By Sunday Saanu
Mrs. Adejoke Akinyele of the Department of Forest Production and Products is one of the scholars whose promotions to the professorial cadre were announced by the University of Ibadan (UI) recently.
But perhaps on account of her self-effacement and probably because she believes success usually spawns a galaxy of foes, she pleaded vigorously that I should not make a noise about her latest academic laurel, arguing that she is not the only one and she will not be the last to be promoted a Professor.
However, I insisted that becoming a professor; particularly in a university like UI, where you have to be extremely outstanding is no mean feat, hence my decision to expose this humble and respectful researcher.
I have known Prof. Adejoke Akinyele over the years. She’s one of the academics whose stories of individual accomplishments continue to hold out a fig of hope and inspiration particularly for the youth.
Clearly, over the years, she has displayed a high level of discipline and willpower in her area of specialization, trading off comfort in order to arrive at this destination. This feat, therefore remains a big imprimatur of her intellectual capacity and competence.
Teaching both undergraduate and post graduate students in the area of Forest Genetics and Tree Improvement, Prof. Akinyele is so committed to the pursuit and purveyance of knowledge, always seen in the laboratory, library, lecture rooms and conferences. She has visited almost all the continents of the world in search of knowledge.
A meek woman of stellar character who doesn’t mix the essential with the inconsequential is ever present in her field, fishing facts and figures in the forests of knowledge, forging ahead with steely determination and singleness of purpose. Her promotion to a professorial cadre will therefore not come as a surprise to those who really know her.
This former student of St. Louis Grammar School who is married to a lecturer at Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, believes that success doesn’t happen by happenstance, rather, according to her, “success is a product of hard work and careful planning” , hence her sheer perseverance in the face of intellectual rigourism.
We were together recently at Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo state where we worked as ad hoc staff of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collating results. Dr. Akinyele, as she was then addressed was a delight to work with. When I shouted hunger in the night, she brought out packets of biscuits from her bag and saved me from the pang of hunger. Since I knew her, she has ever been so respectful and convivial.
Hearty congratulations to our own Professor of Tree Improvement and Silviculture.