It was a moment of joy and merriments when the Old Students of University of Ilorin, Unilorin French Class of 1992 Set met recently in Ibadan, the Capital City of Oyo State.
The then students of Unilorin who over the years have become accomplished individuals in their chosen fields reunited at a gala night that featured lectures, dinner, cocktail among others to mark their reunion after thirty one years of their graduation from their alma mater.
Some of the attendees of the event revealed how sudden death of one of them, late Professor Pius Adebola Adesanmi led to their reunion four years ago.
Recall that late Pius Adebola Adesanmi a Nigerian born Canadian academic and author died on 10 March 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after take-off.Pius Adesanmi was born in Isanlu, Kogi State, Nigeria on 27 February 1972, he obtained his Bachelor of Art at University of Ilorin before proceeded to the University of Ibadan and University of British Columbia for his Ma and PhD respectively. He was the author of Naija No Dey Carry Last, a 2015 collection of satirical essays.
In his welcome address at the event that was held at the Professor Subomi Balogun Hall, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, the Class Rep of the Unilorin French Class of 1992, who is now an accomplished French teacher at the University of Ibadan International School, High Chief Ajibade Ayoride Babatunde expressed his gratitude to all his mates for their supports and contributions to the event.He also gave thank to God for making it possible for them to have a reunion after 31 good years.
He said, “We thank God for the idea that we should come together this night after 30 years and though some of us are dead but we give glory to God for some of us that are still alive.”
In his lecture titled “The Benefit Of Old Class”, Ajibade said, “benefit in most times don’t really mean money, it can be sharing of ideas, informations, helping one another through networking. Since we’ve came together now we’ve been sharing ideas with each others, rub minds together and also know what to do for each others.”
While speaking on how fulfilled he is as a French teacher, Ajibade said, “I’m a proud French teacher. French was natural for me, I fell in love with French before I got to secondary school and throughout my secondary school days French was my best subject ever, that’s why I proceeded to Unilorin to study French as a course and I have no regrets for doing so.”
In her lecture titled “Golden Year: Finding Fulfillment After 50”, the Chairperson of the planning committee of the reunion, Mrs Oluwakemi Itunu Akintayo nee Otekunrin, a French lecturer and Head Of Department (French) at the College of Education, Ila-Orangun, Osun State urged her colleagues not to relent in their pursuit of their set goals in life even after 50 years of age.
She said, “There’s more to life after 50,I came to encourage everyone here tonight to forget about age, as you can still start afresh, you are not too old to reinvest in yourself even after 50. I just achieved my dreams that I have been nursing since my University days, I started my school just five years ago since we’ve all left university 31 years ago, so it’s never too late for us to achieve our set goals in life, age is nothing but a number, I want you all to see this gathering as another challenge to a greater heights.”
“Even after 50 years you can start over again and there are somethings that are very important, family relationship, your network with old friends and by now we should know what is most important for us, we must drop people that are not adding values to our lives, we must by now be able to identify the negative set of people that cannot contribute meaningful to our lives, we must shun all these people so we can move forward and then focus on people that can inspire us and look at life with fresh hope.”
“At this age we should look at what legacy we want to leave for our family and for the world out there and most importantly, we must be looking forward leaving a legacy.”
Dr. (Mrs) Titilade Ahmed, a lecturer at Adeyemi Federal University of Education, Ondo reiterated the importance of French language as a course, stressing that sky is the limit for any students that studied French as a course.
She said, “Some of our French students are nonchalant with the French language as a course. They believe that the French language is difficult once they finish, they will delve into another course or field, but as for me, whoever studies French, the sky is more than that person’s limit.”
In her lecture titled, “Women As Agents Of Socialisation, Dr. Titilade Ahmed said, “Involving male children in household chores is an excellent way to teach them important life skills, encourage responsibility, and promote gender equality. By cultivating these habits at a young age, we can help create a more balanced and equitable society.”
“Children often imitate what they see their parents or guardians doing. By demonstrating your own participation in household chores, you can help normalize the idea that these tasks are not gender-specific. When your children observe you engaging in various chores, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, or gardening, they will be more inclined to participate.”
“As women we must talk to our children about the significance of household chores and how they must contribute to maintaining a clean and organized living environment. We must help them understand that sharing responsibilities benefits everyone in the family and fosters a sense of teamwork. We must educate them that house chores are not exclusive to any particular gender.” Titilade said.
In his remarks Mr Augustine Abiodun Fayemi, the General Secretary of the Welfare Committee for the reunion event said, “though we are not much in our set but we are so united and formidable.
Speaking from his base in New York City, Augustine Abiodun Fayemi said, “this group was founded few years ago, actually it was the death of one of us, Professor Pius Adesanmi that led to the birth of this group.”
While reminiscing on their days at the University, Augustine Fayemi said, “I was so close to late Pius Adesanmi because I’m somebody that liked fun, I was into kegite club while in school, and late Professor Pius Adesanmi who was a very close friend of mine was my reading mate, he was the one that do forced me to be reading, because I just believed in making fun, activism and student unionism, but in the night Pius Adesanmi will make sure I followed him to go and study, sometimes we used to walk down to Kwara Polytechnic mini campus to go and study as our campus was still at mini Campus at Agbo Oba area then.”
“Honestly we that God for a day like this, though we’ve been having small small reunion before this elaborate one because I remembered in the month of August Dr. Bola Babalola came to New York to visit me with her husband and their son, and when I had my first son’s weeding in Lagos early this year some of our colleagues were there to represent our set, when Toyin Ojo’s Daddy died some of us were there in Ekiti to represent us, very recently when Quadri lost her mum some people represented us at the funeral party, if you go through our pictures while we were still at campus you we see how united we are, it was Kemi Otekunrin that jokingly called for this elaborate reunion on our group platform.”
“Kemi Otekunrin said jokingly that it will be so great to have a reunion and we all agreed and behold, people started supporting and we raise money and God gave us the privilege to come together again after 31 years we’ve left school.” Augustine said.
The reunion event also featured activities such as, aerobic exercise, cake cutting, award presentation, dancing, lectures, networking among others. While some of the attendees at the event were Mr Ajibade Ayorinde, Dr. (Mrs) Titilade Ahmed, Mrs Kemi Akintayo, Mr Mukaila Salami, Mr Yinka Lawal, Mr Ogunlana Michael, Mrs Yinka Adeniyi, Mrs Grace Doye, Mrs Tinu Ige, Mrs Bola Omomola, Mrs Jumoke Salawu, Mrs Nike Oloore.