The story of the spectacular success of the academic genius, , was almost buried in the rubble of the usual media chatter. The bread seller-turned-celebrity for doing nothing, , got all the attention while the real miracle of the century is made to suffer relative obscurity. It is as if her story is better than the story of the University record breaker.

For the starters, Mr Dada graduated recently from the with a perfect Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 5.0. Through the achievement, this academic super duper has achieved what no one has ever achieved, as far as I know, in the . It was phenomenal.

For all his talents, during the convocation, he was acknowledged and rewarded. He won several prizes and went home with some N1.1 million, courtesy of the University and its alumni body. Though he deserves much more from the country, if we were to take education seriously, the fact still remains that he has etched his name in gold.

But what factor accounted for Dada’s epoch-making achievement? According to the young man, he was a regular student on , not much of a bookworm without a social life. “I was a social person throughout school. I attended birthday parties, cinemas, I had so many movies on my laptop and I was sharing them with my colleagues, as I was sharing notes as well…I was working and schooling,” the graduate of psychology said.

The above submission is not more than the school profile of any average undergraduate student with an average result: Second Class Lower Division. If this was his profile, what then accounted for his spectacular success? Why did he achieve what others cannot achieve? What was his magic wand?

His magic wand was focus or target. This focus was undergirded by the principle of avoidance. According to Dada, “I have fond memories. I was the head of my final year planning committee for dinners, symposium, and was involved in a lot of other things. But I didn’t have a girlfriend.” His advice: “You don’t have to be a genius to get the results of a genius. Just target excellence always.”

It appears that part of what contributed to Dada’s success is the avoidance of campus relationship. Campus relationship has ruined many potential high performers. For the crowd, it is as if not having a boyfriend or girlfriend is a sin. It has got so bad that even fresh students are not exempted. At the end of the day, valuable time that would have been spent on study is lost to useless tittle-tattle both online and offline.

Besides time, the emotional investment put into campus relationships is usually without any return. Lust is usually mistaken for love and like smoke, such relationships, more often than not, disappear into the thin air. The emotional scars remain with one of the parties to contend with thereafter and concentration is affected.

If I may repeat myself, I recently saw a clip where an interviewer asked female undergraduate students how many boyfriends they had. It was unbelievable that every single girl interviewed said she had multiple boyfriends, the “justification” for which was given to be financial, social, romantic and sundry needs. Some students pursue relationships on campus like their major courses! Little wonder that failure rates seem to be soaring in many schools and universities.

It is often said that nothing goes for nothing. Excellence requires sacrifice and Dada’s sacrifice was campus relationship. If like an eagle on the prey, every student focuses keenly on the primary assignment of being in school, more Dadas will be produced by our universities. But in a situation where students consider universities as places of debauchery because of the touted freedom, failure rates will not abate.

I read that Mr Dada is being wooed by multinational companies and currently serves as an intern in one of them. This is unacceptable. If the University of Lagos is not taking the lead by granting the genius an automatic employment and immediate sponsorship to higher degrees anywhere he wants, other universities, especially the University of Ilorin, should consider the merit of doing so. Such a genius is needed to inspire generations of students to higher academic attainments as he can easily tell them, “If I could do it, you too can!”

This is the way to go.

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18 Responses

  1. Folorunso Fatai Adisa

    A beautiful and educating piece, as usual.
    We live in a nation that approve of impunity and glorifies unprecedented sleaze.
    Perhaps, the sudden celebrity, bread vendor turned model, Jumoke Orisaguna. Someone who couldn’t render her name, let alone constructing a simple sentence in English language when she was granted an interview received unwavering media attention as well as humongous cash rewards and deals sealed with multinational companies.
    A disheartening issue of the thriving entertainment realm/industry in comparison to the dwindling academic excellence in Nigeria. Even on campuses entertainment competitions have high prize tagged than essay competitions and it’s ilk.
    I wonder if this era can churn out the likes of JP CLARK’s, SOYINKA’s, AWE’s and so on. Since every youngsters desires to become the next whizkid’s and olamides.
    In a situation where criminality is celebrated and robed in royal regalia; what legacies are being left for we the youth? Academic monuments are being named after dead corrupt (anti-patrotic) nationalists.
    The only good thing our leaders have not done is to name monuments in honour of our more “illustratious” heroes, like Oyenusi, Babatunde, shina Rambo, Lawrence Anini and lucifer himself.
    Thanks for refreshing our minds my amiable and revered teacher.
    Nigeria Shall Rise again.

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  2. Karimat Abdullahi Adedeji

    This is where Nigeria is heading. We all know the entertainment industry now surpasses academics. Dadas’ achievement is breath taken! Youth of nowadays wants to get rich and famous very fast and that is what entertainment industry can offer but what they don’t know is that the world of glamour does not cater for d future, it only caters for d present. Nice write-up sir,I was actually anxious to read another of your post.

