‘I lost count of those that wanted to be my lovers’
For 21-year-old Comfort Folorunsho, her graduation from the Kwara State University, Malete, shall for some time to come remain memorable in her life.
Of course, the Osi, Kwara State, native has every reason to hold this view. She not only bagged a first class degree in agriculture, she also emerged the best graduating student from the university for the 2013/2014 academic session.
With a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.62, she also took home awards as the best graduating student in the Department of Animal Production, Fisheries and Aquaculture; as well as in the College of Agriculture.
She also bagged the prize instituted by the Lubcon Company Limited for overall best student; the Mary Kolawole Prize for Best Female Graduating Student, as well as the university’s Alumni Prize for Excellence.
Sharing the secret of her success, Folorunsho, who also has a good dose of beauty in her, says her good looks attracted many admirers to her. Even at that, she notes, her loveliness did not make her to lose her academic bearing or focus.
She declares, “I lost count of those that wanted to be my lovers. There were many of them. Some of them tried but I ignored their overtures. When you do not go out at odd times and you do what you are supposed to do at the right time, you will not fall into traps.
“I studied for five hours daily, aside lectures. I did not have a lover but I had friends that were boys; not amorous ones. However, I must admit that there were distractions from boys. But when you are determined and you know where you are going and you try as much as possible to keep at bay these side attractions, God will make it possible for you to actualise your desires.”
The fourth child in her family notes that focus, determination, implicit faith in God and His grace were the veritable instruments for her outstanding academic outing in the university.
Beyond the stampede from the men folk, she identifies her fish farming project as the most challenging period of her stay in the university.
Taking measurements in the mornings and evenings during the two months of the exercise, according to her, was her most stressful period on campus.
She adds, “Ever since I came into this school, I dreamt of obtaining a First Class. I tried as much as possible to be diligent in my reading, going to class regularly and doing my assignments. Though I kept on doing this, I must also admit that the routine was both tiring and demanding.”
Folorunsho, who aspires to be a lecturer and an owner of a crop and animal farm, says her father, Fashiko, literally pushed her into agriculture.
She notes, “Ever since I was a little girl, I have developed interest in agriculture because my father is a good farmer. Sometimes, before we went to school, he would take us to the farm to do some work. Of course, then we were not happy with the decision, which we considered tough, but some of us later fell in love with it.
“You plant a crop and it grows. Maybe you planted a little seed and at the end of the day, its yield will be huge. We were also involved in livestock farming I must admit, these aroused my interest in agriculture. So, when I told my family that I wanted to study agriculture, nobody opposed the idea,” she explains.
Stressing the importance of agriculture, she adds, “People run away from it, but it is what humanity depends on. Without agriculture, where are we going to be? The food we eat, our clothing, raw materials and so many other benefits come from agriculture. Agriculture is a very interesting area.”
To boost agriculture in the country, Folorunsho pleads with the government to invest more in the sector and to encourage farmers with loans, improved seedlings and other necessary logistics.
She adds that agriculture is a practical subject, which will not only engage young people but also make them self-reliant and employers of labour.
“It will improve national food security, boost industrialisation and provide more foreign exchange earnings for the country.”
Folorunsho had her post-primary education at the Emmanuel Baptist College, Tanke, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Meanwhile, a former diplomat to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Prof. Olabiyi Yai, during the convocation themed, “Orientation: Lost and found”, canvassed greater attention to education.
The diplomat, while seeking more cooperation with the Eastern countries such as India, China, Japan and Malaysia, also decried Nigeria’s import dependency.
“We need good and patriotic leadership before Nigeria can really take off. If not, the country risks missing the 2015 goal deadline.
“Though Nigeria is now the first economy in Africa, I believe it should have been the first economy of Africa 20 years ago. With the country’s material and human/intellectual resources, we should not have been lagging behind for such a long time.
“In the 70s, we were at the same level with Korea. Now Korea is manufacturing cars and we import them. Yet they do not have the resources we have, only that they have manpower/intellect. Six hundred years ago, we were more oriented towards the ancient East,” Yai said.
KWASU’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, on the occasion hailed the attainment of the university so far.
According to him, its College of Engineering and Technology has also excelled in the accreditation conducted by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria.
For instance, he noted, the university’s astronautics, computer engineering, agricultural engineering, material science engineering and mechanical engineering had all passed the accreditation.
He added, “KWASU has continued its leadership in entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. The KWASU’s Centre for Ecological and Environmental Research, Management and Studies has been positively projecting KWASU into the limelight for the introduction of allied health courses.
“In addition, the Department of Food, Agriculture and Biological Sciences of the College of Engineering and Technology is undertaking research to produce bio-fortified cassava custard to fight Vitamin A deficiency, hidden hunger and reduce post-harvest losses,” Na’Allah said.
Also, while the Chancellor, Prof. Agboola Gambari, advised the graduands to prove to be worthy ambassadors, the Pro-Chancellor, Shaba Lafiagi, urged Nigerians and corporate organisations to assist the institution to overcome some of its problems.
Lafiagi added that the institution, in identifying its mission of teaching, research and community development, was collaborating with the University of Bahia in Brazil to set up the African Book Project as well as student and staff exchange programme.
He stated that through the Nigerian High Commission in Canada, the University of Alberta, Canada, had established a pact with KWASU’s Centre for Innovation and International Studies.
Lafiagi added, “KWASU has signed a pact with UNESCO through the office of Permanent Representative of Nigeria in UNESCO to establish an African Regional Asian Studies Institute in KWASU for the study of China and Asia.
“Consequently, the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria has donated 500 books on Chinese culture and 21st century aspirations; as well as N1m towards the establishment of Chinese Library at the University. The Embassy recently, has promised to donate additional 500 books towards strengthening the Chinese Library at KWASU.” (Punch)
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