By James Udom
I have read and skimmed many write-ups asserting the vulnerability, regretability and naivibility of academic First Class students. Most of them contending, unapologetically, that academic First Class students have never been First Class people in the society.
As you would expect, such aspersions are always cast by the lots who did not, did not attempt to, could not muster anything near an academic First Class in their heydays.
I’ve been brooding on this for sometime now and it has become necessary to give my take. At least before it begins to trend. Before the social engineers of our time impregnate my children with a mediocrity love that is even furnished with good justification and subtle explanations.
Yes! They have gone ahead to use the examples of Jack Ma, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the like to drive home their divide and rule narratives.
In my country, Nigeria, the models they present are entertainment stars and soccer bigwigs. As if all of them have always been academic never do wells. Maybe someone needs to revisit the academic records of Kiss Daniels, Dr. Sid et al to know better.
We are fond of maximizing minimums.
I expect Someone to come here and tell us about the academic elephant slayed by Oyadepo, Adeboye, Odukoya, Kumuyi, Enenchi and that league.
I still have the phone contact of Apostle David Onuoha who graduated with First Class from ABSU and is commanding genius results today. I read his book “Maximizing Your Youthful Season” at least four times in every year since 2012.
What about Ibe Kachikwu, Ngozi Iweala, and Mark Okoye, the youngest commisioner in Nigeria. So these people are not successful enough in life to be celebrated for what school education can do? We need a rethink.
Let’s Even come nearer. Moffat Ekoriko, Dr. Israel Ben, Engr. Idongesit Udom, Christopher Ibanga, Clement Solomon, Ekem Emmanuel John, Edidiong James, Dr. Ephraim Stephen Akan Essien, NkutJesus Pius Ekpoudom, among many others are all in my neighborhood here. They graduated summa cum laude and are doing well in their own sphere of influence. And someone will keep saying academic front row is not legendary.
I am a student and I know what it feels. I have seen myself cling to a 3.0 GPA at a time and then a 4.25 and again down to a 3.5. Aluta continua anyway. All of these moments have their joys and challenges. But above all they all demonstrated my input output indices per time. I will wind down soon but I pray that if I miss an academic first-class I’ll not launch a campaign against those who got it. God help me!
In a conversation with David Azeez, #TheRedLetters initiator last week, he said: “we all cannot be entertainers” That comment made my week.
In as much as we have successful drop outs, we also have successful drop in. We are not all Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg ,Steve Jobs and Michael Jackson. Some persons will have to be Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Thomas Edison.
Not all average students become successful in life and not all genius students fail in life.
Our sermon should rather focus on getting people to find their niche in life academically as well which is what we are working at in #Beyondbarriers Brainpower.