The popular saying that “With God nothing is impossible comes” to the fore in Joseph Ayeni’s small but mighty non-fictional book titled: “First Class Honours (Biblical Road to Academic Excellence).” Divided into five parts, the 47-page very engaging book highlights the author’s experiences during his undergraduate days at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile- Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, till his graduation with First Class Honours in Computer Science and Economics (Combined honours). It is a common knowledge that a university community is made up of folks from different backgrounds; hence, one needs the grace of God to excel in every sphere of moral, spiritual, social and academic endeavours. God’s miraculous interventions in the author’s life during different trial times and his triumph over them through his humility and sound understanding of the scriptures are the meat and potatoes of the wonderfully entertaining, informative and enlightening book.
The negative effects of living without being truly born-again are well showcased with absolute clarity. Such condemnable life style is depicted with the characters of Rotimi and Shola, his roommates at different academic levels. Joseph points out some of the challenges people face when they become truly bornagain.
A good example was when he was abandoned by his friends for deciding to listen and obey the voice of God. According to him, “When my friends heard that I was born-again, they thought I was joking. But when they saw me praying and behaving like the born-again Christians, they all left me and stopped visiting me. . .”
It should be noted here that nothing good comes easily, as the author took a bold step to follow the direction of God from his undergraduate days. From that singular decision, dynamites of academic success started exploding in his examination grades with “A”s in his courses. Great inspirations about how to succeed academically were shown to him in his dreams by God, due to his attention to the voice of the Holy Spirit. He was not only elevated in his academic exploits, but also became a leading light of the Computer Science Christian Association (COMSCA), which many lecturers in the department became matrons and patrons of. The confession of one of his roommates who was a cult member is a great eye-opener. It could likewise help to make cult members living on various campuses in the global community, find deliverance from satanic manipulation, when they read the book. It is therefore essential that the book should be read by secondary school students especially in Nigeria too, where cultism have become a menace threatening the peaceful administration of many schools.
The author however sounds a note of warning to students especially thus: “Despite my involvement in fellowship attendance and other Christian activities, I never allowed my class attendance to suffer, and I followed a strict timetable that allowed me enough time to focus on my academics…” This cautioning reminds the reader about similar situations in Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga’s drama book titled: “Passport to Success” where some unserious undergraduates think relying on only prayer or charms can make them have high grades in their academic performances. What makes “First Class Honours (Biblical Road to Academic Excellence)” unique are some inspirational biblical verses that the author identifies as guiding principles to make first class or distinction in a godly manner; which he calls “A Biblical Road to Academic Excellence.”
The verses are quite revealing and inspiring. They are the roots that held the tree of his GPA (Grade Point Average) accumulation that culminated in his First Class Honours, at the end of his academic sojourn at the aforementioned institution. In this wise, students of secondary and tertiary institutions, including individuals willing to excel in their professional and academic pursuits can borrow a leaf from the author, by reading the book for insight about how they can succeed with flying colours too. Applying such biblical prescribed verses can also bring about economic, political and marital success, since they are also guides to general progress in life.
The book is therefore highly recommended not only for students and Christians, but for non-Christians, as the author also reveals that non-Christians who had difficulties in their studies came to him for both spiritual and academic assistance, which he gladly obliged. At present, Joseph Roland Ayeni is a consecrated Bishop whose teachings on Youtube have been impacting positively on many people across the globe. His diction is clear for any average reader to understand. The book does not contain any mechanical or channel noise. This further makes reading it enthralling.