- THE OFFICIAL COLLECTION
2. FROM PRIVATE LENSES
2. FROM PRIVATE LENSES
Goodnight Professor Adetayo Beyioku
By Adeola Aderounmu
My former lecturer and supervisor Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku passed away on April 18 2015. She was aged 67.
Mummy as we fondly called her was born on April 16, 1948. She attended Queens College in Yaba between 1960 and 1964. She also attended Walthamstow Hall, Sevenoaks, Kent for her Advanced Level G.C.E in Physics, Chemistry and Biology between 1965 and 1967.
She was awarded the Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in 1971 by Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky and Master of Science Degree in Microbiology in 1975 by Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois.
She returned to Nigeria and attended the University of Lagos where she was awarded the Doctorate Degree in Medical Parasitology in 1988.
Adetayo Fagbenro-Beyioku joined the services of the University of Lagos as Research Fellow II in 1980. She rose steadily and was appointed Professor of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, in 2003.
Professor Beyioku was a former Deputy Provost at the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos. She was also a former member of the University of Lagos Governing Council.
She was buried according to her wish (after a private ceremony) on the same day she died.
Until her death she was one of Nigeria’s leading voices in the field of malariology.
In various ways, ranging from research, publications, participation in health programs, formulation and implementation of policies to mentoring students mummy was one of those who ensured that the study and knowledge of the malaria parasites remain relevant in Nigerian medical schools and research institutions.
A quick survey of some recent publications in malariology indicates that mummy contributed immensely to our knowledge of malaria epidemiology, immunology, chemotherapy and prevention.
Recent publications with Professor Beyioku’s name:
A current analysis of chemotherapy strategies for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis
Variable geographical distribution of Blastocystis subtypes and its potential implications
Identification and characterization of microsporidia from fecal symptoms of HIV-positive patients from Lagos, Nigeria
Comparative studies of entero-parasitic infections among HIV sero-positive and sero-negative patients in Lagos, Nigeria
Strongyloides stercoralis and the human immune response
Mummy wrote her name in the Nigerian Medical Hall of Fame. She did with an indelible ink as her name and contributions will be cited in literatures and projects for generations to come.
People will talk about her as a good mother, a dedicated wife, a wonderful mentor and an exemplary lecturer/supervisor.
For a long time to come mummy’s work will be carried out and reflected through her postgraduate/research students. Some of her previous students are now professors, associate professors and senior research fellows in various institutions and universities around the world.
Below are the tributes written by some of mummy’s former students: (in no special order)
Tribute 1 Written by Bolaji N. Thomas, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Immunology & Molecular Biology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY 14623. Email: email@example.com
I write not just as a former student, but as a member of the “family”. Professor Beyioku was an advisor and mentor. We call her Mum because she does that one thing, which others would not or cannot, and does it superbly well-LISTEN. She was the support we needed to go through our programs, the calm when things seem difficult and the laughter needed to break the tension and unexpected awkwardness. I recall the days of chatting over coffee, generating research ideas and brainstorming on how to bring the ideas to fruition; the sense of equanimity and the gentle guidance along the way. I learnt a lot from you. You left too soon but be sure we will keep the banner flying. Goodbye.
Tribute 2 Written by Dr. Adekunle Sanyaolu, Associate Professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Saint James School of Medicine, Anguilla, BWI.
This is a tribute to a great mother, Mentor, and Teacher. Professor Adetayo Fagbenro-Beyioku was a dedicated teacher and a loving mother to her children. She made a great impact in the lives of her students and children with her compassion. As a good teacher, she took us, shaped our thoughts and nurtured us in our career path in life. In addition to imparting training, she also inspired us to be good leaders and be compassionate to others. Reminiscing our school days, she showed great interest in our career development and provided advice and guidance to our social lives. Without her guidance and support, we will not be where we are today. We will miss her support forever. Adieu! RIP.
“Most people end up with no more than few people who remember them, however, teachers have many more people that remember them forever”……..Anonymous.
Tribute 3 Written By Dr. Nnaemeka Iriemenam
Professor Fagbenro-Beyioku was a great tutor and mentor to all her students. Each one of us benefited from her immense and vast expertise. Mummy as we fondly called her nurtured us to be what we are today in the world. Her dedication to service, humility, hard work, and intellect shaped our respective career development. You are highly missed by your students and your legacy lives in our days. Adieu!
