The tale of a lecture that lived up to its hype.

Even before the blessed day of the lecture, IFUMSITES were already buzzing with excitement at what was to come. And thanks to the health week’s publicity and the extravagant rally, the excitement was transferred to many non-IFUMSITES all over the OAU campus and even outside the boundaries of Ife to other sister universities. This was evident in the record number of early arrivals of both IFUMSITES and non-IFUMSITES. It definitely came as a surprise because one problem that had always plagued previous public lectures was the late arrivals of both IFUMSITES (if they showed up at all) and non-IFUMSITES. It is also important to point out that the public lecture expectancy was so huge that IFUMSA had to use its biggest venue yet, ODUDUWA Hall, for the program.

The lecture commenced with the relieving of the quite dull atmosphere with some beautiful musical tape mixes from various contemporary Nigerian musicians — one that featured the Afro-prince Davido, Omah Lay, Buju, the grammy award-winning Burna Boy and a few others. This was followed by an intermittent halt-in-play, thereafter, as the host of the event came on the podium, wielding the mic.

Despite the fact that IFUMSA kept to its tradition of starting its programs late, the lecture began with a bang, with the MC opening the floor by welcoming some important dignitaries including Barr. Olubusola Olaboopo (the Chief Speaker for the lecture), Prof. Sowande (the Dean of Clinical Sciences), HRH Oba Adedokun Abolarin (the Chairman of the Lecture) and Dr. (Mrs.) Mapayi.

Following this was the singing of the Nigerian National anthem which was led by Oba Adedokun and also the Great Ife anthem of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) to which everyone sang in unison while standing uprightly. The victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) were also honoured with a minute of silence before the program clicked into gear.

The first dignitary to step onto the podium for the first speech of the day was Oba Adedokun, who encouraged students in the hall to seek to help make Nigeria better instead of following the trend of travelling out of the country in search of greener pastures.

The Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Prof. Ijadunola, was then called upon for his speech after which the major lecture of the day was given by Barr. Olubusola Olaboopo.

In her speech, she went on to give the list of some of the causes of GBV, which according to her, included greed and the fact that men viewed women as their properties. She then explained some ways we can prevent GBV, which included sensitisation and women empowerment.

Some aspects of her speech were met with a frown as people in the audience struggled to make sense of some of her contradictory comments. Among many of such comments was her statement where she encouraged women to embrace the “polygamous nature of men.” This was met with many disapproving murmurs from the audience.

The next session of the lecture was the discussion session lead by Dr. Mapayi. It featured chats with the Oba Adedokun and his friends, Omooba and Olori, about their views on the topic. This, the Oba reiterated, mentioning some medieval culture, especially of the Yoruba tribe, practised in the palace that demeans women, faulting them and also publicly disapproving of them. He also mentioned some ways he, as a traditional ruler, has been making advances in pulling down the walls of some of the defective customs. He ended his chat by encouraging young adults on the need to acquire the patience virtue as it’s really needed to make significant progress in life. Omooba and Olori also briefly stated, from their perspectives, the causes and effects of GBV.

The debate session anchored by the IFUMSA quiz and debate club also shed some light in form of a verbal tackle by the debaters. The debaters were in persons of Arowele Abiodun, Olaleke Gideon and Charity Olofinsao of the Stalwart class. It ended with awarding all participants cash prizes and certifications later that day as Charity emerged as the winner.

Also on the podium was the incumbent president of IFUMSA, Akinola Beloved, as he gave a gratitude-filled goodwill message appreciating all attendants, the dignitaries on the high-table (to whom some awards were given as acknowledgement for their notable supports to the association as a whole), and also various sponsors of the events.

The panel session lead by Lewa of the part six class saw panellists Egemba Chinonso (Aproko Doctor), Dr. Boladele Mapayi, Olusola Ogunbiyi, and Dayo Akeredolu Esq address rising and already existent GBV issues from the legal, psychological and medical point of views — as were the career fields of these professionals. This insightful panel sitting made reference to a number of societal norms obliviously deterring the populace from ending GBV. Olusola Ogunbiyi mentioned as an example the popular “Aro” commonly done at halls of residence in the university being an alumnus himself.

Nearing the end of the event, some sponsors of the lecture, such as Flux and Nguvu health, were given time to advertise their brands while generously gifting some attendees some of their products after a brief task. After this, more awards were handed out. Also was the distribution of refreshments to the audience seated attentively and tirelessly, harnessing knowledge from the lecture.

The lecture rounded off with Prof. Sowande giving the closing remark, while the LOC’21 Chairman, Adeolu Olowookere, thanked everyone who brought the lecture to life as well as all the attendees.

All in all, everyone present at the lecture can testify it was a time well spent. It was a lecture that saw one of the major issues (GBV) that had plagued the world for so long addressed by experts who are working to seek justice for victims of GBV, as well as, build a world where GBV is no longer an issue.

If you were an attendee, we would also love to know what your take was on the public lecture? Leave a comment below on what you gained from the lecture and what you think of the lecture as a whole.

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