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Nigerian Student Becomes First Black Woman To
Graduate With a First Class Degree From The
University of Reading UK . A Nigerian, Osarieme
Omonuwa, broke the jinx at the University of
Reading to become the first black woman to earn
a first class degree in the history of the 121-
year-old institution. Funke Olaode writes
At 22, Osarieme Anita Omonuwa could be
described as a genius just waitingto be called a
legal legend in Nigeria. There are many reasons
for that. Her determination to excel and
continuous drive to conquer new academic
heights are proofs that for this young lawyer, the
future holds great things.
On a recent week, the International Conference
Center in Abuja, the venue of this year’s
ceremony for the lawyers called to the bar
erupted with a thunderous applause as Omonuwa
marched forward to receive her numerous
academic laurels. It was a day she would live to
Her father shed tears of joy while her mother’s
joy knew no bound as she smiled to the
goodness of God in her offspring. Indeed, for her
it was a day of glory.
Indeed, the future actually lies in the resounding
success of the likes of Omonuwa who bagged a
first class honour at the University of Reading,
United Kingdom, and becoming the first black
woman in the history of the university to do so.
On November 26, she repeated the feet when
was listed as a first -class lawyer during the
called to bar 2014.
Her academic prowess saw the young lady
winning almost all the prizes including the best
overall female graduating student among 6, 883
students that sat for the examinations.
Consequently, she bagged a total of six Prizes:
Best Student of the year, Council of Legal
Education Star Prize, Corporate Law Practice
The Edo State born Omonuwa not only arrived at
the the Law School with a University of Reading,
first class degree in Law, but also emerged as
the very first Nigerian to graduate the final bar
examination from overseas with a first class BL
degree, a feat in the 51-year existence of the
Nigerian Law School.
Omonuwa has been a trailblazer with academic
excellence before she left Igbinedion Education
Centre and moved to the United Kingdom.
In 2010, she received the University of Reading
scholarship award and won recognition as the
overall best in the international foundation
At the age of 20, she bagged a first-class degree
at University of Reading, winning the
Chancellor’s Award for the year.
For her stellar performance, Omonuwa became
the first black woman to win the University of
Reading’s Chancellor Award in the history of the
institution. The Chancellor of the university, Sir
John Madejski, on the occasion of the award
presentation described Omonuwa as “a
representative of our brightest and best
students.” his rare accolade from Sir. Madejski
didn’t go unnoticed as Omonuwa’s face became
a symbol of excellence for the black community
at the University of Reading and Nigeria her
country as her photographs was mounted on
every wall of the institution to celebrate
Nigeria’s centenary early in the year.
Omonuwa’s walk to academic excellence
followed the same path of an ordinary student,
but she achieved extra-ordinary accomplishments
to prove to the world that to be studious and
dedicated have reward.
In 2003, she won the Bornvita Award as the best
graduating pupil and repeated the same feat at
Igbinedion education Centre in Benin City, where
she emerged the best student, carting away
almost all the best prizes in 2008/2009 academic
According to her father, Omoruyi Augustine
Omonuwa (SAN), a legal luminary based in Benin
City, the success attained by Ms. Omonuwa
came through a dint of hard work. “I feel on top
of the world as a father. I am a proud and happy
father. She dedicated herself to the study and
she got the reward,” he said.
Omonuwa, who was born in 1992, has been a
very bright girl, always on top of her class. At a
time, when she left kindergarten to primary
section, she was the best student as well. So,
from her tender age Omonuwa didn’t leave
anyone in doubt about her great future.