Orifunke Lawal

Read Bello Toluwalope’s #FreshGradTales. Toluwalope is a fresh graduate of Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan. He is a photographer (runs Toluwalope Bello Photography) and a budding creative analyst. He hails from Ibadan in Oyo State and comes from a family of 6 where he is the second child. Tolu is also a believer in Christ Jesus who enjoys playing games, music, hanging out and networking. Do enjoy his interview and don’t forget to share when done.



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How would you describe your journey through the university?

My journey through the university was a bitter-sweet experience, although, no experience caught me by surprise. I always prepare myself for the worst.



What were the best thing and worst thing about attending your university?
The best things, for me, were knowing God and meeting people. The worst thing was having to cram to pass exams. (The lácramè, lá passé, lá forgeté theorem)*



If you had an opportunity to start all over again, would you still pick your university?Why or why not?
If I had the opportunity to school outside the country, I would never pick the University of Ibadan. But in Nigeria, I would pick the University of Ibadan again. UI is still the best in Nigeria. In a city full of blind men, a one-eyed man is a king.* This is because I have toured schools; none like the University of Ibadan. Everything is conducive here compared to other schools. We study hard in a conducive environment.. (Compared to others).


If you had a second chance as a student, what would you do better?
I would pay more attention to my personal growth (e.g take professional courses), attend challenging seminars and apply for scholarships).



What did you learn most from being a student in your university?
I learnt how to live with all kinds of people and I learnt how to manage my time.



Could you tell us about the relationships you had on campus?

I had just one relationship in school and it lasted for just three months. I loved her but she did not love me back. I was the “Mr Nice Guy” so, out of external pressure, she consented hoping to grow into love (I understood her and was really patient for her to grow into it). However, after struggling for three months, she couldn’t do it anymore so we mutually gave each other space. It hurt though…but shit happens.



What challenges did you have as a student?
Well, academically, I had so many down times because I was not the cramming-or-reading-just-for-exams kinda person. I wanted to know all there is to a particular subject. I wanted to drop out because I felt I could learn so much without attending a university. The Nigerian university system is a scam mehn.



Would you say you had any achievements? If yes, what are they?
Yes. I found purpose. I discovered myself in the process (this is my greatest achievement). This happened as I journeyed through different leadership positions, especially when I pastored a
fellowship on campus.



What advice do you have for those who are still students in higher institutions and those who are looking at going to school soon?
Discover yourself (know what works for you). This would determine the kind of school you would go. Well, that is, if you have to go to the University to fulfil the requirement for becoming you.

Now that you’re a graduate, what’s next for you?
Well, I would keep learning, keep becoming ME. I’d build a brand as two sectors I am passionate about are the Corporate world and the Media



Any final words?
This life is not complex. Understand the dynamics and be ready to pay the price. ENJOY LIFE.



*The lácramè, lá passé, lá forgeté theorem: The interviewee used this term to describe the usual cycle of students in many Nigerian Universities who memorize (cram) a lot of things they have been taught in order to pass exams and also, forget all they’ve learnt after writing the exams.

*In a city full of blind men, a one-eyed man is a king: This is a well-known Yoruba proverb.



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#FreshGradTales is a series of interviews for fresh graduates from ALL universities in Nigeria. This initiative aims at hearing and sharing the stories, struggles, achievements and experiences of fresh Nigerian graduates. We do believe everyone has a unique story that someone somewhere would love to read and benefit from reading as well. 


If you are a fresh university graduate and would love to share your #FreshGradTales, Orifunke would be glad to hear from you on funke@orifunkelawal.com

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