With a humble and slow start, Rufai Aliyu Omeiza, a 25-year-old graduate of Mass Communication, Bayero University Kano, stands out with a first class degree in his academic programme in 2017. ABDULRAHMAN A. ABDULRAUF writes on how the egghead made it to stardom
For Rufai Aliyu Omeiza, a 25-year-old genius, sheer determination, focus, hard work and prayers are necessary ingredients for the realisation of any set goal. And in a practical demonstration of these, the graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University Kano, stunned the world when he recently hit the first class target, distinguishing himself with a Cumulative Grade Points Average (CGPA) of 4.51.
With this rare feat, Omeiza becomes the third in the department since its creation 43 years ago. It is on record that Alhassan Doguwa, current Chief Whip, House of Representatives, and Victor Olunloye, both set the pace for Omeiza, bagging first class in 1990 and 2010 respectively.
Born into the Dahiru Ohindase family at Okene Eba, Okene local government area of the state, the young scholar, had in his pre-university days, set for himself a tall order he sought to accomplish. Yes, Omeiza lost his very supportive and loving dad at a very tender age, but he never allowed this weigh him down in his career pursuit.
Discovering his talent
While it is one thing to be gifted, it is another thing to be discovered. In this regard, Omeiza’s sparkling brilliance was discovered by his level coordinator, Malam Ashir Ashir. “I discovered him at the end of first semester exams of his level 100, when he posted 5.00 and had since monitored and mentored him till the end.
“Omeiza is highly intelligent, a bookworm, a genius that is highly conscious of his background, and I’m not surprised he joined the exclusive class of mass communication graduates at the end of his programme.”
Also providing some insight into how his real self was discovered, Omeiza narrates thus: “I lost my father at childhood. I believe the key to success is hard work. I was not smart during my early primary school days until my mother changed my school. I became a gifted learner after the death of my father while I was in secondary school.
“I initially applied for Mass Communication at University of Ilorin (Unilorin) but I was rejected so I decided to seek admission at BUK and I was successful. One of my tutors who finished from BUK told me that mass communication was really tough there, so I prepared to study hard.”
‘How I made it’
Giving further vent to Ashir’s perception of him, the young graduate says, “I think I owe my achievement to hard work. Before I entered BUK, I had it in mind that I want to be the best in my field of study and I kept praying to God to make me the best.
“I had a reading timetable and I followed it. I seldom read in the afternoon because of some activities but I studied a lot in the evening and around midnight. My dad also encouraged us before he died by giving us gifts for good performance.”
Omeiza also speaks on some hiccups in his way before getting the opportunity of reading mass communication in BUK, just as he reveals his University of Ilorin experience. “With all sense of humility, I believed God has destined me to be what I am today in fulfillment of His plans. I must admit it was tough, but through persistence, hard work and prayers, I was able to achieve my goal.
“It was really not easy because along the line there was so many hiccups and so many challenges, but with God’s help, I was able to overcome them.”
“I initially applied for Mass Communication at University of Ilorin (Unilorin), but I was rejected. So, I decided to seek admission at BUK and I was successful. One of my tutors who finished from BUK told me that mass communication was really tough there, so I prepared to study hard.
“At first, I was sad because I had 66 points in my post UTME exams, above the 40 points set aside as pass mark. Some of my friends had 40 points, but they were given admission. However, I later found out that mass communication there, is more competitive than any other course and that they needed about 70 points or so. I felt sad but I decided that there is need for me to continue, I couldn’t just say that is the end, I needed to forge ahead. I completely lost interest in Unilorin and went to BUK,” he further recalls amidst gratitude.
For Ashir and others, Omeiza will eternally appreciate them for being supportive. “Let me start from my parents; my mother was very supportive. And I just told you I lost my dad at a very tender age. My mother has been my strength and the backbone that supported me all this while through my primary school, secondary and to the tertiary level, and Glory be to Allah for crowning her effort.
“My classmates were also supportive, though we sometimes agree to disagree. They made me realise how to live with people in good terms, know how to relate with people. My lecturers too, including my supervisor were friendly. The dean of the faculty, Professor Umaru Pate, was not only a lecturer to us, but a father. Whenever you had any problem he was always willing to help.”
‘My models, inspiration’
For him, his inspiration in the world of mass communication, are NTA’s duo of Cyril Stober and Fatima Abass. He says, “I was impressed with the way they read news and dressed. I remember my mother used to say even these beautiful clothes they wear, are free of charge.”
Moving to the field
Notwithstanding his outstanding performance, the young egghead is not unaware that there os a big world of difference between theory and practical. According to him, what one can offer in the field, rather than just the result, will show the stuff one is made of.
Having realised the above therefore, it is hoped that Omeiza’s foray into the practical world of journalism , will yield the right dividends for him as a professional and for the profession itself.