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Babcock University’s 2014 Valedictorian: A Man Said I Won’t Graduate with a First Class

published on Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Meet 19-year-old Daniella Uzoamaka, the 2014 best graduating student from Babcock University, Illishan-Remo, Ogun.Daniella scored a first degree in Public Administration with a Cumulative Grade Point Average 4.86, out of 5.00.The valedictorian was honoured with numerous awards including President's Award, Senior Vice-President Prize, the Dean Business School Award and the Academic Programme in Public Administration.Daniella reveals that her road to success, was not a smooth ride, as she wrote her SSCE four times and was quite distracted.Her twin sister, Gabriella, who will graduate from Covenant University on June 27th, also has a first class degree in Industrial Chemistry.In an interview with Punch, she shares all the details.On writing her secondary school examinations four times: "I have a piece of information for you. Do you know that I wrote the SSCE on four different occasions? The first was the private candidate November/December WASSCE; then my WAEC, NECO and another Nov/Dec examination. I did these examinations then because I had problem with Mathematics.You see, I realised at an early stage in my academic pursuit that examination malpractice is not a road to success. The farthest I can remember engaging in any examination malpractice was in my Junior Secondary School 1 class. Further, during my WAEC preparation, I was encouraged by the words of my school principal, Mrs. Oloriade, that it is better to fail honourably than to cheat. These words helped me to keep tight to my integrity in my exams."On the secret to her success: "A particular event occurred in my first year that kept me on my toes throughout my stay in the university. After the first semester result was released, a guy walked up to me and bluntly told me that I was not going to graduate with a first class. I was frightened at his response to my first year success. However, I was determined that the grade I had (4.6) then would be the very least I would ever have."On social life: "I had an active social life on campus. During my stay in school, I served in several offices that have added to my training and experience as a leader. I was the Vice-President of the Public Administration Students' Association. I was a pioneer member of a voluntary club on campus (Trendz Club). This club has the aim of redefining the negative trends on campus and it helps to raise funds for the less-privileged students. I later served as the treasurer of the club. I was a member of the Redeemed Christian Fellowship, where I served as the treasurer. I was also a chorister on campus. In all, my experience in the university was demanding, challenging and exciting."On  if she would have scored the same results at a public university: "Most people believe that studying in a private university offers a smooth ride to success, but I would like to disabuse their minds in this regard because the same values of determination, luck and courage you need to survive in a public university are the same you will need to survive in any environment. Hence, I believe that I would not have performed any lesser if I had studied in a public university."On distractions: "There were lots of distractions for a young girl like me. These include going to parties, the temptation to have all the luxuries that other girls had and devoting time to movies instead of on my studies. However, there is a saying that 'The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom'. These words kept me on track and I never lost my way."

Congrats Daniella!

-BN