When I reconnected with Biodun Oliyide (nee Adegoke) almost 16 years after high school, I was not surprised to hear that she had chosen a career in Fine and Applied Art and is now a photographer. Why? It’s simple really—Biodun had always been a gifted Fine Artist. I mean back in high school, SHE COULD DRAW! So yes, I wasn’t a bit surprised at her career path.
Sometime ago, I read a post by SuluZulu, which featured an interview with Biodun. In that interview, Biodun revealed that she actually wanted to study medicine at the university like her sister but her dad, who had observed her natural artistic gift and talent encouraged her to develop herself in that field and thus began Biodun’s career in Fine and Applied Art. If there is anything I know, it is that Biodun is having a swell time with her career of choice. No regrets whatsoever. Now, that’s what I’m talking about!
When I read Biodun’s interview, the part her dad played in her choice struck a chord in me. It actually spoke to what had been on my mind for a very long time. In my line of work, I have come across amazingly gifted students–students who have super creative tendencies, but who flunk academics like crazy. Most times, the natural tendency is to quickly conclude that these students are simply not serious and unambitious so they get stamped with NFA (No Future Ambition) label. While I admit that some students are in school just to play away their time and waste parents’ money, I can’t help but think that the group of students I mentioned earlier might be experiencing difficulties and are struggling because they have found themselves studying courses that do not align with what they have natural flair for. This thought nags me all the time.
Imagine–just imagine if Biodun had put in for medicine, there is every possibility that she would have struggled through the 7/8 years of study. Imagine that Biodun’s dad insisted she studied a course that seemed more prestigious (Medicine, Law, Banking and Finance, Economics, Engineering, Accounting, and so forth). Imagine Biodun even told her dad she’d like to study Fine Art and he said, “Tufiakwa, over my dead body will you study such useless course when your mates are studying medicine and law.” Who knows, she might be groaning and gnashing her teeth, even as a medical doctor (or whatever) now.
I love Biodun’s dad. I wish every parent will be like him. I wish every parent will, as part of their parenting exercise, note their children’s natural inclinations/tendencies and encourage them in that line of study. I wish more, that when these children, who have discovered themselves – their natural tendencies – make choices in the course of study that align with these natural tendencies, parents will offer careful and informed guidance to them, as well as support them instead of trying to force them to accept what they (parents) think is good for them (after all, no parent will help his/her child study…the burden is on the student, still). As I always like to say, “it’s mostly about the child and not you, Mr&Mrs Parent.”
The truth is that it is easier to ‘catch and flow’ with information on what one has natural flair for. Assimilation, retention, and recall of information is easier because it’s almost like second nature, not forgetting the role of passion as well. I want to point the new generation parents to Biodun’s dad. He is a very good example to emulate. Discover your child’s natural tendencies and help steer the child in that direction. If your child is (more) right-brain inclined, don’t push that child to a course with left-brain inclinations. Your child may struggle and battle with negative labelling.
PS: To read Biodun’s interview, click the hyperlink above (second paragraph) and it takes you right to the post. The pictures displayed on this post are some of her creative works. If you’d like to work/do biz with her, find her contact details: +2348039690699, +2348172998995, firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2016 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!