Nothing — not even childbirth — deterred teenager Fatoumata Kourouma Conde from completing the exam for which she had spent the past year preparing.
The 18-year-old, from the town of Mamou in eastern Guinea, realised she was just about to give birth as she sat down for the physics part of her baccalaureate, a high-school diploma that entails exams in a range of subjects.
She was rushed to the local hospital where within 10 minutes she swiftly delivered a baby boy.
Just 40 minutes after leaving the examination room, she was back at her desk, stunning her family who had rushed to the clinic as well as the invigilators.
Her tale, recounted by the local media, was confirmed by the head of the exam centre, Mohamed Diakite.
Conde told AFP that she had told no-one, including her husband, that childbirth was imminent “out of fear that they would ask me to stay at home or go and see my doctor.
“I just couldn’t bring myself to imagine missing a single exam for my baccalaureate, which I have been studying for the whole year,” she said.
One of her relatives said that her husband, a corporal in the police, was delighted and was telling everyone who would listen about “this terrific woman”.
“Everyone in Mamou is congratulating them, and we are praying to God that Fatoumata gets her baccalaureate,” said the relative, expressing the hope that the baby is named Espoir, “Hope” in French.
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