In this interview with ALIM AJENIFUJA, overall best graduating student at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Shittu AbdulHadi, revealed how his tough background motivated him to succeed.
CAN WE MEET YOU PLEASE?
Wa Alaykumus Salam Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh. My name is Shittu Remilekun AbdulHadi. I hail from Epe In Lagos State. I Studied Civil Engineering at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB).
WHAT CUMULATIVE GRADE (CGP) POINT DID YOU GRADUATE WITH?
I graduated with a CGP of 4.84.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND?
I attended Promise International School for my primary education. I then proceeded to Ajegunle Junior and Senior High School for my secondary school education before I got admission into FUNAAB.
IN YOUR OWN VIEW, WHAT IS ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE?
Academic excellence to me is the combination of good grades while still having up to date knowledge about your course of study. The first introduces you while the later sustains you.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU GRADUATED AS THE OVERALL BEST STUDENT OF YOUR SET?
An un-explainable feeling of fulfilment and happiness.
WHAT EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITY DID YOU ENGAGE IN?
I played football and was also an executive at the departmental level and so many others.
DO YOU THINK EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES CAN AFFECT ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE?
No. It didn’t affect negatively. Time management is the key.
WHO IS AN OUTSTANDING MUSLIM?
An outstanding muslim is one who submits totally to the will of Allah with knowledge, exemplifies the richness and virtues of the Qur’an by speech, deeds and influence as done by the pious predecessors.
WHAT DO YOU THINK BRINGS ABOUT ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE?
Allah gives excellence to whom He pleases. However, self discipline, focus, integrity, schedule, hope, perseverance, and so on facilitate too.
WHAT GOT YOU MOTIVATED AND HOW?
I got motivated from secondary school as we learnt the hard way. I went to a public secondary school that lacked basic infrastructures, often flooded, shortened sessions, and many more. We had to learn by ourselves.
SHARE WITH US YOUR HOBBIES
I like travelling, reading, watching sports and teaching.
HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR PRACTISING OF ISLAM?
Out of 100%, I would probably score 30% because there is still more to learn.
DOES NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY CURRICULUM PERMITS ONE TO BE AN ACADEMIC HIGH-FLYING STUDENT AND A PRACTICING MUSLIM AT THE SAME TIME?
Yes, it is only those things that you don’t want to do that you don’t have time for.
HOW ARE YOU CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROPAGATION OF ISLAM?
In my little way, I partake in Islamic activities around me, most importantly, through my actions. That speaks louder.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU NOT TO ENGAGE IN THE FORBIDDEN?
Simple, follow the teachings of Islam and be steadfast.
WHAT ARE THE HURDLES CROSSED BEFORE GETTING TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
A lot, ranging from finance, personal deficiencies, rigorous academic activities, and so on.
WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITION?
I would like combine both my religiou knowledge and academic to influence lives through acquisition of knowledge and sharing.
KINDLY SHARE WITH US YOUR BEST AND WORST MOMENTS DURING YOUR PAST YEARS AS AN UNDERGRADUATE.
Worst moment: Embarrassment by officials during one of my registration routine.
Best moment: Cant really recall, had a lot of them.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?
“My life is at ease knowing that what was meant for me would not pass me by and what passes me by was not meant for me” – Imam Sha’fii
WHAT ADVICE HAVE YOU TO THOSE THAT FEELS THAT PRACTICING ISLAM WOULD AFFECT THEIR ‘WORLDLY’ SUCCESS?
It doesn’t. In fact it helps as its principles can and should be applied to mundane activities.