•Chose friends purposefully
•Had two scholarships
By Dayo Adesulu
OMOTOLA Elizabeth Nejo, 22, graduated with a First-Class Honours in Mass Communication, with a Cumulative Grade Point Average, CGPA, of 4.85 and emerged the best graduating student at the just concluded 2017 graduation ceremony of Caleb University, Imota, Lagos State.
Nejo was the cynosure of all eyes at the graduation ceremony when she was intermittently called out for series of awards. Nejo, who hails from Ilaje Local Government Area in Ondo State is the first born in a family of four girls. She said that the journey to her academic feat was not easy, noting that with the support of the quality lecturers in Caleb, good friends, responsible parents, scholarship awards and above all, God, she was able to excel.
Going down memory lane, she revealed how she wrote GCE two times and UTME three times before clearing her results.
Relationships with the opposite sex
She said: “Though I passed my JAMB three times, yet somehow, I could still not secure admission into a federal university until I decided to allow God have his way.”
Asked her opinion about advances from boys on campus, she posited that she chose her friends purposefully. Nejo, whose father is a pastor and also an insurer said: “When I was coming to Caleb University, I made up my mind not to open my heart to close relationships with the opposite sex because I had other commitments. I didn’t want to handle two or more things at a time; first thing was my education.
“I have male friends who are spiritually sound, academically good and supportive. For example, Paul Adesoye, one of my friends, was the overall best student in Social and Management Sciences at the convocation held two years ago. Last year also, Olufemi Emmanuel, a friend of mine, graduated as the overall best. I decided to choose my friends purposefully and my relationship with them is cordial.”
Role of scholarship: Pointing out the role of scholarship in her education, Nejo said she had two scholarships, one from Caleb University and the second was from Mr. Tom Ogboi. According to her, before she gained admission into Caleb University, she had got a scholarship from Mr. Ogboi. She said Ogboi offered her the scholarship without being asked, adding that Mr. Ogboi walked to her family and told them how God told him to send Omotola Nejo to school on full scholarship. Meanwhile, based on her academic qualification, the authorities of Caleb University also offered her another scholarship.
Impressed by Nejo’s valedictory speech and her academic performance, Mr. Ladi Balogun, the Group Chief Executive of First City Monument Bank, volunteered to assist her anywhere she tenders her resume for job application. According to him, Nejo would not be denied the right of employment. However, Nejo, who was elated with the gesture, told Vanguard that that she would want to continue to strike while the iron is hot, adding, “I want to proceed in furtherance of my education in international law and diplomacy to back up my first degree.”
Secret of success: Asked about the secret of her success, she said: “If there was one thing I did not want to miss while on campus, it was my lectures. I ensured I went to my lecture room anytime I had classes. I ensured I asked questions because I didn’t care about what my course mates might think if I asked too many questions. I ensured I asked questions in anything I was not clear about.
“Whenever I got back to the hostel, I ensured that I didn’t just drop my notes but reviewed the lectures of the day. I studied for at least twice in a week and ensured my tests and examinations were not taken for granted.”
She said that in Mass Communication, there is a course called Brand Caleb where students brand Caleb University. “I ensured that I didn’t miss that course because it was 20 marks. Besides, I also took my media attachments seriously,” she said.
Nejo who noted that her academic success was not without some challenges said her key challenge while on campus was getting a personal computer because at Caleb, computer was required for projects and assignments. At that point, she noted, “I understood my parents’ financial challenges. It was a challenge because time was running out and I needed to do my project.”
Meanwhile, her father, who spoke with Vanguard, urged the government to recognise hard work in students, adding that rewarding hardworking students would inspire other students to study harder. The father, who was impressed with his daughter’s academic feat called on Ondo State Government to recognise Nejo’s performance.
Her mother, Mrs Adeyinka Nejo said: “I am so glad for the academic success of my daughter. She is very respectful, dedicated to God and born again. I can trace her success story to the fact that she is studious, hates partying, loves reading and always on her own. As a mother, I always encourage her to work hard and be well mannered.”