MRS. Carol Chukwuyem Ohen (PhD) - Director, Academic Planning, College of Education, Agbor
“Failure comes from ego, Greed, envy and imitation. I have success not because I’m smart but Because I’m rational”. -Warren Buffet.
Throughout history, there have been thousands of famous failures. Even before recorded history, people were battling with the push –and-pull created by this burning desire to succeed. This stems beyond mere survival. As Nigerians, survival is built into our DNA – it is part of the very fabric that makes us into who we are. However, human beings were not just made to survive; we were made to thrive. We have been able to expand our knowledge, enhance our technology and vastly improve our quality of life. Still, while we are suffering through the disheartening and gut –wrenching pains of failure, we are often not thinking about thriving, we are solely focused on surviving. When we fail, it makes us question everything, right down to the very heart of who we are and why we have been put here on this earth. But failure, as much as it hurts, is also a necessary part of life. It is the pathway to our goals. The truth is, the most successful and famous people in the world have endured the most failures in life. They have failed repeatedly. But they have also got back up. They did not call it quits or head for the ropes. They got up and kept going. Period. That is just what it takes to succeed.
Today, if you have suffered through failures in the past, or you are going through the torrent of a failure right now, know this – failure will make you better. Failure will improve your life. It will allow you to reach new understandings and epiphanies on life, love, business, career and the people all around you. Failure will make you better!
Yet, it is not enough to talk about failure in that aspect. It is not enough to talk about the theoretical power that failure has. It is far more beneficial to look at some of the most famous people in time like our today’s Amazon Mrs. Carol Ohen (Ph.D) who was unable to achieve her first career choice of becoming a Lawyer. It is far easier for us to rely on their experiences and witness what they had to suffer, than it is to just reflect on failure itself. Remember, you are never too old to try again. It is never too late to take another shot. Some of these famous failures were in their 60’s when they gave it another go such as the famous Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of KFC, who was a wild – eyed 65 – year old when he founded his company, KFC. You get the idea?
Never give up on your hopes and your dreams.
Never allow someone else to tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough or talented enough to achieve greatness in whatever capacity you are seeking. You can do anything you put your mind to. Anything.
From the beginning:
IAS: May we meet you, Madam?
Today’s Amazon: I’m Dr. Carol Chukuyem Ohen. I was born on the 5th of June, 1962 into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Chukuemenonye Eku from Imiele Quarter, Udomi, Abavo. My parents were teachers. Though before the death of my Dad, he went to the United Kingdom to further his Education, since that dream was cut short as a result of the Nigerian Civil War when he was first admitted into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in the department of Estate Management.
When he came back to Nigeria, he picked up a Lecturing job with the department of Estate Management and Town Planning, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State and later went to Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku to Head the Department of Estate Management till his retirement. While my Mom retired from the Delta State Teaching Service as a Headmistress.
I was the second child in a family of 5 and the first female child.
IAS: How was your growing up like?
Dr. (Mrs.) Ohen: Very tough. Recalled that I earlier told you that my Dad left for the United Kingdom to further his Studies, so during this period, life was tough for the entire family since we now solely depended on the meager salary from my Mom. To augment, we got ourselves involved in some entrepreneurial jobs. Every morning, while my Mom would be preparing breakfast and Buns for us, my elder brother and I would be on the street hawking Akamu before going to School. During break period, we usually sold the Buns in the School compound. My mom was also into big time gardening, my siblings and I provided the manual labour for her garden. During holiday period, we made and sold chinchin. The income realized from all these petty hustling was used to support the family.
IAS: Which Primary School did you attend?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: I attended St. Mary’s School (now Nkwor Primary School), Udomi, Abavo from 1967-1973.
IAS: Which Secondary School did you attend?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: I attended the prestigious Marymount College, Agbor from 1973-1978.
I was a boarding student. Though it was a huge financial burden for my mom, but she says it was in fulfillment of an agreement she had with my Dad that I must be in a boarding school for my secondary Education. I thank God for that singular decision because it made me to be independent minded and well-grounded academically.
IAS: What was your first career choice?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Law. I always wanted to become a Lawyer as a Child. When I did my first JAMB, my first choice was Law. Unfortunately, my WASC result was released late, after University admissions. Another reason that discouraged me from studying Law was this myth that Lawyers are liars…laughs.
IAS: Let’s talk about your tertiary Educational background?
IAS: Briefly tell us your various Certificates obtained with dates?
IAS: Tell us about your NYSC experience
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: I did my National Youth Service in 1983/1984 in Army Command Day School, Shadawanka Barracks Bauchi, Bauchi State. My monthly allowance then was two hundred naira (#200) and I was able to save fifty naira (#50) monthly that I used in buying a fridge for three hundred and fifty naira (#350) during my service year. So I enjoyed my service year.
