THE PATHFINDING SCHOLAR
“Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.” — Thomas J. Watson
During my undergraduate days in university of Ilorin, department of Forest Resources Management; I really wanted to do something “extra” but I did not know how to go about it. I journeyed from my first year through to my third year. In my third year, I met a young man called ALEX ONATUNJI. An optimistic young man who is passionate about growth and impact.
Alex was a year ahead of me, this I saw as an advantage to learn from a predecessor. Alex picked an interest in me as a friend, he saw a young lady who can do so much if given the right platform. While I was in my third year in 2016, Alex was serving as the outgoing Chief Editor of the Department of Forest Resources Management. Then, I was not an executive, Alex said to me “Honour, how about taking over from me as the next chief editor”?
I looked at him with eyes wide-open, in my words” Alex, I can’t; how will I do it”. Alex encouraged me and booom, I picked up the office while Alex became the Vice President of the department.
While serving as the vice president, Alex taught me how to pay attention to details, carry out paperwork and to be a leader that I am. Oh, I can’t forget how he always send me on errands especially when it’s about printing out documents. Alex will always tell me “Honour, don’t be angry; I am training you” (in yoruba language though).
Upon completion of his tenure as the Vice-president of our department, I became his successor as the Vice-President of the department as Alex took on a higher position with the International Forestry Student Association. My tenure was not void of Alex guide as I took my baby steps of leadership.
During my tenure, I worked with Alex alongside some students and lecturers to organize Northern African Regional Meeting which was an international conference for forestry students held at University of Ilorin. Alex involved me in the activities that promotes growth and development.
Alex is more of a FRIEND than a SCHOLAR to me. Alex taught me that I can always achieve anything I can set my mind on. His advises were always timely and set to prune me into becoming better daily. Alex is a generous person, generous with time, money and knowledge.
Alex have just successfully completed his masters degree in Forest Science at University of Padova, Italy and Erasmus Mundus Masters in Mediterranthrough Forestry and Natural Resources Management.
I joined the world to celebrate a great esteem and excellence man. Thank you for been part of my growth. Keep the flag flying.!
NB: He is happily married.!!!