The Golden Chance

Mr Tola Adewumi is our next guest writer. He is the immediate former president of the International Students Association of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Personally Tola is an inspiration to me. Listening to his story and taking into consideration where he is now, I’ve come to the conclusion that if God is for you, NOONE can be against you and secondly that you decide the path of your life by your reactions to situations. Read on and enjoy!!!

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Bayo completed his West Africa Examinations (WAEC) JUNE 2007. His result was not the best to boast of, but was celebrated for a student who passed through a secondary school in Irepodun LGA Kwara state. He was ready to shift his academic transmission gear to the next level.

On his first attempt of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board exam (JAMB), he pulled through to gain admission into one of the best universities in Nigeria, University of Ilorin, after scoring a total score of 180 among the four science subjects, English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. He must have been a very lucky boy as everyone congratulated his one time achievement, with other students scoring higher marks unable to put their names in the admission list for the 2007/2008 academic year. I believe many students truly deserve honorary awards from the Joint Admission Matriculation examination board for their consistent annual tremendous participation but fruitless efforts to successfully pass one of the most controversial examinations in Nigeria.

Bayo was presented with a golden opportunity many sacrificed for, as it was the only visa to become an undergraduate student of any government owned university in Nigeria, and since most parents could hardly flex their financial muscles to send their wards to any of the private institutions in the country it was the only way to progress. Some individuals paid huge amounts of money to examination agents and sometimes staff of the university in the quest to secure the 6 digit 2 letter matriculation code, but were left with sober reflections afterwards.

It was the beginning of a new life for Bayo, a tall dark skinned handsome guy who kept his afro clean, with his dark shades on sighting the well endowed ladies around campus, but one I believe will linger in his memory forever. It was barely two weeks after registration, the blood of a Jambite rich with red cells of beautiful ladies and plasma of regular clubbing began flowing through his veins, making his heart pump fun through his system. He was punctual in missing classes as g=he spent time with his friends, but was able to scoop the social award for the student with the best wardrobe at the departmental social awards night.

So soon, Bayo had forgotten the home he came from if only he had kept good company of friends he might have excelled in his 100 level. The first and second semester soon passed as the judgement day wasted no time to show his academic savings account statement: “You are hereby advised to withdraw from the university” was the most captivating sentence of that A4 paper carrying the faithful logo of the university, with the signature of the Registrar, showing a breakdown of his academic transactions through the year. It was more than an advice, he had simply been kicked out of the institution. He eagerly looked through the result of his other friends but was amazed I believe some few currents of shock would have passed through his spine to discover his friends knew their way better. He was on his own, he realized.

After the intervention and support from a family friend, he was offered another opportunity to change his programme from Microbiology to Agricultural Science. But refused it, stating he never saw himself being an Agricultural Scientist. I asked myself, who should have accepted farming or fishery instead if not him? I personally warned him, but the words I spoke were only sound waves that were reflected by his ear canal. He decided to start his university life again, forgetting the ‘god of Jamb’ gave only one chance. He has now written the Joint Admission Matriculation board exam four times since 2008 while his friends were among the graduating class of 2011.

I feel so sad that just like Bayo, many of us have lost our sense of purpose like a feather in the wind with no direction. Many people blame circumstances for their challenges in life, like Bayo who lost his mum at a tender age.

But we can also celebrate some individuals who lost both parents and some even from poor backgrounds and despite all odds still struggled to make a better life. Your challenging background should not be an excuse for failure, but a motivation for excellence. I have used several challenging times I faced as a young boy to inspire myself for greatness. Our future lies in our own hands. Some people today just like Bayo had great opportunities which could have put their names amongst the most successful people today but are full of regrets, they blew their golden chance. They sometimes sit in front of their TV showing their children their classmates who are currently excelling in various fields in life, they make mention of ministers, governors and business men who were their friends, while they managed nursing poverty. They have lost hope as age is no longer on their side, it has become too late for them – if only they had also taken the golden opportunity placed before them. My dear friend grab that opportunity now, have a clear mental picture of a preferable future, act fast and never give up. Your success in life is certain.

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Choose now while its not too late and grab your opportunities. Learn something from Bayo’s story and plan towards an achievable future. Follow Tola on twitter @tola_ade.

Happy new month!!!

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