What She Said: A Voice Told Me To Teach

August 4, 2021

Navigating life as a woman in the world today is interesting. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their experiences on everything from sex to politics right here. This is Zikoko’s What She Said.


In this week’s What She Said, Aramide Kayode is a 21-year-old economist and teacher. She talks to us about switching to education after a 21-day prayer and fasting revelation, going to Harvard and getting married at the age of 21

What’s your earliest memory of your childhood?

I’ve always been talkative. I remember when I was six, I’d run home after school to arrange my mum’s empty bottles of soda and teach them what my teachers taught me in class that day. That followed me to secondary school. I was pretty good at math, so I taught people.  

My mum was a hardworking and ambitious banker. I loved that she always had a job or something going on, and I wanted something like that for myself. So, I decided I was going to study banking and finance at university. 

Did you study banking and finance? 

In SS3, I decided to study something much more central because I still wasn’t sure what I wanted. I wanted more than what banking and finance could give me, but I didn’t know what “more” was. I decided to go with economics.

So, when did you realise what more meant for you?

In my third year at Covenant University, people kept talking about their purpose and how they knew what they wanted to be. I was so lost because I didn’t know what my purpose was.

My school had a 21-day fasting and prayer period, and I prayed for direction. I needed to know what I was created to do. While praying, I kept hearing the word “teach”. 

It’s been years, but I am still unravelling what it means to teach. I feel like my role is more defined. I know I am meant to educate people. 

But you were studying economics. How did you plan to teach? 

Well, I was hosting a tutorial thing, and I was so good that someone mentioned me to the registrar of the school. He then appointed me to teach struggling students. By the time I coached some of them, their grades improved.

Watching the improvement in some of the students’ grades made me realise that my teaching was a talent.  In my final year, I took a course on human capital development and knowledge economics. I was so fascinated by it that I did my final year project on it. 

All the research I did on the project made me realise how important it is to invest in human education. I found out that there’s a part in Economics that covers education, and there is a direct link between the economy and education. That’s how I diverted into education. 

This seems so amazing. When did you enter university? 

I entered university when I was 14. When I was in Primary 3, at the age of 7, my parents decided I was to write the common entrance exam. They believed I would pass. After I passed the common entrance, my parents did not see any reason why I should take primary 5 and 6. After I did primary 4, I went to secondary school. Now at  21, I am married, done with Harvard, and a graduate of Covenant University. 

Wait, which happened first? Marriage or Harvard? 

Well, I started dating the man I married before I got into Harvard. 

I was teaching at a fellowship programme, interested only in learning and achieving my goals. I was very ambitious, and I felt I would not have time for my children. I didn’t want anything to get in the way of my career and also didn’t want anything to stop me from being present in my home. So, I decided that when I got my life right, I would start thinking of men. 

However, I met this guy, and the love was so strong. He’s someone that pushes me to go for the things I want, and I deeply appreciate his sense of self-awareness. Even though I was 18 when I met him, I was very sure of what I wanted. The peace in my spirit when it came to him was just a sign. It was so good to see someone who had so much interest in supporting me every step of the way. 

How did your parents react? 

Well, we started dating when I was 18 and I didn’t mention it to my parents until six months in. Before then, I had never mentioned any of the previous guys I had been in relationships with to my parents before. 

My parents liked everything about him, so when I told them he proposed to me when I was 20, they just told me not to let the engagement drag for too long. My parents are very forward-thinking people, and they consider me mature enough. They didn’t have a problem with it. 

That’s amazing. Now, about Harvard

Well, at the fellowship I mentioned earlier, during our training, the head of HR came to me and told me she thinks I’d be able to get into Harvard. Harvard was never a plan of mine, and it was so interesting to see how much another person believed in me. 

I decided to try it because I wanted to see how it went. So, I applied, got in and now I’m done.

Do people ever bully you for being so young?

I really don’t look or sound my age. A lot of people don’t believe me when I tell them I am currently 21, and that’s how it was when I was younger as well. So luckily, I never got bullied for my age. 

Barriers exist, but I have always wanted people to see me for more than my age. I am Aramide Kayode; someone that does the work and adds value. 

What’s next for you now?

Well, having children is not yet in my plan, but I do work with children in low-income communities. I have partnerships to make sure that children in low-income schools get quality education. 

I am also working on a mentorship programme for teenagers. Growing up, I wish I had more mentors to look up to that weren’t my mum. I want to build my mentorship platform for teenagers in Africa and make sure that those low-income children get quality education. 

I don’t want to be the only young person breaking barriers. I believe there are a lot of people out there even greater than I am, and all they need is a little push and guidance. I want to provide this opportunity for them so I’m no longer the only rising star in the room. 

For more stories like this, check out our #WhatSheSaid and for more women like content, click here

Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount

Itohan Esekheigbe

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

August 24, 2020

If you have ever used a hygiene product marketed towards women, then you definitely understand the pain 1) Scent It is either the scent is fruits or flowers, no range whatsoever. Give us something else to work with please. 2) Price A lot of times, when the product is something that has a male version […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

September 25, 2021

oraimo FreePods 3 Feature LeakFor a while now, oraimo has been cooking something awesome for her consumers, and it’s finally here. I guess it’s safe to say oraimo is like a fine wine that keeps getting better with time. When it comes to delivering a product that is not only affordable but also comes with […]

Recommended Quizzes

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

More from Her

black girl leaning on the wall with curly hair
September 21, 2021

“Everyone from his fraternity ran away except him, and that was how he went down. He died on school grounds. Omo, I wasn’t myself for days. That was when I realized everything everyone said was true.”

8 Nigerian Women Talk About Their Experience With Cultists

Read here:

black woman with afro smiling
September 20, 2021

Hair lice are tiny, wingless insects that live in the hair of humans. They feed on tiny amounts of blood they get from the scalp. They spread easily from comb to comb. It is especially rampant among kids.  It’s not easy to get rid of hair lice but here are a few tips that have […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X