Orphaned at 10, young man graduates with First Class, secures bank job in London
By Gabriel Dike
Adeshola Fatimoju is an uncommon young man. The 24-year-old man lost his parents at 10. But he never allowed the incident to shatter his dreams.
Today, the young man has graduated with a First Class degree in Economics from the University of Lagos (UNILAG). He has also secured an enviable job with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London.
Adeshola was the centre of attraction at a recent awards ceremony put together by Adams College, Lagos. The proprietor of the school had introduced him as an orphan, who lost both parents at a tender age. But through hard work, he put the tragedies behind him to record a remarkable string of life successes.
The Ogun State-born lad noted though that he still passionately remembered his late parents.
He said even at a tender age, he vividly remembered when and how his parents passed on.
“I lost my dad in 2002 when I was just nine years old. I lost my mum in 2003, the moment I turned 10.
“I was young then but I understood what happened. We are four in the family; I’m the last child. I started working at the age of 17 soon after my secondary school education. I wanted to save money for my university education.”
He recalled how he missed admission into university in 2011 and how a friend introduced him to a tutorial centre that specialised in preparing candidates for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
“Adams College was my defining moment in terms of academic success. My secondary school was not that good. I did not like Mathematics but at the college, I fell in love with the subject. I was exposed to tackling issues on my own and my experience carried me through to the university and beyond.”
Adeshola, who was born in Ikenne, said he passed his General Certificate of Education (GCE) (Nov/Dec 2008 and West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) at the age of 15. He noted that “the impact that Adams College made on me helped me to understand that one can achieve anything in the world if one works hard. In Nigeria, one can succeed if one does the right things at the right time.”
He informed that in 2012, he was offered admissions by UNILAG and University of Ilorin to study Economics and Yaba College of Technology to study Business Administration. He did not give his reasons for choosing UNILAG ahead of the rest two. He did not regret attending UNILAG where he graduated with First Class honours.
He said he scored 253 marks in the 2012 UTME and was admitted in the Department of Economics at UNILAG. He said while on campus, he was a triangular student, who moved from the hostel to the lecture room and to the library and did not engage in any extra curricula activities whatsoever in his 100 and 200 levels.
“It was at the end of my 200 level that I discovered I was a First Class material. My CGPA was 4.92. So, I started participating in extra curricula activities at my 300 Level.
“I became president of Economic Students Association in 2015/2016. I had a study group; we meet after class and during examinations to discuss each course,” he said.
Adeshola, who attended both primary and secondary schools in Obalende, Lagos, said in 2016 he was the recipient of the Osaze Osigo Scholarship and Fellowship worth N160,000 and UNILAG Endowment for Academic Excellence and graduated with First Class (4.63 CGPA) in January 2017.
He noted that unlike his colleagues on campus, each time the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on strike, he took advantage of the opportunity to enrol in online courses in foreign universities, noting that for him, success was not an option, as he put in his best to get good results.
Adeshola refused to talk about his relationship with women but admitted that he had several female friends.
On how he secured a banking job in London, he explained that officials of the bank came from USA to UNILAG on a recruitment drive and many students attended the programme, adding that the same exercise was conducted in several other African countries.
“I had one examination and four interview sessions before securing the job. I had an interview session in Ghana and the final one in Nigeria.”
An elated Adeshola explained that out of 21 students from Africa, who secured the job, eight were from Nigeria, adding that six were graduates of UNILAG. He said the offer was purely on merit. He said he would be happy to return to the country to contribute his quota to the development of the economy.
“My philosophy in life is that in the race to excellence, there is no finishing line. One has to do more to achieve success. In Nigeria, one has to be aggressive to succeed.
“I am happy when I see people succeed. But once in a while, I remember my late parents. It is painful they are not around to see what I have been able to accomplish.”
The proprietor of Adams College, Mr. Adebola Adams, described Adeshola as one of the school’s ambassadors, who had done it proud. He corroborated Adeshola’s claim that the young man, who lost both parents at ten secured admission into three institutions before settling for UNILAG from where he graduated and secured his current job in London.