He now gets the record as one of the few best brains in the world. He also achieves the rare performance of hitting the highest level of grade in university academic rating (5.0 CGPA). The egg head is Ayodele Dada, the best graduating student of the University of Lagos in the 2015/2016 session. ESTHER EGBE engages him on the exceptional performance and on other issues connected with the success story.
WAS 5.00 GPA your target from the day you got into Unilag?
I won’t say that it was the target. I just wanted to be the best. It required me to get each day right and keep going regardless of any encumbrance. I really wanted to do this so I was ready to do my best in it. Psychology comes naturally to me and I am continually fascinated by it.
Were you this exceptional when you were in secondary school? Like you had straight A’s in your WAEC?
I didn’t have straight As in WAEC. I was quite good but not exceptional. So I had a mix of As, Bs and Cs.
You talked about striking a balance with your social /academic commitments, there are guys that struck that balance yet they never had 5.00GPA?
I don’t think that striking a balance is the same for everyone. Your balance should depend on your unique circumstances. The balance a slow learner requires differs from what a quick study would need. Many people assume that all we need to succeed academically can be found in books. I beg to differ. The real world of people and experiences can teach us more. It can even enhance what we learn from books. Having said that, it’s not just about balance alone, God must bless your effort as well.
You made a point of not having a girlfriend, how did that help you?
I took a conscious and voluntary decision to not have a girlfriend. I felt it would encroach on what little time I had since a relationship requires time investment to work. I believe it helped me reduce the risk of more clutter in my life. It was a recipe for focus.
Thought you should have studied medicine, what led you into psychology?
I have always been interested in Psychology. I may have been good at medicine since I love things related to the human anatomy. But I am convinced that one’s passion must intersect with the person’s ability and medicine is wider than that. Psychology fascinates me.
You got yourself the latest Samsung phone, personalised phone number and airtime for 2016 courtesy MTN, how do you feel about it, would you have wanted more from the company?
I am grateful to MTN for the gift. MTN may very well be the only telecom outfit that believes in academic achievement. Once again, I am really appreciative. I need to use any money I get now to fix accommodation for my family. We were given eviction notice where we live.
What next for you now?
I need to study more now, as far as a PhD. Then I want to apply what I learn to solve problems in my country.
How did church help your life in school?
My church is The Church of God, located at 75 Falolu Road, Off Itire Road, Surulere, Lagos. Although my church played a significant role in my spiritual development, I want to attribute more of my personal development to God who has done great things for me. At some point, I will settle down.
What kind of attitude did you normally have to exams?
I wasn’t the type who would study into the night during the exam period and I didn’t procrastinate. It was those small bits that I was able to accumulate over time that helped.
You had ‘A’ in all your courses. What was your lowest score?
My lowest score was 70. It was in one of my final year courses and I understood why. I was involved in many things and many committees because we organised dinner and some programmes during which people like Lanre Olusola and Bankole Williams came to speak to us. So, I knew those commitments ate into my time.
How did you feel about that because only one mark could have made the difference today?
I was grateful. In that course, I don’t think I did very well in the class work and the tests before the exam because of the commitments, but I was able to make it up in the exam.
What are your aspirations?
I believe in being a professional in what I do, so I intend to study further and get as high as possible in my discipline. But I’m not just interested in staying in academics alone. I feel it’s possible to combine both worlds, even if I have to be a lecturer or a professor at any point in time, I would still be involved in the industry and make sure that I’m able to proffer solutions to problems in the industry and the society.
How social were you and still are?
I think I was fairly social, compared to other people who were doing well, maybe more than some of them.
What about your relationship?
I decided to play down on that. I know how distracting it can be for many people. I read some studies that showed that in order to really do well, having fewer commitment is key, especially in terms of relationship. So, for me, I decided to make it one of the things I would sacrifice and I kept to it. There was nothing like girlfriend.
Were there gestures from ladies?
Yes, there were, and some were really persistent but I’m a very firm person. Making some of the sacrifices I made required some measure of discipline. I was able to follow my word, knowing it depends on me.
Did you win any award before now?
Yes, an organisation, Impact Your World Leadership Initiative, came to my school and organised a contest. I won one of the categories. My department also gave me the Mr. Psychology award for being the Most Rounded Person in the department. It was for someone influential academically, socially. I tried to have a bit of