The slap on Adamolekun is a big one on Nigeria.
South Africa owes an apology to Professor Ladipo Adamolekun THROUGH the federal government of Nigeria whose assist and largesse throughout apartheid was immeasurable, not the least amongst which was the training of her younger residents at Nigeria’s premier college, the College of Ibadan, throughout my very own school days.
Ladipo Adamolekun, world-renowned scholar, retired Obafemi Awolowo College professor, retired World Financial institution administration specialist, and a Nigerian Nationwide Order of Benefit (NNOM) laureate, was simply denied a South African visa!
In journalism’s finest apply, first a declaration: Ladipo is one in every of my older brothers. It is maybe pointless for many who’ve adopted my writings from the Western Nigerian-owned Every day Sketch within the Nineteen Seventies by means of Emotan journal, to The Comet and The Nation On Sunday – and my weblog, Emotanafricana.com – would know I at all times usually referred to as a spade simply that, regardless of to whom my essays had been about.
On Tuesday, 18th April, Ladipo WhatsApp-ed me a brief message: “Kaaro. I am skipping afternoon relaxation to observe SA Visa utility…” It was time-stamped 11:37 (at my vacation spot it was 4:37 p.m. Nigerian time).
I used to be shocked as I had been conscious of the applying submission for about three weeks. Two minutes later, 11:39 (time-stamp), after I received to it after finishing a response I had already despatched, was this:
“After shut of enterprise on April 18th, South Africa Visa has not been issued to me. Please cancel my S.A. Ticket” (A message to his son), and this to me:
“In fact, if a delayed visa is granted, I am going to reschedule my go to. Lacking the pleasure of spending April 21 with Kole and his kids is an enormous disappointment. Should settle for what you can not change. That is life!”
And bits of my response:
“… I take it not as S. Afr.’s full fault; what sort of nation is Nigeria? America will not take a slight in opposition to a basketball star – or perhaps a less-accomplished citizen …
“I am simply so-so indignant, not as being blood-related however as a result of Nigeria will get walked over like a door-mat on a regular basis and the “management” class neither ever appear to grasp nor care …”
As I used to be writing above on my small system, which additionally has one in every of my electronic mail addresses, I noticed a notification from Ladipo on the iPad; it was a receipt to point out the monitoring he simply accomplished. And right here is the entire monitoring message:
Net Reference Quantity Order ID Visa Class Visa Sort Standing
W04213700052835 5b6cc3ef-1fd5-482e-a48c-0173a4e63a58 Guests Trip/Vacation Below Test.”
Right here is the final little bit of my WhatsApp response to this soul-destroying face slap, not simply at Professor Ladipo Adamolekun, however to me, to all of us Nigerians, together with these overfed and self-important supposed “leaders” – not solely from this period however all these from w-a-ay again in our spiral to the pits of nothing-less-than-hell:
“South Africa? Et tu, Brute? To a distinguished Nigerian famend all around the world on your contribution to scholarship? What on this planet is “STILL UNDER CHECK” for a Nigerian, whose solely passport by selection is the Inexperienced Doc even though with all of the inconvenience it brings throughout your many travels, you have refused to take another nation’s Passport?
“South Africa? What an ungrateful wretch … what a wasteland it stays, culturally … no matter hundreds of her new parvenue class.
“E pele [‘ti’, Yoruba for of; inflection on last ‘e’ calls for this)] Kole, o. I am simply mad as hell!”
[Kole – as in Professor Kole Omotoso – let the idiots (not the masses) in South Africa wrap their collective heads around the name of a well-educated and experienced professional who has contributed a lot to the teaching profession at university level when South Africa had very few of his calibre.
Kole, whose contribution to African literary writings is world-renowned, not only through his biting fiction but to many literary non-book publications. One of his three kids is already on his way up in another arts field, films. Akin Omotoso is an acclaimed movie producer, and one of his productions was presented at the annual Cannes Film Festival some years ago, and the other two are no slouches, either: an architect and already prize-wining novelist, and an engineer.
Professor Omotoso’s family and very close friends (he and Adamolekun date back to Akure’s Oyemekun Grammar School) plan to be with him – though ailing now – but South Africa seems unyielding as Adamolekun’s last tracking returned the same information which I’ve just received:
“Good evening. I’ve just done another tracking of my South Africa Visa Application @17h40 Nigerian time, which is after SA government business closing time. The “Status” remains unchanged: “Under Check”. Since the departure date in my Visa Application is Wednesday, April 19th 2023, it would be correct to interpret today’s “Under Check” Status as a technical DENIAL of SA Visa …”
There we have it: A SHOCKING SOUTH AFRICA VISA DENIAL for Professor Adamolekun!
Finally, I have to mention this to the “leadership” in South Africa: at 80, Professor Adamolekun is not, nor would any Nigerian his age and even less his achievements, be interested in a job, ANY job, trading or physical labour like mining, what-have-you in S.A.
Born and raised in Iju, Akure North WHERE HE HAS MADE HIS HOME SINCE RETIREMENT, except for travels which see him out of Nigeria for three to four months annually, his most cherished accomplishment – as anyone close to him would tend to read – is becoming a NNOM laureate, the country’s highest prize for academic and intellectual attainment. It would be equivalent to the American Presidential Medal of Freedom in prestige and cache. They are both awarded by the Presidents of the two countries.
South Africa owes an apology to Professor Ladipo Adamolekun THROUGH the government of Nigeria whose help and largesse during apartheid was immeasurable, not the least among which was the education of her young citizens at Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan, during my own college days.
The slap on Adamolekun is a huge one on Nigeria.
Tola Adenle is a veteran Nigerian journalist.