The Hairstylist Medical Student; Modupe

For several reasons this is by far my favourite feature and will be the last in this series. I have saved the best for last. I know you will be blessed by this because I was beyond just touched and encouraged through this story when I first came across it. I met Modupe during my A’level program. She was my tutor and she always came across as driven, calm and collected. I looked up to her back then in many ways. It’s honour to have her here. Without further ado, let’s cut to chase then.

INTRODUCTION

HOLA, HELLO
I’m Modupe Harriet Ajisafe, I’m a medical student at All Saints university Dominica.
Am 24years 7months old
I am a Christian,
I love to clean, arrange things, cook(IN SHORT I LOVE TO SERVE PEOPLE)
I love white and black
Asides being a doctor in training, am a hairstylist, a part time food vendor plus I make chinchin to sell which goes by the name Mo’s delicious chinchin. In other words, you can call me a businesswoman. My business goes by the name, Blessed hands enterprise (BHE) with the subset of the hairstyling and chinchin selling

HOW IT ALL STARTED


Hmmm
It all started in 2015, when I left Nigeria to come school in the Caribbean ,before I left home, I had learnt how to cut hair for males; I spent almost a year in the barber shop while waiting for admission back in 2011/2012. By the end of 2014, I had gained admission to All saints University. While waiting for my mum to put money together for me to resume in January, I decided to start going to my aunts shop who happen to be a hairstylist, just to help her, I had not planned to make hair then, because I felt it was too stressful . so I just go there to help her by cleaning, fetching water and when necessary, wash peoples hair, run errands and help complete the tips of braids, trim braids and so on. She taught me basics stuffs, I enjoyed my stay with her cause, she was nice and I enjoyed working with her and I did those things joyfully, though my mum didn’t like it, because she felt I should be in school and she didn’t want people to start asking questions like, “kilosele, dupe o lo school ni”, or some of them insinuating am no more going to school and I just want to learn a trade.
Fast forward February 2015, I came to Dominica, I came with few items in case I will end up making hair for people such as needle thread, scissors, combs etc. on living home I knew I had to do something to help my mum with the bills for my education, because studying outside Nigeria is quite expensive and in Dominica you are not allowed to work as a student
So, I just began to tell people randomly I could make hair, though I had not made anyone’s hair from scratch by myself. But within me I just knew I could do it
So, I relaxed my roommate’s hair, though she didn’t pay for that
Then one day I got to meet someone who wanted to braid her hair. That was my first hair from scratch all by myself. I can never forget that day, My God, this young lady had a very full natural hair, I didn’t know what I was getting into that day, I started the hair around 11am on Saturday , I was still there till evening then till Sunday morning around 4am. My God, that day I was exhausted, it was as if the hair wasn’t going to finish. As per I was a novice so I was also slow, coupled with the fact that I hadn’t mastered gripping the roots properly so I had to loosen some and make them again, but my client was patient though she was also exhausted but I couldn’t charge much since I was just starting. And that I just discussed the price for the hair and not the price for transport and all. So, I had to foot the cab bill myself since public transport doesn’t work on Sunday and my place was far to hers
After paying for the cab, what I had left was not worth the stress I went through. I almost cried that day cos I didn’t feel compensated for the work and time I had expended and I didn’t like the braids because I felt it wasn’t neat enough, but to my utmost surprise my client was pleased with her hair and when she got to school on Monday, everyone was asking who had made her hair for her and that was it, people started looking for modupe in pre med to make their hair.


CHALLENGES I FACED AND DEALING WITH IT


I remember, the night I got to Dominica, I prayed a prayer and had a discussion with God about my success in Dominica in everything I lay my hands to do. I also spoke to the devil to let him know that, I do not care about , the paradigm in this environment, all I knew was that i was here to succeed.

