Ekam Stephen Magor has broken the 41 year record of the department of History and International Relations, University of Calabar as he graduated with first class honours and emerged the best graduating student of the institution, with a CGPA of 4.62.
In an interview with Naij.com, the 25 year old record breaker shared the hurdles and challenges he had to surmount to achieve the great feat.
The success story of Ekam is not short of commitment and dedication to personal development. According to him, all his pursuits were to be a first class individual who can compete globally with his counterparts, he never planned to translate that into a certificate, but diligence pays even when one is not watching.
“I will say I wanted to be a First Class personality but ended with a concomitant certificate in the process of my hard and smart work” Ekam said proudly.
Ekam was not one of those who made first class grades in their freshman year, but by his sophomore year, after scoring As in all his courses, he knew he could do it, although he was not sure he would get it considering the long standing history of his department with regard to first class students.
He explained that a number of Students could make first class grades in their first year but it was an unspoken knowledge amongst the students that they would gradually fall back, with some not even making the second class upper division.
However, Ekam’s determination became strengthened when the Head of Department was changed. According to Ekam, the new HOD is a ‘fair administrator’.
“From my second year of study, precisely after smashing all A’s, I knew I could make it but it wasn’t certain. I had a dream of just being on a First Class and then whatever the department likes they could do as I heard. Interestingly, it became certain when the new Head of Department came into seat, a fair administrator. The little whispers breezed past my ears that I would certainly achieve it. So I intensified the effort and made it certain by recording all A’s again,” Ekam said.
Nevertheless, the presence of the fair administrator did not exactly make things easier for Ekam, he still had to contend with distractions from female colleagues and witch hunting from both students and lecturers. He claimed that he pulled through on the wings of good friends and the grace of God.
When asked what he did on his part to ensure he continued to make a GPA that could secure him a first class, he said; “I had a policy of not waiting until I’m in the best position. So I read anytime, importantly almost all through the night”.
“I bought more books than my lecturers. Sometimes, I often borrow their books as well. I made notes and my colleagues (friends) were very good so the competition was very healthy and motivating, he said, adding that one of the greatest factors was his urge to always research personally and then discuss same ideas with his colleagues.
“It makes me understand better and urges me to get more information since the already discussed doesn’t give me an edge anymore.” Ekam said.
He also attributed his success to his willingness to teach others, particularly the junior colleagues who asked for his help.