Frederick Olaseinde, a 67-year-old Nigerian father, has obtained his first bachelor’s degree at Covenant University (CU), Ogun State, after graduating with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.52.
On Friday, the institution staged its 15th convocation ceremony and also graduated 201 students with first class; 793 with second class upper, 595 with second class lower, 75 with third class, and 254 postgraduate students.
Olaseinde completed a five-year programme in Business Administration with a second class upper rating (2:1).
Speaking with TheCable Lifestyle on his motivation to go for a degree, Olaseinde said he knew he would only attain the feat in his late 60s, nothing that he wanted to quench his thirst for education, a goal he couldn’t attain in his youth.
“I did Business Administration, having had four reasons to justify returning to school. I wanted to quench my thirst for education; to be current and relevant. At this age, I ought not to return to university.
“The time I ought to have gotten educated, I was denied of it. Doing so now is me being restored. I haven’t had a university degree before. The other ones I had were the OND, Sandwich courses, and those of professional bodies.
“Abraham Lincoln said in every man’s life, there’s time for opportunity. If you don’t prepare for it, what a tragedy. All I did was prepare. And it’s paying off because I had always known I’d make use of the status I’ve achieved.
“Coupled with my wealth of experience, I could be an adviser to governors or managing director to top companies. It’ll enrich me further and promote my business because I’ve gained knowledge of what I didn’t previously know.
“Also, with education, no one denies you justice; you’re enlightened, irrespective of age. When you read, you stay young. It’s only when you don’t that you’re called old. Long and short, I had to pay the price, disregarding age,” the businessman said.
Olaseinde also recalled how his peers marveled at his resolve to pursue his dreams and run a varsity programme at 62.
“I didn’t tell my wife until I got admitted. She thought I was joking until I showed her my admission letter.
“I’m an entrepreneur. This degree will, no doubt, help me with my business, not that I’m going to take a salary work. It’ll help me expand my business effectively. I can do the required research. I have digital skills.
“I can talk with business associates, discuss deals with moguls in China. I’m verbally fluent and the experience is already there. Initially, people were surprised to see me return to school. They thought I wouldn’t finish (laughs).
“Because it’s a five-year course, they thought I would drop out at some point. But the thrill was too much. I was determined, didn’t miss classes. I coordinate in class, call the lecturers when they’re yet to arrive for lectures.
“It wasn’t easy. Initially, it was tough. I bought books, used the library, engaged lecturers to tutor me in the area of mathematics. In my second year, the burden was lighter. I had a library at home with my printer and computer.
“I came out with second class upper, having narrowly missed the first class. What I will tell people out there is that they stay determined. There’s no stopping someone who didn’t stop themselves first. Age shouldn’t be a barrier,” he said.
Reacting to Olaseinde’s achievement on Friday, Oluwatosin, his daughter who first made the feat public, tweeted: “My dad inspires me. I love how he is constantly dreaming new dreams. Thinking new things.
“[He is] relentlessly going after all his heart desire. Thank you daddy for constantly practice what you preach.”