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Ibadan Hosts Scholars To Celebrate Ade Ajayi

Published by Guardian on Sat, 18 May 2013


SCHOLARS, academic and intellectuals, who are contributing to the Festcshrift: A Celebration Of J. F. Ade Ajayi, will converge on the Ojobadan Avenue, Ibadan residence of Professor Ade Ajayi on May 24, by 11am, for final deliberations of the forthcoming book project on the erudite scholar.The meeting is geared towards making May 2014 book launch a reality, when the great historian will clock 85.The Guardian gathered that contributors would be given about 10 minutes each to report on the progress made on their chapters and to confirm that the final text of their contribution would be available within the next five months for the publisher.The professor emeritus and former vice chancellor of University of Lagos told The Guardian that he is in a 'fortunate position that others believe there is a story about my life worth telling. As an academic, I have spent a professional lifetime emphasising the importance of collective memory.'He continued, 'our understanding of our history helps to shape our destiny as individuals and as a nation. As an individual, there is a natural curiosity; what will others have to say about me' However, I have always believed that the way in which to positively influence what people think, say and write about you is by living life to the best of your abilities.'Prof. Ajayi said, 'I have tried to do so and now it is right for me to leave it to others to make what they will of those efforts. I have not sought to influence the work of the contributors or the direction of the biography. I am however appreciative of their efforts and look forward to the successful conclusion of the endeavour.'Professor Michael Omolewa, who is coordinating the event in cooperation with Mrs. Yetunde Taiwo, Professor Ade Ajayi's eldest child, is delighted by the quality, spread and diversity of contributors covering all the parts of the world and highlighting all the major facets and phases of the life and work of the academic and intellectual icon.He, however, noted, that the forum would not just be all about books, as guests would be treated to sumptuous meal. His words: 'Those who are able to make the meeting will have the opportunity, later in the afternoon, to explore the private papers and collections that are kept at the Ade Ajayi Library after agood meal of pounded yam, hopefully accompanied by bush meat and efo riro, rice, chicken, and some wine and green tea.'The proposed chapters are Birth and Childhood to be written by Gabriel Nyityo and Dipo Ajayi; Secondary Education by Professors Jide Osuntokun and Michael Omolewa; and Post Secondary Education by Professor Festus Ogunlade.Others include Marriage and Home Building by Dipo Ajayi and Professor Michael Omolewa; The University Of Ibadan Segment by Professor Obaro Ikime and Professor Kunle Lawal, The Scholarship Of Ade Ajayi: Professor Tunji Oloruntimehin and Professor Jide Osuntokun; The Unilag Chapter: Ambassador Olusegun Akinluyi, Professor Ade Adefuye, Professor Tajudeen G. O. Gbadamosi, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Mr. Olurotimi Shodimu and Professor Ayo Ogunye.Other chapters are Ade Ajayi And His Encounter With University Students: Pastor Laolu Akande (also with contribution from Ebenezer Babatope and Olurotimi Shodimu); Post UNILAG: A New Beginning: Professor Kunle Lawal and Professor Funke Adeboye; Ajayi And The Wider World (with Professor Toyin Falola coordinating): The North America, USA, the Caribbean, African Studies in the US, issue of reparations, the Abiola Lecture, consultancy at the World Bank by Toyin Falola; Ajayi And The Legacy Of Friendship Across Boundaries: Professor Lalage Bown; Ade Ajayi And The Historical Society Of Nigeria: Professor Kyari Mohammed; Ade Ajayi And The Collaboration In Research And Scholarship: T. G. O. Gbadamosi; Ade Ajayi And The Teaching And Writing Of The History Of Africa:Professor B. A. Ogot General Editor of the UNESCO General History of Africa coordinating; and Professor Hassan Ahmed Ibrahim; Professor Ade Ajayi And The Pedagogy Of African History Across The Atlantic: Professor Ibikunle H. Tijani (FRHS).The conclusion is titled: The Future Of The Past (A reflection) by Prof Charles Adesina and Professor Michael Omolewa.Professor Louis Munoz, whose piece is titled, My Friendship with Emeritus Professor Jacob Ade-Ajayi, struggled to complete his chapter and died a few days after submitting it. The Ade Ajayis were at his funeral to celebrate their friendship.Emeritus Professor Ayo Bamgbose, who will be unable to attend Friday, May 24 event, has observed: 'I am sure the proposed book will turn out to be a splendid compendium and a worthy tribute to a world-renowned scholar and university administrator'.Professor JDY Peel from the UK who was the first to complete his own chapter is glad to be part of the project.Professor Akin Mabogunje who has also completed his chapter but will not be present at the Friday event has sent a message, 'wishing the enterprise great success'.Meanwhile, Professor Jim Morrison, from Canada has already completed his paper on Ajayi And The Wider World (with Prof. Toyin Falola coordinating).Professor Segun Oke, from London, the UK has completed his paper, while Dr. William Rea, from Leeds, UK has identified the subject and focus of contribution.Prof. Toyin Falola, Texas, United States has completed one of the chapters he will be contributing to the volume and Pastor Laolu Akande, New York, United States has started work on his own chapter.
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