Ogundele Oluwadamilola George is the first Pharmacist to come from the Baasi compound, Iseke- Oyo. His birth was surrounded in mystery as he was the first in the family to be born encaul; in an amniotic sac. He was born on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1992. He was born a few weeks after his uncle, Ogundele David Ayotunde, was discharged from the hospital after suffering a life-threatening bed ridden illness. This made his grandmother, Madam Ogundele Adebisi Elizabeth, to name him ‘Ayobayonle’ which means Joy meets joy at home and through the course of his life, his grandmother remained the only one to call him by this name.
As the middle man in a family of five children, he has two elder brothers, one younger brother and a younger sister who happens to be the last born of the family.
Early Life and Childhood
Ogundele Oluwadamilola George was born during the reign of George Bush Snr. as the president of United States of America. His uncle, Ogundele John Adedayo, being a big fan of the man, thereby chose to call him George; a name which would go on to become his preferred official middle name. He was born to the families of Ogundele of Baasi compound, Iseke-Oyo, and that of Ojeniyi, Gudugbu compound, Isokun-Oyo. His father, Ogundele Ayodeji Joshua, is a senior police officer of the Nigeria Police Force, and his mother, Ogundele Olapeju Ayobami, is a retired civil servant who used to work as a teacher in government owned schools. He was born in Oyo State Hospital on eleventh November, 1992. And he spent his baby years growing up in the peaceful town of Oyo along with members of his nuclear and extended family.
He attended the Nursery school of First Baptist Church, Isokun Oyo– a Church founded in 1858. His grandfather, late Chief G.A. Ogundele, the 13th Baasi of Iseke- Oyo, was one of the founding builders of the Church’s building where it now holds its services.
In 1997, he and his other siblings, along with their mother, relocated to Nnewi in Anambra State to join their father who had already been living there a couple of years before.
He therefore changed school and continued with Good Shepherd Nursery, Primary and Secondary School, Nnewi; a private school, the best around at the time in that area. Due to the nature of his father’s work, he was rarely home. Therefore, growing up, he did not spend much time with his dad. His mother would be the one to, on most occasion, take he and his other siblings, with the exception of his younger sister who hadn’t been born at the time, to school on a motorcycle. He, at first, found this very hard to deal with as a child owing to the fact that most of the other pupils were brought in exotic cars as this was a school for the rich and affluent. However, over time, it didn’t matter to him anymore.
He lived in Mbebie compound, Otolo, Nnewi; a compound which used to belong to a renowned rich Chief who he never met. He was not allowed much freedom as a child growing up in a foreign land. The only times he got to go out were time for school, church, and occasional errands. He thereby had very few people to call friends except for his schoolmates and fellow Mbebie compound’s tenants whose children were around his age group. But these too were few and all girls; Chinwe, Ifeoma, Blessing and Amara; their very little sister. Nevertheless, he had a very fun-filled childhood as he had all the company he needed in his two elder brothers and his only younger brother, most especially. His father compensated for his absence by getting him and his brothers all sorts of toys, games and later on, BMX bicycles. They had remote control cars, robot engines, brick builders, toy guns and all sorts of other toys to play with within the large Mbebie compound. His father would also buy him books; children educating books covering various topics ranging from geography, to science, animals and the world in general. His mother, being a teacher from time, had suspended her teaching work in the west, so that she could travel to the east to care for her husband and face the work of raising the children they had produced together. The teacher in her, however, would go on to play a huge role in ensuring that he, Oluwadamilola George, along with his siblings were very bright, intelligent and disciplined. She would wake them up in the middle of the night as kids, when exams were looming, to read and practice past questions she had obtained from their respective class teachers. With long and fat cane, she would wipe anyone she found dosing or writing jargons pretending to be reading. Ogundele Oluwadamilola George would, along with his brothers, always come out in flying colors at the end of every term since they began to attend Good Shepherd School. It was not long before the school’s teachers and headmistress, Mrs Ubabuko, knew them by name, and most pupils became fond of them.
In 2003, after his primary education, Ogundele Oluwadamilola George, like his brothers before him, was beginning to lose the fluency in speaking his mother tongue, Yoruba. Hence, his father did to him the same thing he had done to his older brothers; sent him back to his hometown, Oyo, to continue with his education.
While in primary school, Ogundele Oluwadamilola George was a member of the literary and debate club of the school and he participated in a couple of debates before he finally left. He won a few debate awards for his class and his school, and also won a few academic awards especially in his primary four and five years.
