Rising Star shines in face of adversity - Refugee Council
July 21, 2015

Rising Star shines in face of adversity

This month, Refugee Council client Oluremi was named a Rare Rising Star at a prestigious ceremony in Parliament. Now in its seventh year, Rare Rising Stars showcases the outstanding achievements of the best black students in the UK. Refugee Council Communications volunteer Lydia shares Oluremi’s incredible story.

My novel is about how the powerful try to subdue the weak when they try to achieve things that seem impossible.

Oluremi is no stranger to achieving the seemingly impossible.

Aged 8, Oluremi lost his sight after being sent home from school in Nigeria with a headache.

For ten years he was kept out of school, his family believing black magic was involved in his sudden loss of sight. For the next ten years Oluremi was beaten and locked in the house, accused of causing illnesses and deaths in the family. Over the years, he struggled to access education.

But Oluremi didn’t give up, and has persisted in his goal to access education, even while he has been living as an asylum seeker in Britain. He recently applied for a course in music production at Haringey College. The advisor – having never had a blind person on the course – insisted he opt for something else. Oluremi was insistent.

Today he has achieved a distinction in every subject, plays the saxophone and piano, and has twice performed at the Royal Festival Hall.

Not content with just being a talented musician, Oluremi has also won a medal in the London Metro Tennis for the Blind Tournament in 2013, is a member of the Tottenham Blind Football Team, and has recently started writing his first novel The Story of the Broken Heart. We can’t keep up!

His ‘refusal to let his disability hinder his progress’ and his commitment to study ‘on a level I have rarely come across in my years working as a teacher’ have left his personal tutor with no doubt that Oluremi will go on to achieve his goal of becoming a teacher.

Rising Stars said “He is one of the brightest and most brilliant stars these awards have ever seen.”

What a stunning example of achievement in the face of adversity.