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BellaNaija Celebrates Academic Excellence – Class of 2015: Oyin Oludipe

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BellaNaija presents “Celebrating You! Class of 2015” We called for submissions of graduating students who had excelled in their course of study. We acknowledge the fact that everyone who has graduated this year is a winner. We, therefore, want to celebrate people who have gone over and above the norm. People who have gotten meritorious distinctions and awards from their institution of study. We hope that you are inspired and we look forward to receiving more entries.

Oyin Samuel Oludipe graduated from Babcock University with a 4.71 GPA – First Class Honours. He traced his love for communication, and literature to his childhood, when his mother indulged his love for being in the library. With Wole Soyinka as his role model, his joy knew no bounds when he got into University in 2011 to study Mass Communication. Overcoming the challenge of being constantly misunderstood because of his baby face, Oyin earned the place of Best Graduating Student in Mass Communication.
We hope you enjoy his story as much as we did.

***

Oludipe O. SamuelLife as a Freshman
I started my first year on a very grim note, on a diet of mockery and entanglements of esteem. The accompanying experiences were hostel taunts, bold gossips, a curt road barrage of questions from students and then lecturers; some of whom, upon a close encounter, quickly digressed from my assignments and term papers to talk about my face! It was as though I had become the seventh wonder of this world, as though my entire presence had mutated into a single surprising face, discarding from its transformation every other part of me like the words I had to speak, the works I had to show or the impression I had to make.

Doubts
My doubts were my greatest challenge. They virtually crushed me. I was fighting face wars, cowering beneath everyone’s unbelief in me (save a very few distant friends); I was grappling with hostel realities; I was struggling with tests in some of my core courses – especially news-writing. A lecturer had even said in class, ‘Samuel, you won’t make a good news writer. You write short stories, not news.’ I had always been a passionate writer, but I was new to this kind of writing. Its many principles were alien to me and I was faltering. I had not expected these.

After several futile attempts to please, I took umbrage at my sudden incapacity. In the meantime, I decided to ease off, to tread familiar grounds and please myself. I joined a Sketch House, a drama troupe and a poetry clique – these were places of early therapy, places where I could do the things I love: draw, oversee plays and write poems. Even while I was in class, I would sometimes be seen either sketching forms or jotting scraps of poetry. At night, I listened to Asa, Olan Mill or Darin Sysoev. (I also love soul music and classics)

All the while, I was running from my fears until one morning—studying my Bible—I encountered a passage (Mark 9:23). It read, ‘All things are possible to him who believes’. The next day, my parents rang me and told me sweet things, ‘We believe in you; believe in yourself. Anything you do, be wise and put in your best effort.’

With Professor Femi OsofisanScaling the First Hurdle
Surprisingly, I survived my foremost semester with a GPA of 4.71. I can still remember the vivid pride that glowed on my parents’ faces. I once looked into a mirror and saw a reflection of that pride on mine. I was so happy and close to tears.

Naturally, there were shocked yet positive remarks; a wave of awe, distant yet redemptive. It was my open sesame yet I knew I was not satisfied. I am never satisfied with academic self-gratifications. They merely start and end with self. I knew I was in urgent need of an alpha code which would transcend 4.71 and the finiteness of its glory. Then it came to me: be relevant! I felt it was indeed possible to be extraordinary and still be irrelevant. And that, to me, is the ultimate paradox of the gifted.

The quest for relevance was not a restitution strategy, I assured myself. On the contrary, it was the product of sheer determination to stem my own tide, to reprove myself to myself and then to an academic community, whose notions, I considered, were in dire need of amendments.

