Falade Ayomide, a Nigerian student resident in Lagos, emerged as one of the best candidates in the just-concluded West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). She and Toyin, her mother, speak with AROGBONLO ISRAEL about her academic journey.
Can you give an insight into your background and growing up?
I hail from Ekiti, Southern Nigeria. I’m 16 years old. I was born and brought up in a devoted Christian home. My parents, especially my mum played a vital role in nurturing my spiritual growth, instilling in me a strong sense of purpose and values that guide my actions. Their resolute support extended beyond the spiritual realm, as they consistently encouraged me to excel academically. With their guidance and belief in my potential, I developed a drive to always strive for the best, both in my studies and in life generally. Their influence has shaped me into the person I am today, as a student and as a teenager.
Tell us about your academic performance in school
I started taking my studies more seriously in JS1 when I had just begun my secondary school education. My love for academic validation and always getting the best grades served as a source of motivation for me, as well as my parents’ expectations.
My record-breaking result in JS1 (when I started taking school more seriously) also made me more confident in my academic capabilities. Ever since then, I remained at the top of my class as the best student. After my Junior WAEC, almost everyone (including my parents) expected me to go to Science class, but I did not because I wasn’t interested in that field. Rather, I was interested in Economics and Accounting, which is why I went to Commercial class and I do not regret doing so.
In my Senior Secondary School, I still maintained my position as the best student in my class even among Science students. I graduated as the Best Graduating Student with all A1s in my SS3 Mock examinations.
You scored 8 As in your WAEC. How did you feel?
I felt grateful to God for crowning all my years of hard work and sleepless nights with success. I also feel motivated to keep striving academically and attain greater heights in the university and beyond.
Did you expect to have these fantastic grades?
I prepared really well for my WASSCE, I was preparing over the years so yes, I expected the fantastic grades I got.
How would you describe the roles of your parents in your success story?
My parents played a vital role in my success story, as they always motivate me to aim for the best in all I do, especially my academics. Right from JS1, my parents used to set academic goals for me and reward me with gifts when I achieve set goals. This act of gift-giving really inspired me to work harder. I also really wanted them to be proud of me.
Who is your role model?
My mum and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Aside from academics, what else do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy reading novels, graphic designing and I have a small online business where I sell accessories and beauty supplies.
What do you intend to study?
I intend to study Economics
I intend to study Economics because I have a burning desire to bring Nigeria out of her state of economic despair. I also want to become a world-renowned Economist and control the various global financial systems.
If you were to solve a problem in the world, what would it be?
The depressed economy of many countries in the world.
What is your advice to students in secondary schools?
Embrace challenges as opportunities, explore your passions and nurture meaningful friendships. Believe in yourself, never be afraid to ask for help and remember that your journey is unique. Strive for excellence, but also prioritise self-care and mental health.
A brief introduction about yourself as Ayomide’s mum
My name is Mrs Toyin Falade. I am a loving mother of 3 children and an HR/Admin Manager.
How do you feel about Ayomide’s academic feat?
I am extremely happy and grateful to God because the result is a reward for her years of hard work and commitment put into her studies. The outcome didn’t really surprise me, given her history as a goal-getter and visionary daughter.
What would you say you did as a parent that contributed to her success?
As a parent, I am dedicated to laying Ayomide’s foundation upon the teachings of God. I combine traditional and modern approaches to her upbringing. With respect to traditional methods, I am deliberate in my parenting act.
Firstly, I ensure that she remains focused on her studies by minimizing distractions from television and electronic media during school time. I diligently oversee her completion of school assignments and allocate time for daily study sessions. Whenever she requires educational assistance, I am readily available to support her.
In terms of modern techniques, I gave her my support to establish and manage an online business on Instagram, allowing her to apply the concepts she learns as a Commercial student. Despite launching her online business in SS1, I have maintained a sense of discipline regarding her use of mobile devices and social media.
Furthermore, I acknowledge and reward her for every academic achievement and that serves as a source of motivation for her to keep striving academically and break more records.
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