I was appointed a versity lecturer as an undergraduate – Prof Wande Abimbola
When and where were you born?
I was born in Oyo town but not exactly in the town. It was in a village called Aba Onisa. It is about seven miles and I was born on December 24, 1932.
How did you know that was the day you were born? Initially I did not know the exact date. And that was for decades. It was when I was a student at the Baptist Boys High School, now Olivet High School, Oyo, that our class teacher asked for the date of birth of everyone in the class. Because I did not know mine I had to travel seven miles to our village to ask my parents. They said they did not remember the date. When I asked why, they explained that four other boys who did not survive beyond few months had been born before me, hence they did not bother to commit when I was born to memory or record it because they believed that I might also die soon as an abiku. The Yoruba refer to children who did young as abiku. However, several years later when I had become the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, I came home to see my mother and my elder sister. It was my sister who told me that I was born on a Saturday which was a Christmas Eve because on that day, some Christians in the next village were dancing. I thought that could be a clue to my date of birth. When I got back to the university, I asked the librarian to find a Saturday in the 1930s that fell on a Christmas Eve. He said there was one in 1932 and another one in 1938. I knew it could not have been 1938 because I started school in 1945. I could not have gone to school at the age of six at the time. You had to be at least eight years old. I came to the conclusion that I was born on December 24, 1932.Which date of birth were you using before you knew your actual date of birth?
I just told him that I was born on June 26, 1936 when I could not get the date. I used that date until after I became the Vice Chancellor at OAU.
Which other schools did you attend after secondary school?