With friends, course mates, I don’t feel intimidated – Adeoye Benjamin

Aduwo Ayodele

Adeoye Benjamin Adeola is a student of the Department of Archeology and Anthropology, Faculty of Arts whose pictures went viral on his matriculation day, which was September 12, 2023. The pictures generated a lot of comments owing to his height and also questions which AFAS Press decided to ask him.

AFAS PRESS: Can we meet you?

Adeoye: My name is Adeoye Benjamin Adeola, a 100l student of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan. I am a lover of Christ and I am dedicated to making life comfortable for everyone, and making this world a better place.

AFAS PRESS: What prompted your choice to study Archaeology and Anthropology?

Adeoye: Actually, my initial course of choice was Theatre Arts. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet the cut-off for the Department, but to the glory of God, I was transferred to the Department of Archeology and Anthropology. And so far, I have been able to gain new insights about this department, studying the course has been nice so far, I’ve been coping with it and presently, I am not thinking of crossing to Theatre Art.

AFAS PRESS: Why did you initially want Theatre Arts?

Adeoye: What inspired that choice was my love for acting. I love dramatizing and playing pretend. I love movies too. I still look forward to being featured in a movie, if possible.

AFAS PRESS: Why University of Ibadan?

Adeoye: Well, one of the very reasons why I chose University of Ibadan is that it is unarguably the first and best in Nigeria, and arguably the best in Africa.
Also UI is a dynamic University that most aspirants would want to be a student of.
And, funnily enough, I love the design of the school gate, it made me pick interest. Also, UI and its recent alumni are prospering people outside. They have changed the world, and improved it for a better living.
I also have a brother in the school and that also made me decide to apply for UI, so that I could be closer to him.
So, summarily, I chose UI because it is a very great University, one of the best Universities in the world.

AFAS PRESS: You have an interesting stature, how have you been managing people’s reaction to it?

Adeoye: About my stature, it all started when I wrote my WASSCE in 2021. There were many students sitting for the exam, I appeared the shortest among them. So, expectedly, all eyes were on me.
There was this crowd during the UTME exam too, I had never experienced such attraction or attention before— parents, students, and aspirants all stared at me, and it made me really uncomfortable. But, I later got used to it.
I have also been having the same experience in UI . But, one thing is that when I am with my coursemates and friends, I don’t feel intimidated. I have good friends, roommates and coursemates who have been advising me to stay focused. Sometimes, the attention becomes too much, but I try not to react disrespectfully as much as possible, I also ignore.
I trust God that my four years journey in UI would be a successful one.

AFAS PRESS: Have you ever been intimated because of it in UI?

Adeoye: During lectures at the CBN lecture theatre, I am usually the shortest among hundreds of students. One day, a man asked me, “what is your name? What are gou doing here?”, with everyone intensely staring at me, I felt so awkward.
Asides that incident, no lecturer has harassed me, thus far, and I don’t think any lecturer will. Also, no student has bullied me, surprisingly, they all rather want to be my friend, although I’m being careful. No student has ever tried to intimidate or bully me because we all have the fear of the famous SDC.

AFAS PRESS: You went viral on Matriculation day. How did you feel about that ?

Adeoye: About me trending on social media on that day, one of my posts on a UI group chat on the matriculation surprisingly had over 1000 reactions, it was amazing. Some were asking for my age. “How old is he?”, “What hall is he in?”, “Can I have his contact?” These were the questions that kept flooding in. Many doubted the fact that I was a student of the University.
Then, surprisingly, I saw my picture posted on Twitter (X). I saw the impressions of the post (the reach), it had 40,000+ views. There were comments of me probably manipulating my age. I muted the post and stopped reading the comments when I felt they were too harsh and negative. I’m no longer moved by people’s judgements and thoughts about my physique.
On Facebook, I have earned many followers and received many messages.

AFAS PRESS: What is your future plan with your current course of study?

Adeoye: Good enough, University of Ibadan guarantees good knowledge for every course they offer. Many people still have the misconceptions that Archaeology and Anthropology is an old-fashioned course and local course. But one amazing fact about it is that it is a very broad course; it covers many aspects of life.
But will I go further in this discipline? I would say no. The only reason for this decision is that I am not interested, I may pursue other disciplines like Law.

AFAS PRESS: What are your hobbies?

Adeoye: My personal interests are reading novels, playing football games, and presently, I’m considering learning how to play Table Tennis. These three activities are my major hobbies. My favourite authors are Professor Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie, to mention but a few.

AFAS PRESS: What extracurricular club are you interested in on campus?

Adeoye: The community I am interested in is the Literary and Debating Society. I love interactive discussion and reasonably arguing different ideas. I debated once in secondary school and I won. Since then, I have had a nurtured interest in debate. I am a content creator and I love writing stories.

AFAS PRESS: What are your parting words?

Adeoye: My aim for the next three or four years is that I attain a better position than my present one, through UI and God’s help.
I also pray for help to make the school and everyone proud of me. I’m looking forward to bagging first class honours, and then going ahead to make it in life.
My parting words would be to implore everyone of us to put God first and ahead of us in whatever we do in life. In whatever the thing might be.
Also, be very consistent. One helpful thing I’ve learnt recently is that if you learn a topic today, don’t neglect the topic for so long. Our brains are like magnets; they attract information, and if not consistently maintained, will eventually forget whatever we have learnt and read.

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