“DURING MY HOLIDAYS ON CAMPUS I CAME UP WITH THREE UNPUBLISHED BOOKS” -Kelvin Nwoha, Motivational Speaker/CEO, The Kelvin Academy
He is popular in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) not only for his step-by-step style of solving and teaching difficult mathematics and engineering concepts but his wealth of wisdom. In fact, one of his ex-students said “He not only teaches you Math 121 and 111 well but guides you to succeed in the Den (as UNN campus is popularly called)”. Little wonder the National Association of microbiology Students (NAMS), UNN Chapter, gave him the award “Best Tutor of the Year(2011). Many times his students wonder how he got to acquire the wealth of wisdom he shares with them. “It’s within that holiday that you are playing around that I gathered the knowledge.” He always tell them. Besides that he has other bonus during his holiday. Joseph Dinwoke of brojid.com, sat down with him in his office, at Beach, Nsukka, to talk about holiday. He gave his definition of holiday, how he was able to maximize his holiday and how you can.
Sit back and enjoy the interview.
In your own view, what is holiday?
I think holiday is a time of rest that people take out to keep off from work and just get a little bit relaxed. But holiday is relative, depending on the people involved and what they do before a holiday sets in. This is because some people have made inventions during holiday and to make the invention that made them world renown. Even CEO of some companies, what you (students) call holiday is not what they call holiday – a time to keep out from books – which is a wrong definition of holiday.
So, what do you think is the correct definition of holiday to a student; especially a campus student?
A university student has a very short time in his life on campus – about four or five years. They always see it as a very long period of time; but it’s not. That means before you start off as a university student, you must have a good orientation even before you start off so as not to regret any day on campus.
What we normally call holiday is not supposed to be called holiday. A student is not supposed to have holiday as defined by many people. Any student that wants to make something great out his career should define holiday as a period of self development. There are things that your academic work will not allow you to do which you are going to do within that period. You should also understand that education in itself is not acquiring a degree. Education is attempt to understand what other people have done and learn from them. After five years, you are given a degree not because you are so good but because you have understood what other people have done which has been seen in your grades.
Being a graduate means that you are now prepared, having studied what other people have done, to go and develop some things in society in other to help humanity. From there, you can now modify your own ideology to fit into what society is doing. Unfortunately, people normally see education as acquiring degree which is a very wrong opinion about education.
An educated man is not the one that has a degree but one who can keep on studying and reading when there is not exam to pass. If you only study and read hard because there is an exam to pass or to get a nice result out in university, is not education. You should keep on studying whether there is an exam or not and that’s done during holiday but many students don’t do it.
Please what do you mean by self development?
When you talk about self development, you are talking about acquisition of skills, reading wide and training. As an example, if you are into music, you can register in a music school or tutorial class where your voice can be trained or learn an instrument which in school, you don’t have the opportunity to do. If you are in engineering, as a student you should attach yourself somewhere and not wait for you IT(Industrial Training) period. I know some students that are in machanic workshop, during weekends and holidays. I even meet a student few minutes ago and he was fixing generator. So, self development is building yourself in a particular area. Some people might be developing themselves, acquiring some computer skills to aid their profession.
I know someone that wants to be a pastor. During holiday, he normally enrolls in a pastoral school and he did that for a few years such that before his final year, he had already gotten a pastoral certificate. As I’m talking to you, he is about to get married and is well trained. Also, I know of an engineering student who learnt how to sow cloths during his holidays, so when he graduated, he was using the trade to make a living. There are many areas you can develop yourself but a lot of students think that you need to wait till they graduate.
You talked about how a student should spend his holiday in passing. Please I like you to specifically show how a student should spend his/her holiday.
It is very very important that a human being should have vision and goal in life. This is one area that a lot of students lack orientation about before coming to the university. They just write WAEC and JAMB and see themselves in the university without actually having any vision for their lives. But a student that actually has vision in life, before the holiday, should have already drafted a programme. A student that has no vision will have no programme to draft or anything to pursue.
People say that they are looking for job but some of us gave ourselves work. There is a difference between job and work. If you have work, you are going to have a job but if you have job, very soon, you will get out of work.
So, if a student have vision and purpose, the next thing he should do is to ask, “Since we are finishing exams on X day, what will happen from that day till the end of holiday. You define something.
But when a student doesn’t have definition of what they want to do with their lives, they don’t plan anything. So, they go home and do nothing but see movies, visit friends and think about the opposite sex. One thing that makes this boy-friend and girl-friend-thing look so relevant is lack of purpose. Once you lack purpose, you will begin to base your happiness on other human being and when those people are not giving you what you really want, you call it heart break.
Many students go on holiday with materials they want to study and plan to achieve but end up not achieving their goals. Please what do you have to say to such students?
Actually, it’s natural for a student to go home with books and bring them back to school without reading them because of the body. The body, many times, will want to rest and is lazy. But you have to determine how it should work. That’s where determination comes in. As an example for three days now, I have barely slept for five hours; but my body will always want sleep but I have a whole lot of work to do. So, how can I allow it to steal my day?
Now, for such a student to achieve anything he must have determination. A student who has exams tomorrow can keep awake throughout the night because there is something he has determined to achieve in his exams. So apply that same determination in your studies at home and you will see yourself reading the material you are going home with.
Remember, home is home. At home parent could be sending you on an errand and we must help our parents. The way you run around for your lectures yet come back and still read is the same way you can go for their errand and till read.
Usually holidays are characterized with camp meetings, and diverse religious programmes. What should guide a student’s choice of the events to attend?
The first thing is your belief. Number two consideration is training (are they going to train you). You should have already known one or two things about them. It’s not any place that they call God that you run into. The Bible says, “Try every spirit to see if it’s of God”. This is not difficult or complex. There are little things we could do to successfully try the spirit. Look for a youth camp, go there and spend time in God’s presence. Most of us caught our vision in the presence of God, not outside.
A lot of times students ask me how I know all the things I teach them. I tell them, it’s within that holiday that you are playing around that I gathered the knowledge.
The situation of many students is that when they go home, they get distracted from reading because their parents send them on errand. You even made mention of it earlier. Does it mean students should dodge holidays…?
(Cuts it) Where will the money come from?
The Bible says “Honour your father and mother so that your days will be long on earth” (Ephesians 1:1)s. If you want to be successful on the earth, you need parental blessings. Meanwhile, it’s very good that you make your parents happy so that any time you ask them for anything, you can easily get.
Please could you share specific achievements you have made during holiday?
During my holidays on campus, I came up with three unpublished books and as I’m talking to you now, there are about eight unpulished books. I give students training on: web development work, database work and Auto card work and they wonder when I learn them. They are things I achieved during holidays. Throughout my days in the university, I never wasted any holiday; not even one. In fact, during exam period, I had already given myself work, and by the time students came back, I’m loaded to deliver. Another time I don’t play with is mid-night. It’s time for prayer, studies and concentration. Some of these books here (pointing to a stalk of books) were written during the holiday. If I open my system now, you will see a whole lot of things I achieved during holidays. Most of my Christmas and New Year holidays were spent here in Nsukka. You know why? They are the time that most of the students have traveled, so everywhere is quiet and that when I achieve greatest.