- 21-year-old Jameswilliams Chiahukamnanya Gabriel has graduated with a first-class degree from Nile University of Nigeria
- He graduated with a 4.95 CGPA in Economics to emerge as the overall Best Graduating Student (First Runner-Up)
- In an exclusive chat with Legit.ng, Jameswilliams said he cried when he discovered he scored 305 in his UTME in 2019
Legit.ng journalist Adekunle Dada has over 5-year-experience covering basic and tertiary education in Nigeria and worldwide
FCT, Abuja - Many wish for success and want to make the podium but very few are willing to pay the price and to make the sacrifice.
21-year-old Jameswilliams Chiahukamnanya Gabriel has demonstrated that there’s no need to settle for less when you can aim for the sky.
Jameswilliams graduated with a 4.95 CGPA to emerge as the Best Graduating Student in the Department of Economics. He was also the overall Best Graduating Student (First Runner-Up) and Best Graduating Student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
In an exclusive chat with Legit.ng, he explained that he decided to give his academic journey his best shot because he wanted to justify the privilege and resources invested in him rather than be a traitor.
He disclosed that he was offered a full-tuition scholarship to study Economics at the Abuja-based university having scored over 300 in UTME and had four distinctions in his WAEC results.
Fully funded Postgraduate scholarship
According to the leader of an academic community, he hit a 5.0a GPA six times within the 4-years of his study.
He bagged a fully funded Postgraduate scholarship worth millions at Nile University, a cash prize of N750,000 amongst others at the institution's convocation ceremony.
Why I wanted to graduate with a first-class
“From the get-go, I’ve always been the student that went, “Why not?”. Why not attain a first class if it is attainable? Why not make the most of the opportunities life throws out to me? Only 17% of Nigerian students make it to University and far less get to offered a full-tuition scholarship to study in a 1.2m per semester university. So, why not justify that privilege rather than be a traitor to it by settling for less? Why not justify the many pains, suffering, stress and resources that are inextricably tied to the academic process? With that framework, it only made sense that I give the journey my best shot.”
Another Deeper Life school star boy
Narrating his academic journey, Jameswilliams said he never had a B in his term examination while in secondary school.
“I graduated from secondary school (Deeper Life High School, Calabar Campus) with a perfect 4.0/4.0 CGPA - never had a B in my term examination.”
He explained that he fights for every mark when he can because he is disgusted by mediocrity.
I cried after I scored 305 in UTME
The Imo state indigene said he cried when he discovered he scored 305 in UTME because he did not meet his expectation to be the national best at year.
“That also explains why I cried even when I found out that I had 305 in UTME in 2019 because I felt that I fell short of my standard - which was to be the national best at the time. I have never been comfortable having grades that do not best reflect the genius that I house within. And so, going for a first-class was just part of my mission to make the case for my intelligence really easy to make, especially in the context of a competitive world that is not patient.”
My principal punished me after I scored 321 in the UTME mock exam
Sharing a similar story, the first-class graduate narrated how his secondary school principal punished him for scoring 321 in that UTME Mock exam.
“Our UTME Mock exam results had just been released and we (the SS3) were summoned to come to a class for the Principal’s appraisal. Students who were deemed to have performed below expectation were told to kneel and some caned. I was a mere witness to the situation until my name was called and something strange happened.
My score was 321, the highest in the school. For that, I wasn’t particularly disappointed or unhappy with the score but that wasn’t the case of the Principal who seemed clearly upset - could’ve been performative or not. But he asked: “James, what do you think about your score?” To which my reply was, “I think it is a good one.” Just before I could begin my next statement, he ordered that I went on my knees and went on to cane me for thinking 321 was enough.
Surely I got the message but I spited the antic. The message, “do not be satisfied with less when more is yet attainable”, I felt it could be effectively passed in far more genial ways. I have always been a perceptive student. But beyond the antic, the message has been one that has guided my path all my life, “not settling for average when resounding academic excellence is yet attainable.”
84 Nile University students bag first-class degrees
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Vice Chancellor of the Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja, Prof. Dilli Dogo, said 84 out of the 1,251 graduated with first-class honours.
Dogo added that 632 Post-Graduate students will also be graduating out of which 45 would be awarded Doctor of Philosophy at the university’s 11th convocation
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