How did your background contribute to your academic feat?
We are from a family of six, with two elder siblings. Our mother is a health practitioner, while our father is a civil servant. We grew up in a loving, supportive, and religious home. We have always been dedicated right from our secondary school days. Since we read together, our grades are always the same or close. We always have the mindset of putting all our trust in Allah and doing right by ourselves. This has really helped us.
You both studied Agricultural Economics and Farm Management. Is there anything juicy in it that made you both choose the same course?
Initially, we applied for Medicine. However, as God would have it, our JAMB scores didn’t qualify for the course. So, we had to change our choice. Eventually, we were both given Agricultural Economics. During our first year at UNILORIN, we wrote another JAMB examination, which we did exceptionally well in. However, we were not offered admission. Nevertheless, during the process, we developed an interest in the course and were determined to put in our best.
Choosing Agricultural Economics was a critical decision we both made. We believe the course, among others, guarantees job stability, and we also wanted something we could easily relate to.
Could you describe the unique challenges and advantages of being twins in the same university, pursuing your education together?
We can say being twins in the same department is indeed a blessing. We received special treatment. Invigilators don’t allow us to sit beside each other during examinations unless we are wearing different clothes. We also had to answer tons of questions regarding if we were twins, sisters, or just friends. The most interesting part is that we don’t have to worry about having study partners. We are each other’s person.
What was your study pattern like? And did you have time to socialise?
We don’t have a specific study pattern, except that as one reads, the other listens. While most people enjoy reading late at night, we prefer reading during the day and stop when it’s 10 p.m. We also do not use the school library. The best thing is to know what works for you. People are different.
We spent most of our leisure time indoors and outdoors with our friends. They are the ones who made the journey a memorable ride.
How did you feel when you found out you were both graduating with a first class?
It was during our second year that we found out we would likely be graduating with first-class honours. This is something we have always wanted. We would say initially we didn’t put in much work during our first year because of the course we were given. Also, during that period, we were preparing to write another JAMB examination, so we focused more on that. Our thought was that when we eventually passed the examination, we would start afresh. However, Alhamdulillah, Almighty Allah has His ways of doing things. It was at that moment we realised that maybe that was what was good for us. There is a saying that if you hate something, it may be good for you; and if you love something, it may be bad for you.
Was there any time when either or both of you gave up on graduating with a first class?
No. We tried as much as possible to put in our best. One thing about us is that we were both determined. For instance, when one of us wants to start reading, the other person will be ready to read too, and we stop whenever we want to. We believe that doing things together from the start has helped us achieve this.
Can you share your motivation? Is there anyone you look up to?
Our academic drive is at a hundred per cent. We motivate each other. We tell ourselves we can’t give up, and we are not settling for less.
What else do you do when you are not studying?
Actually, we don’t do much. We watch movies and sleep. We also go out with our friends or have them visit us.
Were there any challenges you faced in school, either individually or as twins, and how did you overcome them?
The major challenge was transportation. At one point during our first and second years, we had to leave home as early as 6 a.m. to catch a bus to school. This wasn’t convenient for us until we later got a driver’s contact. Other challenges we faced were just a normal part of the student experience in school.
Were there any memorable experiences or funny moments related to being twins on campus?
Yes. There are a lot. Dealing with people’s stares and questions at the school park, COMSIT during exams, and the walkways because we always dress the same way. People would say that since we are in the same class, there is no need for us to have separate notes. At one point, we thought of wearing different clothes to school so people wouldn’t notice we were twins, but it didn’t help. There was a day we were told to come to school to collect academic gowns in preparation for our matriculation. The thought of both of us going to school for that was a no. So I (Kehinde) went to collect for both of us. When it was my turn to collect, I collected mine, then went outside and came inside again to collect for Taiwo.
What is next after graduation?
Learning never ends. We plan to pursue our master’s degrees. We would also like to have a positive impact on our community by volunteering when the need arises. We believe the future is full of accomplishments.
What advice would you give other students who are aiming for academic excellence?
- Do what works for you and trust the process. Success doesn’t come easily. It takes discipline, patience, hard work, and determination. Additionally, try to surround yourself with friends who can push you to excel.