In a bid to make her concentrate on her studies, Cynthia was not allowed to use smart phones and social media both at home and school.
The Government of Enugu state has given a full scholarship to the overall best student in the West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.
Ali Cynthia Chinecherem, a 17-year-old student who graduated from Shalom Academy, Nsukka in Enugu State had nine distinctions in the exam was on Thursday, August 10, invited to the Enugu Government House.
The School principal, Komolafe Olugbenga, in a text message informed Pulse immediately after the young girl was invited by the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi that the government has given her scholarship till the end of her first degree.
The Enugu State Government had recently sent delegates to make findings about the girl and the school she graduated from, but after a while, nothing was heard from the government camp until Thursday.
The government effort to seek information about Cynthia and support her education was probably informed by a tweeter user, who in July asked the state governor to send the 17-yr-old girl to a very good University.
Speaking with Pulse on the academic success of the girl, the principal of the school, Olugbenga Komolafe said Cynthia has always been the best student throughout her days in the school.
"She started with us right from JSS1 and by the grace of God, She completed her SS3 during the June/July Neco Exams. She came into the school and she has demonstrated a high level of intelligence, and right from her JSS1 days, she has always been on the cover of our school magazine as the best student from JSS 1 to SS3. She even covered the magazine as the best graduating student, She is very gentle, obedient, intelligent.''
Cynthia might have represented her school at different competitions and demonstrated some degrees of brilliance, but none of her teachers seems to believe she could get nine distinctions in her West Africa Senior School Certificate Exams.
"She represents the school in National Olympiad Competition in Chemistry and equally represented her school in Cowbell Mathematics Competetion. In both competitions, she won medals for her school, and on her graduation day, she was decorated with so many awards" Kolawole said.
Cynthia's academic feat ostensibly added a feather to the cap of her school as her achievement surpassed the school's previous records in WAEC.
The best WASSCE result the school had seen according to the school principal was 7As and 2Bs, but Cynthia is the first student to get As in all subjects.
Speaking with Pulse a day before she was offered scholarship at Government House, Enugu, the young girl explained how she made nine distinctions in WAEC exams.
"I only studied my books, and my teachers tried their best and by God's grace I made it." She simply said.
"I read for six hours every day, not at a stretch, I only read for two hours at school and when I get home I read for four hours at night."
Moreover, in a bid to encourage her to concentrate on her studies, her father as a matter of principle did not allow her use a cell phone. Even the school discourages the use of smart phones by students.
Cynthia is not on twitter to see how Nigerians celebrated her and spurred the governor to give her scholarship, neither does she have social presence on facebook. But to keep his promise, her father got her a smart phone after her NECO exams and even with that, she is only allowed to use whatsapp for now.
Praising her parents for their supports, she said, "My parents did their best because the tradition in the house is that, you are not supposed to use a cell phone until after secondary school education. It was after my graduation that my dad bought a phone for me."
Before, she became an academic celebrity, the young girl had wanted to further her education at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, but did not object to the idea of studying abroad if the government chooses to send her to a University outside the country.
Cynthia's best subjects are mathematics and Chemistry. This perhaps explains why she wants to read Medicine and Surgery in the University.
Moreover, Cynthia is a young scholar with many medals yet, she believes her best is yet to come.
"I can't say I have done the best in all the competition but I have received certificates of merit for Mathematics Association of Nigeria."
Pulse also spoke with Cynthia's father, Mr. Okey Ali who by profession is also a teacher. Ali explained how he encouraged his kids to become the best academically.
"I am a teacher by profession and as a teacher when they were young I used to take them to school, make sure they face their studies, although God is at the centre of everything but I tried my best to lay a solid background for them academically"
Interestingly, Ali and the Commissioner of Education in the state are school mates and but he refused to lobby for his daughter's scholarship. Instead, he waited till government return to offer scholarship to the girl after two weeks of silence from the state government.