narrated the challenges she experienced studying the course in Philippines. She also revealed that she studied Computer science at Benue State University before she travelled to Philippines to obtain her second degree.
This is a good read for undergraduates in tertiary institutions nationwide and beyond. Take time to read it. Enjoy…
How do you feel being the first girl to study Bs Aeronautical Engineering from Benue State?
“I am overwhelmed with joy. It hasn’t being am easy journey. I also feel blessed, honoured and accomplished. I was always told aviation especially aeronautical engineering wasn’t for women. But I have had to opportunity to prove that wrong. It is also a responsibility to motivate other women, especially from benue state and make them understand that they can do even greater things regardless of their gender.”
Which part of Benue State are you from?
“I am tiv, from Ushongo Local Government Area”
Can you tell us about the University which you studied this course?
“I studied in two different schools. I started my course in the year 2014 at PATTS college of aeronautics, paranaque, Metro Manila Philippines. Studied there from 2014 – 2017. Then I transferred to Holy Angel University, Angeles City, Philippines. Studied there from 2017 – 2019.”
Wow! That’s nice. Did you study in any university in Nigeria before travelling to Philippines?
“Yes. I studied in Nigeria. B.S Aeronautical Engineering is actually my 2nd Bachelor’s Degree. I took up B.Sc Computer science at Benue State University, Makurdi.”
That’s very great. You look pretty young. Can you tell us about your age? And having studied both in Nigeria and Philippines, is there any difference in the system of education?
“I am 28years old.”
“Yes. There is a difference. The Philippines has adopted the American system of education which is quite different from the system in Nigeria. Both systems of education have their pros and cons.”
What made you to achieve this feat?
“Determination, perseverance, hard work, support from my family and friends (most especially from my mum) and most importantly God’s mercy and blessings.”
Does your mom live in Philippines or she is in Nigeria?
“She lives in Benue state, Nigeria.”
Can you tell us about a project that you worked on in school. Did you run into any difficulties? If so, how did you handle it?
“I worked on a few projects while in school both academic and extra curricular ones. Hence, I am the reigning Miss Holy Angel University, Philippines. I am always involved in one project or the other. But, the one project I am most proud of is my final research work. I worked on a birdstrike prevention project for my final research in 5th year. A project feasibility study which had to do with the use of laser lights to prevent bird-aircraft crash.(birdstrikes). And this particular project won me a medal as the best thesis of the year 2019 in the Aeronautical engineering department of Holy Angel University, Philippines.”
What challenges did you encounter in the process of achieving this feat?
“There were a lot of challenges, being a black person in an Asian country isn’t always great. You experience a lot of racism and it affects you as a student. Also, being female in a field that is considered to be for the male gender is also not easy. You have to prove yourself all the time, you are always stereotyped to be not competent enough. Aeronautical engineering itself is very challenging. You have to study extra hard and make a lot of sacrifices, but it will always be worth it in the end.”
What motivates and inspires you?
“My mother has always been my inspiration. She is the strongest person I know and every time I think of the sacrifices she makes for me. I want to be a better person not just for me but for her. I have also cultivated the habit of turning my challenges into motivations. Whatever challenge I face at a particular time, I try to extract some positivity from that situation, make sure I learn from it and build myself into a better human being.”
What are your hobbies?
“My hobbies. I am an athlete as well so I like athletic events, I like to play volleyball, go bowling, watch sports channels, especially football. I also like to read, dance, listen to music and taking a walk on the beach with my bare feet.”
Who are your mentors?
“My number one mentor will still be my mother. She contributed alot in molding me into the person that I am today. I find myself looking up to her and learning a lot from her. I have always wished to develop myself into the kind of woman that she is and by God’s grace even better.”
Do you have plan of coming back to Nigeria since you have finished your study over there?
“Nigeria will always be my home and I can return at anytime. But the goal right now is to further my studies, obtain a lot of licences and also work at the same time. Hence, there isn’t any university in Nigeria that offers a master is aeronautical or aerospace engineering. I will not be returning home immediately. But, I will visit from time to time.”
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