Exclusive Interview With Victory Yinka-Banjo, The 17-Year-Old Genius Who Broke Many Records With Her WAEC, Cambridge, IELTS And SAT Results


Call her a genius and you are definitely not wrong.

I was scrolling through my Linked-In profile sometime in December when I stumbled on a post by Victory Yinka-Banjo.

She not only aced A1 in all her WASSCE Subjects, but she also had A stars in all her Cambridge results.

She was also declared the World Best Candidate in English as a Second Language (Speaking Component) by the University of Cambridge International Examination (CIE).

Yinka-Banjo also made the list of top 5 best candidates locally and globally in other examinations such as UTME, IELTS, SAT.

It was trending at the time and I was just in awe of how she was able to achieve such a feat. One interesting part that struck me was when she talked about her results being withheld initially.

 

Some hours later, I send her a message about having a feature on her about her results and achievements to which she obliged and here we are.

Read on below.


1. What secondary school did you graduate from?

 I attended Princeton College, Surulere, Lagos.

2.How old are you?

I turned 17 in December 2020 (last month)

3. Did you hold any positions while in school? Please mention them.

I was Senior Prefect, Head Girl, President of the Students’ Representative Council, Secretary of the Students’ Representative Council, President of the Press Club, Founder of the Coding Club, Lead Violinist in the School Orchestra. I also actively serve in my church as a Lead Service Director since 2017 and I am currently a Technovation Student Ambassador.

4.Your WAEC results were initially withheld. What went through your mind when you found out?
When I found out, I had hope that it would come out soon but as weeks went by, I lost that zeal and I just started to second guess myself. I felt small and undeserving of any good thing. I felt like my entire life was uncertain. I thought my entire life was uncertain. It may sound like an exaggeration but it was truly traumatic. 

5.Making 9A’s is no small feat. How were you able to pull it off?

I first committed everything to God; I remained consistent with simple school work and assignments; I tackled my weaknesses with full force and I set practical targets. Likewise, I surrounded myself with like-minded people who were my age and had also done well in WAEC and other exams in previous years, e.g, my friend Ifedoyin Oluwakemi, Chika Dueke-Eze and Oluwademilade Sodipe.

6.Did you always feel you would make 9A’s?

 No, I did not. Everyone was expecting me too but I was not 100% sure if I could actually do it. Trust me when I say that God finds me pretty special.

7. How did your parents react when you told them your results?

 OMG!! They were asleep. My sister and I went to their room with my laptop (where the results were) in disbelief. My mom literally swung her eyes wide open and screamed!! She shouted!! She hugged me on her bed for a really long time. My dad just kept saying ‘9As’. And he stared at the results for over 15 minutes.

8. What inspires you?

Stories of people who overcome struggles, are self-made and make the most of their situation, no matter how tough the circumstances are. My friend, Chika Dueke-Eze is a great example. My parents are greater examples.

9. You also aced your Cambridge, UTME, IELTS, SAT exams at once? Where you expecting the results you got?

 No, I was not. God exceeded my expectations. Those were roughly my goals but I wasn’t sure if I would actually achieve them.

10. With the grades you made, international universities should have reached out to you for scholarship opportunities. Is there anyone you are considering at the moment?

 Yes.

11. What course are you planning to study at the university?

Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, or Computer Science.

12. Tell us about your other achievements.

Here are some of them.

  • African Regional Winners (Best Team in Africa)- Technovation Girls’ Mobile App Building, 2019
  • Gold Award- Queens’ Commonwealth Essay Competition, 2020
  • World Best Candidate- Nov/Dec 2019 Cambridge IGCSE, English as a Second Language, 2020
  • Team Nigeria- Top 40 Finalist UNESCO COVID-19 CodeTheCurve Challenge/Hackathon, 2020
  • Most Influential Student Leader- Kings’ College London/African Leadership Centre Leadership Training, 2019
  • Valedictorian of the Class of 2020
  • 1st Place, National Travel Essay Competition, 2018
  • 1st Place, South African Airways Essay Competition, 2018
  • 2nd Place, Association of International School Educators of Nigeria (AISEN) Public Speaking Competition, 2018
  • Top 10 Finalist, National Edition of Microsoft Adobe Competition by New Horizons, 2016
  • Honorable Mention, Trust for Sustainable Living Essay Competition, 2019
  • I have also won many smaller awards within my school such as the regular Best in Math and so on but those are too many to list

13. Oh wow, your achievements are mind-blowing. What are your hobbies?

I like cooking, riding my bike, swimming, listening to gospel music (Hillsong, Elevation Worship and Maverick City), I also like listening to Priscilla Shirer and Steven Furtick sermons. 

14.Any advice for other girls out there?

 We rule the world. Own that!

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