Celebrated African historian, Professor Toyin Falola, has been proclaimed as Professor Emeritus by the Lead City University.
The varisity said the honour was in recognition of Falola’s research and teaching accomplishments in the field of history.
Falola was honoured at the varsity’s 15th convocation ceremony.
Speaking at the event, Lead City’s Chancellor, Prof. Gabriel Ogunmola, commended Falola’s contributions to knowledge production.
Reacting to the proclamation, the professor said he may have not contributed so much to body of knowledge if he had remained in Nigeria.
“I had this nostalgia as I looked at the congregation with some of them bagging their PhD. I bagged my PhD in 1981. I was also imagining a very bright future for all of them. I was also praying for them in my mind that they will succeed, and that the contributions of their parents will not go wasted.
“The Yoruba concept of destiny could be applied to me. If I had remained in Nigeria, perhaps I would not have produced that number of research efforts. The comparative intellectual output would not have been possible with the limited facilities here in Nigeria, the strike actions, the lack of electricity. Location does affect what you do and what I do. You will be more productive if you are not thinking about electricity, generators, water, and bad roads. These will affect every job everywhere in the world.
“The founder of Lead City University, Professor Jide Owoeye and I were lecturers at the Obafemi Awolowo University together. The impressive Lead City University that you see today was built without corruption; it was built without any stolen money; it was built without any state funding and it is better than the majority of state universities built with state funds in Nigeria. My life is also like that. Everything I have achieved is without blemish, without corruption. My message to all my mentees is that they should not be tempted; they should not get involved in corrupt practices. If you have an opportunity to work for a day, do your work to the best of your abilities. Ask God to bless you in his way; we are not all going to be blessed the same way. For it to be glorious, for that glory to last, we cannot control it. There is no god that will bless everybody the same way. Some people may be blessed with good health but without wealth. For others, it may be with successful children. Why don’t you allow God to bless you in his own way? It is more rewarding, more enduring, more lasting, and more glorious.”
Falola is Africa’s eminent Professor of History, a university distinguished teaching professor, and the Jacob and Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, the University of Texas at Austin.
He is an Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town, and President of Pan-African University Press. He has received three Yoruba chieftaincy titles, over 30 lifetime career awards, and more than 14 honorary doctorates.