Knicely Done: Oboes, economics, foreign languages and track spikes

The uber-talented Lademi Davies is taking her wide range of skills to the next level
Omaha's Lademi Davies is taking all of her talents to the University of Texas this Fall.
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 10:34 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Dele and Arike Davies learned early on that their daughter Lademi was precocious.

“It was interesting,” said Dele in an interview with 6 News. ”We took her to a science museum where I think she had just turned two, and she started reading the rules off the wall. From that point on we realized that we really needed to encourage her and put her into a lot of opportunities where she got reading skills upgraded.”

Lademi took advantage of those opportunities, and she wasn’t afraid to try something new. Such as learning to play the oboe in fifth grade.

“There were a lot of people picking different instruments,” explained Lademi with a laugh. “So, I just picked it to be quirky and different.”

Lademi Davies on her second birthday.
Lademi Davies on her second birthday.(WOWT)

She still plays the oboe today and in fact, was the first chair in the Omaha Westside orchestra.

Her skills with that difficult instrument are part of the reason Lademi was awarded a music scholarship to the University of Texas. That along with her 4.0 grade point average and perfect score on the ACT college admissions test.

She was the 2023 valedictorian for Westside.

Her mother Arike recounted: “Just before she got into her freshman year, she said ‘Mom, I’m going to be the valedictorian in this school.’ And so, she had that drive and to see her accomplish it was so amazing for us.”

Lademi wrote her commencement address with purpose.

“I used my own version of the Tortoise and the Hare,” she said. “I wanted to encourage the students not to let somebody more talented, like the Hare, stop them from going to their dreams. Most important for you is to take the first step, learn something about yourself or another path, instead of letting your fears take over.”

A couple of weeks before that speech, Lademi excelled at the NSAA State Track Meet, winning four individual gold medals.

She blazed to victory in the 200 and 100-meter sprints and outperformed everyone in the long jump and triple jump.

Lademi Davies running track for Westside High School.
Lademi Davies running track for Westside High School.(WOWT)

Lademi also plays piano ranging from classical to gospel and jazz, and speaks two languages along with a little Yoruba, spoken primarily in Nigeria.

“She’s a driven self-motivated person,” said Arike. “When she sets her mind she goes after it to see it to completion, successfully and at the top. Sometimes she’ll tell me, ‘Mom I have to go to my bedroom, I’m going to think, I just need time to think.”

Asked to explain that quiet time Lademi said, “When life is hectic sometimes I just want to work out what’s going on in my mind. It’s a mile a minute going places and I just sort out what’s going on in my mind.”

The name Lademi means “God is my Crown” and her father will tell you his daughter is aptly named.

“One of the things we instill is humility,” said Dele. “It’s a gift from God, grounded in her faith and gifted to her. When people talk about what she is as a human being, which really at the end of the day is most important to us, the fact that she cares for her teammates, she cares for her classmates. She also wants to lead in a kind supportive manner, and I know when she got to Westside that was the one thing she said, ‘I want to help, I want to lead, I want to make the students coming here feel appreciated’.”

Lademi already has goals in place as she starts her freshman year at the University of Texas where she will double major in music and economics.

“I definitely want to maintain a 4.0 and make top ensemble for oboe this year,” she said. “I will have a firm routine for myself to make sure I get along away from home. How I approach life is, I know that I can get places if I set my mind to it. I want to see how far I can go.”

Knicely Done!