I'm Currently Not In A Relationship But I Have A Few Of The Opposite Sex Who Are On My Radar - 2016 FOPA Journalist Of The Year, Kunle Adebajo | Reveals More In New Interview

Adekunle Adebajo is a final-year apprentice of the legal trade at Nigeria’s premier university. He is also a student journalist: Former Editor-in Chief of two press organisations and Managing Editor of the Union of Campus Journalists.

 He is the progenitor of EssaysNG, Polls Research Analyst of Facts Count, member of the Uites Create Team and Media Intern at Brain Builders International.

He also works as an Editor and Content Curator for The Transverse, and as well volunteers at the Career Development and Counselling Centre, University of Ibadan.

‘Kunle is an award-winning poet, essayist and public speaker. He is the 2016 NIGMA Student Journalist of the Year, 2016 UISU Student Journalist of the Year and 2016 JCI Most Outstanding Student in Journalism. He was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2016 Fisayo Soyombo Essay Competition and 2016 National Higher Education Foundation Essay Competition.

He was also 2nd runner-up at the 2016 African Leadership Essay Contest. His favourable and most-penned about subject-matter is the Nigerian education system.

He considers himself a logophile and grey supremacist, and one day, hopes to be called a lawyer, freelance journalist and entrepreneur.

In a Exclusive Interview with Oizah of WOUWO, Kunle Adebajo reveals more about Himself, reasons why He left OOU Law in his first year,  relationship status, Press and Politics, UCJ pries in what is not her business, and many more.

 Scooped by Unibadan Efiwe, Read Full Interview below;

Can we meet you Sir?

Kúnlé Adébájò. Okay... Besides what's in my bio I think, I hail from Ìjẹ̀bú-Òde, Ogun State. I'm from a family of six -- all of us being boys.

And I enjoy succulent plantains and kponmo, regardless of the meal's foundation. Thanks for having me.

I guess the whole session is about meeting me... Further questions will reveal more I hope.

Kunle is in which Department and who is Kunle as far as UI is concerned?

I am a Law Student. And as far as this institution is concerned, I'm a number of things - top on the list being campus journalist, columnist, public speaker, class representative, "stickholder," and occasional troublemaker. Thank you.

Audience: Kindly ask him if he is in a relationship and if he has a crush? How does he juggle his extracurricular activities, being a class rep with books?

Thankfully, when examinations are proximal, my braincells enter into overdrive and function more effectively.

So I find it easy to scale through though for most of the semester, I've been curricularly unserious.

In short, I focus I devote 60 - 70% of my time to co-curricular activities from week 1 - 12/13. Thereafter, I devote 70% to my books.

It's worked since my first year. But, it certainly is a formula not everyone will find good use for.

And it may not be the best too. We have others multitask even better, with a little more dedication and focus.

Okay. To put it succinctly, I'm currently not in a relationship. I'm not sure if I have a crush but I have certain persons (a few) of the opposite sex who are on my radar. Thank you.

What makes your writing? Talent or Hardwork?

Talent kindled it, but hard work has sustained it.

I got to know I write considerably well while I was in Senior High, and I entered for an intercollegiate essay competition.

Eventually, I was chosen alongside another student to represent the school - Ìjẹ̀bú-Òde Grammar School.

Thereafter, I again represented the school at another contest (72nd AIONIAN festival), and I was 2nd.

Then again, I participated in the BASIC National Essay Competition in 2011, and was 5th. That's how the chain started.

But like every talent, writing is prone to atrophy if it is not oiled on a constant basis. That's where hard work comes in. Thank you.

Are you a Member of UCJ? 

I am sir. I've been since 100 level, but I got fully inducted in 2016.

Someone once said here that UCJ pries in what's not her business, what's your take? 

A Roman Philosopher once was accused of the same thing, and he replied, that as he is human, anything human-related is automatically his business.

By the same token, everything which affects the wellbeing of humanity should be all our concern too. That perhaps is why we are referred to as mankind, meaning we are meant to be kind and sympathetic to others.

But apparently, it is not the same token/standard which many who make such comments rely upon.

