Black Excellence: Nigerian Student Makes History In Russian University

by Duke Magazine

Justin Chukwudi Olewuezi has not only made his family proud but also hoisted Africa’s glory. He recently made history by becoming the first Nigerian to graduate from the Siberian State Medical University, Tomsk in Russia.

He also graduated with the highest grades the university has to offer. “I graduated with a 5.0 CGPA in 5.0 grading system,” he told PUNCH Online.

Olewuezi studied in a city where many Nigerians and Africans, in general, shy away from. Many prefer to study in the western part of the country, he said. The Nigerian medical student’s journey to Russia began in his home country at the Air Force Comprehensive School in Enugu. Olewuezi had written the United Tertiary Matriculation Examination conducted by the Joint Admission Matriculation Board twice and scored 247 and 260 respectively. However, he would not be getting admission into a Nigerian university, so he decided to look elsewhere. 

“I had always wanted to study abroad and obviously make something of myself back in Air Force comprehensive school, Enugu. So after failing to gain admission twice even with JAMB scores 247 and 260 respectively, I decided to study abroad. So after talking with a Russian-trained medical doctor, (Dr. Okere, then a medical student), I decided to go for it,” he said.

Getting to Russia, Olewuezi first attended a polytechnic university, Tomsk Polytechnic University, where he studied the Russian language and “some science subjects also in the Russian language.” He then moved to the Siberian State Medical University, a public medical school in Tomsk that was established in 1888.

Having experienced both “nice and not-so-nice experiences” during his clinical practice, Olewuezi said medicine was not his original career choice. “I was in a Technical/science class back in Air force comprehensive school, but I later understood that engineering wasn’t for me (I wasn’t really into mathematics and further maths), so when it came time to fill in my JAMB form, I decided to go for Human anatomy.”

“I sought my mother’s advice, and she said why not go for medicine, that I shouldn’t be scared of anything. I was scared of the competition though. And ever since then I’ve been thinking about becoming an oncologist.”

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