Adetomiwa Badejo nurtured her dream to fruition
Colin Luther Powell, an American politician, retired four-star general in the United States Army, and the 65th United States Secretary of State, who served under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005, it was who said; “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.
Earlier on, another American legend, entrepreneur, animator, voice actor, film producer, and pioneer of the American animation industry, Walter Elias Disney, better known as Walt Disney, had equally stated that “all our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
This is simply what 22-year-old Adetomiwa Badejo has done. Against all odds, she went ahead to qualify as a lawyer 18 years after “playing” lawyer as a four-year-old.
Most private schools as a matter of ritual observe career days in schools. On such days, students don’t only learn about different careers, professions and callings, they also mimic the practitioners.
Having noticed her good writing skills, love for lawyers and excellent logical reasoning skills, Mr. and Mrs. Gbenga Badejo were not surprised when their then four-year-old returned home to inform them that she would play the role of a lawyer during her school’s career day.
Badejo, a charted accountant wasted no time in fuelling his daughter’s passion by dashing to a lawyer friend’s residence to request a wig, which Adetomiwa completed her costume as a lawyer.
Tomiwa’s life-long admiration for lawyers and the job that they do, perhaps, made things easy for her on the D-day.
While her gait stood her out, her elocution was unquestionable. Her latent oratory skills and sundry attributes of a good lawyer were equally on display, as confirmed by the ovation she got from school mates and teachers during her presentation.
Convinced that it was the profession that she was made for, Adetomiwa gradually learned the rope until she recently obtained her Golden Fleece.
Without a doubt, realising what was innocently conceived at age four must be quite an arduous task. So, how did she pull through?
She summarized: “At a very young age, I remember watching the news and I immediately took admiration to lawyers and their charisma. Being an inquisitive child, I found myself wanting to know more about the law profession. So, when the opportunity came to choose a profession during career day in my primary school, I chose to dress up as a lawyer. From there on, I began making efforts to realise my dream.”
With parents that are into different professions, where did the inspiration to steer the course come from?
“My parents have always encouraged individuality. They have always understood the importance of letting one be one’s self and they have been supportive in every way possible. This encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a lawyer,” she stated.
Even with supportive parents, peer pressure and the razzle-dazzle in other professions can derail a long-cherished dream, especially during teenage years, but not for Adetomiwa.
“I am a very determined person so anything I set out to do, I make sure I complete it, notwithstanding any distractions, or challenges along the way.
“To be honest, peer pressure was never a struggle for me. My parents have always taught my siblings and I to be independent individuals and not be swayed by societal pressures,” she said.
With Sir Bonajo Badejo SAN, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, Prof. Bankole Sodipo, and Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour as her role models in the profession, Adetomiwa has a word for teens that are at career crossroads?
“It is very important to stay true to oneself. Whatever career you decide to pursue, it must be something you are very passionate about.”
At a time when parents are becoming notorious for forcing careers on their children, how did Adetomiwa’s parents help in bringing to fruition, their daughter’s dream of becoming a lawyer, and just how did she set sail?
Mr. Badejo responded: “We noticed very early in life that Adetomiwa has a passion for logical reasoning with good conversational and writing skills, in addition to being studious. Identifying her natural abilities (where she would excel) came naturally as a result of both parents being children of accomplished educationists. We understood how discovering a child’s passion is one of the critical success factor in charting a course career-wise. So, we discovered and paid attention to her cognitive abilities that are passion-driven.
“Adetomiwa returned home from school to inform us she chose to play the part of a lawyer on career day at Mind Builders School when she was just four years old. We knew right from then that she meant business. We asked her how she came about it and she said it was her choice, and the role was not foisted on her by her class teacher either. So, we were confident that she would do it creditably well because she had demonstrated the ability to put words together in a logical manner and communicate without ambiguity. After she played the role at the career day event, we were elated by her performance.
Speaking on the early signs that indicated that law was her true calling, he said: “We started paying attention to her interests by encouraging her in every possible way. She is an avid reader and has got very good writing skills. In her quiet time, she writes short essays and short novels in very little time, and at great speed. She’s also got excellent logical reasoning skills. So, we usually would look for opportunities to engage her along these lines and she was always responding excellently well to all the positive stimuli that fed her passion. When she came out of secondary school with seven distinctions, we knew she would withstand the academic rigours of becoming a lawyer.
No matter the roles that parents play in making things come through for their children in terms of the career paths they want to follow, the early schools that they attend play vital roles in nurturing their dream to reality by way of quality of learning, as well as career guidance and counselling.
Badejo said: “The curricular adopted by a school is very important in a child’s academic life. Mind Builders School (MBS) is truly a breeding ground for future champions because the curricular that they adopted are so rich and impactful. So, we put all our eggs in one basket, by sending all our three children to the school for them to have a good head-start in life. We also did the same for secondary education as they all attended Dansol High School, also a fertile ground for actualising dreams.
“Interestingly, accounting happened to be one of Adetomiwa’s best subjects in secondary school, but she remained focused on becoming a lawyer. At a time, a guidance counsellor saw her as a natural accountant, but she chose to remain focused on becoming a lawyer. Accounting runs in the family because I am a chartered accountant and my wife is an educationist with an economics background. In case she wants to fulfill the prediction of the guidance counsellor that saw her as a natural accountant like her daddy and her siblings, we shall also encourage her,” Badejo said.
“Adetomiwa’s immediate elder brother happened to be the first ex-student of Mind Builders School to qualify as a chartered accountant, just before bagging a first-class degree in accounting. Their eldest sister is also a budding financial analyst working in a multi-national outfit in Canada. So, the foundation for all these accomplishments were laid at Mind Builders School.
On what advise he has for parents, who are forcing careers on their children and wards, he said, “I will advise parents to take time to discover their wards passion. It’s the greatest disservice to a child who is forced to take to a profession that only seeks to satisfy the parents’ inclination. Any parent that has difficulties in discovering their wards passion may eventually create an unfulfilled child career-wise. Parents must listen to their wards, support and encourage them to be at their best in their voluntarily chosen career path.
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