If you’d like to see more of Modupe’s work, follow her on Instagram @modupe.h


Competition: Remember, I was new to the school and there were a couple of other people who could make hair excellently well and had been in the business long before I came. That was a major challenge, having my own customers and giving them exceptional service. But with my little experience, I have learnt to commit everything I do into God’s hands. So, for every client I got, I committed them into God’s hands, the process of the hair in to God hands and God making room for me, though there were many other people and God has been faithful
Managing people: Oh my, this is a serious one, this business exposed me to different kinds of people, the good, the not so good, the manipulative, the controlling , how many can I say, Sometimes when I look back, it could have only been God that helped me to deal with people. Since most people come over to my place, to make their hair, so I just make it a point of duty to cater for their needs while they are with me; basically I try to give them lunch or snacks whatever I had at home, though some people come with their stuffs, but could you believe that some people will come and I could make their for 8hours or more take my snacks and they will allow me to finish and tell me they didn’t come with my money. Am usually in shock and I wonder like, why didn’t you tell me before I started the hair, why allow me to finish and all and some will not pay until weeks later
Have had a case where I had to make hair for someone where she told me she hated the hair so much that I had to loosen it and remake the hair again from scratch, and trust me the hair wasn’t as bad as she portrayed it, it was a bob went wrong.
But am grateful for the learning process, God used this business to work out the fruit of the spirit in me
I still can’t believe the rubbish I took from people. The love of God really constrained me and
I will not fail to add, that I had exceptional customers, who were very nice, even gave me tips, some of them pay for my transport to my house and still cared for my belly too, though I don’t eat most time I make hair
Learning and trying new thing: YouTube was and is still a good teacher, there were a lot of times, people will show me pictures of what they wanted to make, though I had never made it before. I would got to YouTube, watch as many videos as possible ask other people for ideas then , work out what would be best for my clients hair and face and as always every client was a prayer point
Prices: I stated earlier that my prices were quite low, compared to what most other people charged, I had always been the considerate kind of person, having the understanding that this people are students so I made it cheaper coupled with the fact that I was new. But most of the time I listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit too because I didn’t want to exploit anyone but at he same time get a reasonable pay. At some point some other stylist challenged me that I was kind of spoiling business for them, I just prayed about it, then as usual I received guidance and counsel. And I got the understanding that it was my time people were paying for not just my skill
Speed: Initially, I used and average of 12hours on a medium box braids and more if the braids is smaller of longer. And I knew that wasn’t good enough plus I wanted to be worker in church there was no way I could do that with my hair styling schedule on Saturday, and as always, I told it to God, and I asked for speed. And God answered my prayers, he granted me speed, he gave me wisdom on time managements, so I was able to serve him, do my business and study too. MY average time for braids now is 6-7hrs
Strain on my Body: oh lord, the standing for hours started putting a strain on my body because at some points I made hair almost every day especially when school was on Holiday. I started having pains in my spine, my legs began to hurt, my finger also sometimes become stiff and so on. And like the bible say, wisdom is profitable to direct. I began to take break, though I could need the money, I don’t take all clients that come my way, and I don’t take all kinds of hair styles that come my way, I have learnt to refer clients to other stylists. Especially when I know that is the area of specialization of those stylists, I try to take care of my body better, take snacks or food sometimes in between and drink lots of water
Also, I engage my soul and spirit while working, I listen to messages, worship songs etc. that my spirit man is edified and soul is engaged in fruitful and profitable things so that those long hours don’t just pass by without me doing nothing to edify the real me. I also watch movies with my clients at times, but am quite picky about what I watch and hear so most of the time I do my own thing.


WHAT KEEPS ME GOING


I would say my clients, I have had times, when I would say am taking a break, but people will just walk up to me and insist that if I don’t make their hair, they wouldn’t go anywhere else and for me, that’s so humbling. Also, there is something about when a woman’s hair is made. The beauty is more seen. Her cheek bones and eyes speak more.
I love it when I see the before and after of the whole making process. And the look on their faces, when they start taking pictures. That feeling of “am pretty”
I started with the quest of being able to pay for some bills but now, it has gone beyond that, I use it as a medium to spread the love of Christ. I just pray that I will able to do more in that line.
The process has shaped me as a human being and am grateful for all that God has used this business to do in my life

HOW TO BALANCE HAIR STYLING WITH MEDICINE


GRACE: That is the sum of my life, I have been helped by a mighty hand. From above, almost every process has been guided by God, there were times I forgot to pray and straight up the holy spirit disciplines me and I pray in between the task, without God, I couldn’t have done anything. In God I found strength , there were days I would have worked and be so tired but I know I had to study, but God will sustain me through my study time, and there were days, when I would dose off and not be able to do much. But God always backed me up, redeem the time for me
TIME MANAGEMENT: The bible says if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally and upbraids not (James1:5). I asked, and I received wisdom. I worked out my hair schedule. I make hair during the holidays, first 2-3 weeks of resumption on weekends and sometimes weekdays if my schedule is not too packed because exam in my school is every 4 weeks. As business, grew I create schedule and fix people into it.
Most importantly, I allow the holy spirit to guide me, I don’t take every client. I have had cases whereby I took up clients maybe because I needed money and I had to cancel that period because the holy spirit told me no, but I was like I need the money, but I obeyed and he sorted me out. And when I disobey too, I realize the reasons why he restricted me later.
Plus, I always remember my mums voice saying” modupe, I didn’t send you to school to make hair “
So, I don’t lose focus, THE FOCUS IS MEDICINE”. WHATEVER YOU DO, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU MAKE, MEDICINE IS THE FOCUS AND PASSION. HAIRSTYLING IS A SIDE HUSTLE THAT HAS BECOME A HOBBY
SUPPORT SYSTEM: I didn’t like to ask for help, because I didn’t like to disturb people with my stuffs, but now am learning to ask people for help, to do little things that will make my work faster so I can go back to my books
I also do review schoolwork with my clients if they are students and we are in the same class or the they are doing similar courses, by answering questions
sometimes, I listen to videos on my courses while working


A WORD FOR YOU

At some point I asked God, “ lord why do I have to go through this to pull through school’, it seemed like a curse , because I saw people who all they did, was just to study and they didn’t have to work for anything. But then as a father, he reminded of how are journeys and paths are different and every individual has grace for their journey
Are you a medical student or a medical student to be?
Seek God,
Know this that your path is different, though you all might wear the same white coat, but yours might come with a chef’s jacket, a sewing machine, a painter’s brush, a comb as mine came with and so on
Be grateful for your journey
Remember Medicine is the focus
Read, study, surround yourself with friends who understand or have an idea of your abilities
Work hard and work smart
Pray about everything
Always ask for grace and wisdom
Improve yourself and get knowledge in whatever business
There is no excuse for mediocrity, settle for only excellence
It is only diligence that makes you serve kings, start small and keep building
It’s not bad to make some extra cash by using your gifts, skills
Finally keep praying, keep pushing, keep pressing, Don’t stop doing good, even if people continue to be bad
God bless you

The 21st Century Medical Student by Agboola Progress

This is the transcript of a talk given by this phenomenal friend of mine at the Nigerian Medical Students’ Association (NiMSA) Standing Committee on Capacity Building (SCOCB) virtual training session, sometime in March. It a long and very rewarding read. I’m a so grateful to him for allowing me to host it here. Enjoy.

