When Ojo Abidemi gained admission to Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, in 2017, little did he know that he would top his class, let alone graduate as the overall best graduating student of the institution. 

However, Abidemi’s joy knew no bounds when he was announced as the best graduating student with a CGPA of 4.87 during the convocation.

Abidemi, from the Linguistics/Yoruba department, faced challenges but was motivated by his church members and father to excel in his studies and emerge at the top of his class. 

In an interview with our reporter, Abidemi emphasized being inspired by the performance of his church members from the same department who also graduated as the top of the class.

His journey towards being the best

Abidemi highlighted how he defied all odds to achieve good grades. 

He said, “I didn’t think of graduating as the best student initially. It was my 100 first semester’s results in which I had an A in each of my 11 courses that set me on fire. When I observed my performance in 200L, having a CGPA of 4.9, I then started praying to be the best of the bests.”

Throughout the process, perseverance and resilience were his guiding principles, relying on his faith in God to perfect his efforts. 

He reflected on the values instilled in him, stating, “I’m from a Christian home, and my father always prays for us to be the best in all endeavors. Getting to campus, I belonged to a fellowship where academic excellence is always preached. We were taught that resilience, perseverance, and fear of God are the keys to academic excellence. I also believe so much in many Biblical verses that talk about excellence.”

Abidemi also recounted when a lecturer accused him of scoring above the pass mark and wasting marks. 

He said, “In the 300L first semester, I was accused of scoring all exam marks by a lecturer, while another lecturer claimed that I wasted marks for having many more marks above 70%, which is the minimum percentage for having an A in our institution.” This experience further reinforced his commitment to academic excellence.

His challenges

Abidemi faced formidable health challenges throughout his academic journey. “None of the doctors that attended to me was able to diagnose it. This disturbed me a lot during lectures and reading. I might have to read a page many times before comprehending it as a result of unrest in my system. The disease was later diagnosed when I was at 400L, and appropriate drugs were taken.” He said.

Financial constraints added to Abidemi’s challenges, originating from a humble background where his parents could only afford school fees and feeding allowances. 

“Another challenge was that, being a multi-talented student. I belonged to different social groups: my level football team, my departmental football team, and a music band. 

I was also a co-presenter of a one-hour radio show on Radio AAUA 90.3 FM. I would have to function effectively in those groups and also perform excellently well in academics. I must state that I did most of my exams with fatigue from these other extracurricular activities,” he added.

Reading Habits

Abidemi’s journey to academic excellence was marked by a disciplined approach to studying. 

His commitment to learning was evident in his reading routine, commencing as soon as lectures began. 

Ojo not only excelled in his personal studies but also took on leadership roles, leading reading groups and offering tutorials from 200L to 400L. 

Despite encountering health and financial challenges, Ojo’s dedication to upholding a high academic standard remained steadfast. 

“I seldom dedicate long hours to reading—typically allocating 1 to 2 hours a day—except during exam periods, where more extended reading sessions were necessary”. He said.

How he will impact the world

As Abidemi envisions a future as a lecturer, his aspirations extend beyond imparting knowledge. 

He expresses a strong desire to share everything he has acquired in schools, with a particular focus on his native language, Yorùbá. 

Looking beyond academia, he emphasized on making a significant societal impact by prioritizing the sponsorship of indigent yet academically excellent children.

“As soon as I make it in life, I want to make sponsoring indigent but academically excellent children my priority,” he said.


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