The mandate of acquiring a university education by an average individual has become sort of a standard though never at any point passed as a bill. Reality says it’s better to be on the safe side, you know.
Though a good number of persons have added this feather for the sake of it there are some who do not only go through the process but also break the record. Department of Computer Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria has produced one outstanding record worthy to shine a spotlight on.
Nuhu Ibrahim is his name. An indigene of Kaduna State from Kaduna South Local Government Area. He had his first tertiary education in Kaduna State Polytechnic before he proceeded to study Computer Science at Ahmadu Bello University.
He graduated from the school with a Cummulative Grade Point Average of 4.94 out of 5.0 which made him the overall best graduating student, breaking a 58-year history, the highest ever recorded in the history of the university since its establishment in 1962.
However, the understanding of how this feat looks like magic for and/or meant for a particular set of people pushed Ahmadu Bello University to conduct a special interview where Nuhu Ibrahim talked about his process and success. Maybe, he was vulnerable at the point of this interview or he had a good mind to have divulged this much information but he did. His brilliant unbiased opinion and how he got here are up for your read.
Below is a brilliant summary of what was seen on the university’s website.
Question: In your view, can just anyone be the excellent student that you were in school? What does it take to attain the same or a higher feat as yours?
Well, being excellent is one thing; having an excellent result is another thing, and achieving this much is something else. You know, thousands of students graduated with me on the 27th of April 2019. I might have the best results with 4.94 CGPA but I’m sure there were a lot of other excellent students with me there that day. The way I see things, excellence entails so much more than having the best results.
When you ask, “can just anyone be as excellent I as was in school?”, I’d say yes! Everyone can be. It all depends on your mindset, how willing you are to work extra hard and achieve what you want to achieve. I’ll use this opportunity to tell you about what I did at the University.
See, I had some knowledge about computing before going to Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. I had a National Diploma in Computer Science from the Kaduna Polytechnic before going to ABU. So I had the opportunity of learning basic intro to computing as well as having some ideas about what one could be doing or is expected to be doing as a computer scientist and so on. So coming into Ahmadu Bello University I already had a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve… already knew what I was out to get.
A lot of students come into the University with the mindset of “yes I’m going to get a degree” and they mostly don’t think beyond that. As for me, I knew I was not just coming here to get a university degree alone; I told myself I was coming to get even more than that. So while other students were busy thinking about how to make first class, I was always thinking about how I could make myself better in the field of computing.
So I realized there were lots of problems in the world today that could be solved through computing. All I was doing was to try and make myself better at all times in that field. I also put excellence in my mind; like I want to make myself better, meet people that I could collaborate with in order to become better, build better things, and so on… By so doing it became even easier for me to pass my courses even though a lot of people will tend to argue that the theoretical things being thought in class seem not to be in line with real-life relevance but I beg to differ because when you look at the right way, you’d realize that most of what we are taught in the university (be it physics, mathematics, geography and what have you) are always in line with what you could do to make the world a better place.
So while I was in the university I strove for excellence wanting to make my skills better, wanting to become more relevant to the world and I was, of course, very very serious with my studies because that was how I could find a way to link whatever it is that we were taught in class to whatever it is that I need to know in the outside world.
As for what I think it takes for anyone to attain the same or a higher feat than mine, I’d say we are all very different (personally, educationally, social backgrounds) but I was kind of lucky I knew what I wanted right from the onset. I had a lot of friends with whom I started but it was when we got to Level 3 that they started becoming aware of what they had come to the university to do. By then it was a bit late. Not too late actually but the reality is as far as results are concerned it was rather late you know… because you cannot get to cover up for what had been lost for the complete two years of study that you’ve been playing around.
So first thing while going into the University is, you have to tell yourself the truth. His Result thing is not just what you go there to find. You have to strive for excellence. You have to try… strive, no matter the course you are studying… you have to try and make sure that you are studying it deep down in your mind with the push that yes, I’m going to make the world a better place through what I am studying.
The second thing does not make the result thing the only thing. High grades are great, but you need not lose focus when you drop a point or two in a semester. During exams, I would always strive for a five-point GPA but I was also cautioning myself that a 5-point GPA was not the only way to greatness and excellence. So if I happened to score a little less than 5.00 for a semester, I did not become disappointed; I did not lose my focus or morale to study more and strive for excellence still.
Question: You are now holding the highest final CGPA of 4.94 ever recorded in the history of Ahmadu Bello University. How does that make you feel?
Well… ermm… about the feeling… there’s actually a lot to say about that. I feel so very happy, feel awesome… especially on the day of the Convocation. I actually knew about my outstanding CGPA even before then but I felt more on that day; considering the fact that there were thousands of students on that day and I felt like I was the most celebrated person on that day.
We had the richest man in Africa (Alhaji Aliko Dangote) on the seat that day, we had State Governors, lots of businessmen seated. We had rural heads, the Sultan and all of that… so, it felt awesome getting to meet a lot of them that day; I got handshakes from many of them, I got kudos from many of them… especially Governor Ahmad El Rufa’i of Kaduna State who gave me a standing ovation. He made me know by his words and by his reaction that he is quite very proud of me even before realizing that I am also from Kaduna State. So that recognition alone is enough to make anyone happy and that feeling is enough to make you realize that all the stress, all the… ermm… all the patience, the hard work was actually not for nothing.
It’s amazing and we are proud to celebrate him!