Orifunke Lawal

Hey there!!! Welcome to another episode of #FreshGradTales. If you’re visiting for the first time, FreshGradTales is a series of interviews with fresh graduates from universities across Nigeria. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing one of the thrilling interviews with fresh graduates that I have had. I enjoyed every bit of it! He is Owonikoko Lekan Joseph (Imisioluwa), a fresh graduate from the department of Music, Obafemi Awolowo University. Enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed it. ?


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Why did you come to OAU?

First, interestingly, was because OAU went on strike regularly and that was going to work very well for me. I was going to need all the time to be able to do so many other things while in school and OAU was just perfect. Second reason why I came to OAU was because I was changing from the Sciences to do Music so I needed a school that could accommodate my O’levels. Then I wanted OAU because I was hoping I could be influenced with indigenous African Music. I really wanted to do African music.

Where did the love for music start from? What influenced it?

I believe every individual is wired in certain ways. I didn’t choose it (Music), I found out that I was just in love with it. I was particularly in love with how music affects the mind- the interactions between people and music and I saw it as a tool to influence people. I’ve always been around music but I didn’t always want to study Music because I didn’t think it was necessary.

Could you explain what your journey in OAU was like?

After my final exam, someone asked me how it felt to be a graduate. The first thing I said was that I felt cheated. I think Nigeria’s version of western education is highly overrated. The problem is not with education but the way we have been doing it overtime. So my journey in OAU has really not been too interesting in terms of the academics. I think I lost interest in the entire school thing after my first semester, part one. I realized that the school was not preparing me for what I wanted to be but for what my lecturers thought I should be. In my 400L, I regetted being too serious with my academics. It wasn’t until 300L that I began to do some other important things.

What were the “other important things” you started doing in 300L?

They were still part of music but were not core academic music. In 300L, I started an NGO- Music for Development- and the goal was to use music as a tool for social change. In 2015, we had our independence month which was to preach a message of responsibility to the youths to stop asking the system to necessarily change before we change. The next year, we did the Girl-Child Concert which was also in October and that was to advocate against rape, violence and harassment.

What were the challenges you faced?

The fact that the university is not equipped for what we are learning. Our lecturers also know that something is wrong with the system but they say there’s nothing they can do.

Any mistakes or regrets?

I didn’t do politics earlier. I contested for presidency in my part 3 but I stepped down. Looking back now, I should just have continued. A lot of people have not forgiven me for that.

So, what next?

For me, what next is not what next but a continuation of what has always been. I’ve always been an advocate of “If you are still waiting to graduate then you are late already” so there are a lot of things that I have been test-running. I’ll launch out now but it’s still around music. It’s time to solidify my NGO. I really want to be a music business entrepreneur.

Any words for students?

Understand who you are. Know that the world has changed and is changing rapidly. The system that held the former generation nay not necessarily work for us. We must open ourselves up to the possibilities of this generation because our children will take no excuses. If you need to read your books, read. Know who you are, know where you’re going and be bold enough to take steps to get there.

Thank you very much, Mr Imisioluwa. I have had a pleasant time speaking with you.

I’m very honoured. Thank you.
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FreshGradTales is a series of interviews for fresh graduates from ALL universities in Nigeria. If you are a fresh university graduate and would love to share your stories and experiences, get in touch via WhatsApp (08184908965) or send a mail to funke@orifunkelawal.com

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