How I Veered Into Engineering Profession - Funmi Ayinke - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Monday, May 3, 2021

How I Veered Into Engineering Profession - Funmi Ayinke

... Lauds The Vice Chancellor of Bells University, Prof. Jeremiah Ojediran, For Giving Her Direction  

              •Engr. Funmi Ayinke

Funmilayo Ayinke is Awards winning inspirational songwriter and singer  as well as the Chief Executive Officer of Funmi Ayinke Engineering (Nig) Ltd, one of the major indigenous engineering firms and players in the nation's construction subsector. She also owns Funmi Ayinke Humanity foundation that has continued to give succour to the vulnerable and less fortunate members of the society across the country. At the last count, no fewer than 15,000 names of beneficiaries in primary,  secondary and tertiary institutions are on the sponsorship list of the foundation where she is taking girl - child education with seriousness.  Engr. Funmilayo Ayinke spoke with The Daily Crucible reporters -  Inioluwa OYEDELE and Abibat Bakare.

Your Foundation is doing a lot in the areas of girl - child education. Why this special focus on girl - child ? 

 Educating our female children is the best thing in any country and Nigeria, If you empower a man, you empower a family. But if you empower and educate a woman, the whole society gains from it. Every woman is a girl - child and every girl - child is a woman and when parents denied a girl - child education then those parents are making the environment toxic because the girl - child you refused to give education will grow up tomorrow as a woman and reproduce many men and women of her kind. And whatever you don’t have you can't give. 

One discovered that you started off in your teen as a medical student at LAUTECH but finished as an engineer. How did you later find yourself in an engineering department?

I never intended to read engineering, I actually got admission into the university as a medical student, my dad was a medical doctor and my mum  a teacher, l love medicine I wanted to be a doctor to be able to treat patients, I wanted a Stethoscope on my neck too like my daddy to used to do and God so good I got in to shock you I did dissection limbs, lower limbs. 

What then is it that happened which informed change of direction in educational path ?

You can only imagine I disected    cadaver. I know an anatomy and physiology of every aspect of me perfectly but when I got to my third year, the only person I wanted to become a doctor for, left us. So, nothing helped or encouraged  me again to become a doctor or to do anything medically related, I just told myself that am not even going to school again, you know the  psychological effect of losing one's dad and all that so, I went back home and left whatever that had  to do with school.

How did you pick up the courage to go back to school again?

I want to appreciate this man today,  he is the presently the Vice  -Chancellor of Bells University, Ota, Ogun State, Prof. Jeremiah Ojediran. He was the Dean of engineering then in Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, and his daughter Toyin was also a medical student with me at the time so we were friends, unfortunately they didn't see me again in school so the man looked for me, you know we have some responsible Nigerians who are really dedicated to see you make it in life and I told  everyone that they should not bother looking for me, that I was done with school. What is the essence of going to school when you don't have a daddy to impress and after a lot of cries from my mom, imagine a teacher shedding tears and l then promised my mom that I would go back to school but then my mate that got admission together into 100level, were already in 400 level engineering. I got back to campus and I went  back to 200 level engineering because I don't want to do anything medical that will remind me of my dad. I was already out of psychological effect of losing my dad and I didn't want to go back into it again. 

How did the Professor play a part in your subsequent choice of mechanical engineering?

 I needed a professional course, something more tense - like, I love challenges.  That which people say it is not possible, is where  you will find me, I want to try it so, I asked that daddy, I said which one was the most demanding or tasking when looking for the best of the best of engineering and he said 'you can not do it because you have left mathematics for a long period, you just go and do food engineering or anything simple' and I said no.  I wanted  electrical or mechanical and he finally said mechanical is the father and mother of engineering.

Did you find it easy adjusting to the challenges of becoming an engineering student after a stint in medical school?

 So, I picked it I didn't even bother that my mates were in 400level  and I went back to 200 level without having a clue of mathematics again but I survived. how did I make it now in 200 level,  I went back to tutorial, imagine a supposed 400 level student finding herself in 200 level engineering, going back to  that pre -degree mathematics to be able to pick up the clue of mathematics a bit, I went to math tutorial. By the time I did the first semester in 200 level mechanical, I didn't do well you could imagine that but I didn't have carry - over, So, the second semester like it is I really became fire and with God, I did night classes everytime. I was this kind of student that puts on socks in my bag and carry my bag to school by 1:00am I would still be in the  class room reading along with others, sometimes,  we put water under our legs so that we didn't fall asleep and glory be to God  in 300 level engineering I was already a mathematician and I saw myself making it. So, it is still all determination.

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