By Saint-Olawale Jimoh
Reading through ‘Daniel In The Lion’s Den’, one of the books I got as Souvenir directly from His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, I stumbled on the story of one uncelebrated icon, Late Professor Adeoye Lambo, a pioneer in Psychiatric medicine, one-time Vice Chancellor of University Of Ibadan and one-time Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Not much is known about this late Don, during his lifetime, incidentally, he’s from Ogun State. I couldn’t help but imagined why little is known about great men of tremendous intellectualism despite their exploits and unparallel achievements. Looking around, we still find few of these men, unappreciated until they die and we shed tears, send condolences and offer words of praise at their funerals.
Unfortunately, they don’t know, see or hear anything after they’re gone. Instead, we can make them feel special by appreciating them in their lifetimes.
One of such persons is Professor Frederick Adewale Adeyemi, a distinguished expert in Genetical Inheritance & Variations (Cytogenetics). One of the very few in the land. A living legend, humility personified, icon and role model. I have a lot of respect and admiration for this man, not basically because of his academic records and achievements but for the number of lives he has touched without making noise about it. In my current project titled, “10 Great Ilese Sons We May Never Have Their Type Again”, he’s Number 2 on the list.
Considering his background, most especially the rough and uneasy road through which he attained his education, the lack of which would have most certainly made him unknown, one would have thought he would in turn be tough and harsh on people. Yet he put all he went through aside to assist any student who requested his assistance because of his unequivocal belief in the fact that quality education must be the single most important endeavour for any living being to possess. He has therefore thrown his all into this time-honoured value as he had demonstrated towards me and so many others who he did not just assist but ensured all ended in success without requesting anything in return.
Professor Adewale Adeyemi is the reason I had access to university education and same for countless number of others out there especially from Ilese.
Fact is, he is not the only Professor from Ilese, but he’s the most accessible, approachable and readily available to offer helping hands. I remember my countless visits to University of Ibadan (UI) many years ago, to see our own Professor Olatunji, with a note from late Prince A. A Olusanya over my admission issues. In those days, UI was my perfect choice but each time I visited, I got quizzed by the secretary who kept telling me to check back and he each time I checked back, there was always a message for me from Professor Olatunji but unpleasant one untiI I was referred to Professor Adewale Adeyemi, then an Associate Professor at Olabisi Onabanjo University and the whole riddle got solved permanently without filling forms to see him or interrogated by any secretary.
Professor Adewale Adeyemi is a tireless dream supporter and even after retirement about 15 years ago, he’s still assisting and encouraging young ones. He’s one of the most humane academic figures one can find anywhere.
In December 2006, The Youth Forum of St. Paul Anglican Church Ilese rewarded him as the Most Supportive Parent. In 2013, during the 50th Anniversary of Sanni Luba Schools, he bagged ‘Exceptional Life Moulder Award.’ Same year, Ilese Development Association honoured him for his consistent contributions to the socio-economic development of Ilese Community. Also in recognition of outstanding contributions to the growth and development of Christianity in Ijebuland, the Ijebu Anglican Diocese on 22nd of July, 2016 conferred on him the Laity Award. These are few from the numerous awards he had received over the years.
Professor Adewale Frederick Adeyemi is leaving an indellible mark on the town, casting a long shadow and leaving extraordinary large shoes to fill…
When next you see this icon, stop to appreciate him and tell him to keep up the good works. Or better still, put a call through to appreciate this selfless Apostle of Kindness if you have his mobile line.
May his tribe and kind continue to increase.
– SAINT OLAWALE JIMOH