PoTW: Sandra Kechi Apearegbior Nee Nwuzi

Name
Sandra Kechi Apearegbior nee Nwuzi.

Nickname in school
Twinkle. I also known as Marian’s twin.

Location
Houston, Texas, USA.

Brief background and origin
Originally from Rivers State, Nigeria. 2nd of six children. I attended St Leo’s Catholic Private school, Ikeja; Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girls’ School, Port Harcourt; Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School, Lagos; University of Port Harcourt.

Self description
I would say I am a simple person, though deep, I’m friendly and I love to laugh. I’m resilient and I dislike manipulative people.

Experience about coming to MCSS
I wasn’t very pleased about starting MCSS. I had already done JSS 1&2 at a different school in PH. My family moved back to Lagos so I had to change school. My parents were given the option of us (my brother and I) repeating JSS2 or going to SS1. I chose to go to SS1 because I didn’t want to repeat the class but my mom felt it would be too much and we probably wouldn’t cope, especially as I had already skipped a class in primary school. So I ended up in JSS2E, I think.

You in MCSS; MCSS Experience
My first acquaintance was Marian. I didn’t want to be friends with Marian because she laughed so hard at me when something happened to me on my first week of school 😂(can’t remember the details but I vividly remember the laughter). I was furious (lol). Anyways, I was really shy. It was terrible. But I loved books, integrated science, introductory technology, agricultural science, music and mathematics, thanks to Mr Ademilokun (I think) who had some confidence in me.
I met some really cool people and some people I thought were not so cool (they were actually cool, I just didn’t know them).
I would say my time in MCSS was mixed, good and not so good. The not so good was because I was so shy and self conscious so I missed out on a lot of fun (when I think back now) and I hard a huge crush on Adewale Raji that refused to dissipate 🤦🏾‍♀️. To make matters worse, he was practically everywhere; school to lesson. Plus we had the same group of friends. It’s a surprise I was still passing my exams 😄.
There were really good times too because of the friends I had. I formed some lifelong friendships that I’m grateful for. At different times in JSS classes, I had different sets of people that I was friends with until after JSCE. I think it had to do with the subjects I was taking then.

Pals in MCSS
JSS: Marian Momah, Agnes Eke, Tope Ogunleye, Bridget Obazele, Efe Igbodudu, Osayanmo (formerly Evbe) Osaghae, Jemina Dan-Patrick, Tope Kale.
SSS: Marian, Osayanmo, Efe, Jemina, Adewale, Dotun, Ibukun, Kayode.

Memorable moments in MCSS
There are so many. I think most of my most embarrassing moments in life generally were in MCSS. 🤦🏾‍♀️ but I’ll skip the horrible ones.
I’ll never forget the day I cried my eyes out. Mr Egbeyale (my scariest/meanest teacher) gave an assignment and we all copied. Except my dear Marian and a few other people. It was a terrible day.

I remember the debaters’ club. Myself, Osayanmo and someone else were to represent. It was really embarrassing. Osayanmo kept repeating the word “fallacious.” 😂. She forgot all her points. I had so much stage fright, I also forgot my points or I even backed out. The trashing our opponents gave us was major.

I was there the day Chichi Mokolo would’ve gotten blind. Ha! Boys! I don’t even know how he was playing with his friends and they put superglue in his eye. Such a fine boy those days. He’s probably still fine. He’d have been “One-eye Sunday” by now. 😂 Thank God for one of our teachers that was around then. They used a drum of water to wash his eyes in order to get the glue off. I thank God really. I think Fisayo (RIP) was his friend then.

One of my proudest moments was when I emerged one of the overall best in JSCE. Taiwo Ajose and I were 3rd best. I still can’t understand how I got a C in Yoruba (lol). I was so proud of myself. I knew then that I could achieve anything I set my mind to, with the help of God.

I remember, I think it was junior class or SS1, we’d deliberately save all our transport and then trek home, from MCSS to Ojota. Chai. The first time we did it, my legs were shaking for hours. I didn’t even think I’d do it again. But thanks to Agnes and Tope Kale, and some other people I can’t really remember, Rowland perhaps, we did it a lot more times.

I remember the back gate, that line up of assortments of food when going to lesson. Most people loved rushing to buy moimoi and bread and I always wondered what was so special about it. It didn’t look appetizing at all. Until one day I decided to try it on the way to lesson after I had seen Bisi and Ajose eat it several times. I bought it a few more times after then.

Those days of waiting with Jemina, Osayanmo and Efe for hours for Marian while she gisted with her crush friend, Jerry Agbontaen. And then we’d go to Efe or Jemina’s house in Mende and then trek home eventually. And Marian would spend the rest of the day at our place and then go home in the evening. My grandma would say, “this your friend, she no dey do any work for house? Why she go stay here till evening?”

My brother had so many friends, he was the more popular one. I thought his friends were naughty though. I only liked Bobby Echejiuba and Adisa Olakunle. I think I even had a crush on them at some point (different times though) but my shyness was overwhelming.

When we wrote our final exams, someone was between Marian and I (can’t remember who but she probably does). Marian and I had similar handwritings so she wrote my Geography and I did her Biology or so. We switched answer sheets so many times to write for each other. Thank God “they didn’t caught us” (in James Brown’s voice).

What we don’t know about you
I almost signed up to be in Arts class. I suddenly wanted to be a lawyer after years of saying I’d study medicine. But I changed my mind because almost all my friends chose the sciences.
Another thing is I chose Further Maths because of Adewale despite it being like Greek to me. No matter how many times he or anyone explained it to me, I just never understood it 🤦🏾‍♀️. I eventually got my one and only F9 in it. Thank God WASSCE was gracious enough not to include it in my results 😂. Na wa.

What do you do; Profession/Hustle
I’m a medical doctor with an on and off buying and selling side hustle.

Interests and hobbies
Traveling- I would love to visit many more countries
Reading
Trying new food
Meeting and talking with people
Learning new things
Watching movies- action, thriller, comedy, romance
Spending time with my family

Personal hero/Most important person in your life
My mom is my personal hero. She’s a strong woman that has been through a lot and she’s still standing firm. She sacrificed a lot for her kids. I learnt resilience from her. I pray she lives long to enjoy the fruit of her labor.
My family is most important to me. I’m blessed to have wonderful family and friends.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years
By the grace of God, I should be positively impacting more lives and destinies, especially children, women and the less privileged.

If you could change the world, what would you change?
The hearts of people. There’s so much wickedness and lack of conscience. There should be more love and kindness.

Expectation from Alumni group and advice to Lander 99 family
Let’s keep supporting one another and showing love and respect.

Keep learning and growing. Keep striving to be a better you.
I wish everyone the best from the depth of my heart. May we all accomplish our dreams. So please dream big. ✌🏾

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