Daniel Nkemelu of the University of Ibadan graduated with 7.0 CGPA! Read his interview with Vanguard where the young man who was born and bred in Ajegunle, Lagosexplained how he was able to achieve this. He also talked about having a girlfriend
TELL us about yourself.
My name is Daniel Nkemelu K.
What does the initial K. stands for?
Daniel Nkemelu Kelechukwu.
How did you come about the Yoruba names (Oluwaseun) as it appears between your name on Facebook?
I simply converted my native name (Kelechukwu) to Yoruba. I love the Yoruba culture, I’m very Nigerian.
Where did you hail from?
I am from Nnewi-North LGA in Anambra State.
How old are you, Daniel?
Could you please tell us about your parents. Who are your parents and what are their occupations?
My dad, Mr Daniel Nkemelu, is a business man and my mum, Mrs Augustina Nkemelu, is a caterer and fashion designer. They are based in Lagos. I can talk about how amazing they are all day, but let me simply say, they are God’s gift to me.
My siblings and I were brought up with full and proper parental guidance. We were taught about morals, honesty and love for every man. These are useful qualities in today’s world.I think it is sufficient to acknowledge my Christian background and avoid mentioning a particular church. Church is a delicate topic in Nigeria and I don’t want to distract the aim of this interview.
How many children have your parents and what position are you?
I’m fifth of seven children, four boys and three girls. I’m the third boy and fifth child. Some of my siblings are married, some are working, my younger ones are schooling.
What’s your course of study?
I heard that you graduated with a 7.0 CGPA, is that true?
Yes, It is true, I did.
Could you please tell us how it happened?
It was challenging and interesting. Studying at the University of Ibadan is a rigorous process. My initial intention as a freshman was to do well and hopefully get a First Class result. However, after my first session, I started having loftier dreams… In the end, I was able to achieve it.
In other universities, a perfect score is 5.0. Why is U.? I perfect score 7.0. Do you have an idea of it?
The University of Ibadan started in 1948 as an extension of the University College, London. UCL used a 7-point scale at the time and we aligned with it. I heard there are plans to switch to a 5-point scale soon, though, I’m not an authority on this subject.
Was there anyone before you with a perfect score 7.0 CGPA?
I’m not sure. My convocation ceremony would hold later this year, I’m sure the University would make a statement on this after checking the records.
Where did you grow up and how was it like?
I was born and bred in Ajegunle, Lagos. Growing was fun because we had formal education at school, informal education at home and ‘street education’ on the streets.
Have you ever failed in primary or secondary school before?
Well, I might have failed tests and assignments but exams, I don’t think so.
What’s your reading lifestyle?
My reading pattern was very dynamic. I didn’t have a fixed time or location. My kind of course requires broad understanding of concepts and practical application, so I could spend the whole day programming or reading tech blogs and reviews.
I visited the school library occasionally because it was conducive and distraction was minimal. I also held periodic tutorials that made me read in depth, so I could explain properly to others.
Were there other things you did to fetch you money while on campus?
Yes. I’m a freelance web developer. I did some software projects for people that fetched me money. I turned down some too when I needed to concentrate on my studies.
Could you please, tell us about your social lifestyle.
Wow, the cultural diversity at the University of Ibadan is amazing. I made a lot of friends and met lots of amazing people. I was not overly outgoing but I attended many events on campus. From Electoral Campaign events, Campus Blasts, Variety Nights… Social life was balanced.
What are your future plans?
My short term plan is to serve (NYSC) and then get a Masters (or higher) degree. I strongly believe that technology has a huge role to play in Africa’s rise to dominance and shared prosperity, so I have to equip myself with the necessary experience and exposure to be world class.
Do you have a girl friend?
I need to clarify that there is no correlation between one’s academic performance and their relationship status. It is part of the training to handle both work and emotions. And because healthy relationships help you to get better at what you do; I loved and was loved in return. However, bad relationships or friendships can affect academic performance, sincerely. Girlfriend is not the word; but there are people of the opposite sex that mean so much to me. That’s all sir.
Who is your role model?
I learn from lots of people. No single person holds that monopoly. From the wisdom of my dad to the love of my mum, the intelligence of W. F. Kumuyi who finished from my school and Faculty and the calmness of E. A. Adeboye, the speaking prowess of Barack Obama and the charisma of Nelson Mandela. These people are great examples to me and many others.
What advice do you have for other students?
I always tell young people; define what success means to you and give it what it takes. Everyone may not end up as perfect CGPA holders but everyone can excel at something. Be it in leadership, programming, entrepreneurship, public speaking, academics, writing, entertainment and the likes. Be open to learn and do your best to make a difference.