Captain Idowu Olufunmilola recently graduated from the Aviation School in Phillipines. She is the proverbial rejected stone that has now become the cornerstone. A typical grass to grace story, she shares her experience with The Podium in this interview with Ademola Akinbola.
Could you please give us a brief background into your birth, parentage and childhood?
I was born into the family of Mr (of blessed memory) and Mrs ldowu in Lagos state. I am the first of three children.
How was growing up like? Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Agege and Ikorodu, Lagos state. Growing up was tough emotionally and physically, being from a broken home. My parents left each other for other partners when I was five years old. So, my siblings and I lived with various people. My father passed on in 2006, hence the need to locate my mom at all cost because of my siblings’ school.
Which Schools did you attend?
l attended Vetland primary school at Agege and Marywood grammar school at Ebute-metta. I proceeded to Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye to study Micro-Biology and graduated in 2008. I was posted to Jos for my youth service in 2008 and I finished in 2009. In 2010, I went for my professional course at Aero Contractor Airline for my cabin crew course and was licensed to fly as cabin crew.
I had always wanted to be in the aviation sector since I was young, hence the reason for going for professional courses related to it immediately after compulsory youth service. I have been a cabin crew for five years with Max airline a year and Medview Airline for four years before proceeding to the recently concluded aviation school.
What is the name of your recent pilot qualification?
Commercial pilot license
Which aircraft are you qualified to fly?
I can fly any aircraft now as a pilot if I am type rated on the aircraft.
What was it like? Tell us in detail what you went through.
Woah!!! My pilot training was fun for me because that has always been my life dream. Even though the training was hectic and rigorous, but with God I was able to pull through all the four stages which are Private Pilot license, commercial pilot license, instrument rating license, and multi-engine license.
Were there occasions that you felt like quitting?
Sincerely, there was never a time that I felt like quitting because It was a dream come through.
What was the total cost of your training and how did you finance it?
The total cost for my pilot training was 75,000 dollars. Everything was financed by my father, my helper; my destiny changer and the most ‘dangerous’ giver I have ever met in my life, Pastor Wole Oladiyun and his wife, Pastor Mrs. Bukola Oladiyun without a kobo from me or any of my family member.
What is your next plan now after this qualification?
My next plan now is to get a job as an Airline pilot with any of the Nigeria Airlines, either private or commercial Airline in Nigeria or outside Nigeria.
What is your assessment of the Nigerian aviation sector?
Nigeria is a developing country, so I can say that the aviation sector is not doing badly. We are making progress, though the journey is still very far.
What role did CLAM and Pastor Wole Oladiyun play in you emerging a pilot today?
Pastor Wole Oladiyun did all for my pilot career to be achieved. My unreserved appreciation goes to Pastor Wole Oladiyun and Pastor Mrs Bukola Oladiyun. They are God-sent to my destiny. They do not know my source; they do not know my father, my mother, or even any member of my family before picking me up and giving my life a 360 degree turnaround without a kobo from me or any member of my family from the beginning of the training to the end.
I will boldly say to the whole world that Pastor Wole Oladiyun made me a pilot today. I was a rejected daughter from the womb all because my mother got pregnant at the age of 18 and she never wanted the pregnancy. But she was seriously warned against abortion hence the reason for the deep hatred from my mom.
In her words, she sees me as a life-time hindrance to her success and she never wanted to ever set her eyes on me till date. She thought I will never amount to anything in life but all thanks to God almighty for his faithfulness in my life and blessed be the day I stepped into CLAM CHURCH.
My immense gratitude goes to PASTOR WOLE OLADIYUN AND PASTOR MRS BUKOLA OLADIYUN for their love and support for making me a pilot. GOD BLESS THEM AND THEIR GENERATIONS FOREVER IN JESUS NAME. AMEN.
Pastor Wole Oladiyun (pictured left below) is the Senior Pastor of the Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM), Omole, Lagos. Pastor Mrs Bukola Oladiyun is the Director of Family Life and Founder, Voice of Joy and Gladness International Ministry.
Pastor Oladiyun gave God all the glory for the privilege to be an instrument God used to uplift Captain Olufunmilola. According to him, ” changing destinies and supporting people’s dreams and vision is something that gives me fulfillment”.
“My wife and I are proud of Olufunmilola’s achievement and we are trusting God that this will be the beginning of a new phase of her life where she will enjoy all-round fruitfulness and make an impact in her generation”, he added.
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