Girl Diary Two | Her Early Life
"Dorcas Onuh was born in a small clinic in Ikenne, Sagamu. She was quite the peculiar child growing up; always kept to herself and attempted everything on her own volition. We quite didn't understand her as much as we tried to. She was a very smart kid for her age and easily drew the attention of everyone in our lives. Everyone loved her, even in her quiet casualness. It became important to us to nurture this potential within a path that may lead her to her greatest self", her mother states.
Dorcas was enrolled into the best primary schools within the district and received additional intensive home tutoring alongside her regular school hours. At the age of seven, she was moved to a different high school called Omolola Nursery and Primary School, which at this time was recognized to be competing higher than her alma mater, Great Scholars International School. She spent two years at this school and continued into a Catholic High School called, Louisville Girls High School. Initially her father wanted her to enroll into a different school, which had better academic pedigree at the time but her mother insisted that Louisville was a better option to build her character as well as learn spirituality. Her mother worried about how seemingly difficult it was to get Dorcas to completely open up and trusted that a relationship with God was what her daughter needed most in her formative years.
Dorcas started writing at a very young age of Seven. She wasn't verbally expressive as a child and kept to herself a lot. "My parent's marriage wasn't one that was filled with love from the beginning. They fought a lot and most of what I recalled about my childhood was watching my mother cry a lot, constantly praying to God and feeling helpless in my joint attempt with my sisters to console her. This troubling part of my childhood was what led me into writing. I wrote about how I was feeling about these experiences. I believe it was in those formative years that I became a feminist and a big thinker. I never wanted to live in a world where women should feel lesser than men". The first piece I had written was a poem in form of a letter to God to heal my parent's marriage, and then I wrote about love and what this meant, and about how stupid boys were and then a short play titled, "the Unexpected Incidence". This continued into short stories and more poetry and then a girl diary about regular experiences of my day to day life. At Louisville Girls High School, I entered into its monthly Poetry publications, called Waterfalls and got my first published poem titled, Talent."
Dorcas' time at Louisville was a very challenging one. Louisville is a catholic school ran by the Sisters of Saint Louis, actively focused on grooming girls into women of integrity who loved learning, protected our planet and soured as resilient leaders. "We had very strict routines, activities and rules encompassing academics, spiritual life, sports, associations and cantata events. We wore our hair short, had strict dress codes and were stripped of all materialistic things that could differentiate us from one another. Equality, Simplicity, Truth and Love were among-st the christian values Louisville took very seriously. We were made up of girls who came from all the 36 states of the country and from varying backgrounds, talents and interests living like sisters in boarding houses and we referred to each-other as such, Sister"
Dorcas soon became discouraged with the structured life at Louisville and one time asked her father to be transferred to a different school but he declined her request. "My father is someone who loves education and he'd quickly fallen in love with Louisville. Every parent was in love with Louisville. Even though I was finding the discipline challenging, I soon realized my wanting to leave was hardly genuine. There was this sense of pride you had as a Louizane while interfacing with other schools; that got me through the hurdles". She completed her high school and got admissions into Bells University of Technology where she studied Physics with Electronics. Her father had wanted her to study Medicine and so she applied into the prestigious University of Nigeria. She was put on a long waiting admission list which led her to enroll into Bells University of Technology in the meanwhile. "When my admissions into University of Nigeria came through, I was well into my second year at Bells University and had integrated into my new life. I decided I didn't want to leave to go study Medicine which I wasn't really interested in".
Dorcas completed her degree as a Best Graduating Student with a First Class Honors degree. She was almost immediately recognised by the prestigious Stephen Oluwole Awokoya Foundation for Science Education with its Scholar Award."I loved my time at Bells. I had gone from an all girls catholic boarding school to a mixed liberal-centered university founded by President Olusegun Obasanjo. It was a whole different exposure. I particularly enjoyed my focus on medical research which led me into publishing my first paper with the Journal of Medical Physics on environmental hazards of radioactivity from industrial dumpsites. Upon completion of this project, I learned my better interest was in the direction of my writing, research and handling projects so I began to explore the odds of deviating completely from Electronics Engineering. I started a blog titled, "deeysertflower" and started sharing my creative writing on its platform. I had been inspired to the title of my blog from the world acclaimed autobiography and movie titled, Desert Flower: the autobiography of a Somalian nomad circumcised at 3, sold in marriage at 13, fled from Africa a while later to become finally an American supermodel and is now at the age of 38, the UN spokeswoman against female genital mutilation (FGM). In some odd way, I saw my life through the lenses of this Somalian Nomad; expressionless, seeking and steering into a journey."
Dorcas also kept a book she called 'my journal of ideas'. "Even at this time, I had not considered my writing as anything more than a hobby but I was a big creative dreamer and came up with crazy and original ideas every now and again that I decided to start writing them down. In Nigeria, you were either a Doctor, a Lawyer or an Engineer to be considered successful. This left me with a huge burden of concern regarding where I was headed career-wise with my extensive interests." A few months after graduating from Bells University, Dorcas decided to pack her bags and move to Benin city, Edo state Nigeria, an almost eight hours drive from her parent's home. "I wanted to explore. I felt there was more out there for me and I seized the opportunity to take on the compulsory one year Nigeria Youth Service Corp as a first step into this journey"