And using that token I say, it is the job of the press to pry in what's not her business, to saunter where others fear to tread.

But there are limits, as well laid down by the ethics of journalism.

We are to report matters which are of public concern, which have direct link to public good and wellbeing. That's what we call news. Everything else is gossip.

From experience, I do not think the UCJ is guilty of mongering gossip. It only ventures into matters which affect the student community, in one way or the other. But I cannot speak for each and every press organisation on campus. Thank you.

Press and Politics, any nexus?

Certainly, certainly. Edmund Burke referred to the press as the Forth Estate of the Realm exactly because of this inextricable nexus.

The press should not be seen as an outcast, pariah or body of persona non grata. It is part and parcel of the polity.

It's purpose is to act as a watchdog upon all other arms of government.

In the past in UI, pressmen were not prevented from venturing into politics during their pressmanship. But the reverse is the case today, which is good.

But this is not to mean journalists and politicians are on opposite polar ends. They are meant to work together for the good of the public. Policy-makers are meant to grant the press independence, while checking it through the judiciary or quasi-judiciary.

And the press is meant to be loyal to truth, and the public, regardless of its necessary closeness with the corridors of power.

What motivates you? 

I'm motivated by an anathema for mediocrity and irrelevance. I still think I'm average... And I definitely am still a work in progress. Most definitely.

The sundry ills in the society are also enough motivation for anyone. But ironically, they can also act as sources of demotivation, especially in a place like Nigeria where every degree you turn to in all 360 is a cesspool of rot.

At this stage, I'm motivated too by the realisation that there are certain persons who look up to me in one way or the other. My life is not mine alone. No man is an Island. So I live it for myself, and others.

It was Dr King who said sth to the effect that we will never find ourselves until we lose ourselves to the service of others. Thank you.

How do you get the punchlines you use in your speeches? Eg control j can not justify

Wow! If I may.... The keys to coming up with punchlines are observance, critical & out-of-the-box thinking and patience.

Some even suggest not to think outside the box, but to outrightly hurl the box away.

I hope to release a reading material on this subject soon. Thank you.

Why did you leave OSU Law in first year?

Yes. I left because my I've always had my eyes on scholarship at Nigeria’s first..

University of Ibadan, though with her shortcomings, is still several kilometres ahead of OOU in terms of the quality of learning (generally), prestige and convenience.

During my stay there, I knew it was a passing phase. And I knew also that I wasn't less brilliant than the typical UI scholar, so I could make it.

The first time, I picked both institutions, but my O' Level result wasn't good enough so I wasn't shortlisted. The following year, I'd planned to use my GCE result, but it didn't even matter since only the UTME score was factored for shortlisting.

In a nutshell, I left because I knew I could do better. And secondarily, I always crave a change in environment. Thank you.

Do you have a  trainer, tutor, teacher or somebody you look up to as a model?

Every one-time Scribe of The Courtroom -- Messrs Tijani Mayowa, Osho Samuel, Oredola Ibrahim and Adeoba Gbenga -- have been great mentors. But I've enjoyed closer interactions with the last duo.

You will see it in the quality of the replacement not with some shabby campus journalists all around UI now

Personally, I have no one role model. But I have personalities whom I have great admiration for.

I hardly run to people for help, and I'm naturally inclined towards independence, and not wanting to bother others with my burdens -- except that other is Guru Google.

Perhaps that is why I'm a bit uncomfortable too when people come to me for things which are within their easy grasp. Thank you.

Audience - When he replaced Debo Adesina, editor of Guardian on the back page of the Guardian for the first time, how did it feel?

Honestly, I didn't give it much thought at the time. But I felt honoured and humbled at the same time.

Being on the backpage is pretty much a big deal. And, if the editors didn't find my piece worthy, it would probably not have been used.

I think it was the piece which got me a number of texts and emails from readers.

Including one from someone who claimed to be  "Eze Festus Odimegwu, CON, Former MD/CEO Nigerian Breweries PLC and Fmr Chairman National Population Commission."

I do not know if it was truly him. But I certainly felt good to have so broadened my readership, and to have people who appreciated my intellectual effort.