With famous Advertising Author, Dr. Joe Onuorah

Extra-curricular Activities
I began to debate for my (Mass Communication) department. Once, I was the only freshman on the podium at an annual Inter-Departmental Debate Competition. I remember having to viciously argue in favour of homosexual rights, a discourse which was and is still a controversial one. Of course, the position was foisted on my team and it attracted special attention to our performance. After semesters upon semesters of the podium experience, in 300 level, I represented the university at an Ambrose Alli University National Public Speaking Contest organized by the NYSC and was awarded a prize for the Public Speaker of the Year. I was also privileged to co-found the Babcock University Debate Club, one that has emerged winner at three consecutive seasons of the Nigeria Private Universities Debate. (NIPUD’s third season recently took place at Turkish Nile University, Abuja)

Other revolutionary indulgences, in the course of time, came in careful sequence: I co-founded an (A-Team) Empowerment Group, oversaw a column in the university newsletter, co-edited my departmental magazine (namely Herald Digest); led, as Vice President, an ambassadorial and philanthropic association (namely Trendz Club); and, during my final year, founded, as Managing Editor, the university’s first newsletter for a Graduating Class (namely The Eagle Times).

IMG_20150729_160108 IMG_20150729_160134

The Juggling Process Leading to Success
Leading a busy life in school is a herculean reality. I attest to its benumbing intricacies. One only survives that intense phase with discipline, artfully sharing the finite resource—that is, time—between the curricular and the extra-curricular. As a preoccupied individual, I had to find balance. This meant, for me, strict holistic time-tables, relentless bucket-lists, and several sacrifices of free periods.

On the 7th of June, I graduated as the best graduating Mass Communication student with the overall highest CGPA of 4.71 (surprisingly, I had started off with the same exact figure for a GPA), the “most influential male” of my (Eagle) Graduating Class, was awarded by Babcock University Alumni Association for “outstanding academic excellence and societal impact”, and was given a prize by the Babcock University Parents’ Consultative Forum as the “Best Administrative Student”.

That day, I saw happy colours on every face. I knew that the attitude to learn and adapt conquers all. It raises the mind above storms and extinguishes doubts. I was deeply glad to have excelled in the areas I had thought I would drown. I hope to advance my study in Advertising, become a renowned authority in my field; and, one day, own a leading international ad agency.

Words on Marble
American author, Mark Twain once wrote: Do not let your schooling interfere with your education. I find it imperative that every student ruminate on these words. There is a huge log that divides the realm of certificates and that of knowledge. The latter transcends the class and must be sought for through human interactions, interrogations, interventions, and, most importantly, inventions; for it is the only currency that can buy money. Do internships. Meet mentors. Make visionary friends. Know your craft, and then beat your craft to distinction.

My advice to students is that you should be focused on and passionate about being persons of knowledge and value first. Then, you will become persons of success. I believe that a student exists not only to give answers, but also to ask questions; not only to be extraordinary, but also to be relevant. Study, learn, explore and serve. Always do what is good with what is done to you and, most importantly, believe in yourself and God, your Maker.

Bright eyes, a roaming mind and that constant whisper of promise the soul uses to return to itself: this is the ideal spirit.

{Click here to read more of Oyin’s memoirs}
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If you want to be part of this inspiring and amazing feature or if you know someone who is part of the Class of 2015 who should be featured here, please send an email to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com. We look forward to reading from you and sharing your academic excellence.

39 Comments

  1. Siobi

    August 21, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Congratulations Oyin! I enjoyed reading your story. More grease to your elbow!

    • Nkechi

      August 21, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Shame to those who delight in mocking other people. Where are they now. Hmnn one lady laughed at another lady In church because of the way her face looked after a bad surgery done in Nigeria. The lady who laughed had an accident the next month, did her surgery in the US and her face looked worse than the face of the choir lady. If you are one of those who mock people and taunt them about what they have no control over. Stop it o, don’t let it catch up with you at 50 if you are still having fun right now. A word is enough for the wise. leave God’s creation alone, after all you were not there when He created the heavens and the earth. How come you have become wise then Him.

  2. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    August 21, 2015 at 2:02 am

    No doubt you are in love with words. (smiles)

    Reach higher, live higher, live happier. You are loved.

  3. delta geh

    August 21, 2015 at 3:16 am

    o boy see grammar. He’ll be a great writer!

  4. chee

    August 21, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Artfully crafted words!! I don’t need a soothsayer to tell me he’s a writer,congrats oyin!. It’s amazing what we can do when we believe!

