If a passer-by looked into Paul Hendrickse lecture theatre on the evening of Friday 10th November, they would assume it was the location of a birthday party. The newly re-commissioned lecture theatre was pleasantly decorated and the occupants were serenaded with nostalgic music. The event was the second edition of the “COMUI Learning from her living legends” which marked the end of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (ICOMAA) homecoming week 2023.

As with all events held during the Homecoming week, it started with the recitation of the national, university of Ibadan and College of Medicine anthems. Thereafter the “living legends” that is prominent alumni who had been invited to share their insight and experience were introduced by the Deputy Provost. The Provost’s address was a heartwarming welcome, punctuated by several tributes to some of her teachers who were also present.

The first living legend, Professor Olufunso Famuyi joined the gathering virtually. His talk on “Exceptionalism of University of Ibadan College of Medicine and University College Hospital; Some Painful Reality Checks and The Need for Solutions” was short but succinct.

The next living legend to address the gathering, Professor Olufunso Olorunsogo shared his experiences as an administrator at the University of Ibadan. And while he spoke longer than all the legends, the wisdom and hilarious anecdotes he shared were interesting to hear.

Professor Adeyinka Falusi, a UNESCO Africa Laureate proposed the plan of constructing a senior citizens centre at the College of Medicine for the elderly alumni to socialize amongst one another and be more accessible to the younger colleagues. On his part, Dr Olubode Falomo spoke on the importance of lecturers extending care and mentorship towards students and junior colleagues. He also proposed stringent consequences for incidences of abuse and harassment.

The last living legend’s address was a reflection of his life. An experienced obstetrician and gynaecologist with a flourishing private practice and 2013 winner of the Nigeria prize for literature, Dr Marinho recited a poem; “Lead more than one life” to the audience. The deeply introspective poem was an interspersion of his professional experience, the contribution of hobbies to living a fulfilling life and the importance of monthly total body examination as a method of preventive healthcare.

Thereafter the alumni engaged in a discussion on the state of affairs of the College and the country and possible solutions to reverse the downslide. Several pieces of advice were offered to the students present. The evening—and by extension, the homecoming week—ended with a photo session.

Aisha Ibrahim

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