THE 21ST CENTURY MEDICAL STUDENT

Nigeria Medical school has shaped medical students in a way that all what we think about or know is our Keith Moore, not pale, anicteric, acyanosed et al. Some of us can’t survive in the outside world because the basic things needed are not taught in medical schools.


The future of work is evolving so fast and as medical students we need to be well positioned and equip our selves with necessary skills and knowledge so that we won’t be left behind.


Being a 21st century medical student is an intentional and deliberate decision to see beyond the walls of medical school, leave your comfort zone and equip your self with knowledge and skills needed to compete globally and not just be an average or the regular medical student.


As medical students, we should be able to align and apply what is being taught in class to solve real life problems and pressing health issues leveraging on design thinking to design innovative and feasible solutions to health issues.


A 21st century medical student is a 360 degree medical student, stuffy, innovative with esteemed leadership qualities, a problem solver and is building capacity to navigate him/herself for the future he/she wants. As a Nigerian Medical student, we should act local and think global. Our competitor is not our class mates or hostel mates but we should be able to compete with a Harvard medical student, secure top positions with World Health Organizations (WHO), United Nation Population fund (UNFPA) and other big health tanks.
We have some medical students in the country that are changing the status quo and redefining what a medical student is. You can search for Ogbemudia Eddy Uwoghiren on Facebook, Google and LinkedIn to see the phenomenal works he’s doing. He has influenced a lot of medical students and has mentored over 12 Nigerian medical students to get into the Prestigious President Obama Young Africa Leaders Initiative Training (Onsite Cohort) and I inclusive. Eddy won a grant worth 4393.67 US dollars for his organization and recently returned from Africa Health Agenda International conference, the biggest conference on Universal Health Coverage that was held in Rwanda.


You’re amazed right? But I’m sure you know Eddy started from somewhere too and was once like you but with the right information and knowledge he got started and you’re also privileged to get access to such information through the Standing Committee on capacity building page. You just have to leave your comfort zone and leverage on the opportunities that you come across.


My discussion tonight would be centered on 8 key things which are:
Passion/carving a niche
Capacity building/Personal development
Mentorship
Network
Civic engagement/gaining relevant experience
Leave your comfort zone and risk taking
Handing Criticisms
Striking a balance

Passion/carving a niche.


The first thing is knowing what you are interested in, what you are really passionate about. Knowing what you’re passionate or primary interests would help to streamline the activities you will me engage in, associations or organizations to join, opportunities to apply for. You won’t be doing jack of all trades and it will enhance your productivity

It may be journalism, research, business, surgery, public health, global health, social entrepreneurship et all


What you’re passionate may or may not be in line with the course you’re studying. You may be passionate about climate change, journalism and in other sectors. The most important thing is developing capacity to influence change in the field or sector.


It’s not about you just following the crowd that because people are into public health or research and that means you should follow the trend. You need to know what interest you. If you are not passionate about the what you are doing, when difficulties or challenges arise, you won’t give up easily. PASSION IS THE FUEL THAT WILL PROPEL YOU TO ACTUALIZE A LONG LASTING SOCIAL impact.


When you understand or know what you’re passionate about, you can now work to carve a niche for your self. For instance public health is a wide field, you may need to narrow down your interest to a specific field, targeted audience and location for instance working on innovative ways to improve mental health care among adolescents or being an Orthopedic, plastic surgeon or a nephrologist.

Capacity building/personal development


Personal development is an intentional process and it requires deliberate and conscious efforts to develop your leadership and entrepreneurial capacity while in medical school.


As medical students, we shouldn’t spend 6-10 years and graduate with just only MBBS certificate and our curriculum Vitae still contains our nursery and primary school history for it to be up to a page. We need to gather relevant experiences and should be able to provide value beyond our certificate which means we have to do Extra and not just be the regular medical student.


Everybody would know the usual things taught in medical school and even if the don’t, they would understand it during residency. What will sets you apart from your mates is the other experiences you acquired and extra things you can do to provide value to people around you
I would divide this session into 3 key areas:
Access to resources online
Attending conferences/training sessions
Leveraging on opportunities
-Access to resources online


Thank God we are in the Google age. Someone once said we need 2Gs in life God & google.


With Google, you can learn anything and get access to any information. Instead of chatting for long hours on WhatsApp without achieving anything productive, you can learn stuffs on YouTube, Watch Tedx talks, sign up for news letters, develop your writing and public speaking skills.


You can join the Young African Leaders Initiative Network (YALI) and get access to relevant resources and also access their online courses which also comes with certificates https://yali.state.gov

Attending conferences/training sessions
Attending conferences, seminars and training sessions like the one we are having now are also vital because you would be learn, unlearn & relearn, network with participants and speakers, broaden your horizon on some topics and it’s an opportunity to acquire and develop soft skills like design thinking to solve problems during some sessions in the conference, improve on your communication, presentation skills, team working ability and be able to work with diverse set of people, honing your cultural intelligence and having a stronger network. Your network is your net worth and sometimes the people you know is more important than your certificates.

