Interview with a graduate of law

 

BE INSPIRED WITH ARINOLA

Princely X: I am Akinyemi, Muhammed Adedeji. A graduate of Law from the University of Ilorin, and an Alumnus of the National Training Academy, under the African Presidential Leadership Program.
I am currently working as an Editorial Assistant at Africanliberty.org, where I also serve as a writing fellow under the African Liberty Writing Fellowship.
I am very committed to people and community development; I’ve worked with, and I work with a lot of organisations committed to the achievement of the SDGs. I am a Bibliophile. An advocate.
I am the founder of the Boot Camp X leadership academy, and the Book Club X.
I believe that the future can only be changed by those who prepare for it, but we’ve been left to teach ourselves, equip ourselves, and if we do not do it, if we wait for someone else to pick our broken selves up, it may be too late to fix us.
I like to believe that with concise planning, good networking, and a good team, you can achieve anything. My go to catchphrase is ‘whatever it takes’.

BIA: When you were in school, what are the things you did together with academics to earn money?

Princely X: I did a lot of things. A couple of people, either as a joke, or out of stereotype called me yahoo boy at some point. But my focal point was on writing. I wrote a lot.
I wrote on freelance basis as an opinion writer, and subsequently became a journalist with Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ilorin. I was also a freelance content writer, branching out to copywriting.
I made a lot of money from writing, and I continue to make them. I wasn’t very interested in my course of study anyway, so writing came first as a getaway, then as a money making avenue

BIA: Since you started Boot Camp X leadership academy and the Book club X, what have been the challenges so far?
Princely X: Book Club X first.
I am a very spontaneous person. Once an idea comes, I like to execute as soon as I can. Especially if it isn’t capital intensive. The Book Club X was founded after my first digital writing workshop, The Incendiary Workshop, in 2018.
thought since people are often on their phones, and we are caught making excuses for lazy reading habits with our phones, I considered having a virtual book club where we read and discuss books.
OUR challenge so far has been consistency. But hopefully, our newly modified plans will assist us to work better.
For Boot Camp X.
want to someday have a leadership academy where people will be trained in different areas FOR FREE. I continue to emphasize on the need to have mentorship and guidance, because I’ve benefited from a lot of things not as the best person, but because I was open to those opportunities.
are a lot of people that could be doing better generally but are not exposed to these opportunities. The plan with BCX is to help people connect to mentors and opportunities in different fields.
We want to focus on community development projects, but this will cost a lot of money. While we continue to work towards these projects underground, on the fore ground, we are working on international collaborations to help people get exposed to theories virtually, while the execution of what is learned will be monitored.

BIA: Why are you not very interested in your course of study?

Princely X: I grew up before the news. I was raised in a house where it was impossible to miss the news. I read newspapers a lot. Watched news. Etc.
It was very easy for me to get attracted to the media. Unfortunately, I was convinced (maybe coerced) that media is not a lucrative job, as against being a Lawyer. So the person who paid for my jamb form selected law. I tried to adapt. To try and focus. But it just didn’t work. Or maybe I just didn’t vibe with the teaching styles. I found them too boring and annoying.

BIA: Sir, you do a lot of things, but how do you manage distractions and strike balance?

Princely X: Balance is impossible. Ask Thanos. What people often call as balance, is being able to use a scale of preference to highlight what matters more to you, and being able to stick to it.
For years now, I’ve been living a very planned life. Although I derail, but most times I stick to it. I write a list of things I want to do each day, sometimes I write when I want to do them, and I encourage myself, or chide myself based on my performances.
While this might seem like a rigid life, believe me I life flexibly. And what’s ironic is, having a planned schedule gives you more time. I know the number of hours I’ve for fun during the day. I understand that night time is the largest part of any day. So I plan accordingly.
I am able to do more, because I identify my needs, and work according to them.
It’s a lazy approach though, but when exams are coming, I know how to clear myself of other activities, and read for school. I didn’t learn this skill effectively until I was in 300L. And till I graduated, it helped me a lot to be more confident for my exams

BIA: Why were you called a Yahoo boy at some point, was it because of a behavior or the way you spend , reason sir?
Princely X: Lol. I like to identify as an epicurean, but I also endeavour to be responsible with spending.
Being called a Yahoo Boy was just a normal stereotype that comes with people having a perception of you as somewhat successful, but not being able to identify the source.
I am a happy-go-lucky person. I value relationships more than I value money. And I don’t hesitate to spend smartly for people around me. But then, a good heart won’t save you from bad judgement.
I was a freelance writer making digital money, travelling around often for conferences that were paid for, and living my best life at that point. But stereotypes never allow people ask the right questions.

