At the 21st convocation of the
Lagos State University (LASU), a total of 36,489 were awarded various
degrees; it was momentous for them, but not unusual in the institution’s
grand scheme of things. What has caught the attention of the press and
the public is the story of its best graduating student for the 2015/2016
session, Remilekun Orefunwa.
Orefunwa, 29, was declared LASU’s best graduating student by the
university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olarewaju Fagbohun, on Wednesday.
She finished from the department of Accounting Education with an
impressive Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.74, topping a list of 25
first class graduates produced by the institution this year. But the
road to her achievement wasn’t by any means an easy one- she only gained
admission into university after writing JAMB’s UTME a jaw-dropping
“I almost gave up after writing the UTME for seven years in a bid to
gain admission into university without success,” Orefunwa said. She had
applied to a number of institutions including the Obafemi Awolowo
University (which she tried to get admitted into three times) but her
attempts to secure admission proved unsuccessful. The doors seemed shut
to her. But she credits her family with giving her the support she
needed to finally get into university.
Orefunwa, who is also a chartered accountant, was encouraged by her
elder sister to pursue professional certification while still awaiting
admission. She began a program with the Institute of Chartered
Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and eventually qualified as an Associate
Chartered Accountant in 2010.
The breakthrough year for Orefunwa was 2012 when she was admitted to
the Lagos State University to study Accounting Education. But according
to her, she did not set out with the plan to become the university’s
best graduating student.
“When I eventually secured admission to LASU, my aim was not to be
the best graduating student,” she explained. “I just wanted to satisfy
my dad’s yearning.”
Orefunwa got married in her final year and is now pregnant. But she
suggests that her academics weren’t adversely affected by marital
“I had a CGPA of 4.72 before marriage, and I graduated with 4.74,”
she said. “I got married during my final year in 2015 and my husband was
very supportive throughout that period.”
Orefunwa’s hard work and perseverance enabled her to finish a race
she almost never began. Drawing from her experience, she advises
students and others struggling to achieve their personal goals to “never
give up in the face of daunting challenges.”