Barcelona attacker and Super Falcons captain, Asisat Oshoala’s younger sister, Sherifat Omosholape, is one of the 281 students who graduated with first class during the 51st convocation of the University of Lagos.
Sherifat, who graduated with a cumulative gradient point average of 4.60 out of the possible five points, shares how her sister’s fame and success as a pro-footballer influenced her to study harder and emerge with first class in Mass Communication in this interview with SODIQ OYELEKE
What would you describe as your motivation?
I was motivated by a lot of things, top of which is my family, faith and the future i.e fear of failure.
My family is a huge inspiration to me in every sense. Everyone has the go-getter instinct and that pushes me to be the best I can be. I am also inspired by my fastidious and devout late mother, my no-nonsense father, and my elder sister who is a pro-footballer. Their drive and self-belief to be the best at what they do motivate me a lot. Also, in school, I was surrounded by a lot of smart and promising friends, school mates and colleagues who never ceased to put me on my toes. My lecturers, Dr. Shaibu Husseini, among others served as practical examples and set the tone for us to excel. Another thing is the stereotypical views about women in hijab. I am always happy to show the world that there is more to being a Muslim and excellence is part of it.
Is there anything you did differently?
I honestly just tried to be consistent and prayerful, because I believe it’s God’s grace that matters.
I had interests in some other fields like fashion and entrepreneurship but I eventually had to focus on the degree because my parents advised I take things poco a poco.
Have you always emerged top in your class?
For me, the turning point was my Senior Secondary School because I was extremely playful and carefree in my Junior School. I’ve had excellent academic records since my senior school and I was the valedictorian
of my graduating set in 2015 at Longford International School, Ebute Metta. That also boosted my confidence.
What were the challenges you faced?
Finding the right balance between academic and social life was a great challenge in my early years. It was quite difficult to manage the freedom I’d just gotten as an undergraduate because I’d never left home before then. Nevertheless, I wanted to stay focused so I had to put some very strict concentrated mechanisms in place to try to set my priority straight. Although, it took a while.
Did the success or fame of your sister has any influence on your academic prowess?
Yes, it did. Her success gives me this strong conviction that I can achieve anything, so far I set my mind to it. I have had the privilege to see my sister battle tooth and nail to attain greatness. If I don’t get motivated by how much work she puts into her career and how much of a fighter she is, then something must be wrong somewhere. My sister is the quintessential role model. Her work ethic and dedication have a ripple effect on all of us. I am really glad to have a closer look into her journey from grass to grace, and it’s absolutely inspiring. She’s my role model and her success influences me a lot.
What was her reaction after your emergence with first class?
She was overjoyed. You know, she doesn’t settle for less. For her, excellence is very key. She prayed for my continuous growth and also, challenged me to never relent. In her words, The Oshoalas brag different.
Has she promised you any gift – a car, house, special trip?
[Laughs] Yes, she is definitely going to get me something. But I don’t want to talk about that.
Do you have any passion for sport or take part in any sporting activities?
Not at all. I cannot kick a football to save someone. I liked running in Primary/Secondary School, I fainted once while at it, so I found my square root. Of course, that was mere child’s play.
I have a keen passion for broadcasting which influenced my studying Mass Communication and attending National Broadcast Academy. I also run a News programme titled ‘News Wrap Up’ and another programme, ‘Up-Close’ which are also towards honing my skills in the field.
What’s your advice to other students?
I’m still a toddler trying to walk through the path of success. However, my advice to students is to stay consistently focused, work and also, play hard. Also, it is very important to put God first.
Where would you likely be in the next five years?
I’d love to attain the heights of the Broadcasting profession. As I mentioned earlier, I’d love to own a Broadcast outfit, that is, having acquired and to a reasonable extent, honed my skill in the field and working for renowned stations like the BBC. I also wish to further my academics by acquiring both Master’s and PhD degrees. And then, I’d love to do some fashion influencing, by the side. In five years, by Allah’s grace, I should have achieved some of this while working towards others.