BIA: This is my first time of hearing this about law, I mean you should be happy you were given law as a course of study. I’m Amazed. How were you able to strike a balance between law, writing and being a digital person?

Princely X: (smiles) Law for me was an overrated experience. It was torture after torture after torture. I’m not saying it’s the same for everyone. Na just my own experience.
And I didn’t try to strike a balance. I just grabbed each bull by its balls and squeezed tightly, till the horns dropped. Whenever I could.

BIA: For a student who find academics as a no go area, what advice would you give to such a student?

Princely X: I’m not saying academics is a no go area. In fact, I enjoy academics and research. I read a lot. I’m a bibliophile. And as a freelance writer, I get to do a lot of academic writing for people.
It is just the law experience, and the teaching style in Nigeria. I learn very slowly in a crowded class. I learn best when digital tools are used. I have dysgraphia. All of these made learning Nigeria very stressful for me. At some point I stopped writing notes altogether, and did photocopy. Writing in exams came with a lot of stress.
But yes. Academic can be interesting and intriguing. Especially when research is considered. The experience in Nigeria is just hectic.

BIA: Sir, what are your challenges in your journalism journey on campus, did you ever have any issue either with the Students Union or management?

Princely X: I had issues before I even became a journalist. There were several issues. Even internally, I had issues with other colleagues. I’ve learned a lot the past few years, and I continue to learn. And if there’s one things I’ve learned from my mentors, it is to make the best of every challenge.
So for every time someone tries to ‘deal with me’, I come out smiling and fulfilled. I make the best of the worst situations. Anybody can turn things around. We just the right people to teach us how to.

BIA: When you were in school through your works and digital experience, did you make any connections that are helping now?

Princely X: I’ve mentioned even in this interview that I’ve enjoyed a lot of privileges from mentors.
I continue to connect with people based on some of the things I did on campus. And I’m grateful to my mentors. They continue to connect me with people and opportunities.
When I meet people, I always ask for just a chance to show them what I can do. And I go ahead to give them the best. Sometimes I don’t even ask for recommendations. They just come because of the people I’ve served.

BIA: What are the things you wish you did or done better while in school?

Princely: I wish I took responsibility for my grades and myself as early as 100L. But then, if I didn’t make some mistakes, I wouldn’t have learned some of the things I know today. So… No regrets per se. Everything is how it’s supposed to be.

BIA: Will you advice a student who aims at the very top in his or her academics to venture into all of these activities you involved in?

Princely X: People want to change the world but struggle to change their habits. People talk about other people but do not even know themselves.
To some people, some of the things I did were magical. How a 21 year old graduate has come so far is shocking. But to some of the people I work with, and the people I look up to, I have slipped way too much, and should have done better.
But then, I know what I am capable of. And I know what I can do. Anybody who is willing to find themselves can find a way to make the world better for others.
Doing these things; volunteering, constantly traveling, election observation, freelancing, mentorship, conferencing, etc is achievable. But you’ve to know who you’re. Know what you can and cannot do. And work accordingly. But importantly, find a mentor.

BIA: best Inspirational quote?
Princely X: No amount of money can ever buy a second of time
— Tony Stark, Endgame

BIA: What do you have for students who find themselves studying what they don’t have passion due to admission process or family pressure and those that loose interest during the course of studying?

Princely X: Find organisations that do what you’re passionate about. Work with them. Have work experiences that you can substitute for academic experience by the time you graduate.

BIA: Sir, is school really a scam?
Princely X: School no be scam. Even though it is done wrongly in Nigeria. Schooling is the most eye opening thing that happened to me. I’m a curious person. And I learn better and faster out of class. But I can never trade all the lessons, the persons, and the opportunities that I was exposed to because of school, for anything.

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