But you need to be strategic with the conferences that you will be attending, you don’t just attend every conference or seminar, you go for the ones that aligns with your personal and professional objectives.


Leveraging on opportunities
Websites to access opportunities;
opportunitydesk.org
opportunitiesforafricans.com
youthop.com
oyaop.com


Also, you apply for opportunities that you have track record or experience in and you fits in the eligibility criteria.


Don’t be discouraged with rejection mails because it’s part of the process and keep shooting your shots, improving in your application, building more capacity because success is inevitable when preparation meets opportunity.


Mentorship.


The place of mentorship can’t be undermined too. Get a mentor that’s in your field on interest that would guide you through your journey. Having a mentor would make your journey easier and faster and you would make lesser mistakes.
Isaac Newton once said “ if I have seen further it’s by standing on the shoulders of giant”.


Note that mentorship shouldn’t be a parasitic relationship but should be symbiotic. You should be concerned about your mentor welfarism and career too and be willing to assist in your little way.


Students interested in global health can apply for this
Application for the 2019 Student and Young Professionals (SYP) Global Health Mentorship Program is now open!.
https://www.ghmentorships.org/syp Application for the 2019 Student and Young Professionals (SYP) Global Health Mentorship Program is now open!


Network


Another key thing is that you need to be deliberate with the people you keep in your network. You need to work with like minds and people that would always Inspire you. The people you follow in life determines the path you follow in destiny. If you have a group of friends and what they discuss is traveling out of the country, you would notice that subconsciously all what you will also be thinking about is getting Visa. You need to be strategic about networking with the right set of people. There are some opportunities that are shared within a certain network and you won’t see on the internet.


What have helped me overtime is the set of people I surround my self with.

Civic engagement and gaining relevant experience.


You also need to garner relevant work and volunteer experience. You can work or volunteer with organizations working in your field of interest, setting up your own Nongovernmental organization or starting your own social enterprise or business in line with your passion and providing value to meet a need and proffer visible solutions to problems.


You can also work with committees within your medical student association, take up leadership roles and positions in your MSA, NiMSA, FAMSA and IFMSA.


All this experiences will put you on an edge when applying for fully funded scholarships, prestigious fellowships because some of the questions asked is for example, Tell us about your leadership experience and how you have Impacted your community.

Leaving your comfort zone and risk taking.


As medical students, it’s very easy for us to remain in our comfort zone and don’t aspire to MAD (Make A Difference) or aspire to do something phenomenal. Our lives already have a pattern come to medical school, go to fellowship and ace exams and graduate to start residency and that’s all. Ask your self this question what will I be remembered for when I leave medical school? Will I just graduate being a local champion with no impact beyond your MSA.


You have to leave your comfort and fear zone to your learning zone and then to your growth zone.


The greater the risks you take, the greater your chances of success. Most of the highly successful people you would see in the world are risk takers.


Handling criticism


If people are not criticizing you, that means you’re doing something normal and regular and you are not redefining the norms yet. You will never be criticized, made fun of or looked down upon by someone who does better than you. It’s normal for people to criticize you for doing extra stuffs while in medical school. Even by your friends, senior colleagues and by some of the people you really look up to.
Don’t ever take criticism to your heart and remember that RESULTS SILENCE CRITICS. Always work to ensure you deliver results in your academics and in whatever you’re doing.

Striking a balance


I do tell junior colleagues and my mentees interested in not being a regular medical student that regardless of your activities and engagements, you MUST not forget your primary assignment which is to study Medicine & Surgery which now brings us to our final point of striking a balance. With all that you do trying to gather relevant experiences, attending conferences et all we should ensure that it doesn’t affect our academics. It may be challenging tho but it’s achievable. Thank God we have senior colleagues that have shown that.


We need to work on most importantly time management, doing the right thing at the right time and there’s always time for what you create time for, your multitasking ability would improve along the line and you need to be strategic in all that you do as we all know that wisdom is profitable to direct.


Thank you for having me.
Facilitator- Agboola Progress Obaloluwa
Phone no- +2348163805562
Email address- agboolaprogress@gmail.com

SECTION 2


Question and answer session
Question from a participant in on the CUMSA_SCOCB page:


What happens when your talents is not aligned with your course?


Response from Agboola Progress;
The thing is that you would always find a meeting point around it aligning your talent with your course of study
One would eventually complement the other we have medical students into journalism, reporting underreported health issues et all


And some of us may study medicine and surgery and may not eventually practice.
Medicine itself is a very nice platform you can leverage on to exhibit your full potentials


Response from Ogbemudia Eddy Uwoghiren;
Keep studying your course and also spend time developing your talent.


I am passionate about Journalism but currently studying medicine. I have taken online certification courses in Journalism and Volunteers with The Nation Newspaper all in a bit to developing my writing talent.


Response from Ekene Blasingame Ahaneku
Kaunda, three things that shapes and directs your talent most times are your vision, mission and finally passion in life. Do not live other people’s dreams. When you do it shows that what you call your passion isn’t yours rather you’re living another man’s life. Be yourself.
Know things that makes you happy. Never undermine your capacity and never look down on your vision just because it isn’t appealing to many. Through the execution of your mission, people will love to join you. And share from your passion. So keep studying your course, and remain focused the vision will get clearer just with time.

