Came across an article about a friend of mine in the “I Know a Nigerian Star” writing competition. I was touched and i thought i should blog about it. Considering the fact that IBRO, as i call him, is a course/birthday mate.
Being a star must not always entail all the so termed paparazzi attraction/glittering, it involves a continuous striving for excellence, maximizing available potentials and spurring over present limitations to achieve targeted goals in contributing positively to one’s life and also the lives others in one’s society.
Such is the story of Oredola Ibrahim. I learnt that sacrifice is about giving to the society and expecting nothing in return. To me, this is also what being a star is about. This young man moved from instability to stability, from poverty to being self sustaining, from lack to relevance, breathing with courage and recuperating with passion for societal revitalization.
And as the saying goes, he worked his way to fame and earned the eulogy from the pen. Hmmm…, exploring his humble beginnings and the present rebuilding which is seriously earning him laurels in the youth academy, this man is indeed a man I have come to respect and accept as a true and unique star of the Nigerian neighbourhood.
Oredola copes with difficulties by seeing them as inevitable and lives with the notion that anything is possible, debasing the idea of submitting to limitations.
This is how this great Nigerian has excelled. Born in Lagos on the 27th of March 1993 as the first child of the family, Oredola’s father relocated to a suburb in the inner part of Kwara south, Northern Nigeria (Omu-Aran -his hometown) due to poverty. “Papa’s work was not doing good” he says.
Oredola Ibrahim, a son of a labourer and a petty trader, farmed under the scorching heat of the ever-angry-sun and worked as a site labourer under the stinging lashes of the rain, he was born in poverty and its accompanied difficulties, yet he struggled to read along and keep up with his academics.
He maintained a frontline position throughout his secondary days and graduated as the best student with cash prizes and awards following that development, he brought smile, happiness and the joy of parenthood to the faces of his parent. He became the local star of that time, and that was the continuation of his success stories.
Quite a few of his pre-nursery/primary education, was in Lagos. Due to the relocation, he concluded his primary education in Omu-Aran his hometown. Although very-poor, he didn’t allow that to be a setback to performing excellently in school. In fact, for his passion for literature, he started writing in primary 3, though not published; he later graduated as the second best pupil. His secondary education took another turn for the better, surviving on menial jobs and the likes.
According to him; “secondary school days were where I was shown the meaning of life. There I learnt life isn’t always fair and that you have to utilize all that you have, to get all that you need and want”.
I’ll say they were moments of realities. Maximizing the human potential in you is the best gift you can ever give to yourself.
Alluring as that was, after clearing his 0’level papers at one seating, furthering his education became very bleak and faint due to financial difficulties. It was as though his whole dream of breaking out of his limitations were now jeopardized.
He said, “…it all seems lost, no hope to go forward, I had to work as a cyber cafe attendant for a whole year, to gather money to pursue higher learning in a university, while I watch some of my age grades dance around with their admission letters and a ready finance to cater for their institutional fees/needs. A harrowing experience it’s, for me; more like being bare-footed on glass-chips.”
Well, he later sat for the university entry examinations and was admitted into the faculty of law of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
This young Nigerian star has received great accolades to his consistent relevance in the academy. He is the winner of the NAFDAC state competition award J.C. 2007 (Jss3), ANCOPSS essay/quiz competitions, he also landed 2nd position in the MSS regional quiz with his team (Jss2), he is a winner of the VSO organization quiz, 2nd in Fabiyi essay competitions S.C, winner SOK English/Maths Competition 2010 and several other local contests.
As a 100 level university student he won the inspiring brilliance foundation poetry award in 2012, he was the 1strunner up in Roulette rhythm & applied poetry award 2012 and the 2nd runner up in the Best poet on Campus award.
He was also awarded by the union of campus journalist. In 200 level, he was part of the team that came first in the Nigeria Championship of Public Speaking 2013, Abuja and the 1st runner up in the Afrigrowth Foundation National Contest 2013.
He presently owns and manages some websites: http://www.glinkhost.com -a hosting company, http://www.campusbulksms.com – a bulk-SMS website, http://www.finofund.com (under construction) -a crowed funding and http://www.penclan.com (under construction) -a writers community.
He is presently the Features editor UCJ University of Ibadan (UI), the Director of Research/training -Enterprise and Innovations society, University of Ibadan, Lead Poet at Lex poetae-a poetry club, Assistant Project director of TISA, a student NGO, Alumni member- Afrigrowth and the Assistant program officer at No Limit Concept -a community based Organization…… Well, the list could be endless.
Oredola Ibrahim is not just a star, but one that is dedicated to uplifting the values and belief system of the African society. In his words; “run for value and success/wealth will run after you, knowing that the best thing you can do is to positively contribute to the development of the human race. The youths are the hope of this nation, and whatever we do today, prosperity definitely tells. So, let’s do our best for the future”.
He’s a hero to reckon with; believe me, the world will soon see more of him.
This article was first published in : http://www.konnectafrica.net (Olajide Aaron Olayinka)