Of New York City and Ibadan City: Unusual Parallels and other matters (2)

Some other famous schools in Ibadan include Saint Anne’s School, the oldest Girls secondary School In Ibadan which turns 150 years this year, having been founded in 1869. Then we have Government college credited with producing 80 per cent of the presidents of Nigerian society of Engineers and one Nobel Laureate.

There are schools like Loyola college with a penchant for the medical profession also known  for their sporting prowess.  Lagelu Grammar school  famed for its elitism produced a disproportionate number of  Gubernatorial aspirants, than any other school in the region  towards towards the last Governorship Election in Oyo State .then there is the international school which  used to be known for its hereditary caste. Ibadan has had some of the best secondary schools in Nigeria and its had a healthy rivalry with Lagos  an hours drive away. This healthy rivalry transcends Education. Those is lagos State, a Nigerian response to California tend to regard residents of Ibadan as belonging to the  Hill  tops and sustaining on Amala, Gbegiri and Kundi, delicacies though but names not suitable to  the toffs.” Only for the tough.

Ibadan, Soutin and the Puzzle of Bowers Tower ,  is an exploration of the essential  Ibadan, through the  Ibadan Darling –   The Shooting Stars Football club. In Soutin,  the now   Indiana based,  Professor  Akin Adesokan, a son of the soil (as Indigenes of Ibadan are called) affirmed “ The corporate image  of Ibadan  as a traditional city- village with unimpeachable cosmopolitan credentials”.  Adesokan Writes of Lagos “that was cosmopolitan, showy, shallow, culturally bastardised, elegant and ruthless.” The  word Shooting by the authentic Ibadan is pronounced “sooting”.  The stressed S in Sooting, Adesokan explains is “a factor in the normalisation of cultural bias.”

Obafemi Awolowo did remark ”Even for the saints and sinners, Lagos has got socio-gravitational pull.”  Ace Film actor Dele Odule is a university of Ibadan  graduate of Theatre Arts like Akin Adesokan  and President of the  Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria. Long after the demise of  the sage, Obafemi  Awolowo, Dele Odule, who has featured in over 300 films, famously said ”Lagos is too congested for creativity”

Creativity wise, Ibadan is set to tap into the global creative economy, worth trillions of  Dollars with the  newly conceived   ibadan  media city  which is to serve as the innovation hub and regional headquarters of the creative economy of western Nigeria  through tourism  entertainment food and fashion and so on.

The premises of the  Broadcasting corporation of Oyo state (BCOS) which hosts the Ibadan media City also witnessed the birth of  The Television service of the Old Oyo State (TSOS) as c0ncieved by  Governor of Old Oyo State, James Ajibola Ige a  Nigerian response to One time Governor of New York and  US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Bola Ige Affirmed at the Opening of TSOS  that it would Rival Hollywood some of those involved with TSOS before  its board was merged with that of the state radio station, contributed in no small ways to developing the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood which today has surpassed  Hollywood in terms of Volume.Bola Ige  like Roosevelt a graduate of the premier degree awarding   institution, affirmed  he wanted to lay the foundation of Nigeria as the first Black Super Power. Today with  what has been achieved with Film, Music, and sports , Nigeria  could be regarded  as a soft power. Having realised Bola Ige”s Dream for  Entertainment, how long would it take Nigeria to become a Super Power?

Bola Ige is the self  proclaimed successor to Obafemi Awolowo who  had declared ,  his vision of Nigeria Playing in Africa the role America is playing in the west. Two other politicians in their projections and vision are reminding of Awolowo and Ige, these are the Soccer Star of the Shooting Stars Football Club, Patrick Segun Odegbami in his Gubernatorial ambition to make Ogun state, Nigeria’s response to Michigan, a beacon of the Black Race  and Gbenga Hashim- Olawepo on his desire to transform Nigeria  into a 4 trillion Dollar economy.

All is not rosy in Ibadan .Ibadan has some challenges  like any other large city  but Ibadan would have to tout its strengths and the opportunities it harbours whilst working hard to take care of  the weaknesses. some of these weaknesses can be taken care off by deploying smart technologies like in New York city and using the medium of film as a tool for behaviour modification.

As for the New Yorkers, We learn they have rediscovered oil in Texas, lots of jobs there but many New Yorkers are not interested perhaps they maybe be willing to  visit  Ibadan, Physically, Mentally, virtually or spiritually to participate in  task of  making  Ibadan as healthy as Calgary; Secure as Tokyo, liveable as Austin, Happy as mountain View and and Bouyant as New York city.


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