Home Articles REMINISCENCES: FOLLOWING IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS HOW GREAT NIGERIANS EMERGED

REMINISCENCES: FOLLOWING IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS HOW GREAT NIGERIANS EMERGED

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Nigerians who received early education in the first half of the 1900s are today still highly regarded as achievers in many fields of human endeavour. Time and space will not permit publication of records of these people who toiled in spite of unenviable conditions to record meaningful achievements. What are those factors that made these Nigerians with very limited opportunities behave very responsibly and in a self-respecting manner? What are those factors that contributed to their successes in life? TERRIFIC HEADLINES brings you an account of the educational exploits of some Nigerian students from the 1920s; who later became famous in their different callings. It is thinkable that the younger generation would have one or two lessons to pick from this account, and possibly get motivated to attain higher standards of performance and conduct. The account is culled from: The Part To Play: An Autobiography of Chief S.T. Adelegan.

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And from the first day to the last in St. Andrew’s Teachers Training College, Oyo, it was learning and learning and learning.  Usually each entrance examinations into St. Andrew’s of our time must have been a “Pupil Teacher’’ before he was allowed to take the Oyo Entrance.  He himself, not having been organized to teaching methods and behavioural attitudes, shouldn’t have been allowed to handle the young children. He might have been “educated” or exposed to some learning of some sort.On the third day of our arrival in St. Andrew’s, we were shown practically how “raw” we had been.  It was our immediate seniors who invited us into the Art Room to really show us what we really were.  Before that day, we were, in the euphoria of becoming members of the honourable set of people called “Andrians”.  We were behaving as if we were at home.  In fact, the seniors pampered us beyond measure.  Some of us behaved carelessly.  They crossed the lawns at will, chewed their sticks in the open, and spat all over the place.  While chewing sticks, they strolled around the compound and spoke to everybody with sticks in their mouths. They put their heads in the air and whistled, as if they were in their living rooms. On this third day after lunch, in the Art Room, the immediate seniors talked to us about this ‘raw’ behaviour.  We thought we were “Teachers” but really we were “cheaters”.  We were merely ‘raw, bush teachers”.  Some of us really agreed we were.  But most of us thought we could have been advised under better and more honourable atmosphere. But all Andrians are happy that they have gone through that College, and the system in that college.

As soon as we settled down we wrote to loved ones and friends who could also come into this college to prepare hard.  We sent down help to them to prepare them for the entrance examination. In our class (1941 –1944) we were about twenty four in number as follows:

  • Abiodun Johnson (Lamikanra)
  • Adelegan Shadrach Titus
  • Ajibola Nathaniel Ayoade
  • Akerele Samuel Ajibade
  • Akinyemi Isaac Bandele (formerly Akinbosede)
  • Akinyemi Stephen Ayodeji
  • Ayeni Julius Uanbahoro
  • Ayodele Jacob Olufemi (J. O. Oshuporu out…. Dec. 1942)
  • Ayodele R. Stephen Adebayo
  • Etimiri Timothy Olusanya
  • Jamgbadi Michael Akinsola
  • Jeje Michael Akinsola
  • Oarhe Humphrey Michael
  • Ogunlade Rufus Akinloye
  • Ogunlola Emmanuel Onaola
  • Oguntugbiyele Emanuel Michael
  • Olokesusi Zacchaeus Babalola
  • Olugboju Nathaniel Ekundayo
  • Oladunjoye Josiah Williams Oyedele
  • Omoikhudu Joseph
  • Orojo Joseph Ola
  • Orotayo John Ojo
  • Osuntokun Joseph Oduola
  • Philips Moses Olajide (Ero Philips)
  • Yoloye Samuel Christopher Ayoolu

LESSONS & ACTIVITIES
Our class was very proud of its records while we remained in St. Andrew’s. Of the colleges first eleven-football team we could boast of four members – Ajibola, Lamikanra, Osuntokun and Ogunlola.  There were more as the years went by.  In all other games, we were prominent.  I was champion in Table Tennis, in Tenikoit, game of vibes.  Oshuntokun, Ogunlola, Olokesusi, and others including myself were prominent.  We were found in large number in the library.  In our literary evenings, we also excelled.  Since our Third year, we were involved in giving lectures on Current Affairs.  I remember the evening at which we gave lectures as follows:

  1. Osuntokun –           The War in Europe and the Russian Front
  2. Adelegan –           The War in the Mediterranean
  3. Olokesusi –           The War in the Far East

When Essay competitions were written in College, our class was sure to win a prize. Although we thought highly of our class, we were able to hear of exploits of others in our senior classes or even those who passed out long before us and even some of our tutors. Here was Rev. S. A. Banjo B. A.; the Senior Tutor, a very deep academic, a philosopher, who handled our School Methods, Ancient History and Doctrine.  One other Andrian had just left.  He was teaching “SCIENCE” in the Science Laboratory.  So, we were all wondering what a wizard he would have been.  His name was AWOKOYA.  Another was Ighodaro.  He had even come to give us a lecture.  He was a Lawyer.  Then came another on the staff, to teach us Mathematics.  He was called Mr. J. A. Osanyin.  He graduated with a B.Sc.  Mathematics.  Ha!  These were the true Andrians. Many of us thought in our minds “If God helps us, one day we too will be graduates”.Rev. Banjo, later Archdeacon Banjo, founded the Ibadan Archdeaconry Teacher Training College, which first started at Yemetu, Ibadan; and later moved a home at Molete at St. Luke’s College, Ibadan.  I taught in St. Luke’s College between 1951 and 1954 as a teacher of English and Mathematics.  Archdeacon Banjo was father of Dr. Bayo Banjo, a Medical Doctor of note and Professor Ayo Banjo, formerly Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.

