University of East London student has travelled the globe to fulfil her dream

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 December 2016

UEL fashion student Zita Obakponovwe

UEL fashion student Zita Obakponovwe


University of East London student, Zita Obakponovwe, is finally fulfilling her dream of studying fashion.

The 40-year-old has had to endure an international journey from Nigeria to London to be given her chance at making her dream come true.

Zita, who was born in Nigeria, has recently enrolled on fashion design course.

“I don’t want to go to university to show off – I want to learn,” she said.

The mum-of-two grew up in Italy and spent 22 years living there before moving to the UK for the sake of her daughter Zoe, who has autism, in 2013.

“She wasn’t getting the right support in Italy,” she said.

“I did my research and found that there was a lot of autistic schools here in England.”

Her first challenge once arriving was getting her daughter Zoe diagnosed and then enrolled in an autistic school, before turning her attention to her own development.

Once both Zita’s daughters were settled in, she enrolled herself into Lewisham College to study English and maths.

She also took part in a beauty course and created her own make up line, Zitamilano, which she sells online.

Zita said: “I don’t let anything get in my way.

“If you are determined, nothing can stop you.”

Once she finished her college courses, Zita felt she was ready to pursue her real passion in fashion, even though she had no qualifications in clothes design.

However, she did have years of experience at making her own clothes, which helped her to get onto a course.

“I went to the interview for the level 3 course at Lewisham, but they told me that with the work I had done, I would be good enough to study it at university,” she said.

“[The interviewer] said that for the way I like to work, UEL is one of the best.

“I was offered a place at another university but I didn’t hear good things about them, so I turned it down.”

Zita is now studying at the university and they are expecting her to go far in the fashion industry.

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