At the time, I didn't think people could go all out to contact the author of an article in the dailies... especially a name they were just coming across for the very first time.

But now I know better. Thank you.

Audience - When He lost the UCJ award for pressman of the year last year, how did that low moment feel?

Aha, it wasn't a low moment at all. I have great respect for the donee of that award, and I believe he deserved every inch of it.

Besides, at that time, I had won the FOPA award, NIGMA award and Students' Union award, all in journalism. And so, I already felt validated as a pressman and writer.

Though it may not seem that way, I do not believe in a one-man show. This is why I now have a principle not to apply for competitions which I already benefited from.

3.5 is the benchmark to participate in politics. Do you think it should be incorporated to participation in press too?

No. I do not think so.  Even for politics, I'm not totally in support.

This is because the GPA is not always or often - an accurate yardstick of a man's substance and capacities.

And it doesn't apply to all crannies of politics, particularly for appointed positions... So I see no reason why it should apply to other aspects of student life.

When we look at politics at the national level in fact, this is far from the case.

The Constitution requires that a candidate, for Presidency for instance, should have a degree equivalent to a School Leaving Certificate.

It doesn't say the candidate must have so and so number of distinction.

It is not a lacuna. Leadership is beyond what any paper suggests.

We should be able to look beyond such superficialities as ethnicity, religion, and grades if we desire truly quality leaders.

There are PhDs who lack a modicum of leadership skills.

We all know who the classic example is. And on the other end, there people who never went to the university, but who have been leaders par excellence

A quintessential example is Abraham Lincoln, all-time greatest US President (according to a 2015 or 2016 poll). He never received a seamless year of formal education.

What is Leadership in your humble view?

Leadership, for me, is a salad of character, charisma and intelligence tailored towards getting things done for the benefit of all.

It is service. It is service. It is service. Nothing but that.

So for the saying "Wats good for the goose is also good for the gander"

Now that it apply to the goose (politics) so you saying it shouldn't b good for the gander (Press)?

You know, I once remarked that no matter how good it is for the gander, only the goose can get pregnant.

I do believe in the, I think Aristotelian, saying that the greatest inequality is the forced equality of unequals.

Let us analyse each case according to its facts, and not apply sweeping analogies.

That said, my position on the CGPA benchmark is clear.

It is not progressive in every sense except from the angle that it protects a student from himself.

What I mean by this is that sometimes you have a great love for others and for politics, and you forget to put yourself into the equation.

So maybe all the mgt wants is for students to be immune as much as possible from distractions which are harmful to their academic growth.

I don't think that holding s political position affects your academic performance. It is a training.

It is believed that you must pass through UI and let UI pass through you.

In my 100L I was Press Man and my CGPA was 4.8 .. I resigned and contested for NESA PRO and by 200L my sessional gp was 6.0 thereby my CGPA rose from 4.8 to 5.4

I was doing press and politics in two years and see my academics didn't fault.

For the sake of the single ladies out their waiting to submit their CV, Can you help describe your typpa woman?

Foremost, intellectual and progressive. Excellent in chosen field. Eloquent and outspoken, yet gentle and genteel. Not a conformist.

I... happen to also have a sentiment for a God-given fair complexion. Critical thinking skill is very germane.  All other things are secondary.

As a strong intellectual, a strong believer, and one with Royal blood in his veins, do you share the views of Muhammad Sanusi II on salient Islamic issues, especially as it affects education.

Definitely. Most critics, in fact, do have issues with his message or stance. Their bone of contention is rather with the messenger. They feel Sanusi is a spoilt elitist who has no right to an attempt at populism, sincere or not.

They argue that for someone who has never had a taste of poverty, who lives a luxurious life and who is a starch supporter of IMF's anti-people policies, it is not his place to advocate that polygyny should be checked or that education should be promoted.

From what I've read, many only ask that what has he personally contributed towards bridging the wide, Northern socio-economic divide.

So, the validity of his arguments is less c
ontentious, only the appropriateness of the speaker and I Stand with SLS.

Thank you for reading this Interview. Kindly Share with Others. Sharing is Caring.


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