THE ‘WIZARD’
For the study of the animal side, our tutor was Mr. Soulsby in the Science Laboratory.  There were in the Laboratory Library huge books on insects, birds and animals from all parts of the world.  Mr. Soulsby, who was very prolific, raced us through many books, and we had to draw many of the series and label them in our Zoology notebooks.  Mr. Soulsby also prepared many experiments for us in subjects, which can now be termed Physics and Chemistry.  We were taught about properties of air and water and the process of distillation.  We called Mr. Soulsby “AJES” which connotes wizardry.  He showed keen interest in the college literary activities.  He often was responsible for setting our essay competitions and debates.  Our literary evenings, which involved all staff and students, took place once or twice a month.  We often had lectures from very important personalities from Ibadan. We had some lectures given by T. T. Solaru, who had just come back from the United Kingdom, and from Mr. Justice S. O. Ighodaro, an old student (No. 604 admitted 1928). He qualified as a Lawyer in U. K. and the College brought him to inspire contemporary students.  We were indeed much inspired to work harder, and possibly surpass these brilliant “old boys”.  In fact, from the classes of 1928 and 1929 one could find a few of the names of those who made significant marks on Nigerian development:

GREAT ANDRIANS

1928 Class

S/N. 604- S. O. Ighodaro-           Iyase of Benin

S/N. 588- Adedayo T. A.-Revd.   B. A. Dunelm    -Later founding Principal of Obokun Grammar School, Ilesa.

S/N. 593 -Adeyefa S. A.- Revd. B. A. Dunelm     – Later Principal Oduduwa College, Ile Ife.

S/N 600 Dina (Chief) I. O.-Later lecturer in History, University College,Ibadan and Head of Service, Western Region, Ibadan

S/N. 620 Owotomo (Chief) E. O.-Later a successful lawyer and  Community Leader in Ijebu.

1929 Class
S/N. 642 E. O. Alayande (Archdeacon) B. A. Dunelm. One-time Federal President of  Saint Andrew’s College Old Boys Association and retired Principal of Ibadan Grammar School who has served Nigeria in various positions.  President, Yoruba Council of Elders.

S/N. 644 S. O. Awokoya- B.Sc. (London) who has served as first Education Minister Western Region of Nigeria and in the Federal Government in various positions.

S/N. 648 J. O. I. Longe (Chief)-For many years Permanent – Secretary  Western Region, Ibadan and retired from the post of Permanent Secretary Federal Republic of Nigeria.

S/N. 650 J. A. Akinyemi (Canon)- B. A. Dunelm; Principal Ilesa Grammar  School, Principal St. Andrew’s College, Oyo, Commissioner for Local Government, Western State.

 

The sampling of Andrians (SACOBA) that I have done from the years 1928 and 1929 goes to justify the respect we have for our old Boys (SACOBA).  Good training and brilliance was however not the sole preserve of any class of all the years, even till now.  Just sample any class and you would see the glory of the Great Institution.

1921 S/N. 356. Adenle S. A. later Ataoja of Osogbo. My former Headmaster.

1922 S/N. 386  Ogunlesi J. S. – Renowned Pioneer Adult Education Officer whose wife founded the Children’s Home School, Ibadan.

1923 S/N. 430 Yoloye (Revd.) Senior.  Father of my late classmate and friend – 955 Yoloye  S.C.A.

1924 S/N. 439 Ajasin M. A. – Founding Principal Imade College, Owo – former Governor of Ondo State and rugged politician

  1. S/N. 455 S/N. Olatunji A. F. – My late music Tutor in Oyo.

1925.S/N. 481. Aladesanmi D. A. – One-time Ewi of Ado-Ekiti

  1. S/N. 488 Banjo S. A. Senior Tutor St. Andrew’s College, Founding Principal St. Luke’s College, Ibadan, and later Deputy Speaker Western House of Assembly. (My predecessor in the office of Deputy-Speaker).
  2. S/N. 504. Osanyin J. A. B.Sc. Maths – Our tutor in Maths at St. Andrew’s, later Principal Offa Grammar School.

 

The achievements and records of Old Boys of St. Andrew’s will only be too much for the scope of my narration. But the salient point worth recording is that the Andrian, wherever you meet him, should be seen as an achiever in all the fields he undertakes. As long as the standard of training remained what it was in those days, the Andrian was sought after in all fields of endeavour, even in government and trade concerns.  I am well aware that there were other institutions, which were Teacher Training Colleges at that time – Iwo Baptist College and (Methodist) Wesley College, Ibadan, but it is true that all well trained gentlemen were, and are, still referred to as “SACOBA” by younger ones.  For example, at the University College, Ibadan, all former teachers who became undergraduates were addressed as “SACOBA”, no matter what Teacher Training Colleges they attended.  It might even be because they behaved very responsibly and were self-respecting.  (The account is culled from: The Part To Play: An Autobiography of Chief S.T. Adelegan)

 * Please Note: St Andrews College, Oyo, an Anglican institution has now metamorphosed into Bishop Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo Town, Oyo State.

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