Student Personality Of The Month: Exclusive Interview With UIMSA President 2018/2019

Hi everyone,meet Mr.Muhammad-Bashir Yahya,a final year medical student of the University Of Ibadan.He is the current President of the University Of Ibadan Medical Students Association.Muhammad is a man who is grounded in polished and exquisite theories on leadership.He believes that a sense of purpose and nothing else is what makes a leader.In fact,you can lead from anywhere provided that your purpose is realistic and objective.Vasiti had an exclusive interview with him and he humbly walk us step by step through his leadership journey.

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

I am Muhammad-Bashir Yahya, a final year medical student of the University of Ibadan. I am an indigene of Niger State with some Yoruba, Aho and Gwandara ancestry. I am the current President of University of Ibadan Medical Students Association (UIMSA), the largest medical students association in sub-Saharan Africa. I was one of the founding members of Smile Builders NG, a non-governmental organization aimed at reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases to the barest minimum. I am also a volunteer for the Community Health Programme committee of UIMSA. I am the face of Shop 3Pence, an online fashion store resident in Alexander Brown Hall (ABH).

How would your best friend describe you?

Well, I’m not sure I’d like my best friend to describe me because frankly, her honest words are not publication friendly but if she is to scale her words down, she will probably describe me as a young, ambitious and resourceful man who does everything within his capability to make sure he does not miss his target.


How did you feel when you were elected as UIMSA President?

A part of me was excited but the greater part was already strategizing how to handle the position. It is something I haven’t been able to change about myself. I’m more of a forward looking realist than probably anything else. I rarely take time out to enjoy the moment since  I am always preparing for the next moment.

What is your most stimulating moment?

My most stimulating moment is when I stood before the senate of UIMSA. I spent three years myself serving the association as a very meticulous senator. Therefore, standing before the very house  got my neurons firing at exhilarating rate. It  pushed me to think from both side of the coins.

Do you intend to hold any key office in the long run?

I am a challenge based individual. What that means is that I look for challenges and set out to conquer them. For now, my next challenges are finance and commerce based. Perhaps, the future may hold enticing political challenges but for now, office holding isn’t part of my plans for the  future.

What do you think are the most important leadership values and ethics to have? How would you put them in practice?

Objectivity and integrity. I believe every leader, in order to progress must possess objectivity in both reasoning and actions.This is because it promotes decision making from a realistic point of view and allows one to take realistic actions  without sentimental attachments. Integrity on the other hand should be one of the deciding factors of worthiness of leadership since integrity makes a man.


How do you handle and resolve conflict?

Conflicts, like any other problems in life need understanding before attempt at resolution. I first objectively understand the situation, the cause of grievances, each parties’ expected solutions and prevailing factors. With that,i can well engage in  thorough negotiations with all aggrieved parties and draw out a possible midpoint that suits the parties involved.

If you were stranded in an abandoned island, what three things would you have and why?

I will have my resourcefulness, my determination and my will to survive.


How do you deal with pressure?

I don’t deal with pressure. I simply don’t allow anyone  to pressurise me. I have in time learnt that pressure will only come when you invite it. That way, I maintain my objectivity and realism.


Who is your role model?

I don’t have a particular role model. In fact, I despise the idea of having role models. I learn from everyone, no matter who it is. Everyone has their good and bad sides so I take what works for me from every familiar person.

Why do you look up to that person?

(not applicable)


What piece of advice do you have for aspiring student leaders?

Leadership is about understanding the needs of people. This gives the leader a sense of purpose. Purpose is essential in leadership. Understand your people, give your leadership a purpose in that light and you will be appreciated.

What do you think of Vasiti?

I think Vasiti is in its way revolutionary. It is bringing leaders an opportunity to be heard from a personal point of view about leadership and not from the leadership point of view. This and many more makes Vasiti stand out to me.


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