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Name: Oyeniran Oyeleke Samson.
Campus: Kano Campus (First Class), Director General’s Prize for First Class Students.
University: Onabisi Onabanjo University (Ago Iwoye), Second Class Honours, Lower Division (2.2)
About: Leke Oyeniran Esq hails from Iwo osun state, he had his primary and secondary education in A1 Group of Schools Iwo Osun State. He proceeded to Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago Iwoye and Nigerian Law school Kano Campus to achieve his long-term dream of becoming a Lawyer. Leke is well-known on air and social media for his motivational story telling program called SEASON PURPOSE. He, and some of his friends, run Season Purpose International. He is currently observing his one year compulsory National Youth Service Corp in Akwa Ibom state of Nigeria. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have come to realise that the achievement of academic success is actually divided into two parts – Some actually get it by ‘talent’, they read easily. But there are some of us that it is hard work for us to reach that peak and climb that ladder and we have to work hard; harder than any other person.
We always hear different stories. People told us it was hard. What I actually told myself was that I would only listen to people who are successful. People that failed have stories to tell too. I would listen to people who are successful, and then I would emulate them. I did that and I thank God it is actually paying off. Success is actually possible. It is true that I made a 2.2 from the University, that’s just the simple truth about it. Actually one question I always ask myself is that, ‘if I could go to the University and write the Law of Contract. Company law, Constitutional law, Commercial law and so on again would I still make a two-two?’ The answer is no. I now know the key to success.
Right from my primary school days, I have always been an average student – if we have 30 students in class, I would come like 10th or 15th. At a point, I started seeing myself from that particular angle. Upon gaining admission into the University, to be real, in my first few years I wasn’t serious. I think I started becoming serious in Part 4. As at the time I became serious, I was on the verge of a third class. If I had two or three more carry overs, I would have slipped back to a third class. Then I became angry about my life and myself. I looked at the seemingly extraordinary students and I realised that there was nothing spectacular about them. They remembered cases the way I did and they also forgot cases like me. The actual problem, then, was I didn’t how to read and how to answer questions. I felt the important thing was for me to have an idea about what the topic is and write what I think in the exam hall. That’s what I believed.
I had to go and meet some of my seniors, then I was in part 4, like Pastor Gold, Dare Onakoya*, John Agunbiade who were also topping their class. Then I went to them and explained my situation to them, about how I wanted to become a better student. In the house I was living then, I wrote it on my wall that, ‘there is an enemy called Average’. I believed that anything that would make me an average man/student was my enemy. Then I made sure I guarded against it. So, that was the motivation for me.
Another major thing that happened was that I formed new set of friends. If you read the book of Judges 11, there is the story of a particular man who inspired me so much. His name was Jephthah. Jephthah was even a man below average, he was being mocked. He was not comfortable about his life. The scriptures say he ran out to seek better pastures. Then, actually , he gathered some people around him – they are people in debt, the crippled, and the people who are just nameless in the community. If you read the next chapter, the scriptures say they became a mighty army. They were the ones that started fighting battles for Isreal. That story inspired me so much. Then I gathered some of my friends together. Those people were not on a first class, they were people on a Second Class Lower or Pass, but we were not satisfied with our results again, and we wanted better outcomes. We gathered ourselves together and started reading and praying. When exams were close, we read, read and read. By my fourth year, I had improved a bit but since I was so close to a third class, the improvement didn’t make much of a difference. It is traditional in OOU that your GP comes down in your final year. We worked harder, but, unfortunately we still couldn’t make a 2.1. None of us in the group made a two one.
Nevertheless, we went to law school with this mindset of, ‘I am better than this. This is not me.’ I looked at myself and looked at those on a 4 point GPA or on a Second Class Upper, they are normal students and there is nothing extraordinary about them. Then, I made sure I prayed, I read, and treated past questions. The issue is before I write any exam I am five times prepared, the same with everyone in the group, everyone was determined and prepared. So, we were in law school with that motivation – all of us and I want to thank God every one of us finished law school in flying colours – I mean 2.1. They are fantastic guys.
I am a product of hardwork. I just know I am an average student that forgets cases and principles, so I read, read and read, over and over again until I am very certain – surer than any other person. Success is possible. There is nothing extraordinary about me, average boy but I know I have to work harder than any of my colleagues and I enjoyed it. I thank God it worked.
That’s my story. There was a time in my life that I was a failure, now I understand what it means to be a success, crossing the gap between being an average student or a failing student as it were to being successful is a matter of decision. Decide that you want to work harder and become better than you are. It is a bit spiritual too. You pray, pray and pray. That’s the gist of it. Nothing is impossible. Even if you finished with a third class, I believe that Law School will not mark you wrong if you get some questions right.
It is about determination. I was very positive in law school. Ask anybody in Kano, I was a talkative. I always talked in class. I made contributions in class. I sat in front to make sure nothing distracted me. I didn’t sit with my friends. I sat with a new set of people I didn’t know so we would have nothing to gist about. I became more serious, even compared to my days in the University. I doubled my efforts in law school to make things work better. Seeing my results was a surprise and not a surprise. I know that God could not have done lesser, and even if he did lesser, there is no big deal, my life is not tied to a first class. Even if I make a pass, I will still live a successful life.
In Kano, they called me Iweleke**. I was always carrying my books around. It was either I was in the library or the Chad hall or chapel. When exams were close, I was practically living in Chad hall. I packed my things to Chad hall. People on Kano campus will understand.
It is just being diligent. See things as possible. Law School is hectic. It is a different ball game from the University and that’s the mistake most of my colleagues made. They thought that the same things will happen like the way it was in the University. There are a bit of differences – In law school, you don’t write tests. It’s also as easy as you knowing the answer and putting it down. That someone made a first class in university is not an automatic first class in law school. The same way a third class does not reduce him to an average student in law school. It is a world of possibility for those of us who can explore it.
I believe so much that nothing is impossible. My result is here. It is a 2.2. The last time I was at a dinner with some of my senior colleagues, I told them it is a 2.2 and I am very proud of it. To anybody is reading this, I would like to add that, nothing is impossible, even if you are on a third class, you can still make it to the top. There is nothing impossible. Pray, be diligent, double your efforts, multiply it by five, do much more than what you are doing. Look at everybody altogether, look at their pace, and make sure you are doing more than what they are doing.
I actually thank God. I thank my friends, in university; Daniel, Azeez, Festus, Ayodele Emma, Deborah, Emma Adesegun, Ifeoluwa, Olorunleke, Adetutu, Adewale Olatunde,Owoyemi, and wonderful Segun, just to mention afew. My law school tutorial group guys were wonderful too – Esther, Kenny, Fado, Tosin and Oga Yemi. Chad hall was a big family, I can’t mention everyone’s name – Eben, Akin &co, Mauyon, Kenny& co, OOUITES in kano, Irene, Yusuf & other front seaters, the chaplaincy and CLASFON, etc. I appreciate my family, most especially my mom, she believed in me more than the way I believed in myself. I say kudos to my big bros too.
* Dare Onakoya is also one of the 24 First Class Students, now Lawyers. You would be reading his story soon.
** Iweleke is a play on Leke’s full name ‘Oyeleke’.