Amazons: Six Female Communicators Who Set a Record

The Amazons

Modupe Shodeinde, Funmilola Onabanjo, Solomon Oladipupo

They did not know each other in 2015. They did not plan to break any record, either; but they have– and a unique one at that.

Six female students – or “communicators” as Mass Communication students fondly call themselves – have emerged with First Class degrees of the seven graduating with the top degree.

It is the first time seven students are graduating with the top degree at a go. While the best graduating student, Solomon Oladipupo is a male, the other six are females. 

READ ALSO: My grandmother was my greatest motivation – Mass Comm BGS

Despite being a department more popular among the female folks, it is the first as many as six female students would bag the top degree at a go. Majority of First Class graduates from this department have always been of the male gender.

This is the story of Sherifat Oshoala, Aisha Badeji, Patience Ebong, Deborah Folaranmi, Dorcas Taiwo and MaryAnn Ushi.

Their CGPAs: Sheriffat (4.60), Aisha (4.55), Patience (4.54), Deborah (4.54), Dorcas (4.53) and MaryAnn (4.52), tell their stories.

But it is beyond the stories of CGPA. It is the story of ladies shooting for the sky.

It is their stories. It is the stories of the amazons.

Aisha Badeji

It's like gold that passes through fire

For the ladies, their success stories are not without its challenges. They say their four-year journey was full of its ups and downs. 

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For Patience, the loss of her brother before she could even resume for her first semester was a devastating start.

“I think my greatest challenge as a student was dealing with family and school together. You know, sometimes you get depressed, you feel the whole world crumbling down on you,” she adds.

For Aisha, starting with a First Class GPA in her first semester meant she had to deal with the pressure to keep up with the grades and not lose track. She also ran a small business on campus alongside her academics.

“To overcome the challenges I had to rely very heavily on my support system. You know the kind of people who say to you, “You’ve got this” and “We are here for you.”

Deborah Folaranmi

For Deborah, time management and finances were the major challenges. On time management, she served in so many capacities, mostly in fellowships on campus; so it became a matter of finding a balance.

She, however, believes the challenges are just part of the process.

“Sometimes things come out rough just for you to come out better,” Debbie says.

“It’s like gold that passes through fire. It has to pass through fire for it to come out refined.”

Sherifat and Dorcas’ challenges are similar to Debbie’s: Finding the right balance between academic and social life; effectively managing time between school and other responsibilities and interest, among others.

For MaryAnn, in addition to find this balance, merging work and school became quite distracting at some point.

“So I had to put some very strict concentrated mechanisms in place to try to set my priority straight but it took a while for me. But I would not say that I did not start well (not so sure), but it took a while before I could set my priority right and know what I want,” Sherifat adds.

MaryAnn Ushi

How the Prayers to St. Joseph of Cupertino helped me

In addition to hard work and determination, God is an important factor all the ladies attribute their successes to.

“First, it is Allah. I strongly believe in my religion and in Allah and I believe that whatever He ordains happens. At some point I even had to get closer to Him because I felt more confident chasing my dreams that way,” Sheriffat explains.

However, beyond the God-factor, there were other inspirations to attribute; parent, siblings, friends, and for Debbie in particular, the loving family she found in the Communicators for Christ Fellowship (CFC).

“Everything bores down to God, arranging the whole situation for me. Because I don't know if I weren't in CFC, I doubt if I would have been able to graduate with a First Class,” she says.

However, beyond this, there were other inspirations. For MaryAnn, the fear of failure was a strong factor. She detested it, she says.

READ ALSO: Came in a 'little' boy, left a rising star: the story of Alimi, UNILAG 2019/2020 Overall BGS

“I feared failure so much that anytime I thought I was going to fail, I picked up my book to read. So yes, the fear of failure was my greatest influence.” 

Perhaps, her final semester holds the most memorable part of this. Her First Class CGPA was “on the fence” that year. She did not want to drop. She took the Prayers to St. Joseph of Cupertino for Success in Examinations.

“Oh Great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing…,” the prayer reads in part.

