London trained Biola Awote is the proprietress of Estaport School located in Gbagada area of Lagos. Everything about Awote confirms she is perfectly in tune with the teaching profession. Awote is the daughter of former Minister for Power and Housing, Mrs Mobolaji Adekunle Osomo.
Regardless of religion or social affiliation, she will never compromise her integrity. In this exclusive interview with Funsho Akinwale, Awote speaks candidly on her life, work and plans for politics
Would you say your background prepared you for your present profession?
Yes, it did.
I come from the family of educationists. So, we put a lot of emphasis on education -reading, going to school, writing exams, the morals of the society and the morals of being a Christian.
If you were not in this profession, what would you have preferred to do?
I actually wanted to be a career diplomat because I obtained a joint honours degree in International Relations and Politics.
I have always wanted to be an ambassador but later when I returned to Nigeria, I realised that it would not be feasible, which would affect my settling down as a career woman. So, I decided to take up the educational career.
How has it been since then?
It’s been wonderful. I have been in this profession since 1996 and I’m happy I came here, because it gives me room to do other things.
Your mom, Mrs. Mobolaji Osomo, was once a Minister in this country. Has the name opened doors for you?
That was when I was much younger and now you know I’m married, so it’s only a few people that actually know that. At a time, it really did, but people tend to watch your character because they believe that if indeed she is your mother, you should have a good character.
What are those things you learnt from your mother?
Respect for everybody regardless of class, age, and anything else.
No matter who you are, respect comes first and the fear of God.
My mother always tells us that we should remember that some people are still stuck somewhere. One thing about her is, she never forgets her people.
As a mother and wife, how do you juggle these roles together?
My work starts 7:15 am and ends at 4:30 pm. Luckily, I have a husband who understands my job and my kids are here with me in the school, so I’m always with them.
How did you meet your husband?
We met while growing up. We grew up together in the same estate and we have always known each other. He was a good friend and very understanding person.
Was it love at first sight?
No, it wasn’t love at first sight. Like I said earlier, we grew up together so I knew him very well and he knew me too. We were friends from the start, and along the line, we got on very well.
Where do you see yourself in a few years?
I want to go into politics. Of course, you know I read politics.
Besides the fact that you read politics, is there another reason for wanting to go into politics?
What is so bad about that? If people like us don’t come out, who will?
I don’t think there is anything wrong in taking that step.
What three words best describe you?
Energetic, smart and God-fearing.