  5. Olori Tari

    August 21, 2015 at 7:34 am

    This is my favourite one on this column because it actually focuses on what I’m interested in, when I hear about university life – the extra curricular lifestyle. From the beginning to the end; I was hooked. It’s beyond the grade for me – love love love it. And weldone on that GPA too – ?

    I actually learnt from your writing and then you talked about debating in favour of homosexual rights…you are wonderful! You are such a good writer and you are going to do great things.

    CONGRATULATIONS and I wish you Godspeed.

  6. NK

    August 21, 2015 at 9:02 am

    One could feel you in your write up. You are a good writer. You did not just graduate but you are made. I call it a gift from God not education. I do not know you but am happy for you. Congrats and may God see you through your dreams. Cheers!

  7. lolarae

    August 21, 2015 at 9:45 am

    congrats boy bring in that nobel prize you will have to replace wole soyinka

  8. Dayo

    August 21, 2015 at 10:06 am

    “There is a huge log that divides the realm of certificates and that of knowledge. The latter transcends the class and must be sought for through human interactions, interrogations, interventions, and, most importantly, inventions; for it is the only currency that can buy money.”
    These words are definitely a result of deep thinking, i am inspired.
    wish u all the best! Congrats!

  9. Zadera

    August 21, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Congrats Oyin!

  10. Tosin

    August 21, 2015 at 10:29 am

    our doubts are traitors… (Shakespeare, in Measure for Measure)
    I know you want to do an ad agency and all, but my prayer is for you to continue to confound! and co-found. What a great start.

  11. thatafricanchic

    August 21, 2015 at 11:18 am

    He’s great! I believe that writing is his calling. He’s definitely going to EXCEL in that field

  12. TofuNation

    August 21, 2015 at 11:39 am

    That awkward moment when Samuel says he was “struggling” with academics! Hayyy e mean say the rest of us don die with academics, Samuel that answers questions and debates like kilode? ? ye!

    Truly he deserves it this guy is a walking BRAIN!!
    God take you higher Samuel!

  13. aisha

    August 21, 2015 at 11:59 am

    come and make first class in University of Ibadan… then we’l talk! mstchew

    • The special one

      August 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      Una don start, e dey pain you??? Clearly he is not not just book smart, his play with words gives him away.

    • nwa papa

      August 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      @Aisha, learn to celebrate others success, so that yours too can be celebrated 😉

    • Ozyy

      August 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      You should at least congratulate him…He knows how much he had to do to attain this. It is not by school, uni but by what he had to go through and has learnt in the process. This young man “MAY” be better than a UI 1st class graduate. Everyone needs to be applauded for great achievements.

    • Tee

      August 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      People like you will hear someone say ‘my dog can chase bones’ and reply ‘let the dog come and chase it in Ojuelegba’
      Ogbeni shift!

    • Gerrara here mehn!

      August 21, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      Gerrara here with this you people’s U.I that first class is as rare as a flying pig in winter in Nigeria. You get what you work for in some universities, believe it or not, I’m tired of this “let him come and try it in my uni” gist!.
      I dunno why you’re so bitter! That’s how Nigerian students on 2nd class will go abroad and be getting first class because here lecturers hold on to your grades like their lives depend on it, they will be bragging about how many students fail their courses! Abeg Dont get me started. Congrats Oyin!

    • Abk

      August 21, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      I really hate bitter people. What has Univeristy of Ibadan got to do with this? Some of you are severely envious, it makes you unhappy and bitter. That’s why it’s difficult for people like you to succeed. If that’s all you could say after reading this post, then you need immediate divine intervention. Smh at your sorry self.

      Congratulations, young lad! I’m so proud of you and I don’t even know you. Powerful words there.
      I’m sure your Parents must feel blessed to have a SUPERSTAR like you. God WILL ALWAYS be with you. All the best with your future endeavors.

    • Ngozi

      August 21, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      Aisha, just congratulate the boy and move on. He has done very well.

  14. Opara Boy

    August 21, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Congrats Oyin!!!

