Opeyemi Olajide is one of the inspiring Nigerian Nurses who just graduated with first class from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. 

In this interview with Fellow Nurses Africa, Opeyemi talks about her journey so far, her motivation and what’s kept her going. Enjoy..

Opeyemi Olajide


FNA: Some months ago, the house of representatives were agitating automatic employment for first class students. Would you be happy to take this if it becomes a reality?


Opeyemi: Well, let me first start by saying, nothing is impossible, so I won’t be surprised if that offer comes (laughs). If our system is working, and one will be able to develop oneself, why not? Because at the end of the day, a lot of people travel out for money. I may consider the option in the future, but not now that the system is not working, I will not take the offer, even if it’s one million Naira. Asides the insecurity issues, how many of us can afford the future for ourselves and children here? Peace of mind is one of the most important things to me, I believe travelling abroad is going to provide that.



FNA: Laughs … So the goal is to Japa, amazing. So this will lead me to the next question. You were named the best graduating student after graduating from the School of Nursing in 2016 and went straight to the OAU for your bachelor’s degree. Surprisingly today, you also graduated with first class honours, How does this make you feel?



Opeyemi: Obviously, like, it’s a dream come true for me and I’m super excited. It makes me happy. I’ve always believed with hard work, nothing is impossible. Before I gained admission into this school, I heard a lot of people don’t make first class in the school because it was difficult. And to make it worse, I was told nobody has ever had distinction in my department (the nursing department). I decided I was going to, although, one of our immediate seniors (Nurse Akinlose) later did and had distinction. Today I’m happy I achieved that dream. My dad is proud of me, including my family, friends and others.



FNA: That’s fantastic. Alright, so enough of this for a moment. We’ve been hearing about Olajide Opeyemi, but I know there is more to this cool and the beautiful face we are seeing now. Who is Olajide Opeyemi, tell us about yourself? 


Opeyemi: My name is Olajide opeyemi, I am 27 years old, I am an Ekiti girl. I’m a Christian, I am from a family of seven, four girls and one boy and I am the second child, I don’t really have an hobby. I don’t like cooking but I love Nigerian local cuisines. My favorite colors are blue and purple. I grew up in a small town, Sagamu,to be precise. I’ve lived there all my life. I lived with my parent and my parents value education. My dad loves education and my mom is a teacher and they’ve been a wonderful inspiration to me. My Dad was really strict while growing up, he is the kind of person that when you bring your results from school and let’s say you came second position, he would look at your percentage and still want you to come first. So he is always pushing us to be more and be a better version of ourselves.


FNA; Alright, so, would you say those experiences while growing up influenced your achievements today?


Opeyemi: In a way, I would say yes because it really helped. You know I mentioned my dad is always after our academic performances. I remembered a time we did end of the year party in my secondary school and I collected the best student in almost all subjects asides mathematics, when I got home, my dad still scolded me. He said the person who was best in maths doesn’t have two heads. So those things really helped me not to relent on being mediocre.


FNA; So what you are trying to let us know is that the experiences you had, the influence of your parents, the way they used to push you to do more to be better made you who you are today?


Opeyemi: Absolutely.

FNA: In school, many people have different study patterns, many like reading at night while others love day time, what is your study pattern like? 


Opeyemi: I like to tell people to do what works for them. For me, I love to sleep. So whenever I want to study, I like to sleep first before I start studying. After lectures, I go to my hostel, eat and sleep. So whenever I wake up, I pick my books to read, so that is me. It may not work for others.


FNA: Wow, never underestimate the power of a good sleep! Was there any particular course you were afraid of while you were in school? 


Opeyemi: I’m not sure there was any course I was afraid of, although I struggled sometimes with anatomy so I dedicated extra effort for it and that was it.


FNA: Tell us about your university, Oba awon University, how was the experience like?


Opeyemi: It was stressful I won’t lie, you know, some people would say if you’re looking for stress in full form, go to OAU. There were times I would pray like really hard and sometimes, I’ll come back from school and I would just sit down and cry. You won’t understand the frustration. But like they said, nothing good comes easy, we just have to endure and give it our best shots, it will always make us proud in the end.


FNA: Well generally speaking, I know nursing is a very difficult course of study regardless of where you studied. Glad it ends in praise. So tell us, how did you feel when you got the news of your result?


Opeyemi: I think I was on my way to my sister’s place and my husband was driving. Immediately I saw the results on my phone,I just said “Park , park”. He was like “what happened”?. I had to look at it very well because I had to be sure that my eyes were not deceiving me. In my head I thought “so it is actually possible to graduate with distinction” and I started crying because I’m a very emotional person. I cried. It was actually a dream come true.


FNA: How did you manage admiration from the opposite gender at the university? Were they really distracting? .


Opeyemi: Well, I would not say I was really disturbed like that, because you know we went to school of nursing first before we went to the University.  Most of the guys my class were quite younger . So it’s not right for anybody to come up to me and start shooting shots. Also considering the fact that we have more females than the males in nursing, so it was not an issue at all in my department. Even among the lecturers, nobody will do that. And the kind of person I am, I walk so fast and mind my business. So after class I pack my bags and together with my friends, we leave for our respective hostels. So I don’t have time for all those extra curricular activities that will make me be the center of attention. So admiration from the opposite gender wasn’t an issue for me at all.



FNA: What’s your parting word ?


Opeyemi: I like to tell people that the first way to achieve anything in this life is to believe in yourself. That’s not all it takes, but that’s the first step. Because when you believe in yourself, then nothing is impossible. People close to me know I say this a lot. You need to first believe in yourself, because if one is doubting about not being able to do something, then automatically one is not even ready. But when you set your mind to it, and you believe in yourself, anything is achievable. Also put God first like that is all it takes, and work hard like that is the only option.


FNA: Lastly, what are you up to now, and what’s your plan for the future?


Opeyemi: Well, I love academics and would love to further my studies. If you interview younger nurses today, more than 90% of them wants to japa and you won’t blame them, it is the reality on ground. So I guess I might consider that too ?


FNA: That brings us to the end of he interview. Thank you so much for honouring our invitation.


Opeyemi: It’s my pleasure and thanks for having me.

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