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Mami’s homestead.: College Admission Essay Sample

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‘Iman!’ My mother called me to the living room in a tone that promised nothing. She inhaled sharply and I knew even before she parted her lips to speak. Here was the single suitcase that contained the essential items I would need. Here was the dress I would wear during the journey. The plane ticket, warm from being newly issued by the printer, fluttered to rest on the table between us. I was being sent to my Grandmother’s farm.

It is not uncommon for Nigerian parents to send children to relatives in rural communities for correction. I was thirteen years old and had developed a sharp tongue that dissected revered traditions. Therefore, my arrival on the quiet homestead in Port-Harcourt was inevitable. My Grandmother, ‘Mami’, an unyielding pedagogue, welcomed me with garden eggs and salty, roasted groundnuts. “It’s so wonderful to have you here!” she crooned with a Ugandan twang. I proferred a tight-lipped smile.

I had determined to stand resolute in my belief and my attitudes, but I was helpless against the series of transformations to my character. These changes mainly arose from Mami’s expectations that I conform to the mould conventionally assigned to women. I learnt, instead, to choose my battles. I murmured hymns obediently in church, wary of trespassing onto the sections forbidden to women, my hair wrapped in a thick, cotton scarf. However, I argued the relative merits and demerits of African patriarchy with my Uncles. I also frequented the bookstore where one of my aunts worked. I would sit amongst novels by Achebe, Dangaremba, and Woolf for hours, engrossed in raw narratives that confirmed the ability of the tenacious human spirit to overcome adversity. My Grandmother threatened to tell my mother, to extend my stay on the homestead indefinitely, but I refused to compromise my personal and intellectual advancement.

Without the mild ridicule of my younger cousins on the homestead, I may never have truly learnt to accommodate the views of others. I had plenty of ideas about societal constructs which I considered vastly superior. However, I knew nothing about building traditional rain capture systems and other practicalities that sustained the homestead. My futile attempts to convince my relatives of the ineffectiveness of such technologies compelled me to take a closer look at how they worked. I discovered that the centuries-old practices carried out on the homestead were rather advanced in terms of sustainability. Mami was visibly startled to see me clamber onto the rooftop of my Uncle’s bungalow with my cousins to adjust the water receptacles mounted there as ominous clouds gathered above our heads. For perhaps the first time, she perceived that my ‘masculine’ desire to analyse and improve systems around me could serve the greater good, and she approved.

I never left Mami’s homestead. The image of it lingers perpetually in my mind’s eye; tantalizingly blurred, ever sharp in its reminder that enlightenment often takes various, elusive forms. I am determined to continue my pursuit of knowledge; through the lofty osun plantain trees that sway on a remote Port-Harcourt farm, and the renowned halls of Fordham University, to become a highly impactful engineer.

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Mami’s homestead.: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 7, 2023, from
“Mami’s homestead.: College Admission Essay Sample.” GradesFixer, 26 Apr. 2018,
Mami’s homestead.: College Admission Essay Sample. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 7 Jun. 2023].
Mami’s homestead.: College Admission Essay Sample [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Apr 26 [cited 2023 Jun 7]. Available from:
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