IAS: Tell us about your employment history?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: From 1984 to 1986, I was a part time lecturer in the department of French, School of Humanities, College of Education, Agbor. In 1985 I was employed by the then Bendel State Teaching Service Board as a French teacher in Gbenoba Grammar School, Agbor. In 1992 I was employed into the services of the College of Education, Agbor as a full time Lecturer as Lecturer 111 in the department of French. Presently, I’m the Director of Academic Planning in the College and a Chief Lecturer (Reader) in the department of French.
IAS: Since you joined the services of the College, tell us the various administrative positions you have held?
IAS: As a two-time Head of Department, please tell us the functions of a HOD?
The following are some of the functions of Head of Department:
IAS: What are the functions of the Dean of a School?
The following are some of the functions of the Dean of a School:
IAS: Presently, as the Director of Academic Planning, what are your functions?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: As the Director of Academic Planning in the College, my functions include but not limited to the following:
IAS: Let’s talk about your family life?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Hmmmm! Well, I was married to late Mr. Obed Ephraim Ohen. He was a lecturer in the Department of Biology, College of Education, Agbor before his death. We got married in 1987 and the marriage lasted for 14 years. I had a very peaceful and blissful marriage with my late husband and we were blessed with 4 Children, all males. To the glory of God, they are now all graduates.
IAS: Tell us some of the National Committees that you have served with dates
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: To the glory of God, I have served in the following National Committees:
IAS: Tell us the Committees that you have served within College of Education, Agbor
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: To the glory of God, I have been privileged to serve in the following Committees since I joined the services of the College. They are:
IAS: As a Scholar, tell us some of the professional bodies that you belong to?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: They include the following:
IAS: As the former Chairperson of Women in Colleges of Education (WICE) Agbor Chapter, what are your achievements?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Without blowing my trumpets, as the Chairman of WICE, College of Education, Agbor Chapter from 2009- 2013, my team and I left a legacy worthy of emulation. My team acquired a piece of land in the College for the building of WICE Secretariat. We also bought a strong bus which is still being used by the Chapter till date. I also inaugurated WICE, College of Education, Mosogar Chapter in February 2012.
IAS: How do you socialise?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Hmmm. I socialise through the various social/cultural organizations that I belong to, some of these are:
IAS: Any awards?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Yesooo. A lot!
IAS: Do you have any regrets in studying French?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: No. Not at all.
IAS: How many published Academic papers do you have in reputable Journals
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Over 30 Academic papers in both National and International Journals of repute.
IAS: What is your Research focus?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: African Literature in French.
IAS: Let’s talk about your Christian faith.
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: I belong to Baptist Church. I’m a Sunday School Teacher, a chorister, a deaconess, a preacher, Bible Study Teacher, Disciple’s Lifestyle Director and a marriage counsellor.
IAS: Who is your role model?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Professor Jiff Mokobia
IAS: Tell us your best quote.
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: “My tomorrow will be better than my today”
IAS: Tell us one childhood story that your Mother told you that is difficult for you to forget?
Dr. (Mrs.) Ohen: Hmmmm! My mother once told me that her own father was summoned on three different occasions by the Council of Elders for sending his female child to School. My mother one of the first women to be educated in Abavo Kingdom.
IAS: Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen, a teacher, a mother, an actor, a singer and a language enthusiast. Who else is Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen is also a Businesswoman.
IAS: What is your philosophy about giving?
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: “I that believe when you give to take care of other people, God takes care of your own needs”
IAS: Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen, it is nice talking with you. What is your “Nextlevel”
Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: God bless you my brother, Ewere Okonta. I feel honoured to be your Guest of the day in your Ika Amazon Series. I have been reading your works and I found them impressive. God will take you to greater heights in Jesus Name. Back to your question about my “Nextlevel”. Hmmmmm, my “Nextlevel” is to take care of indigent students and also to take care of Student Pastors.
NOTE FROM US:
Mrs. Carol Chukuyem Ohen (Ph.D) is presently the Director of Academic Planning in the College of Education, Agbor. The first and only female Dean till date in the School of Languges, COE, Agbor. The first Reader in French Department and the first female Reader, School of Languages. The first Ph.D holder in the French Department of the COE, Agbor. The pioneer Head, Department of French when it was reopened in 1992. A two-time Head of Department, a two-time Dean of the School of Languages and a two-time Director of TETfund Research and Development in College of Education, Agbor. A bi-linguist. A silent achiever. A trailblazer and a worker in the vineyard of God. A good mobiliser of human and material resources. A role model. One of the finest Amazons from Ika Nation. Her story is a beautiful one that is laced with full dosage of determination and perseverance.
Amazon Mrs. Carol Chukuyem Ohen (PhD) ‘Felicitations et Meilleurs Voeux’ on your INDUCTION INTO THE IKA AMAZON HALL OF FAME 2019.
© Ewere Okonta