There was never any question that David Osarhieme Nduka-Oladiti would study for a degree, it was almost in his DNA.
From his grandfather, who set the ball rolling when he travelled from Nigeria to attend an English university, most family members followed the tradition, many of them gaining a Masters in a diverse range of subjects.
When David, aged six, moved to London with his mother from Nigeria’s Benin City, no one could have imagined he wouldn’t study in the capital when the time came.
But over a decade later, the then 18-year-old had different ideas and hit on University of Cumbria because he ‘loved the greenness of the land’ to work for his BA in social work.
Graduating at Carlisle Cathedral this week, he was joined at the ceremony by his mother Ehi Omoregie, a linguistics and English literature graduate, who is just about to finish a second degree – in social work.
Uncle Samuel Ero, a sociology and anthropology scholar, joined them too on a special day where he and Ehi wore Nigerian dress to keep the flag flying.
David said: “This is a very proud day and we wanted to keep as many traditions with our country of origin as possible.
“Originally, I’d wanted to go into mental health nursing as I’d developed an ambition for working in this area. It’s something I can pursue within my future social work, so I’ll be keeping that initial love alive.
“It’s been a challenge for me getting to graduation day and a lot of hard work, but I’ve everything to thank the tutors and lecturers for. They are University of Cumbria and what makes it great.
“I’ll be going back to London to work, but will definitely leave part of my heart here and there’ll be return visits. And I just want to say, none of this would have been possible without my mum.”
Tutor, Kirsteen Laidlaw, said David had really blossomed in his final year and would make ‘a fine social worker’.