By Ayo Ajayi
The Lagos State University’s best graduating student for the 2017/2018 Academic Session, Ola-Gbadamosi Ridwan Oladotun, told an inspiring story of how he had to invest in rearing chicken in order to pay school fees.
The 22-year-old, who graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering with 4.88 CGPA, narrated how it was difficult for his father to pay his first tuition fee of N284, 750 when he was offered admission into the University in 2013.
Ridwan had lost his mother at age of 12; however, out of passion and sheer determination to succeed, he made up his mind to obtain very good CGPA, with which he would be able to apply for undergraduate scholarships offered by several companies.
He made good his pledge and became a beneficiary of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, MTN Foundation and Federal Government Scholarships amongst other grants which were utilized in paying his school fees and other sundry expenses.
Read his story further:
“Precisely with little preamble, I attended Federal Government College, Ijanikin Lagos where I finished as the best graduating student in 2013. My flair for Physics and Mathematics was at its peak, driven by my inquisitiveness to unravel what was behind the functioning mechanisms of structures and systems. I found for myself, an academic niche in my area of strength and interest. Hence, I decided to study Mechanical Engineering where my interest lied and in God’s guidance, this is how far my interest has brought me.
“Worth mentioning is that paying the tuition of LASU Engineering students as at 2013-(Two hundred and eighty-four thousand, seven hundred and fifty naira only) was a big task mindful of the fact that two of my younger siblings were getting ready for tertiary education and my dedicated father had the onerous responsibility to shoulder all of the financial demands from all of us.
“Meanwhile, my late mother, Mrs. Aishat Adejoke Ola-Gbadamosi died while I was 12 years old. Eventually, my father was able to pay the full tuition, while l had to take charge of other associated expenses.
“In order to assist him financially, I decided to invest the cash prize I received at my secondary school Speech and Prize Giving Day in the production of one hundred and fifty (150) broilers which I successfully raised from day-old chicks till maturity during the 2013 ASUU strike. I remember using a bandage to wrap their broken legs and a sipping straw to administer drugs on one of the birds not because I cared about the health but because I was desperate about making the desired profit. The return on the investment was used to cater to my personal and academic needs.
“On the Matriculation Day, I could see from the boisterous celebrations all around, a great day for almost everyone, it was indeed a bitter-sweet day for me. While I was basking in the joy of being a university student, the thoughts of how my dedicated father was going to pay my humongous tuition fees for the remaining four years of my studies never eluded my mind for a second all through the ceremony.
“There and then, I made up my mind out of sheer determination to obtain a very good CGPA because I knew with this, I would be able to apply for undergraduate scholarships offered by several companies. I made good my pledge to self and I became a beneficiary of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, MTN Foundation and Federal Government Scholarships amongst other grants which were utilized in paying my school fees and other sundry expenses.
“My story is that of zest, passion, inquisitiveness and sheer determination. It typifies passion for success, a recipe in every degree award recipient in this hall that I have been chosen to represent today.”