“You can be the best but if you can be more serious”—my teacher told me.
He had set out to emerge the overall best from his day one on campus, although one of his best teachers had cautioned him against his playful nature. The 24-year old Fatai Abolade Oyelekan, who emerged the best graduating student from the department of Economics with Operations Research at the just concluded 2013 convocation of Crescent University, Abeokuta (a university founded and owned by the former judge of the world court, His Excellency, Judge Bola Abdul Jabbar Ajibola) led other 140 graduands with the cumulative grade points of 4.82.
He narrated the beginning of his academic voyage at Crescent University to his listening audience:
“My journey through this university began in September, 2010, when I received my admission letter that I had been offered to study Economics With Operation Research at 200 level, the feeling of felicity and profound joy that I felt was not only because I was admitted into a university but because I was admitted into this prestigious university.”
He was motivated to be the best considering the cost of a university education especially the private one. He notes “I come from a home where I have always been encouraged to work hard and achieve academic excellence but sincerely, what motivated me most was the huge amount of money that was being paid as school fees yearly, I cannot just afford to watch them go down the drain”.
In his valedictory speech, Oyelekan said he challenged himself on what his teacher had always told him in the past. So, he told himself he could make it happen.
“When I commenced my study in this great university, I thought about what my teacher used to tell me and also being motivated with the school fees being paid annually, I felt it in myself that I could make it happen. Though, it was not easy but it is not mission impossible and with the help of Almighty God, supports from family and friends as well as mentors, teachers, lecturers and professors who contributed immensely to this success”, he added.
On the contribution of his parents, what does he have to say?
“Looking back, I lack words to express my gratitude to my dad and late mum, Mr and Mrs T.A Oyelekan, who brought me into this world. Mum, it is so painful that you are not here today to see the fruits of your labor and to share in my joy”.
He charged fellow graduating students to add competence to their certificate, as, according to him, this would open doors of further opportunities for them.