To conclude these tributes in honour of our former lecturer and supervisor, l asked one of her daughters (Yele) some personal questions. I wanted to know what she missed most about her mother. She told me that she missed everything about her. That sums up mummy: She was very caring and she meant the world to her children.
It was this motherhood that she brought to her office and to the job.
Personally, I remember all the laughter l took with me whenever l was leaving her presence. It touches me how she remembered all the things/information l shared with her during my postgraduate days at CMUL. I remember how at just 29, she allowed me to lecture one of her courses-Medical Parasitology for 300 level medical students.
Mummy’s death came to many of us as a shock and one of us Dr. Ninan Obasi is yet to find the words to express his shock.
Professor Adetayo Fagbenro-Beyioku will be missed by everyone that knew her. She touched many lives directly and indirectly and in special ways.
Mummy is survived by children and grandchildren.
May her gentle soul rest in eternal peace.
The University of Lagos honoured late Professor A-F Beyioku with Academic Procession/Commendation Service at The New Great Hall, CMUL, Idiarabla on July 31 2015.
This piece is published to coincide with her Final Burial Ceremony (Thanksgiving and Reception) on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the Divine Events Centre, Shepherd Hill Baptist Church, Obanikoro Bus Stop, Lagos.
Thank you for your contributions:
Dr. Bolaji Thomas
Dr. Emeka Iriemenam
Dr. Adekunle Sanyaolu
Thank you for our discussion:
Dr. Ninan Obasi
With additional information from
The simplest things in life have become the most difficult to achieve or recover in Nigeria. In a society where self is the most pursued ambition, the concern for others become secondary or non-existent.
By Adeola Aderounmu
The invention of the battery and electricity took place more than 200 years ago. When a country claims independence in 1960, it is natural to expect that a phenomenon already established should be easily sustained or adoptable.
This is an example of a simple thing.
Nigeria was/is not troubled with the task of discovering electricity; she just needs to produce and use it according to laid done principles. How hard is that?
It is too simple.
That the use of constant electricity is impossible in Nigeria 54 years after the so-called independence means that the handlers of Nigeria (both at the presidency and the state levels) are either brainless or heartlessly wicked.
Any other excuse (like pushing blames to institutions or persons after all these years) will be an act of self-delusion or complete senselessness.
There are so many simple things of life that remain elusive to / or were taken away from ordinary Nigerians. When they are available or affordable, they become like gold. Take education for instance.
Just ordinary simple things!
At a time when elementary school children were already going to schools with mobile phones in Europe and other places, it was used as a reference point in Nigeria. For example, people say, that lady with a cell. Some may say, the man whose mobile phone is always ringing during a church service.
In the year 2000 mobile phone was used to raise the statuses of Nigerians. Nonsense!
It was therefore a Nigerian miracle not performed in a church when Obasanjo opened the market for GSM applications in Nigeria. Some people still worship him for that without asking first what the heartless people and criminals heading the Ministry of Communications did with our land telephones.
Nowadays simple things are miracles in Nigeria.
Therefore in 2015 if Nigerians luckily arrived at the polls, they will be choosing among men and women according to the levels of non-performances, regions, tribes and religions.
Election is one of the simplest things I have seen.
In normal situations, people vote for candidates with dependable track records and people of mostly impeccable character (at the time of their entrances to public offices).
This is so simple, and the votes are counted!
Unfortunately for Nigerians, after many years of disorientation by both civilian and military governments, the majority have thrown away both their moral compasses and their sense of reasoning. This is sad because the institutions of governments at all levels have been bastardized. 54 years of social maladies!
Simple things became complicated and Nigerians reached a point of no return.
Hence, the amount of criminalities perpetrated since 1960 or 1999 or even in the last 4 years will not count substantially when people turn to the polls next year. Religions, regions and tribes will be more significant.
Nigerians won’t think about the men who truncated democracy albeit an imperfect, corrupt one. They have since allowed them to rope with ordinary politicians and made sure that both groups rape the country in similar manners.
Revolution is actually a simple act too.
It ranges from using mild but sustained, consistent, and purposeful civil disobedience to extremely violent measures in ensuring for example that public servants and politicians who have stolen from the national and state treasuries are made to face the music by force or they’ll run to exile.
