As BOY breaks the jinx…

Prof Badmas Lanre YusufWhen the University of Ilorin was established in August 1975, one of the pioneer three Faculties of the new University was the Faculty of Arts. Forty years after, the University would become the flagship of the Nigerian university system, shattering the records of the older universities and setting new standards of excellence in virtually all gamuts of academic endeavours.

With the commencement of postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Science in October 1977 and the subsequent establishment of the Postgraduate School, the research and academic activities of the University received a boost. Over the years, the School has attained increased robustness which reflects in the quality and quantity of graduates of higher degrees and diplomas churned out each year. For instance, from 23 PhDs produced by the University in 1999/2010 session, the output increased to 57 in 2005/2006 session and 106 in 2013/2014 session.

However, if some people considered it a jinx that the Faculty of Arts had not produced a Dean of the Postgraduate School over the years, that jinx has been broken. With the emergence Prof. Badmas Olanrewaju Yusuf (BOY for short) as the new Dean, through which he scored additional firsts that I choose to foreground, the University at large and the Postgraduate School in particular are poised to benefit from his mine of experience.

I have admired the personality of Prof. BOY for many years. Apart from his depth as a scholar and versatility as a don, I always see him as one of the true embodiments of what I called “balanced education”, which Prof. Ali Mazrui once referred to as the “triple heritage”. A judicious admixture of the best of Western, African and Islamic education, there is little wonder that Prof. Yusuf is a balanced personality or Total Man.

Apart from being a highly resourceful Professor with several publications in various outlets across the world, the new Dean of the PG School is an Ilorin cultural icon and a top-notch cleric. A former College Provost and former Permanent Commissioner of the National Hajj Commission, besides several academic responsibilities in the University including Departmental Postgraduate Coordinator, Head of Department and Faculty Representative at the PG School, Prof. Yusuf is assuming his new office with a truckload of experience. Much will be expected from him regarding taking the Postgraduate School to higher heights.

Born almost six decades ago, Prof. Yusuf was educated in Ilorin, Kano and Saudi Arabia. At various times, he had worked as a journalist, teacher, College lecturer and University don. He is also a polyglot who speaks four languages (Arabic, English, Hausa and Yoruba) fluently.

The Alma Mater wishes him all the best as he earnestly hopes that he will consolidate on the achievements of his illustrious predecessors.

A story for today: giving is living

A beautiful and expensively dressed lady approached her counsellor and told him she felt her whole life was empty and meaningless and she wanted happiness. The counselor called over an old lady in charge of cleaning the office floors and faced his client.

“I am to ask Mary here to tell you how she found happiness. All I want you to do is to listen to her,” he said.

So, the old lady put down her broom, sat on the chair and cheerfully told her story:

“Well when my husband died three years ago and my only son was later killed by a car, I felt my whole world had crashed. I had nobody. I had nothing left. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. I never smiled at anyone. I even thought of ending my own life. Then one evening, a little kitten followed me home from work. Somehow, I felt sorry for that kitten. It was cold outside so I decided to let the kitten in. I got some milk and the kitten licked the plate clean. Then it purred and rubbed itself against my leg and for the first time in five months, I smiled.

Then, I stopped to think, if helping a little kitten could make me smile, maybe doing something for people could make me happy. So the next day, I baked some biscuits and took them to a neighbour who was sick in bed. Every day, I tried to do something nice for someone. It made me so happy to see them happy. Today, I don’t know of anybody who sleeps and eats better than I do. I have found happiness by giving to others.”

When the rich lady heard this, she cried. She had everything that money could buy but she had lost the things which money cannot buy. So the beauty of life does not depend on how happy or comfortable you are but how others are happy because of you.

“Happiness is not a destination, it is a journey. Happiness is not tomorrow, it is now. Happiness is not dependency, it is decision. Happiness is not what you have, it is who you are.”

Enjoy your week!