April 20, 2024


Serving the university community

I will keep protesting despite scholarship – Temitope Afolashade

Picture of Joseph Temitope Afolashade

Joseph Temitope Afolashade

By Oluwaseun Abubakare and Precious Okwun

Joseph Temitope Afolashade, a determined 200l student from the Department of Adult Education at the University of Lagos has been awarded a scholarship.

Her good fortune is following the impact of her viral video from the protests by UNILAG students against the recent increase in school fees.

In an interview with UNILAG Sun, Temitope shared the story of her educational journey, what led to her outcry, and how she received the news of her scholarship.

How and when did you gain admission to Unilag?
Gaining admission into the University of Lagos was not an easy task for me. I wrote JAMB four
times before I was finally accepted in the 2020/2021 session to study Adult Education.

How did you feel when you finally got admitted?
I felt good. I felt fulfilled because it was all I wanted. It was UNILAG or nothing.
Your video went viral recently and it has drawn a lot of attention to you.

Can you tell me how you felt about that?
I never saw it coming, but I feel it’s a good thing. With that, I think the management will listen to us.

As a result of the video, you have gotten so many scholarships offers. How did you take the news?
The video where I cried out at the protest ground was posted by a blogger, @gossipmill, and
then I was tagged in the comment section that someone wanted to sponsor me. I just burst into tears because it was a lot for me at that moment.

Now that you have your fees sorted, do you plan to continue protesting?
Now that you have your fees sorted, do you plan to continue protesting?
Definitely. I will keep protesting till the fees are reversed.

How do you plan to utilise this scholarship?
I’m so grateful, as this means a lot to me, and I will be utilising this opportunity well because even without a sponsor, I’m happy with my grade at the moment. This is just a great opportunity for me, and I won’t take it for granted. I will utilise the opportunity well now that my school fees burden has been a relief for me, and I’m grateful to God for that. I will just get a side hustle so I can use it to pull myself up a little bit.

What were the biggest challenges you faced during the protest? How did you overcome them?
A lot happened. We started the protest at the school junction, which began peacefully before the police came to interrupt with tear gas and rubber guns. We discarded and some of our comrades were arrested. During the race for safety, I had to run into an unknown apartment to safeguard myself, and this caused me to misplace some of my valuables like my cash and footwear. I even sustained a minor injury on my ankle during the process, but I thank God for life. In the midst of it all, a stranger gave me another pair of shoes in the apartment where I hid myself. I couldn’t access the internet at that moment due to network issues, but I was later able to get information from a coursemate of mine that students had been able to reconvene at the
school gate to continue the protests. I had somewhere to be, but I took it upon myself again to get back to the protest ground and partake again.

In your opinion, do you believe the protest was successful in communicating the
message effectively? If so, why?

Yes, the protest was successful because the police threatened us at first. Then we found our way back to the school gate, where we were able to speak our minds. The school management should know that we are not joking.

The University has rolled out some measures that can ease the payment of school fees in
response to the protest. What’s your take on it?

It can’t work. I know of a student who sells groundnuts to earn a living. Please tell me, how many groundnuts does such a person need to sell to get up to that amount of money? They should revert the fee to what we want.

Thank you for speaking with us Temitope, it has been a great experience with you and we at
UNILAG Sun are happy for honoring us with your time.

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