A couple of days back, Alimot Sadia Adekunle, daughter of famous Fuji musician, Alhaji Sulaimon Alao Adekunle (Malaika), graduated from University of Lagos where she obtained a Bsc in Insurance, Faculty of Business Administration.
Her father, Malaika, who is still basking in the euphoria of her achievement told ENCOMIUM Weekly how happy and excited he was witnessing his daughter’s convocation, in a phone interview on Thursday, February 2, 2017. We also had a chat with the celebrant who also expressed joy and appreciation for the laudable achievement.
Your first child, Alimot Sadia just graduated from University of Lagos. How do you feel about that?
I am very happy to see that in my life. It’s a good thing in one’s life. I thank Almighty Allah for that opportunity. Some wanted it but they couldn’t have it. I thank God for giving me the privilege of seeing my daughter through to that level. I also thank my daughter for not disappointing me.
After that, what next?
She will be furthering her education by doing her Master’s degree after the youth service and getting a good job. She will then have a life of her own. I will like to seize this opportunity to appeal to our government to provide jobs for all the graduates roaming the streets.
No job, everything is at a standstill. It’s so sad. After so much efforts and sacrifice they put into their education, there’s nothing to fall back on. I know the government but there’s need to do more for our youth.
How would you describe bringing her up to this level?
I give kudos to my parents. It’s now I know what it takes to be a parent. It’s not easy. For my daughter to be a graduate, it’s by Allah’s grace. Many people started it, but not all could make it to the end. Bringing her up to this level is a special grace. And I thank God for that.
I feel so excited witnessing my daughter’s convocation. I have never even witnessed any convocation before. That’s my first time of seeing how it’s. And not that I was invited by anybody, I came as a father of the celebrant. It’s really a thing of joy that it happened in my life time.
Do you regret not being a graduate?
Not at all. God has destined what I would be when he created me. My parents wanted to but they didn’t have the financial capacity to do that. They were living from hand to mouth. It’s when you’re okay as a parent that you can decide to sponsor your children to any level.
Where did your education stop?
I didn’t even finish secondary school. But later, I furthered my education when I traveled to England. That’s where I attended Lewisham College, South-east London.
What did you study there?
I obtained Diploma in Music and Art.
Would you say that has helped your career in any way?
Definitely, it has. Everything you want to do in life, you must be educated. Education first because it helps a lot.
But would you say you would have gone past this level if you were to be a graduate from inception of your career?
No, I don’t think so. I am the type that was determined to succeed from day one of my career. And God has blessed my efforts. I thank Him for that.
Your daughter, Alimat is 22, how old were you exactly when you gave birth to her?
I was also 22 years then.
Have you started singing then?
Yes, I was already a musician then. I started singing since 1983 when I was still in primary school.
It’s like you had your first child early, was it because you’re an entertainer which is one of the traits all over?
No, it all depends on one’s destiny. I don’t think it’s too early having my daughter when I was 22. I was mature enough to be a father. I have some friends who are not musicians and they even had their children earlier than mine.
It depends on how your growing up is. And you can’t query God on whatever He does.
Alimat studied Insurance, did you influence her choice of course?
No, that’s what she chose to study. And I thank God for her, she didn’t disappoint me. She made a second class Upper (2.1). I don’t have to choose any course for any of my children. I don’t have anything like that in my agenda. All I do as a father is to support whatever their choice is and pray for them.
Is there any of your children in higher institution again?
Yes, that’s Mubarak. He’s also in University of Lagos studying Mass Communication. He’s presently in 100 level, Alhamdulillahi. It’s not by my power but I only enjoy grace of God. I thank Him for that.
Not quite long, you acquired a Range Rover Evogue 2016. How much exactly do that cost?
I can’t disclose the amount, but I know it’s a small money.
How does it feel that all these fortunes are just coming your way in quick succession – completing a house in Lekki, acquisition of Bentley, Range Rover, daughter’s graduation and all that…
(Cuts in) It’s just God and destiny. There are lots of musicians that can even sing better than me but not as blessed as I am, that they don’t have anything to show for. So, I need to be thankful to Almighty Allah all the time for taking me this far.
At 44, would you say God has blessed you marvelously?
Yes, but I pray He continues to bless me.
- TADE ASIFAT