Meet the Nigerian Student Who Stayed Back in Ukraine Despite War to Show Support: “My Parents Are Warriors”
As war broke out in Ukraine earlier in 2022 following the Russian invasion of the country, many foreigners tried to flee the country. A resilient Nigerian lady, Victoria Osemene, however, stayed back to support a nation that has given much to her. In an exclusive interview with YEN.com.gh's Joseph Omotayo, she spoke about her life and achievements staying back.
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Using social media for change
As war loomed over Ukraine following the various threats the country was getting from Russia, the Nigerian lady studying linguistic and international relations made a TikTok video to show support. This was about a month before the war broke out. In April, she made another. In her words:
"...I made my first TikTok video in support of Ukraine and this was posted on my TikTok account on the 28th of January 2022 and when the war finally broke out on the 24th of February I posted another video on my TikTok account on 2nd of April in support of Ukraine and peace..."
Days after that second video, she made a clip singing the Ukrainian national anthem and that shot her into fame.
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"...and on the 7th of April I posted a video on my TikTok account singing the national anthem and that video went viral and caught the attention of the Ukrainians and ever since then I have been making more videos to support Ukraine because I live here and I am still here."
Inspiration to keep going on
The 27-year-old Nigerian stated that she heavily drew her inspiration to keep making videos from the country's president, Zelenskyy, who never abandoned his people in the heat of the war. According to her, the president kept to his words to stay and that greatly inspired her.
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Victoria sees her video campaign to support the country as a show of love to a nation that has given her everything in the nine years that she has been there. She said:
"I have lived in Ukraine for 9 years and I guess that is enough time to find love for a country that has sheltered me for so long and also been part of my growth, I just couldn’t leave them at such a critical time, I felt this was the perfect time to show them my love for them. I had to forget my nationality to become a Ukrainian for once and that kept me going daily."
Living in Nigeria thickened my skin
The 27-year-old linguist revealed that coming from a country where cases of insurgency reigned prepared her well for what happened in Ukraine. Responding to how her family felt about her decision to stay back, Victoria said her parents are warriors. When she told her parents she would not be coming to Nigeria, they supported her decision.
"My parents are warriors, they have been my backbone and strong supporters since day 1. As soon as they heard the news and spoke with me and of course got the assurance that I was doing fine, they have been staying strong since then. With daily communication and prayers I can boldly say my parents are doing well," she said.
One of the successes Victoria got was a Social Media Influencer award from a Paris-based company. She was glad her videos calmed many students in Sum, a city in Ukraine.
Father excited to welcome daughter back from Ukraine
Meanwhile, popular Nigerian website Legit.ng earlier reported that a Nigerian father's joy knew no bounds as his daughter escaped war in Ukraine and came back to Nigeria.
The man in a tweet on Saturday, March 19, said he is grateful to God and the federal government who made it possible to see his daughter again.
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In great happiness, the man prayed that nobody will cry over their children. A photo he shared on Twitter showed him 'backing' his daughter.
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