Adolescent and Youthful Years
At age 10+, he wrote the common entrance exam for Smith International Baptist Academy, situated within Baptist Seminary, Ogbomosho, Oyo State. This entrance exam saw a total of eight hundred and twenty-seven kids, from all over the country, come take it. In the end, Ogundele Oluwadamilola George came 2nd overall only to be beaten by a girl, Alamu Olubola who had come first. This claim, however, is not fully substantiated as the information was brought to his aunty, Late Mrs Sikeade Akinrinade, by a staff of the school who had access to the result sheets of the entrance examination. It was the aunty that then told his mother of how excellently her son had performed and a champagne was popped by his late grandfather when they arrived Oyo with news of his excellent performance and his admission letter.
He then resumed his secondary education in September, 2003, as a boarder student. This was the first time he was being separated from his younger brother and his younger brother from him and he recalls this moment with mixed feelings.
In 2008, towards the ending of his SS2 3rd term, he was named the assistant social prefect of the school. A lady; his friend, Akano Iyunade Abisola, was named the social prefect while Alamu Olubola was the head girl.
He spent his mid-term breaks with his grandparents at his house off New-Iseke Layout, Oyo town, Oyo State. During long breaks, he would get reunited with his younger brother and together, they would travel to homes of relatives outside Oyo, to spend their holidays. They sometimes travelled to Lagos at their aunty, Folake Adegite’s place, and at other times, it was Ibadan, at their uncle, Ayotunde Ogundele’s place. This helped to give young ‘Damilola a little more exposure and open mindedness for a child of his age. In addition, at this time, he could already speak fluent Yoruba, Ibo, English and also the broken version of it.
He graduated from secondary school with the ignorant intention of studying medicine in the University and becoming a medical doctor. However, life had other plans in store for him.
Despite passing JAMB at his first attempt, he did not meet the cut off for medicine and his granduncle, Dr. Bayo Ogundele (of blessed memory), suggested he changed his course choice to Microbiology as his obtained score was enough to secure admission for Micro’. However, he refused. He was adamant on studying medicine. His immediate elder brother, Ogundele Alex Diekade, who was at the time studying Mechanical Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, then suggested he applied for the same program which got him his own admission rather than sit home waiting to take another JAMB. It was his brother that then got him the form for this one-year program called OAU Pre-Degree program with which one can be admitted into OAU if he or she passed well.
As a Pre-Degree student in 2010, he took JAMB again and even though he performed way better than his first attempt, he feared his score may still be insufficient to land him his desired course, medicine. He therefore decided to research on other courses similar to medicine but much easier to get. This was when he learned about Pharmacy and, he fell more in love with it as it proposed a more interesting and lucrative career than his beloved medicine. So, he went ahead to change his course choice to Pharmacy. It was only midway into the second contact of his pre-degree program when the merit admission list for JAMB got released and as he already expected, he got his admission to study Pharmacy; a five-year course, in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Rather than quit the program since he has gotten the admission he sought for, he continued with it and also finished beautifully with an aggregate of 75%.
OAU Undergraduate Years
He resumed into OAU in the 2010/2011 academic session and lived in Staff Quarters with his granduncle’s family. His granduncle at the time worked as a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education, so his father preferred he stayed with the man. Moreover, his immediate elder brother, Alex, had also been staying with the man as an undergraduate student of Mechanical Engineering.
His undergraduate years was laden with several highs and lows, ups and downs. The first he experienced was a massive low involving a system malfunction of the school which saw him, along with about sixteen other colleagues of his, undeservedly fail a second semester chemistry practical course, CHM 104. Because of this, Ogundele Oluwadamilola George repeated that 100 level, having to retake only that course; just a unit course. This was a very tough period for him and it was the time he bonded well with his granduncle’s last born, Ogundele Adedapo Hilar. Ogundele Adedapo Hilar and his set of friends would go on to influence the troubled George in so many positive ways. He went out with them and learned about so many good stuffs from them; life, girls, politics, football, drugs and freedom of the mind. His strongest influence though was his elder brother Alex.
Following all these different influences, Ogundele Oluwadamilola George became a distracted student and would go on to repeat two more classes in Pharmacy School; part two and three. He did politics, business, girls, drugs and so on, and couldn’t find the balance, unlike many others, with his academics. He seemed to be fairing lot better in every other thing aside his academics.
While in his first part two, he founded a mobile food business he named Mistiginos Hunger Packs which was particularly launched with the intent of serving overnight readers on campus who usually don’t get anywhere to buy food as from 10:30pm. He teamed up with a very good cook in the area called Mummy Paulo and employed another girl to help out with the sales in person of Miss Shade Osundina. His food was sold in already packaged packs from the hours of 8pm to 1am. He had fish packs, beef packs and turkey packs which were all just Jollof and fried rice packed into a plastic take away with any of the pre-listed animals, depending on the pack. To ensure that the food pack could be warmed upon purchase, he borrowed a microwave every night from a senior colleague in Pharmacy School, Olowu Banjo, which he returned every morning even before he began to prepare for school. It was not long before he started getting orders and request to sell even in daytime. But it all came to an end after the session ended and results were released and he had to repeat the class after scoring less than 50 in four from the ten courses he took.