Olorundunsin from ILUMSA: I have a question.
What if one isn’t interested in becoming a public health guru or all these other things.
How does one build capacity and personal development if the person is planning to solely practice medicine maybe as an internal medicine or an Obs and Gynae.


Response from Ogbemudia Eddy Uwoghiren
You don’t need to be interested in Public health before you start venturing in Personal development. There is Personal Development in Internal Medicine.
In all my years of traveling to attend conferences and trainings, I have met serial doctors who are consultants in different medical specialty and what stood them out was the extra they had in the area of personal development.


The World has changed. The era of being just a doctor and expect everything to fall in place has passed. My experience meeting Health Professionals over the years have validated this.

Response from Agboola Progress
Okay. Very nice question
You can build capacity by acting local and thinking global. Apart from what you’re being taught in class also familiarize with global trends.


You can leverage on standing Committee on professional exchange (SCOPE) to gain international exposure by going to other medicals schools outside the country to see how they are being taught et all


There are numerous opportunities you can leverage on too
like the InciSion (International Student Surgical Network for students interested in surgery.


You can also engage in research, build your research skills and engage in relevant research works in your chosen field.

Response from Ekene Blesingame Ahaneku
Personal development is key in every field. It’s not just for public health lovers. Always be creative and innovative with things you do. Like I’ll always tell my colleagues in IMSUTH don’t struggle to be the best in Imo state or Nigeria, struggle to elevate your game so as to meet up with Harvard standard and if ever possible do better than them.


For those lovers of specialties in Internal medicine and surgery, hope we know it’s no longer news that AI is taking over the profession? You need to build capacity to remain relevant in the field if not robots will take your jobs.


Diversification is a great tool in globalization today just as collaboration is the new form of competition. eg: In a tech emerging world where robots can carry out major surgeries beyond just VAT ie with the use of 5G networks, this is not same with minimal invasive like in endoscopy and all that. Many average surgeons are going to be eliminated by robots but the few that will remain are those with extra capacities. Go for trainings that will place you ahead of other average doctors. That is building capacity. Progress already said it all about attending seminars, conferences and boot camps. Attend them even if you have to pay, the connections and knowledge keeps you in a different class from the averages.


Special Thanks to Nigeria Medical Students’ Association Standing Committee on Capacity building and the contributors during the question and answer session.

The Social Advocate Medical Student; Oreoluwa

This feature series has become one of my favourite things to put together for this blog because it affords me the opportunity to meet some of the most intelligent and resourceful people around. Today we get to know Ore, someone I have admired from afar for her good works and bold spirit. It’s a real pleasure to have her here, and I’m sure you’ll be inspired as I was inspired. Enjoy!

Introduce yourself however way you like.

My name is Oreoluwa Olukorode, a medical student at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. I’m a public health enthusiast and an advocate of Sexual Reproductive Health and Right.


The presence of several social factors affecting women and children made me interested in the non profit sector of which I am now the Kwara State coordinator of One Voice Initiative -and international NGO that focuses on the emancipation of women and children.


I must say that I have a passion for effective leadership. I currently serve as the Public Relations Officer of my Students’ association, The Ilorin University Medical Student Association.


Oh, I love sports and fashion a lot. I’ve won medals in Tennis in various competitions (although not international) but we’re getting there. I own a small fashion designing business too, although time has been a major factor.

How you started?


I believe in personal self discovery.


During my time as a medical student at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, I was exposed to a lot of issues affecting Youths and children. My passion for humanity and dedication to accomplishing the sustainable development goals drove me into wanting to affect and change my community and even the world at large.


I believe networking is a major factor in effecting change. I have had the opportunity of meeting a lot of Young leaders with the same mindset as me and that has really helped in broadening my horizon.

Challenges you’ve faced and how you deal?


The journey so far has not in any way been easy. You know, trying to maintain a balance with school and extracurricular activities and sometimes missing amazing opportunities whilst trying to prioritize academics.


People around don’t even make it easier, everyone has something to say to discourage you cos they don’t share in your goals, and that is okay.


What drives me to keep striving hard each day, trying to be a better version of me alongside changing my community is how bright I see the future.


A lot of things would try to discourage you from achieving that dream but you have to push even harder and not quit.

How do you balance things with medicine?

Balancing all I do with medicine is still something I’m trying to be perfect at. The primary goal remains being a Medical Doctor in the nearest future so I try to not get carried away.


Of course I miss classes sometimes but I try to catch up by meeting the zealous classmates for explanations and notes. Oh and when it is about a month to exams, I focus squarely on academics.

A word for a fellow med student or med student to be


It would definitely not be easy, I mean being a 21st century medical student (as I like to call it). You have to learn the art of time management. Also, getting a mentor that is doing amazingly well in line with your goals is important.


Whatever you’re doing, no matter how small, keep at it. Remember, you’re in charge of shaping your future.

Meet This Morning Elect-Elect Student, Afternoon Entrepreneur & Night Software Developer; Oluwaseun


First of all, introduction


I’m Samuel Oluwaseun Adesina aka “AGAPE”. I am a student in the morning, an entrepreneur in the afternoon and software developer by night 😊. I’m passionate about building solutions by leveraging on technology. Because of my love for tech, I have volunteered in numerous tech events and also co-organized a 2 weeks skills acquisition program that taught children and teens the basics of general computer knowledge, web development, and graphic design.