It is a way to change things, mostly for the better. It is a way to seek changes until people understand that government is for service, not for stealing or enrichment.
Referendum is a product of a mild revolt and the subsequent outcomes always bring new awakening no matter what.
When the laws of a country are functional, the need for revolution is actually not necessary. A referendum will do. It is a simple thing.
It is a simple fact that the law system and the methods of justice in Nigeria represent ridicule for the African (black) race. There are so many looters in/out of government offices across Nigeria and they will decide the turn of things to come in 2015 if the people remain as they are-endorsing social maladies and accepting criminals as rulers, brothers, sisters and families.
Nigeria surprises me in how it held together despite all the atrocities of the politicians and the other categories of failed citizens entrusted with the policies that dictate the way of life and the value of it.
Nigerians shock me more than their country does.
How a people so diverse in cultures, languages and ways of life generally remain organized in corruption and sustenance of failed unitary governance must shock the most brilliant philosophical anthropologists.
Some votes will be counted, the rest will be adjusted by the electoral commission/commissioners according to the party that spend or spray the most looted currencies to the electoral commissions.
Nigeria will never be an ordinary country for as long it holds together. Unless a good change occurs, what may even follow Nigeria may be worse.
Many Nigerians lack the knowledge that simple ideas brought into actualizations can bring peace and prosperity to everybody. The wickedness and selfishness that reside in their hearts as a result of several years of absence of both sensible governance and patriotism speak volume.
Politics, pure criminal activities including armed robbery and religious frauds, are among the commonest methods to inexplicable wealth in Nigeria. Yet the popularity of these vices grows.
The simplest things in life have become the most difficult to achieve or recover in Nigeria.
Where do you find a Nigerian politician who has not misappropriated public funds? It is therefore not a surprise that in 2015 every dick, tom and harry is venturing into politics-to become criminals accepted by the society.
Nigerian politics is also wasteful, probably the most expensive to run in the world.
A person who loots public funds and thereby living above his income and claim the grace of a god is a criminal except in Nigeria.
If you want to achieve holiness as a Nigerian even as the people you are supposed to serve are still living in penury, then visit Mecca or Jerusalem. The zombie people will even pray for you!
These things happen in Nigeria. People are praising a god or running after one god after stealing from the common wealth that is supposed to be used for developing the society and infrastructure in general.
The man who steals praises a god, the man who is robbed hopes on the same god. Both of them are stupid but the one who is robbed probably needs to be induced with a dose of cerebrum.
The bands of failed politicians ruling in Nigeria for example since 1999 have not been able to stabilized or improved electricity. They cannot account for the funds invested because the funds were mostly stolen or looted.
In several ways many things that are common sense, easy and simple have been thrown open as wild dramas in Nigeria.
A criminal becomes a state governor. Checked and move on!
A fraudulent person becomes the political godfather of a political party. Checked and no case!
A known convict is elevated in public life. He’s our son, checked!
A man who cannot explain the source of his wealth becomes the kingmaker and the most important socialite. Don’t jealous him, pray to god to give you same wealth!
These things, revealing simple facts but serious anomalies, should earn condemnations and they should spin the law into action. But they don’t in Nigeria. Useless law system!
These simple things that should arouse a revolution of minds, thoughts and actions have become seated as the standard and way of life.
Nigerians are hypocrites. They pretend to be united but they are far from it.
They are mostly divisive on simple matters that common sense can dictate. The dimension has become cancerous.
Simple things have become unhealthy debates on social networks taking on ethnic, religious and tribal dimensions. Reasons are clouded. Silly!
The future is bleak when criminals, sycophants and ass-lickers continue to cross carpet or leave Aso rock for governor’s offices and other appointments and vice versa.
The future is bleak when criminals flow from one section to another because the rest of the people remain silent or accomplices.
It is possible that more than 70% of Nigerians will live and die without experiencing the simple things that make life worth living.
They will not live with constant electricity and they will not live with constant flow of water in their homes. They will not live in standard apartments, flats or houses as these will remain the exclusive rights of the few, mostly rich.
They will not have basic education and their health statuses will be largely unchecked.
These simple things that elude Nigerians, these simple things that are easy to correct but remain ignored put a gigantic question mark on the mindfulness of the Nigerians.
