Following his remarkable performance for Independence Hall at Jaw War 2017, the biggest public speaking event in the University of Ibadan, Indy Press had this interesting interview with this young man.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Tobi Emmanuel Falade and that is why they call me ‘Big E’ not because of my size. I am a 200 level student of the Department of Geography, Faculty of the Social Sciences.
What was growing up like?
I grew up in so many places. My father is a clergyman so he moved a lot, just like most pastors. I was born when he was in Oyo. Later in year 2000 we moved to Offa where he was also the pastor there for five years and we moved down to Ogbomosho where he retired. Since 2005, where I completed my primary and secondary education. I graduated from Federal Government College, Ogbomosho Bowen University Teaching Hospital while growing up. I grew up as a get-inside and I am proud to be one. I grew up in a mission house. So from school back home and I was involved in reading. I was also involved in a lot of church activities.
How has life been as a student of the University of Ibadan?
I am not just a student, which makes my life in the university complex. I am also a photographer, public speaker and also a goal keeper for the school. So, it makes it a little bit complex. I go to classes in the morning till 4pm and then for football training at the university of Ibadan, literary and debating society meetings.
Are you into any business?
I was into photography when I was still looking for admission and that was in 2015. So I learnt it back then in Ogbomosho and I discovered that there was no need to waste time since I spent three years and I should have something at hand and that was like I decided to go into photography. I like anything camera, anything multimedia. I am looking into multimedia but right now I am into photography and photography handle is aworan photography.
Most people comment about how good you are as a goal keeper. What do you have to say?
There is this philosophy of life I believe in, it is a common saying that what is worth doing is worth doing well. So that it would make more sense, I rephrased it to what is worth doing is worth giving your best. I give my best during football matches. Of course, if I am not going to do it well, I will rather not go into it rather than not doing it well. So, it was in 100 level when I met this guy called Ozone who invited me to training. When I got there, the coach saw me and asked if I am a goal keeper and I said yes and everyone laughed at me simply because of my size. Then, I was like twice my current body size. I trained hard and impressed the coach.
What do you think is unique about your personality?
I have this straight forward attitude, simple and direct.
Can you tell us about your life as a public speaker?
My life as a public speaker began in University of Ibadan. Of course, there must be a foundation, I was a debater in my secondary school and I represented my secondary school. I was in the literary and debating team in Federal Government College, Ogbomosho and I was part of the team that represented my school in the Presidential Debate and I won the zonal competition and I was at the finals too. When I came into University of Ibadan, I saw public speaking in a higher dimension. Here, you go to the stage to convince people on real issues that concerns our everyday life. As a public speaker in UI, I have represented my faculty in so many competitions such as the Bola Ige and I took part in that contest in 100 level where I emerged as a finalist although I did not win and I was the only 100 level student in the competition and I was proud of myself. There was a time the President of my faculty’s Literary and Debating Society did not believe I will perform so well. So, I try to be serious with everything I do just like public speaking. From there, I participated in the wits and skilful organized by the Baptist Student’s Fellowship and I was the first runner-up, the Student’s Council on Legal Aid where I was the second-runner up. I am also the public relations officer of my faculty and I finally got a chance to speak for Independence Hall at Jaw War which was my first time at Jaw War.
How do you cope with being a public speaker, goal keeper and student?
The truth of the matter is that everything cannot work out at the same time. There is time and season for everything. Right now, photography is on hold because when you are doing a lot of things at the same time, you will be lagging behind in a particular area. The first thing is that for you to remain on campus, you have to be a student so as to participate in any competition. There was a time I was fully into photography but now that I am into public speaking,
Do you have any political ambition?
Presently, I am the Public Relations Officer of my department. I do not intend to aspire for any post this semester. I have a lot of things to do and politics takes much of the time. In Independence Hall, I do have an ambition but it is where I will function well.
What can you say about independence hall?
Independence hall is the only living hall I know and it is the best male hall you can stay in University of Ibadan as there are a lot of brilliant minds in the hall. There is this spirit of brotherhood in the hall and I love it. What makes the hall unique is the people inside and when the people inside are unique, the hall is unique.
Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
I see myself established, it is not all about looking for job. I will still continue to be a musician and a businessman.