Akintujoye Ayomidotun Daniel is a graduate of Linguistics and African Languages (Yoruba) from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He is a Language expert and a music instructor with a keen interest in stage performances. He leads a worship ministry “TWM” and a Gospel Owanbe Music band called The King’s Kousans.
You studied Yoruba as an undergraduate. Why Yoruba of all courses?
Hmmmm….. Bẹ́ẹ̀ làá bini o…I applied for LAW but was offered Yoruba due to my low performance in the entrance exams.
What were the major challenges you encountered in studying the course and as an undergraduate generally?
The course has a very broad scope of study because it involves language, culture and literature. One problem I had at the initial stage was that I couldn’t speak, write well, and I was not familiar with some Yoruba cultural materials. Many of the things we did would have been quite easier if we were born when the value of the Yoruba culture and traditions were standard.
How were you able to overcome these academic challenges and outside academics did you encounter other challenges?
The challenges disappeared gradually as I related more with the course. I also got to know more through research. I also had a little financial challenge. I was unable to afford a lot of books. It was not a limitation though, as I was able to get all the important materials even if they were photocopies.
Did you at any point feel intimidated studying Yoruba, and how were you able to deal with people’s reactions whenever you told them your field of study?
When I first saw the course on my portal, I went to the living room and acted like a Yoruba newscaster, then I told the house I had been offered Yoruba. I didn’t feel intimidated at all. I talk about it everywhere even before people dig into it. I’m proud to have studied the course.
I understand you play various instruments and you also sing. How were you able to balance academics and attending to invitations to minister?
That was really demanding then. There were times I arrived from ministrations a night before exams. The truth is: I don’t know how I coped. I didn’t always read so much. What I did was to pay attention to details in class. I had very little notes although I never went for exams and tests unprepared.
If you have/had so much passion for music, why didn’t you put in to study music?
I didn’t want to focus on making money with music. If I had studied music, I would have had to make money with it by all means.
If you were given the opportunity to start over as an undergraduate, what are the things you think you will correct or do better than you did at first?
Few. I actually did a lot as an undergraduate. What I didn’t do was enough business 😄. I would do more if I have the chance now.
So did you have a bae on campus and if yes how were you able to balance being in a relationship and academics, was it a distraction or an advantage?
(Smiles) I got committed to a relationship towards the end of my part 2😄. It was no joke at all. It had advantages and disadvantages though. Bae always took care of me, even after programs late in the night. Thank God there are no night rules as such in OAU. So I made up for seeing Bae at nights. When I have early morning classes, I leave Bae on time. 😊
Asides having your degree In Yoruba, what other things did you gain as an undergraduate and if your certificate was taken from you, how do you know you have what it takes to survive the outside world?
This is a big question o. Music, itself, is enough empowerment for me. I did a bit of politics then too. Plus I am a big-time thinker and man of different talents; I don’t need a degree to be the best of myself. I needed to be at the University anyways.
What are the moments or things you would miss about OAU?
I will miss the worship attitude of OAU, I will miss the ‘Arò’. I will miss my funny lecturers. OAU is such an interesting place to be generally.
Now that you are done with school, what’s next in line?
I’m waiting for mobilization. While I wait I’m doing some business, serving, teaching and taking up an internship.
What advice do you have for undergraduates and those aspiring to get into the university?
The University education on its own will not give them all they need to survive on the outside. Everyone should work on having something tangible to offer the world. Build capacity, and be versatile. Don’t concentrate on academics alone😄, get involved in other life-changing activities on campus. Above all, get God 😊.
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This interview was conducted by Deborah Bamgbose, a final year student of English, Obafemi Awolowo University. Deborah is a lover of God, words and good food. She doubles as a baker of cakes and snacks.