The commonest (and probably also the most unacceptable question) to social critics is “what are the solutions?
How can we not know that the solutions to these problems are very simple?
People in public offices and positions of authorities should do the right thing or get booted by law or force or revolt!
How hard can it be to know that when a criminal or groups of criminals continue to have their ways that the problems (like lack of electricity, lack of clean water, lack of good roads, lack of proper public education) will persist?
How do we think? What are our views of public service?
What are our obligations to humanity and posterity?
But these simple things are complicated because many people are greedy and they will hide the truth just because of the things they hope to gain. They ignore their mindfulness.
In a society where self is the most pursued ambition, the concern for others become secondary or non-existent.
Nigeria will never get a magic dose. I know about the clamor for regional governments which may be a step in the right direction. Even secession is in the air.
How to take care of the simple things will be a concern no matter what type of dispensation that emerge in 2015.
The saddest thing will be a carry-over of the status quo.
Cooking can be a form of relaxation. It is surely art. A nation or a country can be built on well laid foundations that start from the family.
Why Men Should Cook
By Adeola Aderounmu
A nation or a country can be built on well laid foundations that start from the family. I have argued for parental leave for both mothers and fathers in Nigeria.
Unfortunately there has not been any progress in that area. The typical Nigerian life is driven by harsh economic realities and unpredictable socio-political circumstances.
In one of the most complicated situations in the world, the influence of culture and religion in Nigeria provide for a lot of arguments and discussions on the roles of men in different functional and complicated family situations.
All the men in my nuclear family are great cooks. How is that possible?
The credit goes to our mother who complemented our education effectively on the home front. In Western Nigerian secondary schools (during my time) boys are encouraged to choose Agricultural Science and the girls Home Economics.
As I recall now it seemed that the society also played a biased role in determining the roles of men and women. Therefore it appeared that unless the boys took great interest in cooking or their parents especially mothers taught them at home, they always ended up unable to cook.
Many are quick to emphasize that it is the role or even the “job” of women to cook. In traditional African settings that is largely true. The last statement can be expanded even as a topic for an academic dissertation based on the settings of the traditional African societies and the division of labor amongst the men, women and children.
It has always been imperative that women are able to cook, I may state.
My arguments in this essay are towards the men. I think that the men should be able to cook as much as the women. There are many examples of men who are better cook than their wives or the women in their lives.
These arguments are based on the realities of a changing world that cannot be locked up in the past.
Why should men cook? I will draw mostly from personal experiences.
Cooking as I have found out can be a form of relaxation. A wrong notion might be that a man needs a cold bottle of beer after a stressful day at work.
If your kitchen is tidy it is one of the best places to retire to after a hard day’s work. It is a place where you can either throw away your disappointments or show your happiness for the day.
Under any of these circumstances above there should be no hindrance to showing love and care to your children or to your visitors or friends depending on the company you keep after work.
Cooking is art. By systematically creating a piece of meal or a nice, tasty diet from essential raw materials, you might forget or relish about how the day has been and cherish the moment when your children, friends or family enjoy the products your serve to them.
A man should cook to ease the strain on the family.
The children should not suffer or eat junk food simply because their mother is working late one day a week. They should not bear the brunt of their mother visiting a friend during the week or attending a ceremony on Saturday.
If the man is at home, he should be able to stand up to the responsibility of keeping the family going and cooking should be the least of his worries.
There will always be situations when the man is alone with the children at home. That time should not be the time to put up the “I don’t care attitude”. It should not be the time to insult the mother of the children simply because she is held up with another activity.
Some men will never accept that they neglected the obligation of learning how to cook when they were growing up.
Men don’t cook in my family is an outdated expression. When I went to the university I always ate from mama-put is the outburst of a lazy mind. Wake up and look around you. Face the reality of your time and brace up for the era you live in!
Many students can cook despite the fact that they ate at Mama-put and other decent restaurant-which one is your own?
Cooking helps the women to appreciate and boast positively about their men. They feel a sense of gender equality without struggling to achieve it. In a functional family this can promote sexual attraction and help the family to stay psychologically healthy.
I do not mean that cooking prevent separation or divorce. It is just one of the ingredients that help as long as the relationship exists.