Patience Ebong

Girls are Unstoppable

Beyond CGPA, while this feat holds differing significance to the ladies personally, they all agree on a common significance it holds for them all: The female folk are strong and can break barriers.

“Six of us being female students is quite significant because it kind of rids every form of misconception people might have about the female gender; you know how people assume that because you have a pretty face, it means you are not sound academically,” Patience says.

“This is really huge because being a firm believer of girl power, it further proves that girls are unstoppable and can achieve anything at all.

“We are not put on this earth to be invisible,” Aisha says.

Looking forward

For Sherifat, Aisha, Patience, Deborah, Dorcas and MaryAnn, the future is diverse. With differing professional career path, their goal is to aim for the top.

Nonetheless, one aspiration common to all is their passion for impact.

Sheriffat sees this coming true for her through her love broadcasting and fashion. This is in additional to furthering her education.

“I'll like to acquire necessary skills and undergo necessary training that would help me reach the height of my profession. I'll also like to work towards owning my own TV station and establishing a training institution for young aspiring broadcasters,” Sheriffat explains.

For Aisha, the journey to future is a process of becoming that will include exploring her diverse interests.  However, working with a United Nations agency for the growth and development of mankind will be a dream come true for Aisha. With Nigerian woman, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, incumbent Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, as role model, Aisha believes this dream of hers is “far from being impossible.”

"I like the whole idea of global public service, having to positively impact the lives of a whole lot of people on a large scale,” she adds.

On Patience’s part, the task ahead is settling down to one of the several career choices. This would mean opting for something that satisfies and challenges her to be at her best while also overwhelming her with joy and fulfilment as she impacts others’ lives.

“I want to be able to love my job. However, the most important thing is to know that I am making an impact – as much of impact I can make in the lives of people around me and possibly the world at large.”

In the immediate, Deborah is focused on learning the various techniques in the broadcasting media. She is currently undergoing her mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) service with Silverbird Communications in Rivers State where she is also serving as the lead anchor for NYSC’s radio show, Corper’s Lounge, on 91.7 Wave FM in Port-Harcourt.

Deborah or “Debbie” as she is fondly called, also plans to attend the Soni Irabor Institute of Media and Communications and then subsequently get trained at the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio School in London.

“At the end, I hope to be a great channel of greatness in the media, especially here in Nigeria, by effecting radical change and becoming a great voice of joy to the hearts of many,” she says.

Dorcas Taiwo

Solving the communication problems for small businesses in Africa is the goal for Dorcas who is also keen on teaching young people about how the media can be effectively channeled to grow their businesses.

Achieving this goal would also mean getting a second degree in Market Research and Consumer Behaviour, she explained.

For MaryAnn, her plans, broad as they are, can be summed into a simple sentence: To become a successful TV presenter, actress and business owner. MaryAnn says she is working hard to grow her business brand, Queen Emily’s Cakes.

“I have always wanted to start my own cake business, but I never really got the chance to and never really knew when to start. However, during the pandemic, things became clearer. I wasn't really doing anything and a friend of mine just asked me to bake a cake for her. And that was how it just started.

“I started putting it out there that I make cakes and people started placing orders and it's been 8 months now and I am proud of that.”

Sherifat Oshoala

For the scholars, this first degree is a symbol of what more they can achieve in life. For Sheriffat, it is even more: It is love, light and hearts for her late mother, Mrs. Silifat Abeke Oshoala.

“I dedicate this degree to my mum who passed on the 16th of January 2021. Mum, I know you really anticipated this moment with all the kilo wa nisiyin questions. You really prayed towards this and you were really eager to celebrate with me. Mama, this is it: I made it! I did it for you and be sure to expect many more insha Allah. Rest on, my love,” Sherifat says.


Comments

  1. Wow!
    I am encouraged by this story๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ™Œ

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  2. This is good and really so inspiring

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  3. Imagine the hard work and dedication emanating from these ones

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Really inspirational and the fact that they are all female is just too overwhelming

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  6. Proud of you๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฉ

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. This is really encouraging and commendable. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am inspired.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Really impressed and inspired!

    ReplyDelete

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