How Daughter Of A Plank Seller Emerged UI’s Best Graduating Student

The University of Ibadan, UI, has announced Miss Owolabi Abibat Olayinka of the Department of Botany, Faculty of Sciences as the overall best graduating Master’s Degree student.

Declaring this, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka stated that with Abibat making a perfect Cumulative Grade Point of 7.0, she is declared as the overall best among the graduating candidates of Masters’ degrees at this year’s Convocation.

Speaking with journalist, Abibat, 25 and an indigene of Ibadan, who recently had her traditional marriage ceremony, attributed her success to her creator, saying that if not God, she would not have made the grade.

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She equally lauded her parents, Mr and Mrs Aliu Adisa Owolabi and mentor, Professor Egunyomi Adeyemi, for their support, pointing out that without them, she could not have gone this far in life.

According to her, though, life was tough because her background was humble, all along she put in her best in whatever she did, stressing that hard work and faith in God were the secrets behind her success in life.

“Growing up was difficult considering my background. I am not from a rich home. My father and mother are traders. My father, Mr Aliu Adisa Owolabi, sells planks at Bodija Market and my mother, Mrs Kadijat Owolabi, sells food stuff too. So, you can see that I am not from a rich background.

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“But I must tell you my parents really supported me. At a point when they were getting tired, and there was no money, my mentor, Professor Egunyomi Adeyemi, a retired professor came in. He took up paying my school fees and helping me in other ways. Alhamdulillah, here I am today, I give all praises to God”, she added.

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Speaking about her ambition, though, she intends to obtain Ph.D form for her PhD programme in UI, she noted that she is already looking for scholarship abroad, adding “As for my career, I want to be a researcher in my field. I prefer to be a researcher than to be a lecturer. But that does not say that I cannot be a lecturer. The issue is that researcher first and lecturer second”.

Abibat is the third of five children and the first to earn a Master’s Degree.


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