The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: Be Deliberate in Attaining Success- IBT

Written by Abigael Ibikunle

Hello everyone! How are you these days? Trust you have all been observing social distancing, quarantine, self-isolation as the case may be in your own? It is another Monday and I am excited. Mondays are for scholars. Do you know you can be deliberate in attaining success?

I present to you, the scholar for the week. Please meet, Ibrahim Babatunde Tiamiyu, an Economist and a Chartered Accountant. I am sure by the time you’re through with the interview, it’ll be worth your time.

In his words,

Irrespective of your background, gender and what have you, Success is never biased. It is attainable by ANYBODY and EVERYBODY


Abigael Ibikunle of Edugist: Please share with Edugist, a little about your background.

Ibrahim Babatunde: I am Ibrahim Babatunde Tiamiyu, a fresh graduate of the Lagos State University. Graduated from the department of Economics with a CGPA of 4.62 from a CGPA of 5.0.


Ibrahim Babatunde Tiamiyu

I’m also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria with the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) designation.

My skills include but not limited to; Interpersonal communication skills, Adaptability/Flexibility Skills, Emotional Intelligence Skills, and Leadership skills, creative writing skills.

I’m an advocate of the Goal 4 (Quality Education) of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

So, I believe firmly in a brighter and rewarding future, which can only be achieved through diligence, focus and astute determination.


AI: Was there any motivating factor(s) that influenced your choice of discipline and institution?

IB: During my High school days, I had the passion to become the next and better Professor Wole Soyinka. That prompted me to join the Art class.

Along the line, in my late SS1, I began to develop natural love for Economics as a subject. This love became so strong, I studied the whole pages of Essential and Comprehensive Economics. With the latter being my favorite.

It dawned on me that the world of literature is not as relevant in the career space like Economics. Moreover, not every writing can a pull a Wole Soyinka or Chinua Achebe trigger (Smiles).

Also, due to my exploits in the subject of economics, I was advised by my teacher, Mr Yaqub Oyewo and my principal, Mr Bishi Misbaudeen, to chase my ECONOMICS dream.

Interestingly, I was widely known as an Econsguru (Smiles). Fortunately for me, my literary skill is not put to waste. It is one of my stronghold skill.

As for my choice of institution, I applied on two different occasions to the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB). I was denied, probably due to my state of origin (Lagos State).

My parents then advised me to apply to Lagos State University (the best state University in Nigeria). After all, their fee had been reverted to #25,000 and being an indigenous aspirant.


AI: There are two major skills that every student must possess: COMPETENCE and PERFORMANCE. While competence revolves around skill acquisition, performance is much more concerned about skills application. It is believed that most graduates are competent because their academic performance testifies to this.
But they are performance-challenged. This poor performance ipso facto hinders them from getting lucrative jobs in the labor market. What can you say about this assertion?

IB: As stated, this is an assertion, but a correct one.

We are in a society where job seekers are not fitting into the available jobs.


AI: What do you think is responsible for competence without performance? Please suggest ways of improving the performance level of university students and graduates

IB: As stated earlier, we are in a society where job seekers are not fitting into the available jobs. This can only be corrected if relevant skills acquisition can be incorporated in the curriculum of all institutions.

More pertinently, the Industrial training (IT) programs should be given more attention. This will enable students get first hand practical experience of all the theoretical knowledge that has been gained so far. With this, there will be a great reduction in the employability gap of the country.

AI: Achievement in life transcends one’s personal effort. There were people who, during your program, rendered some assistance that made your dreams a reality. Who are specific persons whose contribution you can’t forget in your first-class feat?

IB: Such a lovely question, because nobody is worthy of achieving success all by personal efforts.

First things first, all gratitude is due to the Lord of the World and God of Supreme dynasty, Almighty Allah, for His gift of life and success upon me.

After which, I will dedicate my Success to my parents who gave me all the parental, financial and spiritual support needed all through my life sojourn.

Also, my siblings played a crucial role in my attainment of success at my undergraduate Studies. I was charged to follow the lead given by my sister. Also, to further strengthen the foundation for my brother to build on.

My mentors were also pivotal to attaining a first-class degree, through their words of encouragement and support. Special thanks to all my colleagues in the department of Economics (The OPTIMALIST).

The university community at large for bringing out the best in me. Without them, there will be no me (UBUNTU).

Finally, I dedicate my first-class degree to all students of knowledge, worldwide. And every being that wants the best for his fellow beings.