When both men and women take turns in the kitchen especially when the turns are not based on a schedule, it helps the children to understand that they are required to also take responsibilities for many things in their lives.
The act of pushing blames or looking for excuses start from the family and children learn too quickly from their immediate environment.
Cooking helps children to learn in diverse ways. Science, art, creativity and mathematics are all embodied into cooking.
In Nigeria I can recall that we learned how to cook using a lot of estimations in our judgments of what is required or needed.
Now when I cook sometimes with instructions and using units like “deciliter” or other measurements-I appreciate the level of my mother’s mathematics. It is almost unbelievable what our mothers did!
I know some men take to cooking as a hobby. This means that, by looking or by some sort of interest they just got going at cooking and found it easy and lovable.
I am sure this category of men have found cooking as a useful hobby at those times they are alone as bachelors or married men whose wives are away for certain reasons. They are able to step-up and take charge of the kitchen.
Turning this hobby into a responsibility will be useful on the long run.
From the foregoing, the ability to cook can also help men (and women) to live independently if they choose to be single.
In my family the time between the secondary school leaving year and the university admission year was reserved for intensive course in cooking with my mother. Invariably that was the time you take over the responsibility of cooking for the others in the family who are at home or getting back from work.
Long before that time, it was recommended to be an observer as mama dished out orisirisi from different pots on our stove that was powered by the kerosene.
Growing up in my family back in Nigeria, I know that both boys and girls have equal abilities in the kitchen. I mean a balance of culinary skills. What may vary is the creativity that we add as we went our separate ways.
The documentation of my days at Jaja and Mariere Halls of the University of Lagos cannot be complete without the flavor and aroma the boys in the halls added to the hostels every day.
Later on I met a friend (names withheld) who told me that he could hardly make a cup of tea. He was actually not joking that he cannot even fry an egg. He frequents my room at the College of Medicine in Idiaraba and I always try to show him how I cook. His case was hopeless. He is still my friend today.
When I have had visitors at our home in Stockholm, some people were unable to hide their shock as to the long time I spent in the kitchen. I cook and I tidy up after cooking. Then I tell them why men should cook and tidy up. I hope some women are not fighting their men based on my kitchen behavior.
I do not believe it is the role of women to always do the cooking or tidy up. My mother would chase me out of the kitchen if I start to cook when the kitchen is dirty. In some extreme cases that I remember, she will put out the fire from the stove and I have to take it from the beginning.
There is a time to add the salt and there is a time to slice the onions. No stones in the beans or you’ll eat all the beans yourself. The rice cannot stick together and the tomato sauce must be well fried. Oh Mamma!
Today I appreciate those teachings more than ever before. You will never see me in a dirty kitchen. I can get ill in a dirty kitchen and that is not an exaggeration. It is not a function of wealth but common sense and lessons about hygiene well taken from my mother.
In Nigeria, many families will probably be unable to synchronize their meal times but with proper planning breakfast and dinner at home should be a possibility. Depending on the weekend schedules, families should strive to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together.
People should stop giving excuses on why they cannot cook or eat with their family.
Like many other issues affecting the upbringing of children, many men will continue to blame it on “lack of time”.
There will never be enough time for what a man wants to do in his lifetime. The same is true for women. People should be taught how to manage their time using the family (spouse and children) as the starting point.
Parents should help their children to acquire cooking skills at home. Bring the children into a safe and tidy kitchen and show them how to cook.
It will be a long walk for the Nigerian society but it is achievable across all the regions if sensible and capable people take over control of the politics and the economy across all the various regions.
Nothing is impossible when there is a sincere roadmap that is not left in the hands of idiots and complete nonentities who are driven by selfish interests and absolute greed.
In Nigeria, it is imperative that the different regions are allowed to re-emerge.
There is a lot in the identities of each ethnic group that are submerged and lost in the name of unitary government that shows lack of respect to individuals and folk-group.
People should be allowed to tap into their cultural and traditional family values. They should be taught how to plan their homes appropriately with respect to family size and responsibilities.
It is time to lift the positive values within the family through regional adaptive education and merge them with the demands of a global village.
Properly educated children will build strong families and dependable communities. They will form the backbones of viable regions across Nigeria. The future can be bright and better.
My late mother’s teachings at home and an adaptive, undiluted education in Western Nigeria fit perfectly into a functional life at home and across the world.