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.
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 [email protected]