The Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede has identified hard work as the only panacea to success.
Professor Ogunbodede, who made this observation during a courtesy call on him by the Afro-pop maestro, Mr. Innocent Ujah Idibia, popularly known as 2Baba, said there was nowhere in the world where success could be achieved without hard work.
The Vice-Chancellor noted with satisfaction that Mr. Idibia rose to stardom through diligence and hard work in a society that is not supportive.
Professor Ogunbodede appealed to the Afro-pop musician to set aside a date annually to visit the University with a view to sharing his wealth of practical experience with students in the Music department.
Describing Idibia as a singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and a pride to Africa, Nigeria and his generation, the Vice-Chancellor appreciated him for honouring the University’s invitation, declaring that by accepting the fellowship award of Obafemi Awolowo University, he has become part and parcel of the institution.
Responding, Idibia, who was in OAU to deliver the first Department of Music Public Lecture and for the Conferment of the Department’s Fellowship award on him, said he was overwhelmed and highly honoured with the award.
He promised that the University will not regret giving him the award, stating further that, “I am looking forward to a beautiful relationship between Obafemi Awolowo University and my organization”. In his acceptance remark, he promised to donate a fully-equipped digital and analog recording studio to the Department of Music, hoping that the facility will help and enable young music students to be the best they can, and properly hone their skills and talents. The studio project is to be ready in 16 weeks. He also promised a once a session combined class and recording session with the students of the Department of Music.
A former Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Michael Faborode whose tenure birthed the idea of industry-academia integration remarked at the event that by accepting Obafemi Awolowo University Fellowship award, Tuface has kept the greatness of Obafemi Awolowo University aglow as it is the tradition of the institution to invite professionals to bridge the gap between town and gown.
He commended the Faculty of Arts and the Department of Music for the lecture and the award, noting that Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife is the bedrock of Nollywood because it was on OAU campus that people like Professors Wole Soyinka, Ola Rotimi and others started.
Delivering a lecture titled: “Two Decades of Afro-pop in Nigeria: The Perspective of 2Baba”, Mr. Idibia traced the evolution of hip-hop Music to the 1990s during the era of Majek Fashek, Ras Kimono, Oritz Wiliki and others. Towards the end of ‘90s, however, Tuface said a more hip-pop flavoured Nigerian sound began to gain foothold with the birth of independently-owned radio and later, television stations contributing significantly to the growth of the movement which changed the game tremendously as local music began to enjoy a bit more airtime.
“I hope that the industry will continue to find smart solutions to some of these issues in the industry. It is not yet time to celebrate and relax. It is time to redouble our efforts and put in the work necessary to sort out the issues and strengthen policy, regulation, enforcement, engagement and cooperation”, Tuface submitted.
In his goodwill message, the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Professor Gbemisola Adeoti, noted with pleasure that 2-Baba is Africa’s international symbol of unity, peace, love, hard work and other laudable universal values, stressing that he has exemplified the power of music in particular, and arts in general, towards influencing people’s behaviour and changing their attitude.
In his words: “the Faculty is delighted to be associated with 2-face through this award. It will signal the beginning of a greater synergy between theory and practice of music, between town and gown”.
The Head, Department of Music, Professor Abayomi Daramola, in his welcome address described Obafemi Awolowo University as a pace setter to have organised the great and unique event being the first of its kind by a Music Department in a Nigerian University. He added that the event is great because of the guest lecturer, Mr. Innocent Ujah Idibia, who himself is a unique phenomenon in the Nigerian music industry and a pace setter in Nigerian hip-hop music.
Going down memory lane, he said that the idea of the Department of Music Public Lecture and Fellowship award was conceived in October 2018 as a forum for the production and dissemination of knowledge about music scholarship, performance, production and management and of course, music documentations through profound and critical reflections on various issues pertaining to music and culture, nature, health, politics, religion, sports and national developments by distinguished musician with clear records of professional and general accomplishments that are nationally and internationally acclaimed on one hand, and the Fellowship award is targeted on distinguished musicians who would not only be recognised but also be made to at least visit the Department once in a semester to interact with the students for professional and industrial incubation and lubrication on the other hand.