Posts Tagged ‘UNILAG’

I logged onto Twitter and saw Kofo tweet, ‘RIP Niggydip’. I remembered a friend who shared same name but I knew he could not be the one, he was too alive to die.
Then I saw someone describe the deceased as a humorous person. This was looking too much like Niggydip so I checked a mutual friend’s BBM update and it was confirmed.

When friends go, you remember moments in vivid detail. My remembrance of Dipo is distilled to three experiences.

Dipo Samson Egbedeyi

Dipo Samson Egbedeyi

On Friday, I noticed Dipo doing pushups. He was a funny soul and I knew he had a funny reason to explain his new physical fitness quest. The next day, he was off to contest at the Gulder Ultimate Search trials. Now, he was recounting his experience: The guy who drank the entire contents of his six cans before contesting, the person who almost drowned, the one who was already planning how to spend his winnings before even getting into the jungle. It was a funny account of the reality show’s entry competition. A story of his own trial and failure was being presented as humour.

Niggydip stayed in a lecturer’s boysquarters. The area was called ‘Computer’, because it was close to the computer laboratory built by Zenith Bank. I came around the BQ at night and Dipo was outside with clothes. He called me and said he had some clothes he had and wasn’t wearing, pointed to a bunch of clothes, some not worn and told me I could have any (or everything). It was a wonderful assortment – a Man U jersey, some denims – it was really exciting for me, the unexpectedness of it all. I tried to thank him but he was more concerned explaining to me how he had never worn most of them.

Niggydip always had something funny to say about anything. I’m not talking about conditional humour. I am talking about self-deprecatory humour, which is the best kind. So say something bad happened to him, expect him to joke about it.

He is gone now and I don’t remember things like his oil company job, the cool car he had as an undergrad or that he was one of the first people I saw with the iPod Touch. What I remember are scanty conversations in the night, chance conversations at the doorway, random run-ins.

I don’t remember the things we spend our life living for, but the moments. It makes me fear; if I go now, do people have any swear word free moments of me?
Out beyond ideas of right and wrong, there is a field, one filled with moments. What are yours and mine made of? When you lay in the earth and vain accomplishments do not mean a thing, what will people remember?

I will always remember Dipo as a smile, a laugh, a streak of light, an easy soul. Keep making beautiful moments up there bro!

R.I.P NiggyDip.

Parting Shot

You’re invited to my event next month

The Unsaid

The Unsaid

You know, when I finished from secondary school, all I wanted was to go to a mission university. They seemed ‘easy’ to me. If your parents could afford the exorbitant fees, you were as well as admitted. My dad would not hear of it. He finished from Sociology Department, University of Lagos and felt his first son must toe same lines. I was scared. In a world of scarce university slots, UNILAG’s was dog tears scarce. Considering that my family was (is) run as a fiefdom where obedience and rebellion are your only options, I accepted. There was (is) no middle ground for argument in the Tafa’s family.

I remember the first time I came for my post JAMB exams. I was overwhelmed to say the least. That was my first time in the grounds of the University of Lagos. I formed part of the human traffic of students who had come to write the Post UME examination, all of us with expectant faces hoping to be part of this Ivory Tower with tall buildings and immaculately kept grounds.  I stared intently at the Lagoon, tipped my head to view the peak of the Senate Building and envied the staylites who seemed to know everyone wherever they went

I finally got admission into this institution o! The day I was notified of my admission makes for some news too. I went to the Estate Gate to browse through the dailies. I had already struck a deal with the vendor to go through the pages of newspapers everyday for free. I promised him that the day UNILAG released her admission list, I would buy a copy from him. On the day that the list was released, I just looked at it, saw my name and took off with the paper screaming. I did not pay for the paper. Won’t you help me to thank God that the vendor did not pursue me screaming ‘Ole’.

I finished from the University of Lagos barely two years ago. Since then, I have gotten more aware of this institution. You see, this is not just an institution but a culture. It is not just a moniker but a brand.  UNILAG is not just a brand but a meta-brand, with various sub brands existing within it. It is not just a patch of land but a sacred spot of memories. Where I come from, no one shifts a sacred stone.

I admire the ease and boldness with which President Jonathan proceeded with the renaming. It shows that he is not shy to change the status quo (in a distorted way albeit). I would advice that Mr. President takes this stance to issues that really need to be changed like certain inept traditional stools and practices.

You see UNILAG is a school brimming with history, Wole Soyinka once lectured there, you know? It is not a national monument to be subjected to political shenanigans. I am an alumnus and I (like all well meaning alumni) oppose this change.