The Un-accidental Graduate
“YES I MADE IT”. These four words made my heart stop like a jet that lost an engine one sunny afternoon in 2019. Hmm, I have been waiting for this moment since 2018. You know the ritual, I immediately downloaded THE LIST (since CU decided to pull a Frank Edoho on us and release the convocation list few days to the event).
Well, I shrugged off the doubt and scrolled the list immediately to the Civil Engineering department , this was the second time I looked for my name in the space of 365 days but this time I had an assurance that my “name gas dey the list”. As I got to surnames leading to mine “Gambo” my mind raced on how I’m going to call my mum and say “Yess I did it Mum” Onwards I scrolled ; D…E…F…then H? Wait what? *insert solemn music “I cannot believe my eyes”*
No… nah, this can’t be true, I scrolled through like 4 times to be certain, I even did a word search, the pdf retorted “No results found”. It was at this point it dawned on me that I didn’t make this list. What felt like the longest minute of my life followed. Should I cry, should I scream and ask God why? Then I heard a comforting voice in my spirit “In all things give thanks to God”. With teary eyes I left my laptop on the center rug, I prostrated to God and thanked him for at least the privilege to write the exams in good health. After I did this I chose not to accept defeat, I needed to fight!
Few minutes later, an Uber was waiting outside as I dashed towards it with my academic credentials and a small bag containing my clothes. An Uber, 3 bikes and a shuttle bus later , I was at Covenant University’s gate. I remember seeing the flag poles reading “You Made it” “Congratulations” I claimed it with every vein in my body and with a resounding ‘ Amen’ from my soul, i whispered under my breath.
As I sat in-front of my course supervisor, hearing the sound of his keyboard click away as he inputed my matric number into the portal, I waited to hear his first words, my fate was being decided.
“Oh Fiyin, everything looks fine from here, except one general course, zero unit but it’s a graduation requirement” [Paraphrased] You almost hear my sigh of heavy relief, at least it is not a serious problem. Briskly I had to get to the root of it, turns out the result wasn’t inputed into the portal due to some human error somewhere . I spent the next few days running against time to get cleared against convocation day, it was a roller coaster of emotions . I got constant calls from my close friends (Tifeh Oladiran, Onam (O), Ayobami Amosun, Ayeba Priye, Isreal Ihaza, Joshua Okonoboh and many amazing others), I have to thank them as they kept reassuring me endlessly of God’s faithfulness.
Now this is how God came in. He used the relationships he had wired me into whilst my stay on campus. From the AO of my department (Mrs Akinpelumi) to the fatherly Architect Alalade, to Dr. Azubike and my good friend,Dr Amodu Lanre, who happened to be the Registrar at that time, Mrs Eniola and the ALDC gang my favorite aunties Mrs. Shola Coker, Mrs. Agumadu (she’s actually really nice and sweet) and so many amazing people sadly my imperfect memory can’t recollect all their names, I want you to know I really apppreciate you. God used you to make sure I finished well, regardless I had to play my part, writing letters to every party and department concerned. I followed up incessantly with phone calls and text messages, walking and running from building to building under the sun and wind. My mum kept on checking and making her own contacts (Dcns Ladipo and Pastor Ralph I am thankful for for your support and prayers)
In exercise of my faith and total trust in God, I had paid for the convocation canopy scheme even before the list came out, I didn’t know what mountain God was going to move but I knew I had faith as little as a mustard seed. Some staffs in offices advised me that not keep my hopes high about attending the convocation event, but i was dodged, I wanted to experience it. God promised to bring me to an expected end, so my exit from Covenant must be ceremonious. “Mi o ni gba” (I won’t agree for any less)
The result were found 24 hours after I landed campus, I passed the paper. There was a whole drama and protocol that ensued before it could be uploaded to my portal to be cleared to graduate. I was really hopeful it would be sorted, but with the time ticking and hours left to convocation , It looked like my strength and faith started wearing, doubt began to creep in. My parents had to travel in for my convocation, the uncertainties weren’t helping matter “To come or not to come” My amazing Aunty Oyemski (she promised to come with her full dreads on my convocation since the day of my matric) had already made cake. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone and more importantly I wanted to tick getting my degree off my 2019 list.
The iconic green gown, the convocation gown is one that greets you with congratulations from family, friends and on-lookers. It was your invitation card to this special occasion, I could only get one when I was cleared. If I didn’t get one what would be the point of coming for the event?? After many futile efforts trying to explain that I actually passed and I was just waiting to be cleared. I resigned in sadness, on a heavy call with my Mom I genuinely told her I am tired and I don’t know what to do. She said I should leave the campus immediately and get down to Lagos to start my shopping with less than 13 hours to convocation. I sat helpless in the cab as the driver conveyed me to toll gate Ota. Looking hopelessly, staring blankly at the world “At least I tried i told myself, It wasn’t my fault” Almost immediately I got a call from the calm sounding Architect Alalade. “Fiyin I just got off the phone with Dr. Azu, he just confirmed it, You have been cleared to GRADUATE” *inserts rejoicing music* “I cannot believe my ears” My God came through at the 99th minute. Immediately i got of the call, tears streamed like a river from my eyes, (my eyes are quite wet right now sef ) . My cab guy out of fear asked “Hope no problem” he probably thought i got news of someone’s death. I muttered in the most teary voice “You don’t know what I have been through this past few days, I am finally a graduate!” …..Aww, eYAH tears of Joy, congratulations my brother he happily exclaimed. That means say we go chop rice tomorrow oh . Yes please.
After thanking God wholeheartedly , I took out my phone and started calling every single person that stood by me. Congratulations has never sounded sweeter! The joy in their voices was palpable. I rushed down to my choice designer in Ikeja, they had everything Ready to wear, I picked every single piece of my accessories from there, had my haircut and fittings that same night.
It was super late into the night, on my way back home, I picked my convocation studio photo from 2018 and posted “COMMA (,) It never means a full stop (.) Thank you Lord for the end of the matter is better than the beginning. It’s official, The journey at Covenant University ends tomorrow. Thank you Jesus, I am so excited. See you tomorrow. The internet went into a frenzy, messages and calls poured in droves. I felt so blessed, God did it, I made it!
The next day I joined the droves of other eagles, I was happy to see to see my long time brothers “John Anchor and Segun Olabinjo” we waited on the Lord at HOD ground during the time of trial.
The Lord indeed is faithful. The lord reminded me to keep my promise to him of sharing my story if he set me free as an eagle indeed. *Insert Funbi’s song “Hallelujah”* That was my anthem during the time of tribulation. https://youtu.be/utPhQUnLqc4
As Bishop Oyedepo always says “Delay is not denial”