ASUU went on an 8-month strike, and you must have been wondering how your department Efikos were coping at the time. Can you guess how your departmental scholars managed with the strike? Do you think they still love books as they used to? or did they forget about books to face the harsh reality of life?

In this edition, we interviewed one of those Efikos to know how he coped with the time. Grab your cup of popcorn and sit right to enjoy this interview session with an Efiko.

Interviewer: Can you tell me about yourself?

Interviewee: I am an undergraduate at the University of Ilorin, studying Pharmacy. I’m also an emerging writer with a strong passion for poetry.

Interviewer: Pharmacy, was that a course you desire to study or it was given to you?

Interviewee: Pharmacy is a course I have always loved. I applied for it but it wasn’t given to me on a platter of gold. I waited till the last admission batch with courage and hope, and though it took extra struggles, I got admitted for my desired course.

Interviewer: If I may ask, why do you love Pharmacy?

Interviewee: Well! My sister studied Pharmacy, but that was never the reason. I’m a person who’s particularly concerned and caring about people’s well-being, but I never loved Medicine and Surgery. I chose pharmacy because I love research and I’m determined to find cures for certain incurable health issues and honestly, I also want to have a lot of money.

Interviewer: Since Pharmacy is what you love, you must have been excited when it was given to you. But can you share with us how you felt you got what you wanted?

Interviewee: It happened on a depressive evening, and I felt the greatest happiness of my life. I started attending lectures far before I was offered admission. I had initially been given Microbiology despite beating all the requirements for studying Pharmacy. I accepted the admission but my name failed to appear on the department’s admission list, so I kept oscillating up and down from office to office. A week before the closure of the admission window, I was told to check my portal and I had been moved back to Pharmacy where I was later cleared successfully for the course.

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Interviewer: How was your journey as a pharmacy Student?

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Interviewee: Omoh! (I’m sorry, but I had to say that, cos ‘ooh… Lol). It has been tough. I was told it would get tougher with time, but I’m prepared for it. My 100-level results were not encouraging at all, but I didn’t get discouraged. There has been a gradual improvement in the subsequent levels which I believe I can maintain. The real Pharmacy deal begins at 200 level, ranging from 8am – 6pm classes, unending practicals, tests on the very day of resumption, it happens twice every week, and extend till exam eve—a lot of stress, but God has been assisting me.

Interviewer: If I’m not mistaken, you are one of the best students in the department. How do you manage to obtain that?

Interviewee: It’s as fine as identifying what works for you and maximizing your time. What most medical students do is cramming, but I don’t even have a brain for that—it gives me migraines. There’s a lot of stuff to ‘jack‘—biochem(s), microbiology, physiology, and so on: most of which do not have any linking factor whatsoever. So basically, I begin studying early to understand most of the topics in the syllabuses. As for tests, it comes up almost every 2-3 days, so I don’t read too much. I attend all classes and it makes it easier to study on my own.

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Interviewer: Apart from being a Pharmacy student, what other things do you engage in while on campus?

Interviewee: I write, but mostly poems. I’ve also performed my poems on several occasions on-campus—department of Microbiology, faculties of Pharmaceutical sciences, and Life sciences Orientation programs, among others. I’m most famous in my faculty, within and even outside the school for my stage Spoken Word Performances.

Interviewer: How do you maintain a balance between your academic performance and your stage performance?

Interviewee: Unlike many other engagements and side hustles, poetry brings unrivaled pleasure to me. It happens effortlessly, not really without effort, but with very little. A good number of my best poems were written overnight on days I stayed up to read for tests or exams. Sometimes, I write when I need to relax, to refresh my brain for reading. I left the test hall hurriedly on a rainy day to go and perform in the Faculty of Life Sciences Orientation program in October 2021—I scored 19/20 on that test.

Interviewer: Kindly tell us your CGPA from the first year till now, if you don’t mind.

Interviewer: First semester 100 level: 3.65 Second semester 100 level: 3.78; First semester 200 level: 4.38.

Interviewer: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Interviewee: To me, years just count and do not matter too much. We are only meant to celebrate achievements. I see myself getting better in all aspectseducation, lifestyle, relationships, spirituality, and name it! Hopefully, I see a young, change-making pharmacist who teaches poetry when he’s free.

Interviewer: Do you subscribe to the view that Nigeria’s Education is a scam?

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Interviewee: Lol. School might be a scam or might not, but whoever believes that it would be ignorant & Illiteracy. Those two are the greatest scams of all time. The education is meant to set you free from ignorance, and from darkness. It’s only its application and dedication that could set one free from poverty, if not, libraries should have been the richest things on earth.

Interviewer: Now after the 8-month strike, can you proudly say you are still sound in your course of study?

Interviewee: Yes! Proudly, I am! I’ve always been in love with my course. Since 2019, before I ever got admitted to study this course, I’ve been working as an apprentice, and now as an intern and salesman at a popular pharmacy. I know a lot, but not too much about my profession. I’m learning new things every day, and I’ve also been practical, which leaves me with less stress when coming across topics in school. So, I’m still maintaining class, while ASUU is on strike.

Interviewer: How is your relationship with people around you while in school?

Interviewee: I have a sound relationship with most people without creating too many attachments. Attachment sucks!

Interviewer: What is your biggest motivation?

Interviewee: My biggest motivation is myself: The only time I’m permitted to give up is just before I start. Once I have started, every single moment counts—every struggle, achievement, and desire counts. I go hard, or I go harder. I can’t go home without making a positive difference.

Interviewer: How do you see this session?

Interviewee: AlhamduliLlāH. It went well.

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