Frederick Olaseinde, a 67-year-old Nigerian father, has aced his first bachelor’s degree at Covenant University (CU), Ogun state after graduating with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.52.
On Friday, the varsity staged its 15th convocation ceremony and also graduated 201 students with first-class; 793 with second-class upper, 595 with second-class lower, 75 with third-class, and 254 postgraduate students.
Olaseinde completed a five-year programme in Business Administration with a second-class upper rating (2:1).
Speaking with HowAfrica on his motivation to go for a degree he knew he would only attain in his late 60s, Olaseinde said he wanted to quench his thirst for education, a goal he couldn’t attain in his youth.
“I did Business Administration, having had four reasons to justify returning to school. I wanted to quench my thirst for education; to be current and relevant. At this age, I ought not to return to university,” the businessman said.
“The time I ought to have gotten educated, I was denied of it. Doing so now is me being restored. I haven’t had a university degree before. The other ones I had were the OND, Sandwich courses, and those of professional bodies.
“Abraham Lincoln said in every man’s life, there’s time for opportunity. If you don’t prepare for it, what a tragedy. All I did was prepare. And it’s paying off because I had always known I’d make use of the status I’ve achieved.
“Also, with education, no one denies you justice; you’re enlightened, irrespective of age. When you read, you stay young. It’s only when you don’t that you’re called old. Long and short, I had to pay the price, disregarding age.”
Olaseinde also recalled how his peers marveled at his resolve to pursue his dreams and run a varsity programme at 62.
“I didn’t tell my wife until I got admitted. She thought I was joking until I showed her my admission letter,” he said.
“I’m an entrepreneur. This degree will, no doubt, help me with my business, not that I’m going to take a salary work. It’ll help me expand my business effectively. I can do the required research. I have digital skills.
“Initially, people were surprised to see me return to school. They thought I wouldn’t finish (laughs).
“Because it’s a five-year course, they thought I would drop out at some point. But the thrill was too much. I was determined, didn’t miss classes. I coordinate in class, call the lecturers when they’re yet to arrive for lectures.
“It wasn’t easy. Initially, it was tough. I bought books, used the library, engaged lecturers to tutor me in the area of mathematics. In my second year, the burden was lighter. I had a library at home with my printer and computer.
“I came out with second-class upper, having narrowly missed the first class. What I will tell people out there is that they stay determined. There’s no stopping someone who didn’t stop themselves first. Age shouldn’t be a barrier.”
Reacting to Olaseinde’s achievement on Friday, Oluwatosin, his daughter who first made the feat public, tweeted: “My dad inspires me. I love how he is constantly dreaming new dreams. Thinking new things.
“[He is] relentlessly going after all his heart desire. Thank you daddy for constantly practice what you preach.”