There is no gain being restricted to a path while you could chart new ones and make indelible impacts. Glowing with the rays of diligence and excellence, she exudes the confidence that could light up the hearts of many girls whose voices seem to be lost in wilderness. In reality, she exemplifies the saying of the English writer, Samuel Johnson, who once remarked that: “Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”
Having finished with a First Class degree, a Distinction of Master’s of Arts in French Studies, which had been preceded by a State Award during her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Roseline Adewuyi in this exclusive interview with The Transverse shares insight about her life and her futuristic goals, particularly for the girl child in Nigeria and globally. Enjoy the excerpts:
The Transverse: Can we meet you?
My name is Roseline Adebimpe Adewuyi. I hail from Ogbomoso in Oyo State. I am one of a set of twins; my twin is male. My parents did not have any other offspring. I acquired my B.A in French Studies from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and bagged my Master’s from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I am a devout Gender Advocate.
TT: How was it like growing up?
Growing up was fun. I was surrounded by supportive parents who made sure I lacked nothing. The caveat was that I had to do better than everyone, however. Today, I still feel loved and cherished because my parents still believe in me and they ensure that they support my academic pursuits. I owe a lot to them.
TT: How do you feel graduating with a First Class in your first degree and with a Distinction at your master’s level?
Well, to be sincere, I have mixed feelings. I am elated yet not too excited. This is because the definition of achievement for me is huge. For me to say I have achieved something remarkable, it means I have done what very few people have done. I believe thousands of people have added these feathers to their caps or have done something similar in their academic pursuits. Well, I am happy because it is more or less a springboard to that great feat or those many remarkable things I am looking forward to achieving in the future.
TT: Aside strict academic works, what other activities did you engage in as a student?
During my undergraduate days, I was not involved in other activities except church-based weekly activities and programmes. It was quite a different story during my Master’s. I was fully involved as a gender advocate by organizing several projects for girls to break stereotypes and see themselves as more. I was the Oyo Coordinator for Girl Afrique – a Non-Governmental Organisation committed to harnessing the potentials of girls. I was also a French tutor in an organisation called Building Nations Initiative.
TT: How would you describe your days in school?
I would say that my experience as an undergraduate was quite different from the one I had as a postgraduate student. During my undergraduate days, lived what students now call a triangular lifestyle. I would go from class to church then back home. That was how my typical life in school was. Life as a Postgraduate student was a lot different. Apart from school work and church activities, I was actively engaged in gender advocacy. I toured Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, going to secondary schools to enlighten and encourage girls to surpass expectations in the society.
TT: Considering the maxim that “behind every successful man, there is a successful woman” (smiles); and vice versa. How were you able to manage emotional struggles and advances from males with academic excellence?
I was blessed to move with like-minded people, most of whom were people who had goals like I did. So even when we all bonded and some people made advances, everyone knew that our priorities were our studies and so they never asked to spend more time with you than necessary. It was really refreshing in the sense that I am a very focused person and I don’t like to be distracted.
During my postgraduate days, most of the people I studied with were very busy, as I was. Some were married and had children they were fending for while some lived far away from town and had to commute once in a while for their lectures. With everyone so focused on their lives, there was little or no room for emotional struggles or advances from most men.
TT: Being a scholar with specialization in a prominent foreign language as French, what impacts do you see yourself making with your expertise nationally or internationally?
I see myself diligently working and researching into gender issues with the view to achieving gender equity. I also hope to create and run more active advocacy projects. This will aid my goal of becoming an informed public speaker on gender issues with access to a lot of platforms and a lot of young people who require education on these gender goals.
TT: You got a State Award during your NYSC, what earned you such sterling feat?
I was involved in numerous projects during my National Youth Service Year. I organized and coordinated projects designed to empower and motivate girls in secondary schools. I organized several educative programs like debate and essay competitions in the area of gender issues in my place of primary assignment which was the University of Ilorin. This was what I believe made me earn that State award at the time.
TT: Where do you see yourself in five years?
In the next five years, I see myself having a wide-ranging influence in Nigeria and on the international scene, especially areas of gender advocacy and equality. I would love to share my story with the world to inspire young girls who don’t believe that they could be more than the dreams preset for them. I would love to be an International public speaker, speaking on various national and international platforms, place and time regardless, inspiring young girls all over the globe. I would also love to move up the ladder steadily in my academic pursuits.
TT: What advice do you have for Nigerian youths and students out there?
I’d love you to keep moving and never allow anyone to tell you that you can’t go far. If you have a vision, sometimes close friends and even family might not see it but if you are convinced about it, please go for it and give it your best shot. Also, work on yourself. Go for conferences, attend fellowships, take advantage of the numerous national and international opportunities available. Then, carve a niche for yourself as you build yourself.
TT: What advice do you have for the government of the day?
I would want the government of the day to include policies that are more gender inclusive or gender-friendly in all sectors of economy.
TT: Thank you for your time.
The pleasure is all mine.