UNILAG Celebrates Black History Month

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By Temilade Oso

A whim of energy is being emitted in the department of history and strategical studies in the University of Lagos as the new executives are organizing new programmes which the department has never experienced, among which includes THE BLACK HISTORY MONTH which was celebrated worldwide in the month of February. The department decided to honor this event for the first time in it’s history.The 4-day programme began on Thursday, 27th of February, with the support of the Staff Adviser and the executives of the department who keyed into the vision of the President of the department, Ilegbusi Kehinde Benson. The event was a week of fun for the students who were really excited to be a part of the memorable month. The department witnessed an outburst of students who showed up to commemorate the event.

On Thursday, which was the first day of the programme, the students assembled for a tour at the institute of Africa and Diaspora studies,, a short lecture was delivered by the Director, Prof. Olumuyiwa on the meaning of black history month. There was also a stage play on the need for Africa to live as one despite the differences in culture at the J.P Clerk building. It ended with a photoshoot in celebration of the black history month.

On Friday, the 28th of February, the department organised A Student Walk to university of Lagos staff school to sensitize and educate the pupils about the relevance of history in the contemporary society. The goal was to prepare them to become a change agent in the society through the study of their past.

On Saturday, a lecture held on Pan Africanism: The role of student Movement. The lecture was honored by the Movement of pan africanist student (MOPAS), Comrade Sango Omojola who talked on the Spectre of Pan-Africanism, Mazi Ajimmiri osuagwa, who spoke on African culture and how the Europeans have taken our culture away. Comrade Adebayo also honored the event with his opening speech on white supremacy, colonization, slavery and neo colonization. The event was also graced by all lovers of African culture and tradition and Omoyele wrapped it up with a poem on black lives.

The last day of the event was on the 1st of March, and it was a student outreach to Makoko community, a slum in Lagos state. The programme was not just aimed at giving the children gifts alone but also to create memories in the heart of the children, to tell them that they are loved and cared for despite the challenges and environment they found themselves. They were also taught the importance of education.

The 4 days programme was not only a successful one, the students of the department also had a great time. The responce was positive and encouraging and the students were glad that the programme gave them the opportunity to contribute their quota to the society.

According to the President of the department, the administration is planning a vocational training in April as next on the agenda. Asides the black history month, the department has held other events such as the induction ceremony coinciding with the department at 55 on the 20th of February, which was a huge celebration as the department become a centre of Historical scholarship and the first among its kind in Nigeria.

The director commended the vision of the administration, he was amazed by the turn up of the student.

Other institutions also supported the event. Although, most of them do not know much about the black history month. That was why the programme also aimed at sensitizing students about the black history month and the need to celebrate it. Many of them commended the President and his adminstration and even told him of their plan to have such a programme in their institution. For instance, the student historical society of Nigeria, Unibadan chapter.

Kehinde Benson, the President of the History & Strategic Studies student association was really encouraged with the success of the event and he stated in his interview with us that his vision is to make sure that the standard in the department must reflect in the life of the students.This is the beginning of a new era for the department of History and Strategic Studies. An era of enlightenment and a new wave of experience for the students and the University in general.

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