Bachelors Degree in French ( First Class): Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Kwara State Award for projects in gender advocacy: (Served in University of Ilorin, Nigeria) – National Youth Service Corps
Master’s Degree in French (With Distinction): University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
I graduated on the 14th of November, 2019 at the University of Ibadan although in absentia.
Life is a shade of awesomeness if we always look at the bigger picture. Do you believe so?
A few years ago, I made a decision and challenge the status quo; I chose to study French in the university, jettisoning a lot of dreams — well, dreams that others wanted to force on me; not mine.
It is not a big deal. Yes? You may want to rethink that thought.
One of the deadly sins is slothfulness, and I detest nothing more. As much as it has always been ingrained in me to embrace diligence and determination, I have sought these pillars myself all my life, and I have devoutly held onto them for as long as I can remember. Without them, I am sure I must have given up halfway on my studies, or perhaps gone with the bandwagon to study a ‘much-lucrative’ course. Of course, these tenets always pay off in the end, the challenges notwithstanding.
I come to thank my secondary school teachers who laid a strong foundation for my academic journey especially in literature — although I thought they were too hard on us but the results reflected in the A1 I had when I sat for WASSCE in Literature in English.
It is widely believed that when you studied French in the university, you were either given the course or you were literally dumb to choose the course since the opportunities to succeed when one has a degree in French have limiting circumstances. Choosing the course was more reason for my friends to tag me different names back then even some abused me. Was it pretty easy all those years ago? Not quite! My passion for literature kept me on my toes; I would go on to study French Literature, matter-of-factly.
So I buckled down with my studies, graduated with First Class Honours, Bachelor’s degree, French, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ilẹ̀-Ìfẹ́; proceeded to the University of Ìbàdàn to study French for my Master’s degree; I had distinctions as well. I should mention that my thesis was particularly on “The Marginalisation of Women in North African Novels.”
And girl, was this journey a walk in the park for me? Not by any yardstick! I went extra miles, I took no bus stops nor considered any shortcuts. I simply read, and I did all over again until I got my distinctions. At least, my efforts debunk the rumors that no female passes without being ‘passed’. I aced my courses with diligence and dedication.
And in many ways, my desire to research the concept of marginalization validates I am not a dog that barks; I bite when required: I do not just advocate women’s rights, I fight and make necessary research, academically, as and when due to influence the status quo.
That is by the way. Remember this is Nigeria where a lot of hate and negativity fly around. If nothing will discourage you, the present state of the system of the country will. This is one of the reasons that a lot of students give up on their course of study seeing they really don’t believe in it. Of course, we should never forget most hide under the pretext of the society when they outright lack the vision and will to ride out the temporary storms that beset their journey.
I did believe otherwise; that factor alone drives my living. I believe that with patience, hope and actions, we can always change the narrative of impossible to become very possible.
These days, when I am called upon as a resource person or an authority on matters that dwell on female rights, gender marginalization, feminism theory, and whatnot, I chuckle, knowing I did not have it easy like many had thought I would, and I am never moved about the accolades that come with this. Instead, I worry more about changing the narrative, I worry more about ensuring some girl, somewhere, does it better than I did; I worry more about being a voice of change and influence, because every step of the way though, I shaped myself and remoulded my person into a different character, one who believes in her preaching, one who is ready to go out of her way, shatter the box and reconstruct it from nothing.
I accept there is always a bigger picture and that is my drive. I know there is a goal, and I must not relent until I see it come to fruition. My parents (Adewuyi Joseph and Adewuyi Lydia) believe in me and they have invested so much in me; to them, I am eternally indebted, for their love and support. Thanks to my twin brother (Adewuyi Joel Adeyanju) too. We have indeed sharpened each other through the years.
As I reach another milestone in my career, I must also appreciate my lecturers and everyone who has contributed one of the blocks in building me.
This phase is a dedication page from a whole book of me. Oh yes, I haven’t even begun to script who I will become, and there is a whole lot to achieve.
My mission has just begun.
P.S. I know this is long but take it as my Graduation Speech…Smiles.
ADEWUYI Roseline Adebimpe