How can this be? No body guards, no secret service agencies, no convoy, not even a flashy car nor an array of expensive jewelries on him. First a simple t-shirt and trousers, going around freely. Even the president of our country was impressed by how this young wealthy intellectual lived. I was impressed too. Indeed, Mark Zuckerberg showed Africans that one doesn’t need all the flashy things in the world to speak of your wealth.NOTE, I didn’t say this guy is RICH, he is the 7th wealthiest man in the world. If I learnt nothing else from his visit to Nigeria, I learnt that SIMPLICITY IS BEAUTIFUL.
Who says it is only men who are as influential as Mark Zuckerberg that we celebrate? There are great young men here in our midst, geniuses of our time. I met one of such persons and i must say this, he is so much wrapped in one. I mentioned him to my friend who knows him and you know what is always sounds like when people tell the testimony of great people.
Dear readers and friends, I present to you OTUN ADEDAMOLA. His friends call him Emeritus and after talking to him I added my own name- Professor Emeritus. Here, he shares with us candid and insightful things on EDUCATION.
Flora David: Helo Otun. How are you today?
Otun Adedamola: I am very well, thank you. And you?
Flora David: I am very well too, thank you. Adedamola, I have an imaginary profile form i would like for you to fill. Please fill into this form what you will like my readers,your audience to know about you.
Otun Adedamola: Adedamola Otun is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, where he studied Management and Accounting. He is presently working as an auditor in an accounting firm. He is a blogger and an inspiring poet. He reads a lot and likes embarking on research works. He also likes playing Chess, Scrabble, and Monopoly as his pastime activities. He is a teacher and an ardent believer on self-improvement.
Flora David: You are a graduate of obafemi Awolowo university. What was it like being a student? What was ur greatest achievement and what was your greatest challenge?
Otun Adedamola: I must say that being a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University has in no small way improved me tremendously. The lectures, the environment,the students,the lecturers and the system as a whole. Considering the competitive pace in OAU, one of my greatest achievement came through when I represented my School and won the 1st medal prize at a CIMA-anchored quiz competition at the 2015 Nigerian Students’Economic and Leadership Summit (OAU)
I must say that being a student of Obafemi Awolowo University is no easy task, especially when you come from a humble background. The lectures are so demanding, so also are the tests and exams. Little wonder the mantra ‘Great Ife’ attracts veneration and attention. Most times, I have to shuttle between work and school activities.It took a whole lot of diligence on my part through those seemingly hard times. I had to burn more night candles than almost every of my classmates. My greatest challenge was actually how to effectively manage my time so as to keep up with my surrounding activities and leave no stone unturned.
Flora David: Well with these you must have been a favorite to many lecturers… Were you the best graduating student in your class?
Otun Adedamola: Not really, I didn’t have much rapport with my lecturers. I rarely do answer questions in class (I was more of an introvert). And probably because of my schedules and a handful of brilliant minds in my class. But I sure did have many friends to my advantage. The only time I felt noticed by my lecturers was when I won a merit prize in the Department as one of the best 10 students in the Department of Management and Accounting at all program organized in honor of the Late Oba Oladele Olashore in 2013.
Flora David: Tell me about your blog… What’s the blog about and what motivated it?
Otun Adedamola: I feel one special calling I have is that of teaching. Simply put, ‘making others know what I know’. I have been teaching students right from my Secondary school days. It comes so easy, and many of my students do attest to that. I got the idea of running an online platform where I can teach people (especially those that I can’t reach physically) the simplicity of Financial Reporting around May this year. The blog (www.ifrsiseasy.com) provides online tutorial to students, accountants, business men and those that find it difficult to comprehend the intricacies in the Financial Reporting aspects of businesses. It already has close to 6,000 views in the first few months of updates. I must quickly put that Azeez Ayodamola, a good friend of mine, helped engineer this. It was a result of his benevolence that brought me into the path of writing ICAN exams while I was still studying as an Accounting student in OAU.
Flora David: As a teacher, what’s your opinion of the educational system in Nigeria and how does the system affect the learning of Nigerian students?
Otun Adedamola: The educational system in Nigeria is giving what it has in impacting the lives of students. The only issue is that, it doesn’t have enough at its disposal to give. The Latin statement, ‘nemo dat quod non habet’ ,that is, “you cannot give what you don’t have”, syncs with the recurring laxity in the system. This is because of the way politics have entrenched the affairs of the educational system here. Two things make a coincidence, three things make a conspiracy. Sometimes, I do feel that the educational system has been a victim of the conspiracy of our leaders. The system is not operating at a competitive pace with its counterparts in other countries. The reason is not far fetched.
The teachers aren’t paid well. Even the pay is almost always delayed. The students almost don’t get encouraged in any way. The rise in unemployment in the country has made people to question the effect of the system. The government has made matters worse by investing much less in education. The science and technology aspect of our education here is really suffering from malnutrition.
The incessant strike actions by universities has really disrupted learning in pitiable ways. Yet, the government has taken it has no obligation of hers to find a lasting solution to it. I must commend Nigerian students for their resilience. Little wonder those that have the opportunity to get educated abroad finish with flying colors. The system really needs attention cos it is the only saving grace of the masses. It can’t wait till tomorrow.
Flora David: The current trend is the celebration of school drop outs who become successful even more than those who finish their university education… If without a formal education one can be successful, do u think going to university is worth the time and money expended?
Otun Adedamola: I said earlier that education is the saving grace of the masses. I must also add that it is the only veritable tool for the development of any economy. The importance of formal education can not be overemphasized. And if at all the trend of the celebration of school dropouts is to be taken serious. The question is, “what percentage of those school drop-outs are celebrated?” Nigeria has over 170 million people.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics in its 2012 national youth survey report; youths of working age, in the age bracket of 15 to 35 years are nearly 70 million persons in a population of 166 million Nigerians; of these youths 54% are unemployed. So, you can deduce what percentage will be represented as ‘successful’ dropouts four years later.
Going to university is worth the trouble. Just that Nigeria is yet to provide a platform that appreciates it.
Flora David: I discovered u have a link with a children support foundation. And you also help discover kids with potentials who cannot go to school. please give me an insight on this.
Otun Adedamola: Probably you are referring to the Impact Africa Foundation link. It’s a friend of mine who stands as the ambassador of the Foundation. Seems that’s the only link I have to the Foundation. Maybe I should say that everyone has a link to someone in need. Not until one runs a Foundation. You can start from your milieu. Every life affected positively by your words and actions go a long way in affecting humanity. That’s where our link lies.
Flora David: Finally can you please tell us what you will call the secrets of your success?
Otun Adedamola: In the words of Amilcar Cabral, “Tell no lies; Claim no easy victories.” The secret of success is quite specific to every individual. What worked for me might not work for you. But there are some principles that you can’t but apply. The road is rough, the environment is challenging and sometimes limiting. The major secret of any would-be success is simply wrapped up in diligence and value. What makes you is the value you add to yourself. That’s what I do. That’s who I am.
Flora David: Thank you so much Adedamola, it was great having share your knowledge and enlighten us.
Dear friends, I Hope you enjoyed the interview with Adedamola and it helped you. You can find Otun Adedamola on facebook using the same name.
Please leave your comments in the comment box, i would appreciate if you do that. find me on:
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you can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I remain your friend and I love you.