Success in life like a calabash of many sides, has different meaning to different people. To some, success is better defined as an achievement of a desired aim or purpose.
More than money or fame, some people desire to align their passions with their family trend that is following after either of their parents or siblings.
Nigerian can truly boast following after certain trends in career, academics and even sports.
The Ijaiya family from Offa town in Kwara State, like branches on a tree grow in different academic directions, yet their roots remain as one, premium on education, as it has produced over 10 professors and academia.
The Ijaiya family over the years prepared itself educationally to attain the great academic height today; for according to Malcom X, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
For a people from a community of about 100,000 inhabitants in a region where education is held in highest esteem, having one or two professors, would not a big feat, but producing 10 professors, among which are deputy vice chancellors, deans, and senior academics is amazing feat.
The family have produced Gafar Ijaiya, professor of Economics in the department of Economics, University of Ilorin; Sidikat Ijaiya, an Educationist, and the first female deputy vice-chancellor of the University Of Ilorin.
Mufutau A. Ijaiya, a professor of Finance at University of Ilorin; Munir Ijaiya, a professor at the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin.
Others are Hakeem Ijaiya, professor of Law, University of Ilorin; Waheed Olatinwo professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Bayo Lawal, a professor at the department of Applied Linguistic /English Education, University of Ilorin; Abdulmojeed Ijaiya, a professor of Animal Science/Nutrition at FUT MINNA; Najeem Ijaiya, a professor of Law at Crescent University, Abeokuta; and Maruf Adeboye, a professor of Soil Science and Land Management.
Similarly, the Kehinde Sofola, a renowned legal luminary from Ikenne in Ogun State has the record of producing the highest number of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) with four, made up of two brothers and their two sons.
Kehinde Sofola was the first member of the family to attain the enviable feat, being called to the bar in 1954, and was made a SAN in 1978.
His eldest son, Kayode Sofola, a former chairman of United Bank for Africa was also made a SAN in 1995.
Idowu Sofola, Kehinde’s younger brother, became a SAN in 1989 after working at the Supreme Court of Nigeria for 27 years. Sina Sofola, Idowu’s son is also a renowned SAN.
Closely followed in that line is the Wole Olanipekun’s family with three SANS.
Oladapo Olanipekun, the first son of Wole Olanipekun became a SAN at the age of 33, his brother Olabode, the third born of the family was made a SAN at the age of 35, all following after their father’s career line.
Nigeria also have the Aliu family of five siblings all becoming medical doctors. Salamat, Halima, Khadijah, Raliat, and Medinah Aliu are all medical doctors.
These women specialized each in different fields. Salamat, the eldest sibling is a neurosurgeon, making her the first female to achieve such a feat in West Africa.
Halima is a plastic surgeon, while Khadijah took to family medicine, Raliat is an obstetrician and gynecologist, and Medinah is a community health physician.
In the football fraternity, Nigeria have Cyril Okosieme, who was a celebrated goalkeeper with Bendel Insurance, Enugu Rangers and Green Eagles (now Super Eagles) in the 1960s.
His son Ndubuisi Okosieme, born in 1966 followed after him in the round leather game. Ndubuisi was also a former Nigeria national male football player. The skillful winger played in Nigeria and Belgium during his active days.
Nkiru Okosieme, born in 1972 also took after her father in playing football. She was a former captain of the Nigeria national female football team, the Super Falcons.
She played across four FIFA Women’s World Cups (1991, 1995, 1999, and 2003), and several CAF Women’s Nations Cups and 2000 Summer Olympics.