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Ebonyi Indigene, Orji Okpara Paul Emerges Overall Best Graduating From UNILAG, Shares Challenges And Experience (Photos)

By Wisdom Nwedene

In this interview with Wisdom Nwedene, Ebonyi Indigene, ORJI OKPARA PAUL who emerged the Best Graduating student of the University of Lagos with a perfect C.G.P.A. of 5.00 shares his experience and challenges.

(1) Can We Get To Meet You?

I am glad to use this opportunity to express myself, to interact with you my esteemed journalist. My name is ORJI OKPARA PAUL. I hail from a rocky but rich community called Akpoha, in Afikpo North, Ebonyi State, a community known for dynamic human culture and solid minerals. I am from a family of seven: 3 boys and four girls with parents that made their fortune from subsistent farming and masonry.

 

(2) What Motivated You To Study Philosophy?

Knowledge: the quest for knowledge, the curiosity to understand at least the very workings of nature; the quest to respond to humanity’s practical challenges, the problem of life and living- propelled me to undergo studies in Philosophy.

As l searched further in Philosophy, l discovered that many had misunderstood it as sterile, arid and difficult to crack, a course lacking in relevance in contemporary times. Alas! Those with such mundane perspectives are completely miseducated, misinformed and misguided. For now, Philosophy is perhaps richer than they know of it, interacting robustly with those in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Robotics, Mathematics, Medicine, Economics, Political Sciences, Education, Psychology and of course, Law.

I particularly developed interest in Philosophy of Development, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence and Phenomenology

(3) What Challenges Did You Face During University’s Days?

Well. The challenges were not far-fetched. Being my very first time in Lagos in pursuit of this noble course, ACCOMMODATION was my biggest challenge. I had to come from a far place in Ikorodu to Yaba for learning. Subsequently, squatting in hostels became an option until I balloted and got in my 400 level. Another challenge was losing my Dad to the cold hand of death even before admission. Well, Mother Nature (Divine Providence) knew how best to take care of her offsprings as finances were not much of a problem. My family members (especially my Elder brother, Ifeanyi Orji) was very supportive. St Thomas Moore Catholic Chaplaincy offered scholarship, the University of Lagos Endowment Fund offered scholarship too. So, l had enough of the money l needed for my studies.

(4) Why Did You Decide To Further Your Study In The Same Philosophy At Master’s Level?

Two reasons: Firstly, l furthered in Philosophy because of knowledge. It is such an interesting course that the more you have intercourse with it the more the enjoyment. To be clear, undergraduate degree in Philosophy exposes its recipients to next to nothing in the kind of knowledge it offers. Philosophy is deep and very practical as you study further. Currently, Philosophy traverses and connects other areas in AI, Solid State Indigenous Culture, Beauty, Business Ethics, Space Science, Theoretical Physics, Communication Studies, Cyberspace, Natural Theology, Biology, Law and Medicine. It is only furthering in Philosophy that one could discover these riches in its entirety. Undergraduate degree in Philosophy is a mere romance.
Secondly, l furthered in Philosophy to enable me become an academic. To give me the needed foundational requirements for lecturing. A further study in Philosophy is a must for me because it would enable me pass this undiluted knowledge, critical thinking skills, communication skills to the next generation. And that is the opportunity l crave for.

(5) How Do You Feel Being The Overall Best Graduating Student In UNILAG?

Graduating with a perfect CGPA in Philosophy at the Prestigious University of Lagos makes feel perhaps as if I am immune from ignorance: l feel protected against fear; l feel the urge to search and know and more. Sometimes it’s an empty feeling. Well, l feel great! Let me boast a bit, the University of Lagos, is one of a kind, it is the only institution in Nigeria with the toughest demands for admission. It is the pride of the nation. Thus graduating with the perfect grade in such a University, the very best in that lnstitution means you are one of the best in the whole world. And time shall prove it.

(6) What Advice Do You Have For The Younger Generations Who May Wish To Fellow Your Steps?

Resilience, diligence, consistency, with the slogan “I no gree…”

Conclusion

I urge young people to study Philosophy and become mature in the intellect. Although each person has their career choices, but Philosophy is surely one of them. “Does it put food on the table?” “Does it offer prestige in the society?” “Does it offer luxury?” These are questions each person must answer in their own way. I have not seen any course in Nigeria that does these things now. It all depends on what one makes with their courses. Courses don’t cook food. Courses don’t buy luxuries. Courses don’t confer prestige. It is a perspicacious Mind, a decisive Will, an active Spirit, an agile Body: all combined in person that does.

Thanks.

 

Anambra man of the year awardAnambra man of the year award
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Wisdom Nwedene studied English Language at Ebonyi State University. He is a writer, an editor and has equally interviewed many top Nigerian Politicians and celebrities. For publication of your articles, press statements, upload of biography, video content, contact him via email: nwedenewisdom@gmail.com

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