What do you study in school currently and what is it like?


I currently study Electronics and Electrical Engineering in the prestigious Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. To be candid, this course could be very tiresome at times considering the huge amount of course materials to cover and dedication it requires because of the fact that I’m involved in a couple of other activities but above all this, it is a course that pushes you beyond the limits you set for yourself and makes you learn how and why things work as well as how and why they don’t work which is quite interesting and engaging.

Any side hustles?


MY ENTREPRENEURSHIP LIFE


As a result of my love for the African culture, I co-founded a platform called LUBUMI in 2018. The major product of which is lubumi.com. Lubumi.com is an online store that connects customers to original and affordable African wares and products while promoting partner brands.


MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE


My major side hustle is Software Development which I basically chose because of my passion for building solutions that will ease human activities. Presently, I am a full-stack web developer for a firm.

Any challenges? And how do you deal?


The major challenge I faced initially was not having enough resources which I overcame by building my interpersonal relationships with others by leveraging on using the skills I had as a service in exchange for what they could offer to achieve my goal. However, that paled in comparison to the lack of confidence or rather lack of enough confidence that I felt on certain occasions when trying something new. Over time, I overcame this by the wonderful people through their encouraging acts and trust.

What keeps you going?


The thrill of providing solutions that bring smiles on people’s face and the corresponding joy/satisfaction it gives keeps me going to do and achieve greater things.

A word for anyone with a desire to do what you’re doing?


You might feel that your good is not good enough even though you are given it your all, you want more but you feel you can’t achieve more which makes you feel down but then when you realize that the little things you’ve been doing have an impact and you get positive feedback on how the little you’ve been doing inspires others, let that lift your spirit and keep you going which is more than enough. Finally, don’t be scared of letting your light shine!!!

The Fashion Designer Medical Student; Tosin

Tosin is bright, kind, tough, smart, creative and she’s one of my personal favorite people on the planet. I’ve spent the last couple of months getting to know her and to say she is one of the most interesting and beautiful people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing is an understatement. I know you’re probably thinking by beautiful, I mean her looks but I don’t. Although she is very (very very very) easy on the eyes, the real beauty takes you in when you sit and have a conversation with her or watch her relate with others. I guess the second thing people notice about Tosin, asides the obvious is that she dresses well. There’s always that hint of, oh of course that’s Tosin coming this way because only Tosin would wear something like that, with the right fit and walk to go with it. So imagine my shock and complete awe when I found out she actually makes most of her dresses. We should consider ourselves lucky that she’s opening herself and her work up to us in this way. It’s safe to say we’re in good company and we’re in for a treat!


Introduce yourself however way you like.

OK, I’m Salam Oluwatosin Omobolanle, a medical student in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.

I’m a fashion designer also
Errrrrhmmm, what else?? 🤔
OK, I’m a lover of fashion.


How did you start?

I started after my pre degree program. I was in a split of what to do with my break. Whether to work and make money or go learn how to make clothes.


I actually opted for fashion design because of the disappointments I had with my fashion designers. They either don’t get the style I want or I don’t get my dress in time. Then, I have a taste for how I want to look. I felt styling myself would do the trick.
Hence, my choice of fashion design.


What are some challenges you’ve faced and how you deal?


Oh, quite a number.


Learning didn’t take it easy on me. It was frustrating. I seemed not to be getting it. It was easy to put pieces together and get a dress ready but cutting and designing was really difficult to learn.


At some point, I felt I should just leave it since break was over.


But my trainer was quite encouraging and helpful then my mum was quite supportive too, bought me an industrial sewing machine which was quite easy to use and she gave me fabrics to cut and learn with. That really kept me going, having a sewing machine and fabrics. So, practice overtime made me master the skill. Then, I went back to where I trained during semester breaks and lautech strike was also a plus.


My present challenge;


Sometimes I feel ‘uuuuuuuuuuurrrrrghhh, can I just get done with this whole medicine thing already🙄?’
You know (smiles)


Yeah, it actually hurts when ideas flash in my head and I can’t just execute it, I can’t just get into the market, get some fabrics and set out.


Yes, you know what is, TIME


I think clinical school is worse at handing spare time over to you. But of course, you can trust, I sneak out on weekends, giving myself loads of reasons why it can’t just be medicine alone. I go home, (usually, I have fabric readily available in my wardrobe) stay glued to my sewing machine, having sleepless night. ( yaaaaaaaaaas, the only thing that keeps me alert and my eyes spontaneously open at night, without stress 😉)

What keeps you going?


My love for looking good and classy keeps me going.


Then, the fact that I get dresses done the neat and classy way I want it keeps me going.


The success of a dress made gives me the drive to do more

How do you balance things with medicine?

Hmmm, this is the most challenging thing.
A clash between my love for fashion design and my love for medicine.

Dr T!


So, what I do is take time out from medicine from time to time,say once or twice a month or as often as the need arises, get clothes from my clients to make, make clothes for my mum and I.
Then, at some point, I felt medical school was giving my sewing and I so much distance and my love for that sewing wouldn’t just allow. So, I asked myself, ‘what can I sew that wouldn’t take so much time? 🤔’


Then, I came up with the idea of ‘ ok, let me take trips, say twice a month, buy bedspreads, make them, package and sell’
Of course, making bedspreads and pillowcases wasn’t the thing but the fact that it will be there to make me have contact with my sewing machine was enough drive.


