Sacrifice, hard work earned me Cambridge IGCSE award – Kogi teenager

Oluwabukolami Adeyemi, an 18-year-old pupil who received the British Council Outstanding Cambridge Learner’s Award (Top in the World 2022) for her performance in Cambridge International AS Level Law, tells FATTEH HAMID how she achieved her feat

You were recently recognised by the British Council for your outstanding performance in the Cambridge International AS Level Law. How did you achieve this?

My name is Oluwabukolami Adeyemi, I’m from Ogah in Kogi State. I’m 18 years old and a graduate of Chrisland Pre-Degree College. I have to give glory to God almighty, without whom I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this. Honestly, the word I will use to describe all that led to me getting this award and recognition is sacrifice.

Achieving this feat required me to sacrifice a lot, especially my time. For example, I had to spend my entire 2022 summer holiday in school preparing for the exams. It also required a lot of hard work, I had to put in all my effort and was intentional about what I was doing with my studies while making sure they took precedence above all else.  Finally, I achieved this feat with the amount of support I received from those around me; my parents served as unrelenting backbones throughout my preparations for the exam, assuring me that it would all be worth it which I can truly see now that it is. Also, the management and staff of Chrisland Pre-Degree College gave me their unwavering support at all times. So, achieving this was a result of sacrifice, hard work, and the support of those around me.

Do you have a reading pattern?

Yes, I do. The first feature of my reading pattern is the timing. Basically, I read only during the day and never at night because I’m most productive during the day. I also try to eliminate all forms of passive reading. I’m more intentional about the quality of what and how well I’m reading than the quantity of time I spend reading.

Upon receiving my results and seeing my standard marks in January 2023, I will say I did prepare to receive the high achievement award in Psychology which I eventually did, but hearing that I was the recipient of the Top in the World Award in the Cambridge International AS Level Law, was immensely far from what I was expecting.

How did you feel when the award was announced?

I believe I had an array of feelings. I was ecstatic and surprised. I was told the news by the school’s principal upon which I shouted and jumped for joy. But in its entirety, I felt grateful to God, my parents, and the school, for believing in me even in the times I didn’t believe in myself.

Coming top in this exam has already opened a lot of opportunities for me as I have received some offers of admission from universities in the United Kingdom. I hope to build on this by attending one of the universities in the UK; I will resume in September 2023.

How did you inform your parents and how did they feel?

I had to call my parents since I was in school and I felt their joy on the phone. They were really happy and grateful to God. They also didn’t falter to tell me on numerous occasions how proud of me they were.

What are your life’s ambitions?

My ambition in life is to have my name etched in gold. I want to be a lawyer and use my career to give back to society on a large scale by carrying out multiple pro bono schemes and fighting against injustices. I also hope to have the opportunity soon to hold leadership positions in the Nigerian government, to help my nation develop into what we all want it to be.

Who are those who inspire you in life?

My foremost mentors in life are my parents. They have constantly influenced me as an individual to set high standards for myself, always work hard for what I want, and put God first in all of my endeavours. Professionally, my mentor is Femi Falana (SAN). A few years ago, when I was in high school, I interned at his firm, Falana & Falana Chambers. Being exposed to client interviews, legal drafting, and court proceedings by him at such a young age made me certain that I wanted to study Law. The internship also gave me more reasons why I should study Law.

What was your academic performance like in primary and secondary school?

In primary school, I was the best-graduating pupil. I had distinctions in my West African Senior School Certificate Examination before proceeding to the pre-degree college where I received this award.

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I want to be a successful lawyer. I see myself thriving as a successful lawyer, with cross-border access to legal practice, carrying out groundbreaking projects that will keep me on the path towards having my name on Forbes 30 under 30. In addition, I want to play a significant role in the government by occupying leadership positions in Nigeria or driving policies and reviewing legislation.

When you are not reading, what are the other things you like doing?

I have a lot of interests. I attended a fashion school about a year ago. I like designing. I like sewing. I also write poems. I love debating and I love watching movies and series.

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