[INTERVIEW] “I MADE SOME COOL CASH ON CAMPUS” OYEBAMIJI OLUWAFEMI RILWAN, FUTA GRADUATE
His sojourn on campus was highly eventful. He not only pursued his primary mission of academic development; but ventured into campus politics and entrepreneurship where he made as much as 50k in a month. On this week’s edition of Campus People, Brojid World Editor, Joseph Dinwoke chats with him OYEBAMIJI OLUWAFEMI RILWAN. He shares how he started, his experiences, how he balanced his academics with his entrepreneurship and politics and handled the women around his life as a campus politician.
Thanks for joining me on Brojid World’s Campus People. Tell me a bit about yourself.
My name is Oyebamiji Oluwafemi Rilwan. I am a graduate of Federal University of Technology Akure. I am entrepreneur. I work with GleamMall Online Market place. I studied Transport Management Technology.
What did you study in school and your course of study?
I picked Federal University of Technology Akure because of my course – Transport Management Technology.
Looking at Nigeria, you will find that transport is the driver of the economy and if when I Looked at the state of Nigeria, it baffled me alot because we don’t really have professional that are specialists in the field of transport.
Go to our shipping, railway, aviation sector and even logistics and supply chain management sectors. We still have lot of issues there. That’s what really motivated me to study Transport Management Technology. As the name of the course implies, it can only be studied in a university of technology. Going through the directories of Universities of technology, I found that Federal University of Technology Akure was the best university of technology according to NUC ranking.
What was the attraction to Transport Management? Were you a driver before gaining admission or something?
When I was looking for admission and trying to pick a course of study, I had opportunity of studying other courses like Engineering.
But looking at the economy and where I believe I will be most needed to solve problem is the transport sector, I decided to study transport management.
You work for GleamMall now. Were you involved in entrepreneurship as an undergraduate?
Tell me about it.
I used to be a student unionist. I served at the departmental, faculty, SUG and state level. I held 30 positions in the course of my unionism. In the course of my campaign and unionism, I speak a lot.
People recognised my speaking skills and decided to invite me to master their ceremonies. I decided to build a business around it. I started as a volunteer.
From there I started making money from being master of ceremony. I remember when I did my first MC job at a wedding. It was in Ondo state. I also did MC in Osun state. From there people kept calling me. It got to the point where I had three programmes clashing. That was when I now negotiated price to decide where I will go.
In the course of MC work, I found that many businesses need digital solutions to move their business forward and I can provide it. I learn graphic design, digital marketing and web development. At first I delivered it for free to students and campus groups I belong to until people started paying for it. I did it until I graduated and I actually made some money from it.
How much did you make in school in a month?
I actually made some cool cash; but I don’t want to disclose it because it’s difficult to give good estimate now. I didn’t know I will have to ask your question today but I know that between December and January are the best times when I made up to N100,000 because where I had lots of MC jobs to do and when students were back with cash for business.
When you start your business by giving people free work, many times they get so used to it that find it difficult to make transition to paying for your services. How did make people pay for your services?
I could remember when Lekan Aiyejimiwo, an entrepreneur came to FUTA and explained the concept of entrepreneurship. Sometimes, you offer services for money; other times you offer services for services. Before you get to the stage of offering services for money, you could offer services for the benefits that could come from it in the future.
For instance, free services I render can be likened to putting myself on probation. I am helping you see that I am the best and by the time I do that and you see what I have done for you, you will be the one to recommend me to others – your friends.
By the time I am coming back to render the same services to you, I could give you discount or even decide to increase my fee. Because you have tested and trusted me, you will easily pay me if you really enjoyed my service and want me to continue serving you.
How were you able to balance campus entrepreneurship with #1 mission on campus – academics?
Even my classmates used to ask me that kind of question. They used to ask me, “King Lufem, are you sure you will graduate with your classmates in this school?
There is something I believe: education is not just about going to school; but school going through you. Learning in school is just about what you learn in class.
For me, the secret is time management. One of those things you need to learn if you want to make it in life is time management. When you manage your time effectively, you will be able to schedule your activity such that no aspect of your life will be affected.
For me, I scheduled time for the different things I did in school – academics, unionism, fellowship and entrepreneurship.
For instance, if you give me work that I should do graphics work for you, I check what I have scheduled within my time before deciding the time to give you as due date for your work. God also helped me to balance things up.
At what point in time on campus did you fall in love?
(Smiles)With a lady I guess?
Will you fall in love with a man before?
I used to be a student unionist and to be very good at what you do, falling in love is one of those things you have to be careful with.
Sometimes, falling in love may kill you and your ambition. You know in school, you have ladies who are working with you. Dedicating your love to one person could result to jealousy. You know ladies can be jealous.
I was very careful then. But towards my 500 level I had a lady. She is actually a great lady. But I don’t want to tell her story now.
How were you able to ensure your love on campus didn’t affect your academics and business?
I believe that love is a very good thing. It depend on the angle you see it. When you are in love with someone, that person is supposed to be your adviser. You share things in common and profer solutions for each other problem. And you know when two heads things about an issue; it seems to be clear than when one person thinks about it.
As for emotion, it’s about you managing yourself and priotise your activity now. If I know I am dating you and if it hurts me and I know it may affect my business or academics, I will just find a way to forget it and concentrate on key things so that later I will get back to it.
If you were to go through school again, will you still be an entrepreneur?
Yes; because that’s where solution lies in Nigeria.
What do you regret about being a campus entrepreneur?
Regret? I don’t regret anything about being a campus entrepreneur.
What do you like most about being a campus entrepreneur?
To an extent, financial independent and you seem to have that confidence of what is really applicable in the global circle. Being an entrepreneur means that I already know what obtains in marketplace and if worse come to worse, if I can’t get job upon graduation, I will improve on my business and, money will keep flowing in.
Please advice African students aspiring to be campus entrepreneurs.
Whatever comes, up, don’t ever give up because challenges will come. Whichever business you are trying to start, if you think that challenges will not come, you are deceiving yourself. It may even get to the point where you feel like, ‘Let me just end this business.’ Know that ending may not be the way forward; go back to your drawing board and check if there is something you are not doing right.
If you keep at it, things will turn out well. The world needs the product and services you are coming up with. Don’t deny them the opportunity of enjoying your unique services and products.
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