A determined 82-year-old man named Dayo Duyile has achieved his lifelong dream of earning a PhD degree, four decades after his university graduation.
Dayo Duyile, a journalist bagged his doctorate degree in Journalism at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He was one of the reporters who witnessed and reported the official inauguration of the university in 1963.
Dayo described the achievement as a 40-year-old dream stating that the ultimate goal is to become a professor of journalism. He mentioned that he had many opportunities to pursue his Ph.D. program as early as 1990 but that his employer at the time could not release him to go for it.
“My intention to have a PhD degree is about 40 years old now. I have been making efforts since I was just between 35 and 45. I had tried to put in for it but unfortunately, one thing or the other would disturb me,” he said.
He recalled that the Michigan State University admitted him for Phd in 1990 and gave him a teaching assistantship along with a scholarship but because he was the Director of Nigeria Institute of Journalism, the Chairman of the board did not give him the permission.
“I also got another opportunity at the University of London and I couldn’t go. In fact, I got six opportunities for my Ph.D. during my active career years,” Dayo said.
”So when I retired and I returned home to Ondo State I found that I should have the opportunity to now go back to the university for my PhD because it has been a life ambition to have a PhD,” he added.
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Dayo said with the support of his family, his lecturers, and the people around him, he was able to complete the program without much trouble. He said the major challenge he faced was transporting himself from Ondo town, a three-hour journey, to Lagos, twice a week.
He said he was also combining the program with his teaching job at universities, said he would hit the road as early as 4:30 a.m. sometimes, to beat traffic gridlock on the popular Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
“My wife has been very supportive. I travel from Ondo to Lagos two times a week for lectures and I would be the first student to be in the classroom. At times, there would be traffic gridlock,” he said.
Sometimes I would pass through Ijebu-Ode-Epe Road, then to Lekki, and I would then navigate my way to Akoka. It wasn’t easy. The challenge was more about the travels. There was no financial problem,” he added.
Dayo said another challenge he faced was the scarcity of relevant historical materials needed for his Ph.D. thesis in Nigerian libraries, saying he had to travel to the United Kingdom to access some of the materials needed.
He thanked God for granting him quality health throughout the period of his Ph.D. program. Dayo said he hopes to become a professor in no distant time, and that the steps towards achieving that are already being taken.