BLUNT OUTBURST: BASHORUN ONA KAKANFO UNIVERSITY aka UNILAG
By 'Kuti Sofumade
"University of Lagos (UNILAG)?! What's in a name really? I think its rather
depressing to see how young people have grown so accustomed to labeling
their Commander-in-Chief all sorts of absurd monikers at the slightest
opportunity. 'Great men are detected in their words first of all'!
In 1992, I set my foot as a ruck-sack hugging new student on the
architectural wizardry that is Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) when it was categorized as the 4th
most expensive real estate in the world. After I encountered that
listing around October of that year in an Architecture bulletin that
compared properties ranging from stadia, universities, palaces, cathedrals, seats of government etc...I went on to discover that what
was OAU then was actually the first step in a 7-phase colossal
developmental project...that school for goodness sake was designed to
have its own aerodrome at some point, in the later phases.
Instead of feeling bad that University of Ife (UNIFE) was re-christened OAU, I thought with
hindsight, it would be better as concerned alumni to accomplish one or
two of the remaining phases.
On an edition of Oprah Winfery
Show, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg gave a USD100mn gift for community and
educational development in a neighbourhood of his interest. That, from
someone that couldn't even claim Harvard as alma mater...or do you drop
out of an Alma mater???
If so many current and ex-students were
as a matter of duty engrossed about taking their alma mater to the next
growth level...names and semantics would be a no-brainer!
don't agree with having an umbilical attachment to an alma mater in
sound, cult and 'length' of name only...I thought we should have
recorded demonstrations by UNILAG Alumni in time past where they would
hold the Lagos metropolis to ransom demanding that the FG should allow
them invest their last naira on transforming the great institution into a
mercurial academic Mecca of some sort.
Not all those
camcorder seeking poses and gestures...the wine goblets clanking, high
decibel speeches and reminisces...gaily assembled repertoire of
activities...tables and chairs procurement and unnecessary self-serving
awards that have come to colour annually congregated 'owambes' called
We are meant to improve the 'life' of our
schools as current students and alumni...not hold on to some names in a
cult like manner. This does not expressly adjudge the
re-christening of UNILAG as Moshood Abiola University expedient...but
its not erroneous either...or a treasonable offence or some travesty as
its being treated in some quarters of the media.
here is perception...many people that attended UNIFE before the OAU
name-change still cling to the UNIFE name in the inner chambers of their
beings...what does that produce? What does it achieve? What does it build? Perceptions of this scale have even failed to 'build castles in the air' to say the least.
UNILAG for whatever it stood for and would continue to stand for has
not got much to do with the name...let's cut ourselves loose from
barbarism, sentiment, denial and myopia.
Did you see those
placards being brandished by the great Akokites? I felt the bad
spellings were too much...or were they St. Finbarr's students
sympathising with their 'Ivy league' neighbours?
argument about stationery, domain name change and all other expensive
alterations? Is UNILAG not a Federal university anymore? I thought the
DJ would normally set the tunes for the gig usually...stop kidding, ARE
ONA KAKANFO joor"~Kutero, NEW TUNES!