This Tribune Interview with Professor Janice Olawoye, Co-Founder of the King’s International College, Ibadan, Nigeria, delivers an absolutely important for African parents, especially in the diaspora.
Reverend Professor Janice Olawoye, an ordained Pastor, is also the Co-Founder of Faith Bible Church, Ibadan, and is well loved by the congregation. She is their Spiritual Mother, and popularly called “Mummy Pastor.”
There are many African and Black America parents who know their culture and their language, but choose not to pass this on to their children.
Although, the times are changing and lots of Black Americans are now tracing their roots back to Africa, a few Nigerian parents still prefer that their children embrace the culture of the Diaspora in which they live.
While integration is a great idea and excellent for society, the children will lose out in the long run, where they appear lost to their own culture and roots. A popular African proverb says, “a tree is not dead as long as the roots are alive!”
Children are easy to teach because they learn faster. Another African proverb says, “You tame an Iroko tree from its young roots.” This indicates that children acquire good or bad behavior from their early ages. Once they grow, they are almost, set in their ways and become harder to “mould”.
The following details are taken directly from the website of the Sustainable Agricultural Intervention Network and Terminal (SAINT)
Janice was born in Hartley, Iowa, U.S.A., and took her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sociology from Iowa State University, 1972 and 1976 respectively.
She later obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Ibadan, where, in 1998, she became a Professor of Rural Sociology in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development. She served the University of Ibadan for 38 years dating from 1978, as lecturer and in various administrative and committee capacities, including Head of Department and becoming the first female Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry (2004-2006).
With extensive teaching and research experience, Professor Olawoye has developed expertise in social issues related to rural development, particularly gender issues and women’s empowerment, as well as sustainable rural livelihoods, social inclusion of marginalized persons or groups, qualitative methodology, local participatory strategies and social impact assessment. She is widely published and consulted in her field and has served on the boards of several Academic Journals and Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
Professor Olawoye is happily married to Rev. (Dr.) O.O. Olawoye, the Founder of Faith Bible Church, where she is also an ordained Pastor. They are the Proprietors of King’s Group of Schools, which includes King’s International College, King’s Junior Academy and the School for Further Studies at Moniya. Professor Janice Olawoye voluntarily retired from the University of Ibadan on the 24th February, 2016.