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Never allow your circumstances to inhibit your growth as a person

By Esther Ijewere-Kalejaiye
16 July 2016   |   1:37 am
Dr. Kanayo Phoebe Dike-Oduah is not your ordinary doctor; she is a doctor of virtue, healing and performing heart surgery with words of encouragement. In this interview with WOR...
Dr. Kanayo Phoebe Dike-Oduah

Dr. Kanayo Phoebe Dike-Oduah

Dr. Kanayo Phoebe Dike-Oduah is not your ordinary doctor; she is a doctor of virtue, healing and performing heart surgery with words of encouragement. In this interview with WOR, the 22 year old graduate of Psychology speaks about growing up and how she was able to transform her challenges into golden opportunities.

Growing Up
I grew up in what society would call a single parent home. The statistical consensus is that those from single parent homes will struggle to achieve, some go as far to say that they we prone to delinquency and anti-social behaviour. While these statistics are harsh, they are true for some. I decided to choose God’s word about my life over man’s statistic and pushed to excel with the support of my family and great teachers. And achieve I did!

Coping With the Status Quo
I must say that even though my background is not pleasant, it stirred up such compassion for those from similar backgrounds. I had to grow up quite quickly, supporting my mum with my siblings as the eldest. All of this built a resilience within me, strengthened my heart and reminds me daily that ‘I can’! I can do anything I set my mind to. I can be the best version of Kanayo that there will ever be. I can achieve. I can inspire. Regardless of my background. We know that seeds grow best in the dirt. My background may have been messy, dirty, whatever we want to call it, but it provided the best environment for the seed within me to grow and produce more seeds to encourage others!Never ever allow your circumstances to inhibit your growth as a person at all! If you have a goal, dream, whatever GO FOR IT!

Meet Dr. Kanayo
I am a 22 year old young lady on fire for God with a passion for His word. I am the author of the Bible challenges devotionals on the YouVersion Bible app. I recently graduated from the University of Surrey with a Psychology degree and a special International award for my international work over the years. I am now working as a Psychology teacher, while completing my postgrad at UCL. My parents are from Anambra and Asaba in Nigeria and my title is Adaeze from Umu-Eze-Aroli. I love travelling, I love reading, I love contemporary dance, I love good soul food (the kind that sends you to sleep) and I love pampering sessions. This is the part where I profess my love for working out, but that would be a lie, God is working on my six pack. I run my own blog, with over 186,000 hits. God has blessed me with the grace to teach, not only my passion for psychology but also my passion for His Word. My desire is to see people fall in love with the Bible, so that they can fall in love with it’s author, God.

Discovering My Gift of Teaching
My mantra is ‘To show love is to share edifying knowledge.’ This statement is at the top of my blog and I believe that my passion for teaching is an overflow of my love for others. There is something about seeing my students, peers and elders glow or have a ‘light bulb moment’ when I have taught them something and that is what pushed me deeper into discovering my gift of teaching.

A great challenge is being consistent with my posts as life can get really busy. In addition, being measured in terms of what I share concerning my personal life. In addition, I have had to learn how to strike a balance between inspiring and being appropriately transparent. A fun challenge is expressing my two passions; Psychology and Christianity simultaneously via this platform. The hardest challenge is being put on a pedestal and constantly having to remind people that I am not the standard, I am human, I am not immune to trials etc. If you allow men to put you on a pedestal, they’ll be the same ones to bring you down. But when God elevates you, He will keep you there, not by your own strength, but by His sufficient grace. Finally, learning how to deal with the critics has been a major challenge that I learnt to overcome using God’s word.

About My Bible challenge platform
I was frustrated, like many Christians. I felt like I wasn’t ‘hearing’ God, like there was absolutely no connection. Prayer didn’t help because I had no scriptural foundation to my prayer. But one day, I read that scripture, John 1:1. A scripture that I had heard so many times, but in that one moment God assured me that this is how He will speak to me, this is how I can connect with Him, this is how my prayer life will get better. By reading His Word – which IS Him! I developed a strong desire to encourage those who struggle with the Bible to fall in love with The Word and consequently fall in love with the Author! So I created Bible Challenges also known as devotionals, to connect my love for His word with the efficiency of social media.
Bible challenges go beyond reading because we share our understanding with each other using various social media platforms to share our thoughts. My Bible challenges can be found on the world’s number one Bible App, YouVersion, and there is more information on how to start a Bible challenge on my blog.

Trying Times
The cliché thing would be to say ‘never give up’, I’ve heard that so many times and sometimes you can’t help but give up. Of course I have felt overwhelmed at times, but sometimes its just a case of me needing a break to refocus and to remind myself of my purpose and how necessary I am.My encouragement to you reading; ‘If you give up, fine, rest for a while, but you have to pick yourself up again and strive towards that goal, never forget the end result, that should be the main thing that drives you towards your goal. Make sure that the goal is somewhat attainable and realistic. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you on your journey towards your goal, people that will edify you and advice you.

Greatest Reward
My academic passion is in Psychology, which I excelled in right from being introduced to the discipline at GCSE through to holding a Bachelor of Science Degree from the UK’s 4th Best university, the University of Surrey. I now teach Psychology to 16-19 year olds in an inner London Sixth Form while completing my masters at the World’s number one university for educational studies, the Institution of Education, UCL.

I have written a critically acclaimed academic review on a key debate in the field titled: ‘Mental Illness: Demons or Dopamines?’ which received positive acclaim from her peers and lecturers and was highlighted in the University of Surrey’s academic newspaper. I wrote this paper during my month stay in China, where I worked for Astronaut China in July 2013 and also spent a few days volunteering at a mental institution in Beijing. Winning the Black Youth Achievement Award in education sponsored by Pearson in 2011 set the ball rolling for my streak of achievements. Since then I have continued to excel; last year I was a nominee for the Rare Rising Stars award (2015) and in July 2014, I was recognised as a Future Leader for 2014/15 and featured in September’s Future Leaders Magazine which celebrates 100 of the UK’s most outstanding black students in partnership with Barclays Capital and the University of Cambridge. I was selected from a cohort of over 500 students, to be given the Internationalisation Award for the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences at my graduation for my international work.

I am a Woman of Rubies
I am a woman with dignity, influence and respect. No matter the challenges or the obstacles that come my way, I have chosen to live through them and to inspire with them. I am evidence that God exists, I am evidence that He is indeed faithful and so gracious. My heart for others pushes me to serve in any capacity, to love with my words and encourage with my life. Some days I feel like my life isn’t all together, other days, I feel like Wonder Woman, but I have learnt that I minister the best when I’ve been through the lowest of lows because it is more about God flowing through me, as I yield my life to be used by Him without focusing on my feelings. Rubies are beautiful, they are formed under severe heat and pressure. The heat of life refines me, the pressure of life strengthens me. This is why I am a woman of Rubies.

Final words for Nigerian Women
Nigerian women are strong, we are endowed with defiant passion for the things we love and hold dear. My charge to Nigerian women across the world is to never allow your passion to cloud your service to humanity. Never allow your strength to exceed the beauty that is within a woman who is graceful and measured. Continue to fight for what you love and those you love, but do so gracefully, wearing humility wherever you go. I love you my fellow Queens.