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  3. Ismail Olawale

    Dr. Mahfouz, I read your article on Dada and instantly I knew where your direction (campus relationship came from) Remember we were together at UNILORIN some years back and I knew you never had one. But come to think of it, you and some of us could have made more than the grade we got. Or am I kidding? But the system then was covertly archaic! First class in Modern European Languages i.e English, no way! Second class Upper, eeemmmmmmmmm, for a few. That was it! But few years after we graduated -1999; the department produced more than 12 Second class Upper graduate. What happened? Change. Divine one. Improvement etc. Thus, Mr. Dada was divinely luck. I am happy for him. I prefer the multinational for him, he could as well further his education, no barrier. Our university especially where he graduated from will soak him in PATERNALISTIC operational system that may not him enjoy his talent. You know what I am insinuating. I still remember vividly what one of my lectures who was also a management staff at the department told my friend and I. He said, “you students think your grade depends solely one your academic efforts…. no. There are other things and we are the final decider, so whatever you get, just move on with your life”. But today, the academic is no more but part of his decisions continue to affect the life of many who passed through him. The corporate world will reward him accordingly even-though he will face the management politics but that brilliance will help him survive. The academic world has lost that reward system to the corporate world. May be the academic can regain that some years to come. Regards.

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  4. Abifarin Latifat

    I quite agree with you sir. This point has drowned and caused a lot of students pain even after school life. Congratulations to Mr. Dada and I hope other students will follow in his footsteps.

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  5. Alaya Sulayman

    Mahfouz I dropped 12-pounnds in like 2weeks thanks to these drops (y) typpe website without sppacess—>www .ThatL0SS. com

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  6. Rasheed Hanbali

    Well I agree with you but average Nigerian with academic excellence will prefer working with multinational company. Nigerian factor anyway.

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  7. Afeez Hanafi

    To some extent, I agree with Mr. Ismail Olawale’s account of the eternal internal scars some lecturers, through what I call ‘cubicled knowledge base’, have caused some graduates. I can’t really say I was a victim. But it is annoyingly abysmal to hear some lecturers say or imply that students must reproduce almost exactly what s/he teaches them before they can get good grades in a course.

    More worrisome is the outright exception of ‘A’ among attainable grades in some ‘special’ courses by such lecturers, especially when they bore you past bad records. This singular mindset not only dampens learning spirit, but sets a boundary for serious-minded students.

    I told a very friend lately that until we have more open-minded and liberal academics, research capacity in our higher institutions might still take hundreds of years to develop. There was a literature course I did in 200L. As much as I dreaded that course, the lecturer’s simplified it by a statement, “I don’t expect you to give me exact answers to the questions asked in your exam; all I want is a clear and convincing demonstration that you understand the questions.” That remark worked for me perfectly! Without being obsequious or flattery, Dr. Mafhouz is one of those that pass for contemporary academics.

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  8. Olubunmi Taiwo-Adebisi

    Wow, an awesome piece from an admirable Dr. Your write-ups inspire me to do a lot more than I currently am. I quite agree with Dr. Mahfouz on a number of things and the bottom line is this – hard work cannot be replaced! The place of focus and excellence cannot also be over-emphasized. The good Dr.knows my take on campus relationships. I had one which has blossomed into marriage and I do not regret it but I must say, ours was a relationship where we pushed each other to succeed and both of us graduated in flying colors. In everything one does, the purpose and proposed end results must be determined ab-initio. Focus, hardwork, dedication and God are key!!! Congratulations to Dada. University of Ilorin needs people like this. By the way, I am a product of the amazing Dr. Adedimeji & by extension, the great Unilorin. I hail oh!

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  9. Afeez Hanafi

    To some extent, I agree with Mr. Ismail Olawale’s account of the eternal internal scars some lecturers, through what I call ‘cubicled knowledge base’, have caused some graduates. I can’t really say I was a victim. But it is annoyingly abysmal to hear some lecturers say or imply that students must reproduce almost exactly what s/he teaches them before they can get good grades in a course.

    More worrisome is the outright exception of ‘A’ among attainable grades in some ‘special’ courses by such lecturers, especially when they bore you with past bad records. This singular mindset not only dampens learning spirit, but sets a boundary for serious-minded students.

    I told a very friend lately that until we have more open-minded and liberal academics, research capacity in our higher institutions might still take hundreds of years to develop. There was a literature course I did in 200L. As much as I dreaded that course, the lecturer simplified it with a statement, “I don’t expect you to give me exact answers to the questions asked in your exam; all I want is a clear and convincing demonstration that you understand the questions.” That remark worked for me perfectly! Without being obsequious or flattery, Dr. Mahfouz is one of those that pass for contemporary academics.

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  10. Mukaila Akangbe

    The write up is superb, and it shows one of the evil on our campuses, the distractions caused by the unwarranted relationship have gone a long way to ruin talents.

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  11. Gideon Olushola, Dada

    This is a highly commendable piece, sir. I hope that the message gets to the very ears of all concerned. May I request, sir, your efforts to facilitate his much deserved recognition and consequent absorption by Unilorin? My alma mata needs his type.

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