He stopped everything, focused, passed the repeated class and moved on to part three.
Then in his first part three, he founded another business yet again which he called Mistiginos Toast Bread. This was launched particularly for Pharmacy Students whose Faculty was located in the outskirt of the academic area and therefore had to trek miles before they could get stuffs to eat during academic hours. He teamed up with a fellow colleague in person of Mr Efuntoye Oluwaseun who he had earlier discovered to make good bread fillings. Together, they would go on to create a good competition for the Faculty buttery, even lecturers were said to have bought their toasts. However, this too didn’t last as both Mr Oluwaseun and Ogundele Oluwadamilola George were to repeat this class again.
While repeating his part three, he founded a reading group along with some of his colleagues which they together named RADICALS. Some of the members of this group included Akanji Oluwafemi, Adeoye Oluwatobi, Adeyemi Fadeelat Mojisola, and much later, Yakubu Victor, Obiezue Elizabeth, Olubunmi Omisore and a few others. This was the time he joined the philanthropy club, Rotaract, on campus, and he immediately became a very important member of the club working with Adeyemi Yusuf, the Project Director of the club, as his assistant. These two would from then go on to form a strong bond of friendship. Together, they achieved several landmarks with the club under the leadership of Miss Zainab who was a part five Law student at the time.
While in part four, he founded a fitness club all by himself which he named Mistiginos Fitness Club. This club would go on to have as many as forty-two members. But only about twenty-five of them were regular in payment and in training. But he faced serious threats from the school’s Physical and Health Education Department and feared for his academics, therefore, the service only lasted for a semester as he didn’t want to repeat any class again. He faced his studies and deservedly moved on to the final year, 500 level in 2018.
During this time, he got appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students, PANS, OAU chapter. As the Editor-in-Chief, he published the first e-copy of PANS yearly magazine, PHARMATEL. The maiden edition of Freshers’ Essay Contest was also launched with a bid to motivate newly admitted Pharmacy students to think, and write. This contest was themed “Towards your university expectations; your fears and strategy”.
He, however, suffered a tragic blow when he was caught with the intent to cheat in his very first examination as an Obafemi Awolowo University Pharmacy School finalist. Then on 13th October, 2018, he faced the University’s disciplinary panel. Owning up to his intent, he was shown mercy and leniency. More so, he had no previous record of indiscipline and everyone (staff and students) interviewed by the panel members seemed to have nothing but good remarks concerning him. Nevertheless, he was punished; the course involved was cancelled, he got a year suspension from the University, but he was allowed to complete the session in which the incidence took place under strict supervision during every other examination. He was to retake the cancelled course upon the completion of his one-year suspension from the University.
Following this incidence, he wrote a book he titled “Freshers’ Success Guide”; a book which is a mere distillation of advice and experiences from past staff and students of Obafemi Awolowo University on secrets of succeeding as a student, in addition to his own personal lessons. This was his way of assisting those coming after him to not make the same mistakes he did. It was his final contribution as the Editor-in-Chief of PANS to PANSites.
Ogundele Oluwadamilola George is an explorer. He loves adventure in every spheres of life; spirituality, food, love, beliefs, work, interhuman relationships, places, health, problems and solutions, in summary, he likes to pursue the non-conventional. He loves animals and keeps some as pet; had a cat name Xena and currently owns a dog called Africa.
His love life is terrible as he constantly battles with his belief that love isn’t meant to be shared with one person alone. However, since his venture into a new love affair with a White-African lady called ‘Wura, he’s beginning to understand love from a different perspective.
He doesn’t belief in the superiority of any one religion. According to him, the inclusion of one is the inclusion of all, and the exclusion of one, is the exclusion of all. However, he chooses to go to Church and follow the teachings of Christ available in the Holy Bible.
Oluwadamilola George is a constructive critique by nature; the first thing he thinks is ‘what is missing?’ He looks out for the flaws and problems in everything then thinks of what should fix it.
He aspires to make a living in his birth country; Nigeria, and to travel the world on occasion for pleasure.
He is a fitness instructor, a fruit dietician, an aspiring event documentarist, an editor, a fashion designer, an administrator, and the Chief Executive Owner and founder of MISTIRAL; a life and event documentary company. Contact him via any of the following social media or instant messenger handles:
Ogundele Oluwadamilola George @email@example.com
MISTIRAL; be remembered.