Then, my love for not just classy and beautiful looks alone but also classy and attractive settings of a room tilted me into executing the plan.


Then, when I’m back to medicine, I know I have to cover more grounds. So,yeah!
I find my way😊

A word for a fellow med student or med student to be


OK….. Medical students to be. This is me being plain and honest with you right now. I’d say, please don’t opt for medicine if there’s something else you really have an impeccable interest for.


I know this sounds weird right? But trust me, it’s an entirely different world here. A lot goes down with studying to be a medical doctor. Let me not scare you away with details #winks


What I’m saying in essence is weigh your options carefully and prospectively before making a decision.


If your passion for medicine is really deep and you see yourself withstanding anything, then why not?


After all, quite a number of us (medics) have other things doing aside studying medicine.

Just be sure not to come into the profession because of prestige, money or whatever trivial thing. Prestige and money are not worth the whole lot of things that go down here. So, if you’re coming, make sure it’s nothing but apassion to give the sick better a living state.

Thanks🤗

The Artist Medical Student; Tomisin

Tomisin is one of my best friends in the whole wide world and that I am proud of her feels too slight a sentiment. I will shamelessly famz her anywhere anyhow. And let me just say it before she gets all rich and famous that I was one of those people that encouraged her to keep drawing despite all odds. You can always count on Tomisin to be real, so you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

Introduce yourself

My name is Ogunsola Oluwatomisin aka @tohq, I’m a 4th year medical student at lautech. I am sort of a self-learned artist and an introvert but I let loose when I want to. I love colours so I’m a carnival freak. I also like reading and having fun.

How did you start?

I started drawing in 100 level then as part of my fine art project so I got the fine art pack and I remember really putting in work but getting disappointing results. I used to stay with my grandmother so I was bored a lot. I don’t really remember exactly how it happened but I took the remaining materials in my fine art pack ,got cardboards and just started playing around with them. I started with painting first, just painting stuff I liked then I proceeded to using pencils.

Challenges you’ve faced and how you deal

The major challenge I faced then was not to allow people’s praise to determine how I felt about my own effort because when you put in a lot of work into something and people don’t even react about it, it tends to get one feeling unskilled and just down in the dumps. I worked on my self confidence for that. Surprisingly, I didn’t have any problem with picking up tips and points from online tutorials or videos I watched, practice was just the key.

My next challenge was getting the expensive materials I needed which I’m still struggling with. I never had to share my space with others so I had lots of personal time to work with. Recently,my biggest challenge so far has been time. Ugh! so much to do but so little time. I am still trying to figure out how to balance my art with school work because an average image takes at least 4 hours to draw depending on how realistic I want it to be. I barely have 2 free hours each day and I love my sleep.

What keeps you going?

I just love art. I really love colours so that is what drives me to work towards starting painting again. When I draw, it’s a form of therapy for me and it relieves the stress of medical school. It’s like a mental boost that makes me feel lighter. And the love is just there, I am missing it so much right now and that’s all that drives me to draw.

How you balance things with medicine

Balancing with medicine is still a challenge I’m trying to overcome. I haven’t drawn in almost too long and I still need a lot of practice. I usually have to sacrifice social activities to achieve or just finish whatever project I’m working on but recently, I use any extra time to sleep. I have more time on my hands now though so I hope to pick it up again. So there are hellish times in medicine and periods of slightly lesser work. That’s the time I usually try to focus on.

Tomisin’s exposition on how doctors feel when they lose a patient.

A word for a fellow med student

If you’re in preclinicals,try to have as much progress as possible before moving to clinicals because that’s when you have time to have a solid foundation in whatever interest you have so you don’t have to do much to grow in clinicals. If you’re a med student to be, just know that you have to be committed because you will give yourself excuses when the work hits you. Decide how you are still going to have time and plan your time well. Thank you

The Writer Medical Student; Nicholas

I was privileged to read some of Nick’s earlier works and I must say proud is an understatement of how I feel about how far he has come with his writing. He has been so kind as so share his process with us. Enjoy!

Introduce yourself

I’m Aderinto Nicholas Oluwaseyifunmi. I’m an ambivert. I love to see how the big things of life were built from little things. I love doing things the world thinks is impossible.

How did you start?

How I started? Well, right from when I was able to distinguish between morning and night I was already writing. I was much of an introvert growing up, so when people hurt me I may not be able to reply them so I had a book I wrote those things down. But I started writing well after secondary school. I failed my first UTME which was quite destroying for me. Writing became a place of solace. A place of restoration. I felt like a person again. That’s when I was intentional about it. I didn’t start writing to be a writer, it was just a thing of love.

Challenges you’ve faced and how you deal

From the beginning I had challenges. No one believed me. I wasn’t one of the top English language students in school before we graduated and my main audience on Facebook were my mates so they couldn’t believe it. I had nobody reading what I was writing than myself. It was quite challenging. Some even laughed. I thought of quiting. Around that time I read a book by John Maxwell, failing forward the book really helped I derived strength from it and I told myself I will fail forward. I wrote only motivational pieces for about two years, but I knew I wouldn’t last long if I’m limited to that. That was when I started learning about other genres of writing. I started with poetry which I’ve been doing majorly since then. It wasn’t quite easy moving from one genre to the other. It was like crossing an ocean. My audience weren’t interested in poetry too. It was quite strange. But I was quite determined. I read lots of poems. I read lots on poetry and I was patient to win over my audience. I think another challenge was when I was writing as a blogger for Legit.com(known then as naij.com). I had to write on national issues and I received several threats through email and social media. Another is not having people who believe in writing around. But I think I’ve made writing popular in my medical school especially poetry. I knew one candle can do a lot. There have been many challenges only if I have eternity to say them.

