Dashe Fatima Andat has emerged as the overall best graduating student at Covenant University for the 2021/2022 academic session at the school’s 17th Convocation.
Dashe Fatima Andat, a graduate of Accounting from the College of Management and Social Sciences, received her first class degree with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 5.0 (out of 5.0).
Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, on 6 January 2023 at the 17th convocation, announced and presented certificates to 77 scholars in Doctor of Philosophy and 114 in other Masters Degree categories.
At the Bachelor’s level where 1,677 graduated, 206 representing 12.28 percent obtained First Class Degrees.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun Adebayo, in other degree classifications are 744 (44.36 percent) are in the Second Class (Upper Division). Also, 620 (36.97 percent) of the graduands are in the Second Class (Lower Division), and 107 (6.38 percent) are in the Third Class category.
In the words of Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun Adebayo:
“There is no doubt that Covenant has invested and equipped you adequately to be able to identify and optimise great opportunities that come your way and be able to turn around the destiny of our nation and by extension, the African continent.
As you are released today, may you continue to soar as eagles, become worthy ambassadors of Covenant, pride to our continent and walk the path that glorifies the kingdom of God?
I congratulate our esteemed parents, families, friends and well-wishers for partnering with us to raise for God, an army of reformers and rescue agents.”
In the same vein, the Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo, announced that the school will begin construction of newly approved Medicine and Law faculties in 2023.
“With the cooperation of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), we are embarking on the construction takeoff of the faculty of law and medicine. We just revealed the construction plans and details and we expect to kick off in the first quarter of the year.
In just two decades of its existence, Covenant University has become a leading world-class university and the best higher education destination for students in Africa.
“In addition, Covenant University emerged as the best university out of the 111 private universities in Nigeria by the Prestige Nigeria Education.”
In the convocation ceremony tagged ‘Release of Eagles for 2022,’ the Vice-Chancellor said that the institution, on a rescue mission in education, had determined to raise a new generation of leaders that would restore the lost glory of the black race.
Dashe Fatima Andat in an interview with Kangmwa Gofwen shares her experiences and insights
How do you feel being the overall best student of your set?
Dashe Fatima Andat: I am really excited. I feel so blessed. It’s just so amazing that out of more than a thousand students, I was called out as the best. I worked hard for it and it was not really a surprise. I’m so proud of myself. The love, wishes, gifts, messages, and calls have been so overwhelming. I’m so grateful for everything.
How did you do it?
Dashe Fatima Andat: It took a lot of effort and focus. I had to find a way to balance the various aspects of my life. I had daily plans or what I like to call a ‘to-do list’ that helped me stay on track and do all the things that I needed to do. I received much love and support from my family, and this was my biggest motivation. Thankfully, I also had amazing friends who would encourage me, study with me, and remind me to do my assignments and other things. Most of all, I had God by my side, all the way. So, my journey was graceful and peaceful.
How was growing up for you? Were you always topping your class from childhood?
Dashe Fatima Andat: Yes, from primary and secondary school, I was always among the top students in my class; and I had the privilege of representing my schools in various competitions.
When you realised you were topping your class, what did you do differently to maintain that position?
Dashe Fatima Andat: Honestly, I was surprised when I first found out that I was topping my class at the university — mostly because in my first year, I didn’t really like the place because I missed home so much. I just made sure that I kept improving and putting more effort because, as I progressed, my courses became more demanding. I tried to help as many people as I could. I also tried to surround myself with the right kind of company so that I don’t deviate from my goal.
Take us through your journey in school.
Dashe Fatima Andat: During my first days at Covenant University, I was very shy and timid. I always tried to mind my business and stay on my own. I felt alone because I was away from my family and also because I didn’t really have friends. My first year was mostly about getting accustomed to the school and the way of life which was very different from where I came from. Along the line, I started making friends and that made my journey in school more exciting. I began to feel more comfortable and at that point my grade were even better because I was confident enough to ask questions in class. I was also confident enough to meet people for help when I needed to.
I began my ICAN journey in my 100 level and I finished it in my 300 level. The journey was not easy — but with time and effort, I was able to complete all the courses and pass all of them on my first attempt. At this point, my coursework in school became more familiar because most of the things I was taught were things that I had already done in ICAN. So getting my ICAN early was definitely one of the best decisions that I have made.
In my final year, I decided to put in the most effort than I had ever done before. I was also very intentional about building good relationships with my friends and course mates, as we were all going into the real world and we won’t get to see each other often. My Final year was fun and I tried to be more active in activities that involved mentoring those coming after me and helping them as much as I could.
The highlight of my entire journey was growing spiritually and using that as a platform to excel in my everyday life. I’m very proud of how far I’ve come, and I’m glad that I left so much better than when I came in.
What other activities were you involved in apart from your academics?
Dashe Fatima Andat: I was involved in departmental activities, tutoring, and a few social activities. I didn’t want to take up too much because I didn’t want anything to interfere with my school work.
How different do you think your experience would have been if you were in a public university?
Dashe Fatima Andat: Well, I feel like there are many factors that differentiate private and federal universities. I know that my experience would have been very different, especially because of the obvious dissimilarities. But generally, I can’t really say how much different things would have been.
Has accounting always been what you wanted? And do you have any role model you look up to in that field?
Dashe Fatima Andat: At first, I wanted to be a doctor, mostly because my brother studied Medicine and I admire him so much. But when it came to the reality of studying medicine, I just didn’t see myself doing it. When I went to social science class in secondary school, I immediately developed a liking for accounting. I found the concept very intriguing, and it came really easily for me. At that point, I realised that I had a passion for it and I would love to build a career around it.
I’ve many role models. I can’t mention them all, but many people have been of great impact in my life and in my career journey, and I’m grateful for every one of them.
What are you most grateful for? And what is next for you after now?
Dashe Fatima Andat: I’m most grateful to God for so many reasons, some of which include: my amazing family, my lovely friends, the community at Covenant University, etc. I’m privilege to experience this amazing moment of my life and I’m so grateful for every single part of it.
What advice do you have for students, both in school and those about to begin their academic journey?
Dashe Fatima Andat: My very first advice is to make the best of every opportunity that comes your way. My generation is so focused on wanting to be big without wanting to do the hard work. Yes we may not all pursue careers in our specific fields of study, but it is important to see every opportunity as a blessing and put in as much effort as you can. Also, focus on the things that we do best and learn to be humble so that you can grow in the areas that you may not necessarily be the best in. The sky is our starting point and there is much space in the sky for as many stars that are willing to put in the effort.