For the first few days in February 2021, my thoughts were revolving around failures. I would give it a label, ‘celebrated failures’. And this thought pathway would later transcend into weeks. The pangs, pains and the whole process is worth celebrating and I am taking a step forward by putting their stories out. I reached out to Babatunde Dauda and he shared his story with me. His reflections and ponderations over the years are documented here. I wish you an awesome voyage into his world.
It’s a long read. So, I would implore that you read till the very end.
How do I start gan bayi o?
Okay, here we go!
I am Dauda Babatunde Jamiu, popularly known as BABZY JAY (I would say my name is Babzy Jay because quite a number of people do not know my real name). Born on 18th September, 1995, I found myself to be a zealous student who had overly dreamt of becoming a medical doctor. But, there was a constraint behind the veil that made this lofty dream seemingly impossible. My family’s financial status. It would be hyperbolic if i called it instability because we were not affluent. I had to work as a labourer on farms for years so as to beat through my secondary school bills, yet that was never my greatest problem. I had the grit!
I completed my secondary education from a school located in a remote village in Ekiti state. Just the kind of secondary school you would imagine. My secondary school experience was hell due to inadequate funding. And I would not forget I was sent out of the examination hall on the day I was to sit for WASSCE, Mathematics precisely. Just because I owed a thousand naira. I couldn’t even afford to sit for NECO exams.
Thank God, I passed with B’s and C’s. A consolation.
Thick and Thin
I finished at 17; gracefully. I had to survive. I had goals right before me, I’d never sell them to death. Nobody to guide or instruct me and all by myself, I started the “hustle” in a bid to save substantially for my tertiary education without even knowing how tough it was to gain admission. Especially to study very competitive courses. LOL. Passionate about my pursuit, just in a blink. Two years gone!
Then I realised no matter how long I had worked or how well I would save, I can never save enough. Probably, I would say I could not be well prepared for the storms through tertiary education.
What do I do? I had to act, wisely!
A Step Forward
In 2015, I registered for my first UTME. The beginning of the CBT practice. I read so hard to pass. The result came out and I had 234. I cried my eyes out, knowing how high the cut off mark for OAU MB;BS was. I went to the JAMB office, sent thousands of emails to lodge complaints about my result. All to no avail. LOL.
I was so confident I could not have performed that “poor” but nothing could be done. I had to sit for OAU’s PUTME anyway. So, I continued with my preparation. OAU PUTME was very tough(No calculator, Paper and Pencil Test). Soon, the result was out. I had 227 and an aggregate of 230 but the cutoff mark for my proposed course of study was 275. I was completely devastated; very sad. Though, I was offered provisional admission to study Zoology but I rejected it.
I braced myself up and prepared harder for 2016 UTME. Above all, the call is higher than the fall. When the results came out, I had 226. This was worse than the previous. I didn’t even bother registering for the POST UTME. I had to work harder. Maybe I was stupid! What do you think?
In 2017, I planned to sit for UTME but something came up that prevented me from thinking about registering at all. I know you would like to know. It was not a big deal but I had to pay rent. It really took a toll on me but I survived it. Yes, I did!
The Darker Path
In 2018, I stood up again. ‘Yea, guy must make am!’. I chose OAU again but Pharmacy this time. I was scared of losing to OAU this second time. When the UTME results were out, I had 323. Alas! The set time has come. The rising of a new dawn!
Within me, I was like, “Babs, remember you wanted medicine and surgery”. So, I obtained JAMB change of course form and changed from Pharmacy to Medicine and Surgery. OMG! This seemed the greatest mistake I ever made. PUTME results came out, I had 76.5%. Meanwhile, the cutoff mark for Medicine and Surgery happened to be 79% and Pharmacy’s was 72%. I almost died.
I would have been offered admission to study Pharmacy if I hadn’t changed to Medicine.
Surprisingly, OAU offered me Biochemistry. I wanted to reject it but then I thought about my age. I was 23 at the moment. Was that how I would continue when my mates were done schooling? I accepted Biochemistry ‘jeje mi’. Succumbed to fate!
Paying my school bills was tough but God took control.
A Spring Of Water Down There; Victoria Ascerta!
I wanted to continue with BCH, but after recalling all the years I had lost to chasing Medicine, it would be stupid of me, if I didn’t get it.
I took another UTME form. This time I chose UI after a lot of considerations. The JAMB result came out. I had 324 (Though, it wasn’t easy combining OAU stress with preparation for O’level exams but God helped me).
UI’s Putme was somehow. When I saw my result, I knew the journey had just begun. I had an aggregate score of 80.5%. I met and even passed the cutoff mark for Medicine and Surgery. My JAMB CAPS got “upgraded” and I became a medical student at the age of 24.
YOU CAN DO BETTER.
I’m sure this isn’t the first motivational story you’ve read and it definitely won’t be the last.
A wise man once said, “It doesn’t matter the number of times you fall, what counts is your willingness to stand up after each fall”.
It was never a rollercoaster ride for me but, here I am.
Soldier! Situations and circumstances cannot and would not determine your success. So, don’t let your background put your back on the ground. You aren’t a failure unless you stop. I know I spent a lot of years trying but it’s really worth it. Know what you want and go for it. With God, hard work and patience, your time shall come.
Don’t give up, soldier! You don’t know how close you’re to being successful!
The story begins…
Babatunde Jamiu Dauda.