What keeps you going?

What keeps me going? There are days I don’t want to go anymore but I find fulfillment in writing that’s why I stand up on such days and continue. The understanding that it’s my own contribution to the world. The conviction that the world will miss my writings if I don’t do. I wish I could explain but the feeling is better experienced. I know it’s what I’m meant to do.

How you balance things with medicine

It would have been easier if it’s only medicine and writing I do. But I’m involved in other things. I’ll prefer the question – how do I balance my life? The first understanding that keeps everything together is that my life isn’t splitted. It’s one. Be it when I’m reading my school books or writing or doing other things I’m involved in it’s to one end to fulfill purpose. It’s not a waste of time when I’m doing any of those things. The only challenge is doing the right one at the right time. The Holy spirit helps me to know what to do per time. That solves it all for me daily.

A word for a fellow med student

To my fellow soldiers in training, we’ll not survive. Because our lives aren’t meant to be lived in a way that we’ll be fighting for survival. We’ll live our lives the best way we should through the stress and challenges of medical school. We wouldn’t survive, we’ll live. If you’re thinking of medicine, think twice or even thrice. Do you really want it? Can you hold on in times you don’t feel like carrying on?

The Creative Stylist Medical Student; Olugbemi

I’ve known Gbemi for years now, first as a stranger but now as a close ally. We’ve shared and exchanged med school stories and challenges and coping mechanisms. We’ve bonded over good books and impeccable writing. He is fun, honest and most of all creative. I’m glad he chooses to share himself with the world in his own way and I’m also happy we all get to (here&now) immense ourselves in creative ethos of the Olugbemi himself.

Introduce yourself

Osunsanmi Olugbemi aka theolugbemi before anything else is an artist with an impressive imaginative ability. He is a content creator, creative& fashion stylist and creative writer. He is the owner of the brand – theolugbemi which sets to drive a strong positive influence in his generation. He is also a 4th year medical student at the Lagos State University College of Medicine.

How did you start?


I believe I have always been an artist. When I was little, I loved to arrange the house, tidy the living room and make it look pretty. I remember my mum saying one time; Wow! This looks really nice.


I have also always liked dressing nicely for myself to church on Sundays since I was little. My clothes were always arranged and tidy. I never had a problem combining colors and fabric. I guess it just came naturally and I’ve grown with it.

As for writing, well… I’m an old soul so I like to document things like my feelings, my experiences and even my most random thoughts. But this didn’t start until 2013 when I got into a relationship. I guess that just kick-started the whole writing experience.

Challenges you’ve faced and how you deal


MONEY

A major challenge is not having enough cash. Because to be honest these things require money. To shoot, to buy materials, to do graphics and all these things you will need money. And every time I’d have to save up and wait for weeks till the money is complete. Usually by then, time would have gone and this kills consistency.

So what I do is any time I get money (allowance and the likes), I always put aside a particular amount for these things so I’d have something to run to when the need arises.

DOUBT


It is funny how we doubt ourselves no matter how talented we are. And several times I’ve doubted myself. I’ve caught myself asking: Olugbemi what exactly are you doing? Especially at the time when things weren’t exactly clear( I knew what I wanted but I wasn’t sure if what I was doing was the right thing to get me there). Other questions like: Are people going to like this? How would I be seen? Am I just wasting resources? When would all these start to pay off?

Thankfully, when all these doubting questions come, I just speak to myself and say; “Olugbemi do what you have to do. Someone is watching and it’s only a matter of time when things would start to fall in place.

What keeps you going?


My love for Art and Expression keeps me on my toes. I cannot let my ideas go to waste. Never! Once I think about it, I’m definitely doing it. And little by little, people are actually beginning to appreciate. The sheer joy I get when I’m able to bring my ideas to reality is enough for me.

How you balance things with medicine


I believe in balance. And I believe a man should excel in everything he does. I’ve always wanted to study medicine. Getting into med school was tough and I went through a lot to get in. But now I’m here and there’s the whole creative art thing to it.


I tell people, especially med students, that if after 6 years, the only thing I have is an MBBS certificate, I of all men will be miserable. Sounds harsh but its mad true, because the year I graduate thousands of other doctors would also be inducted. So what separates me from them? What’s my unique? So as much as medicine is important to me, who I am as an individual (asides medicine) is also equally important.

The whole idea of balancing will seem hard to people who believe Medicine and Art/fashion are two different worlds and you need to take a time bus to be in either of them as you can’t be in both places at once. To me they are one and I don’t see them as two different lives. Understanding this has helped me live through with it. If I have an exam in a few days, I’ll definitely focus on it and get through with only to bounce back with something creative in a few days. I make a conscious effort to keep my book and my art together without making any of the two suffer by proper time management.

A word for a fellow med student


The world is changing and moving really fast and you have to move with it. Be excellent in medicine but also be excellent in other things. Have something you could call your own. If the Dr. Title is taken away from you, what would be left? Do not let the rigor med school destroy your creative mind.