  15. nwa papa

    August 21, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Kudos young man, the sky is the limit for you! As a student and lover of philosophy I loved your Mark Twain quote.. With such words engraved in your heart, you’ve set a great sail and when the winds of life blows which it will you’ll not be blown off of course..
    “Our doubts are traitors, oft making us lose the good we might win; by fearing to attempt” William Shakespeare

  16. Abara Joy

    August 21, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    All I know is that you are a star without mincing words. Aisha should hug a transformer. #Beefersneverlast.

  17. seun

    August 21, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Congratulations, dear friend. So proud of you. #Wemadeit #Classof15

  18. Opijay

    August 21, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Right from the time I met you Oyin, u’ve always been an amazing guy, wonderful writer, great speaker, wonderful friend and an awesome leader…the world awaits you Oyin! Keep up the good work! I’m proud of you! Cheers!!

    @ aishat, if u have nothing meaningful and positive to say just gerrarahia..bad belle.

  19. PAUL SPEAKS

    August 21, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Very nice bro,so much believe in your dream man.
    Keep the good work on

  20. favour

    August 22, 2015 at 12:23 am

    congratulation!!! I’m so proud to be your friend ..trust me, y’all need to meet oyin, he is awesome!. And @aisha, its a pity you don’t know him..

  21. favour

    August 22, 2015 at 12:25 am

    congratulation!!! I’m so proud to be your friend ..trust me, y’all need to meet oyin, he is [email protected], SMH.

  22. Shamsideen Iposu

    August 22, 2015 at 4:26 am

    Well done, Samuel!!! Brilliant!

  23. Frank Success

    August 22, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Samuel, this is nice… I am so tired of saying it is nice…. I have never stopped believing so I just keep the applause coming…. Keep Soaring baby face!!
    @Aisha, it doesn’t matter where you are… what matters is that you give your best and are the best wherever you find yourself! In Babcock, He gave his best and turned out the best! I’m sure in UI, he will adapt same strategy and shock you!!
    But that’s not the Success spirit you know, I bet you can’t stand face to face with this dude! u will get intimidated before he even gets started!! Learn to better yourself from motivating stories like this.
    #iamdonetalking

  24. I N V I N C I B L E™

    August 22, 2015 at 7:45 am

    ? ??????

    Mister Oyin Oludipe never disappoints me. The world is a stage and you are one of the important actors. Keep on shinning.

    #badbelles Because the environment you find yourself doesn’t allow for the expression of academic prowess doesn’t implies that good performance in other milieu is a fluke or fraud. Moreover, this is the celebration of all-round accomplishment.

    OLUDIPE Oyin Samuel came, saw and conquered Babcock University… And the world should watch out!

  25. Seed

    August 22, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Saying that i love you is an understatement, but i will say it anyways!!! I love yu my boy, keep soaring and dont you ever stop. Congratulations once again

  26. Segun

    August 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Congratulations Eagle! Indeed you are a challenging figure to both the made & unmade. Keep hoisting the fearless voice bro

  27. Tayo

    August 23, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Excellent writeup, Oyin is just blessed with inspiring words, I’m a big fan. God bless.

  28. keechi

    August 24, 2015 at 6:23 am

    No doubt he graduated with first class honors. See grammar. O boy! Congratulations!! #classof15

  29. Plain

    August 28, 2015 at 8:22 am

    @Seed don’t let him catch you calling him “ma boy”. @Samuel, hmmm, efiko. I’m proud to call you a friend because I know that even with all you’ve achieved, you’re one humble young man. Dust all Dem badbelle off your shoulder, they’re not worth your time jor. I don’t want to give the whole tale here, so weldone Sir-muel ?

  30. Nonso

    January 2, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    So privileged to have made ur acquaintance. Not saying this as a show of familiarity, but that’s the truth. Keep soaring high and i hope to see more celebratory pieces about you. (But that debate though, was a real experience).

  31. Oseni joseph

    April 18, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Oyin isn’t just a grade carrier but a renowned scholars with great fecundity.He is the man I have always give awe to right from secondary school…I celebrate you bro…cheers!

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