Cursory: Ayanniyi Ganiyu, who bagged a first-class degree in French from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, shares his journey to academic success
No one in his right senses celebrates failure or wishes to hear the story behind it.
The only thing people wish to hear is the success story despite all odds.
The Nigerian student, Ayanniyi Ganiyu, who bagged a first-class degree in French from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, proudly shares his success story.
Ganihu was born in Osun States but was taken to Ivory Coast at a very young age by his mother.
In his interview with Punch, he explained that he didn’t learn French in a Francophone school, but attended an English-speaking school as it is in Nigeria. He stated that he was also taught French in the school; so, the environment helped him to develop a keen knowledge of the French language.
When asked how easy it was for him to learn French, he stated:
“In French language and my mother tongue, which is Yoruba, there are some similarities because the pronunciation of the French alphabet is similar in a way, not totally, to the Yoruba alphabet. I didn’t have challenges with conflicting sounds and all that. My mother tongue, which is Yoruba, actually helped me to know how to read French when I was much younger.”
Ganihu went further to mention that Portuguese is another added language he can speak aside English and French. Though he can fluently speak French, but not so with Portuguese.
When asked about his major challenge, he narrated:
“There were many challenges I had as a student on campus but I cannot recall all of them. How many can I recall? When you suffer and you have the joy to celebrate what you suffered for, you forget the difficulties and that’s what I’m experiencing now. I can’t really cite one difficulty but there were many challenges but God helped me to overcome them all.”
Furthering on, Ganihu stated that he had it in mind to graduate with a first class but he didn’t know how. In his words:
“I contacted a senior colleague before I began the programme and made inquiries. The person gave me an insight into the course I was applying to study because being able to speak the language or being able to write it does not mean that you would graduate with a first class.”
“I had the feeling that I would graduate with a first class after my first semester in my 100 level. At that time, I had a grade point average of 5.0 but one cannot just keep dreaming without making the grades consistent. God helped me and I tried my best. It was actually in the first semester of the 400 level that I knew that I would graduate with a first class without anything hindering me. When you get excellent grades, you just know that you will have it (a first class). So, that was when I discovered that nothing would hinder me from achieving that. My final CGPA was 4.61.“
He also mentioned that he has digital and photography skills as well.
When asked what he did to ensure that he doesn’t lose his grasp of the foreign languages he learnt, especially in an environment where they are not commonly spoken. He explained;
“Well, I think when one is asked a question in French, it is very likely he will reply in French and when they ask in English, it is very likely you will reply in English but the thing is, you know your environment and where you are and whatever you do, the environment you are would let you know what to do at that time. For instance, if you are in a French environment, you know that it’s French you will speak at that time but that doesn’t mean that at times, you don’t switch to the other languages. Sometimes, when I’m speaking English, I mix it up with French words and vice versa.
“Yes, I’ve been to Ivory Coast and Benin Republic, and in my third year at the university, my classmates and I went to Benin Republic for an excursion. I’ve never been to a country where Portuguese is spoken but I hope I will be there soon, very soon.”
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