"Dreams are a test. Because a dream is going to test your resolve."

- Steven Spielberg

I am Oluwayemisi Sosanya Ph.D. I was Oluwayemisi Sosanya when I slept on the first day of January in 2010 and I had a bad dream. I dreamt I was on a long journey, a very tedious one. I was, for the most part, alone. Help came intermittently. I do not have permission to discuss all the details but certain elements of that dream are why I share this part of it.

After I woke up, one thing was clear to me: I had to make a trip. To where? How? Why? Answers to all these questions were lost to me at the time. The only clear thing was a strong feeling that I had to make a trip. And so I began to try to put the pieces together.

The first thing to happen to me after this dream was an accident; it was a lone accident. I was driving and no, I was not drunk or on the phone. I just went blank and the next thing, I was being helped out of a hitherto brand new car. It was damaged beyond repair. I was in and out of consciousness on the way to the hospital and kept wondering what was happening.

Suffice to say, I survived. After I made full recovery, everyone agreed I need to take a break. Before that, my younger sister had been planning a full career change to fashion design. In other to be better equipped, she had enrolled in a design course in Accra, Ghana. When she learned about my accident, she came to see me. She mentioned her plans and the first piece of the puzzle fell in place. I knew I had to relocate to Accra with her.

While in Accra, I would regularly attend church service because the words of the preacher seemed to speak to me for almost a year. A lot of the messages focused on dreams and their resultant consequence on life's journey. The preacher would often draw on such compelling biblical passages and reference the work of renowned Christian authors to pass on the message. Before I left Accra, the second piece of the puzzle fell in place. I knew the next phase of the journey I was destined to make. I knew when. At the time, I had no idea how I would make it or even why I go to go through with it.

In October 2012, I was ready to relocate to France. I could consolidate on my fashion design training while in France and dedicate time to studying the language. France was not a childhood dream come true. I chose the country for purely economic reasons. Living in the United Kingdom or the United States did not exactly appeal to me. By 2016, I had been awarded a BA in Fashion & Design in addition to being the most outstanding student in my class at the SABI University, France.

All of these happened in a breeze. I remember thinking to myself: “If I could do all these, why not advance to pursuing a Ph.D.?” Admittedly, bagging a Ph.D. was all I ever wanted in my academic journey. This aspiration turned out to be the biggest test of my life and my resolve.

At the onset, it was easy. I submitted the proposal for my Ph.D. thesis and received the needed approval to proceed. I had envisioned proceeding to chapter two would be a walk in the park. However, I soon realized the torture and discomfort that accompanied writing a thesis of this nature. I soon experienced a difficult phase of writers’ block because I had to juggle searching for better jobs during the day and writing when I could find time in the evenings. I had to struggle with handling my bills and those of my family back in Nigeria. Without warning, panic attacks set in. Despite the challenging situation, my tenacity was unshaken; I knew I could not quit.

I did two things to progress: I took a year off to concentrate on finding better-paying jobs and resolving the attendant woes that came with my prolonged financial crisis. Secondly, I sought help from like-minded Ph.D. holders to overcome my writers' block and to progress in writing my thesis. It paid off!

In saying it paid off I do not imply that it all became easier. On the contrary, it got tougher. But I already had a plan and a support group. I finally put my thesis together and successfully defended it on June 12, 2020. I got an A grade in each assessment criterion: Dissertation, following academic writing rules, mastery on the assigned topic, and ability to present the topic and hypothesis. My overall graduation grade was Laudatur. (At). My joy was unimaginable. I breathed like I had been holding my breath nonstop for years. It was gratifying, to say the least.

In the course of the journey to putting my thesis together and subsequent defense, I had the opportunity to sit for an IELTS examination partly due to my migration plans to Canada and a need to ascertain my mental capabilities. By this time, I had already concluded that my mental health had deteriorated. Balancing work and schooling was essentially a struggle. There were moments and occurrences during this period that made me question my mental alertness. I had problems with recalling names and experiences.

And so, I proceeded to settle this problem by reading chapters in the book of psalms. I also took the French Proficiency Test examination and the English Proficiency Test examination.

To my greatest relief, I recorded clean successes in all three ventures. I made an aggregate of 9.0/10 in my IELTS examination and had a 74% pass in the French Proficiency Test examination. My French Test Centre was so excited with my score they held a little fete in my honour. I am deeply grateful to God and close members of my support group (detailed salutation is contained in my Ph.D. Acknowledgement here).

Now I am Oluwayemisi Sosanya PhD.

Dreams will test you, but dreams do come true.


Award as Outstanding Student of class 2016

Faculty members at 10th year anniversary of SABI UNIVERSITY and graduation ceremony 2016 set

Graduation class of 2014. BA Fashion Design, PARIS AMERICAN ACADEMY, Paris, France

Picture with Dr Adlan Parsa, President, SABI University and Prof. Sarah Raissadati

Picture with course mates

Picture with lecturers. Former couturieres with wealth of experience

Recieving award as outstanding student at the graduation ceremony

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