A married couple, Olusegun Samuel and his wife, Temitope Samuel stole the show at the 50th Convocation Ceremony of the University of Lagos where they made history by becoming the first couple to bag doctorate degrees on the same day at the institution.
While Samuel did his PhD work on Marine Ecology, with a focus on Ecotoxicology- the study of how poison and chemicals affect the ecosystem, his wife focused on Dermatophyte, a group of fungi that causes skin diseases.
Samuel who joined UNILAG as a lecturer in the Faculty of Science in 2007 met Temitope at the same institution and they got married in May 2010. Temitope on the other hand, obtained her first and second degrees at UNILAG. They are blessed with a child but decided not to have another until they complete their PhD programmes, Temitope told Punch.
“We decided that we were not going to mix pleasure with business. The two don’t go together. Why should we have another baby so soon? When we got married on May 1, 2010, we both agreed on what would happen before we started our PhD programme. But now, the programme is over, we can return to that,” she said.
They said it took them a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, and huge financial resources to complete the programme.
“It took a lot of sacrifice. But since we were both involved, we were able to manage our time. Whenever I was not at home, my wife would be there. Again, at times, we worked so late on the campus that we did not get home until 11.00pm,” Samuel told Punch.
He added that he is proud of his wife’s achievement and doesn’t feel threatened by it. “It is what we both agreed to do. I don’t feel threatened that my wife has attained the same academic feat with me. It is for the benefit of the family.”
They don’t intend to stop at a PhD but plan to pursue their post-doctoral works.
“Definitely, getting a PhD is not the end. The next thing is to pursue post-doctoral works outside the country, because there is no facilities for such in Nigeria. Then, there is the need to get our findings published in a reputable journal. For some, it costs about $500 to get published. Some may say they want to publish it free, but it may take more than two years to get published. For two years, they may tell you that they are still studying your findings,” Samuel said.
Their achievement is indeed admirable and we wish them the very best.