Desmond Chinaza Muokwudo, a 30-year-old Nigerian student who has recently fled Ukraine, spent 11 years saving up for an education in Europe.
Once a pipeline welder from Anambra state, he dreamt of studying international relations – but he struggled with unemployment amid a recession in 2016. It was only after his parents decided to sell their small plot of land that he managed to raise enough funds to pursue his dream.
He finally enrolled last year at university, and had only spent three months in Ukraine when Russia launched its full-scale invasion.
“My parents have nothing left, they can’t support me,” he explained over the phone from his temporary accommodation in Berlin, Germany, sounding defeated.
“My government just tells me to come back home, but there’s nothing waiting for me in Nigeria.”
Mr Muokwudo is one of the estimated 16,000 African students who were living in Ukraine and are now scrambling to continue their studies.
By Soraya Ali