82-year-old veteran journalist, Dayo Duyile, who reported the opening of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in 1962, has successfully completed his Ph.D. in Journalism at the school.
A former provost of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Duyile was a centerpiece at the university’s 53rd convocation ceremony where he was conferred with the doctorate degree.
The octogenarian described the moment as a 40-year-old dream, stating that the peak would be becoming a journalism professor.
“My intention to have a Ph.D. degree is about 40 years old now. I have been making efforts since I was just between 35 and 45. I had tried to put in for it but unfortunately, one thing or the other would disturb me,” he said.
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Explaining his journey further, he said; “I recall that Michigan State University admitted me for Ph.D. in 1990 and gave me a teaching assistantship along with a scholarship but because I was the Director of Nigeria Institute of Journalism, the Chairman of the board, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, did not permit me to leave the institute for the offer. Then I got another admission to a Canadian University but I couldn’t go due to another engagement.
“I also got another opportunity at the University of London and I couldn’t go. In fact, I got six opportunities for my Ph.D. during my active career years. So when I retired and I returned home to Ondo State I found that I should have the opportunity to now go back to the university for my Ph.D. because it has been a life ambition to have a Ph.D.”
Duyile also expressed his joy and gratitude to his wife, friends, lecturers, and family, for supporting and encouraging him through this academic journey.
“My wife has been very supportive. I travel from Ondo to Lagos two times a week for lectures and I would be the first student to be in the classroom. At times, there would be traffic gridlock. Sometimes I would pass through Ijebu-Ode-Epe Road, then to Lekki, and I would then navigate my way to Akoka. It wasn’t easy. The challenge was more about the travels. There was no financial problem,” he said of his wife’s support.
On other challenges, he said while he didn’t experience any challenges financially, he was however, greatly disappointed with the traffic on the popular Lago-Ibadan expressway. A hurdle he had to conquer every 2-days in a week.
He reiterated the need for materials in Nigerian libraries.
“Another challenge I encountered is with our libraries. At a stage, I found out there was no material for my research in the country, and not even at the National Archives at the University of Ibadan because I was investigating the emergence of early newspapers in Nigeria.
“So, I had to go to Birmingham University in England. The libraries there have everything about what has been happening in Nigeria since the 17th century. I spent two months in that library and I got the authentic materials I needed,” he said.
He complained extensively about the lack of a record on Nigeria’s colonialism, the introduction of Christianity as a religion in Nigeria and many more.
Aside being a Director at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Lagos; Duyile also worked with Daily times and Nigerian Tribune. He then worked as the editor of Daily sketch, in Ibadan.
Duyile currently lectures at Elizade University and Wesley University, both in Ondo state.
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