Nigeria: I Reared Chicken to Support My Education - LASU's Best Graduate

Ola-Gbadamosi, Ridwan Oladotun, was the overall best graduating student of Lagos State University (LASU) for 2017/2018 Academic Session after scoring a 4.88 CGPA at the Faculty of Engineering.

Another student, Nneka Karen Enumah of the faculty of Science scored same 4.88 CGPA too and they were both celebrated.

Success was not east to come by for Oladotun as he narrated his hurdles to Daily Trust.

He said his father found it hard to pay his first tuition fee of over N280,000 when he gained admission into the University in 2013. He had to rear chicken to meet his personal and academic needs while in school.

To assist his father financially, Oladotun in his valedictory speech at the 23rd convocation ceremony of the University recently said he decided to invest the cash prize he received at his secondary school Speech and Prize Giving Day in the production of 150 broilers, which he successfully raised from day old chicks till maturity during the 2013 Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.

He said, "I remember using bandage to wrap their broken legs and a sipping straw to administer drugs on one of the birds. The return on the investment was used to cater for my personal and academic needs."

The graduate of Engineering said he had flair for Physics and Mathematics, driven by his inquisitiveness to unravel what was behind the functioning mechanisms of structures and systems. "So, I decided to study Mechanical Engineering. Though, paying the tuition of LASU Engineering students as at 2013 was a big task mindful of the fact that two of my younger siblings were getting ready for tertiary education too," he said.

His Matriculation Day according to him was a bitter-sweet day for him; while he was basking in the joy of being a university student, the thoughts of how his father was going to pay his humongous fees stared him in the face. Then he took a decision that changed his story for the better.

"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 and I became a beneficiary of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), MTN Foundation and Federal Government Scholarships amongst other grants which were utilized in paying my school fees and other sundry expenses," he said joyfully.

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