AI: As a first-class graduate, are you currently gainfully employed?

IB: At the moment, I’m still undergoing some learning process while awaiting my CONVOCATION and NYSC program.

For that, I will love to intern with a reputable firm to garner practical experience and prepare me for a career in FINANCE.

AI: Do you think your grades have or is giving you any major advantage over other graduates with lesser grades?

IB: I will sincerely say that, higher grades brings about more opportunities, when applying for a position in a firm or on Scholarship basis.


As much as grades are important, skills are also needed to further give one an edge in the labor market.


AI: For students who aspire to graduate with outstanding grades like yours, what would you advise them?

IB: Actually, I am a motivational writer cum speaker, but I prefer to tag myself as a realistic motivational writer cum speaker. I strongly believe in a quote by me, which states that

Irrespective of your background, gender and what have you, Success is never biased. It is attainable by ANYBODY and EVERYBODY

To graduate with an outstanding grade, particularly a first class, comes with a lot of focus and determination plus GOD.

While growing up, I was almost a dullard due to my disastrous academic results in each term at both Primary and Junior Secondary.

It was in SS1, I became more conscious through advices from my sister, Zainab and a friend, AbdurRahman.

He was always topping in my class. I started trying to study to become a changed person but it was not working out.

Then, I discovered that I hardly slept at night because of my exposure to a wrestling show that is always aired on MITV. I began to open my class notes while watching this program every night and strive to read, even if it was just few lines.

Little did I know that it was already becoming a part of me. I am the type of person that feels intimated when my colleagues are called out on the prize giving day. Especially while I just watch as a bench warmer.

So, I was determined on changing this narrative and it did became a reality.

My first Academic prize came at the end of the SS1, where I was awarded subject prizes in Literature, Government and Islamic Studies.

I was so worst, that my mum felt I wrapped the prize myself, upon showing her (Smiles). All thanks to God, it is now history and many people feel am gifted, which is not 100% accurate.



One must be deliberate in attaining success before it comes.

There was a stage during my ICAN days, I read like hell and some of my Colleagues tagged me as an academic wizard or Samba the Lamba.

Deep down, I knew what my goals were and I was keen on achieving them. It will get to a stage where one will study and the act of studying becomes part and parcel of them due to consistency and learning theory.

Imagine memorizing alphabet A to Z, every day for 10mins. After some days, you might become faster in memorizing the alphabets within 5mins. That’s the similitude to putting little effort towards attaining success, till it becomes a reality.

So, fellow students of knowledge, just put a lot of time in understanding yourself and what may work best for you.

However, if you still find this hard to do, just keep trying everything out. Only you know what you want to achieve yourself. Go for Gold, I believe in everybody and anybody.


AI: What would you advise the government to do to improve the standard of our education system?

IB: As an advocate of the SD Goal 4 (Quality Education), I’ll kindly advise the government to put more efforts. This should be directed towards improving the Academic sector of the country.

They should allocate more funds to its course. There is nothing stopping the government from emulating the First world countries. In the manners and approaches used to manage their educational sectors.

Basically, one thing is important, a nation with educated people will be better off a nation with high numbers of illiterate.

Therefore, it is up to the government to show us if they mean good for the people of Nigeria or otherwise.


AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

IB: Finally, a person who wants to become a better Footballer, should be interested in watching documentaries that portray success in the world of football.

Similarly, a person who wants to become a better humanitarian, should be interested in watching or reading about notable individuals who served Humanity.

A person who wants to become a business mogul, should be interested in watching or reading about successful entrepreneurs. Ever since I was craving to get an excellent grade, I was always interested in surfing the internet.

My favorite search texts being:

“Best graduating student in (Whatever School)”“How I made a first-class degree”, and so on…

This shaped my level of focus and determination. I also strived in maintaining my balance with God.

So, the ball is in your leg, shoot for the GOAL!


That’s it for this week’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the interview. Got a scholar you would love to be featured? Or would like to sponsor any of our scholars you find their stories inspiring?

Or want to contact any of them for engagements? Please reach out to me directly: or call me directly +2347035835612.

I am Abigael Ibikunle and celebrating excellence is a top priority for me. iTeach, iSpeak, iTrain, iFacilitate, iWrite, iInterview and iLoveYou all. Smile! See you next week!


About the author

Abigael Ibikunle

Associate Correspondent at Edugist, Abigael Ibikunle is a Mathematics Education graduate. A professional Journalist and a passionate writer. She can be reached via:

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