Miss Tolulope Komolafe, who emerged second best graduating student among the 2021 graduates of the College of Health Sciences, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, has attributed her exceptional achievement to the passion to save lives, saying this was what propelled her to study Medicine in the first place.
Komolafe, whose parents are both healthcare professionals, also identified parental care and support as a major pillar of her milestone achievement.
According to her, the initial choice of Medicine as a course of study came from that healthcare ambience.
Komolafe’s mother, Mrs Oluwatoyin Adekunbi Komolafe, who is the deputy director, Pharmaceutical Services, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, also attested to this, while urging parents, especially mothers, to always create time for their children irrespective of professional demands.
Narrating how her academic journey began young Komolafe, who is the firstborn of her parents, said:
“The journey started in 2014 after I got admission into OAU through Direct Entry, after my A-levels, to study Medicine.
“I would say the initial choice to study medicine stemmed from the environment I grew up in as both my parents are healthcare professionals. There was also the fact I thought that I wouldn’t need to know much of Physics, compared to other science courses.
“However, what really helped to solidify the choice was my desire to save lives and put smiles on the faces of people who interact with me.”
Komolafe however revealed that it was not all rosy for her while on campus, as she was tempted to quit at certain times, the most notable being when she failed one of her initial courses, despite her rigorous study routine.
In her words: “Yes, there were a few times when I felt like quitting. My most memorable challenge would be when I failed my first Anatomy course, which was ironic as I read Anatomy more than any of the courses I was offering then.
I was disappointed but I had the support of friends who encouraged me to look forward and see the bigger picture. And here I am today telling the story with a smile.”
She urged students who wish to be like her to pay serious attention to their studies and follow the best reading pattern that works for them.
Komolafe also mentioned the place of mentorship in her success, urging her juniors and contemporaries to ensure they have mentors they can always look up to for assistance and guidance in life.
In her words, “I have several people I look up to as mentors; so I would say it depends on what aspect of life I needed guidance on. To be successful, students need such mentors at one time or the other in life to guide them along their studies.”
She emphasised having a good relationship God as an indispensable factor in achieving great success in life.
She reminisced: “My most memorable day on campus was 30 August, 2021, when the result of our Final Medical Board Examination was posted and I passed with distinction. I was so elated beyond measure and gave all the glory to God, who is my Alpha and Omega.
“For other students aspiring to achieve this feat my advice for them is to understand what works for them in terms of reading and assimilation, while they should endeavour to keep a close circle of friends with like mind.”
Komolafe’s mother recalled getting the news of her daughter’s sterling performance through a phone call. She said she was filled with joy, as she appreciated God who had helped to actualise hopes and expectations for her daughter, whom she had supported all the way.
Going back memory lane, she described her daughter as having been a very inquisitive child, which necessitated her enrolment in school at the tender her of 18 months. She also recalled how she and her husband had always assisted the young scholar with her assignments and ensuring that they spent quality time with her and her siblings, despite their tight schedule.
According to Mrs Komolafe: “Growing up, we make sure we carved out time to spend with her, despite our tight schedule. We also gave her freedom to express herself. We disciplined her, when the need arose and we made sure all her needs were catered for.
“Today, we are most grateful to God on her behalf because without God, none of us can exist. That was why I taught her from childhood the importance of God in all that we do, and that there is no other way to succeed than to study well and pray.”