Idowu Adegbilero-Iwari on ResearchGate


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Halleluyah Ogo ni Fun Baba


Adegbilero-Iwari, Idowu

Moonlight tales the African stories
Children grinning their brows
As they chant the story of the ancient
Sweet soothing songs handed by history

To us who by richness of culture
Brightens the dark hours of night
With instinctive thoughts of succinct stories
Of fairy and the fair events fixing a folklore

We who drain the dullness of night
Simmering the turbulent sorrows of day
With night activities that quickens the queasy acts
Even with fairy tales that throws agog the sluggish night

Never here do you bed with worries
That drown in the ocean of stories
Puzzling riddles from ready mouths

Of the aged and all of us, sharing the moonlight tales


Adegbilero-Iwari, Idowu

It is an open secret afterwards
The matter the night revealed
The ignorant knowledge I had
Of the false truth the boy had told

That dead bones walked the weary street
In the valley mount of Djebel
As his legs held on to the soil
And his hands ran in the air

He began to run from the real shadow of his head
And the day was already blind the time he came
But as sunlight smiled upon the morning
He rose from the corner of the suite that lodged him

Though, the dead men were still sleeping as the Diya burns
Yet, the streets were shouting for a barred day
And the factories sweating at winter
The wise fool was smart to ask, why?

Only for the elders to childishly reply
With the question that answered his quest
That he knew the deaf danced to his drums

And the dumb had told him all he needed to hear at the Wanderland

Weepy Day

Adegbilero-Iwari, Idowu

Who burst your boil that you burst into tears, O day?
Whose acrimony has caused you this lachrymose moment?
This effluent of your pain has brought us worry
Leaving us with the tale of a day for which we are sorry

The mountains were mashed in your tears and the trees must weep
The isles could not evade the torrent from your eyes, the lakes must dance
Weepy! Weepy! Weepy eyes! The day is bitter and we all could see it
These chilly tears have caused us all to ask, what befall you, O day?

That the laissez-faire with the heart of a sparrow that prides on pity
Was caged to the comfort of the nest in which he dwells
To further oppress the unlucky bed he troubled all night
To snore and gnaw his jaws, pour his sluggish rain to wet his tired bed

But for the mighty with the heart to dare the effluence
And make a wreck of the effusive pour of a mournful Day
To take his dwelling from the border of deceitful rest

And betray the patience to further embrace your tears, O weepy Day!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Rumbles in Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe on the Edge of Time and the Lesson for African Leaders

Adegbilero-Iwari, Idowu

Luckily, the rumbles are not, as of now and as earnestly desired, on the streets of the common and already oppressed masses but on the corridor of power itself. A corridor occupied by the fewest of the citizenry and marshaled by the one and only Robert Mugabe, a man in his nineties who has held sway at the helms for three years less four decades.
He is the only other person to have served in the office of President, other than  Canaan Banana, in the years of the nation's sovereignty. Now that Mugabe is, according President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa, "fine but confined" after the military announced the de facto control of the southern African country, the once upon a time freedom fighter turned tyrant may now be savouring the aroma of the dust this rumble has steered in his present capacity as the de jure leader. De jure is the last honour the military has reserved for one of the ill faces of African politics. But as foreign media wonders, the end may really have come to the junta-like civil rule of Mugabe.
While the rumble lasts in his palace, the rest African leaders may want to watch their backs closely and query themselves when will sit-tight, "forever rule" stop on the continent? They must ask themselves when will the end come to their propensity for "life rule"? They must now disavow that greedy thing in their nature that tightens their hands to power endlessly. Apart from Mugabe, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equitorean Guinea, the longest serving non-royal African leader since 1979 is another of such men who unlike his reign mate José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola who just stepped aside some two months ago after 38 years in power who are standing as clogs to the wheel of African development. African narratives are often mirrored in such men as these and so many others like them that acted in her regrettable tale. They largely account for the backward position occupied by the continent. You can imagine what it means for a country to be guided by the same idea of one person for as many years. If these leaders don't really want to go, I think, more of this rumble in the palace of Harare is desired all over.

The world-respected Nelson Mandela, in his divinely-gifted rare African human nature, thought these leaders and their likes great lessons with his unrivaled exemplary life but they refused the wisdom of the great Madiba. Mandela, upon spending his whole life with unquantifiable personal and material losses, including his now famed 27years imprisonment, only served a single term as President of the Republic of South Africa, retired voluntarily even when public approval of his government polled 80%. Mugabe in particular, who assumed office 8years before him, was personally counseled by the late sage to step aside given Mugabe's human rights abuses and bad public rating. His refusal prompted Mandela in 2007 to publicly urge Mugabe to step down "with residual respect and a modicum of dignity". 10years after, Mugabe still sit tight but with the deserving loss of the residual respect and the modicum of dignity even as he now seems to have fallen from grace.

Headlines of this unfolding saga

Be My Anchor

Adegbilero-Iwari Idowu

You are strong I am frail
When in the storms of life I sail
Anchor my soul by your glorious hail
Lest I’m swept off my lonely course

Sourced from
You are with might I am light
When I’m sift in the stormy blight
Cover me with your steadfast love
Lest I’m lost in the air as dust

You are certain I am vain
When the vagueness of life fills my veins
Make me last as your ever reign
Lest I’m ruined by the fleshly lusts

I am lighter than nil, be my aid!
I cannot stand alone, anchor me!
I am weaker than frail, raise me!
Link my hands to Yours lest I fall from grace!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dear Senator Gbenga Ashafa: National Library of Nigeria and the State of Nigerian Libraries

Dear Senator,
You have left me with no other word than to say thank you for living true to the title your membership of the Nigerian upper legislative chamber confers on you having distinguished yourself. Distinguished Senator Gbenga Ashafa, you have painstakingly considered and called the attention of the nation to a somewhat conspicuous but seemingly vague national matter: the Nigerian library sector. Everything else is often mentioned and discussed in this country but the library. This accounts for the singular reason why the construction of the headquarters of the National Library of Nigeria has taken more than a decade to do unto no reasonable conclusion. The bad effects on cost, national literacy and development have been well articulated in your motion. The flimsy manner we handle national education and literacy which alarmed you only won us a poor record as the least reading country in the world. We are grateful for your foresight by seeing the invisible and beaming light on the obvious but somewhat hidden national menace. By this singular action of yours, you have distinguished yourself sir and I am left with no option than to confer on you the title of a Library Hero of Nigeria (LHN).

When I became puzzled but happy by your action, I traced and found that you originated from Lagos State; a state that, under the leadership of H.E. Akinwumi Ambode, has taken library development and education to enviable heights. Apart from having one of the largest numbers of public libraries, they recently partnered with Zenith Bank to develop public libraries. The recently modernized Isolo Public Library is a notable example of the government’s commitment to seeing through its “Adopt a Library initiative”. Lagos seems to get everything happening for them in the most progressive manner in all sectors. They are raising their shoulder high above the rest. With its western orientation of service to humanity and its pace of development, at times you wonder if Lagos is a separate country. While one would pray for Lagos to continue to prosper and also have shining lights and considerate people in leadership positions, the other states and the federal government should learn from the Center of Excellence.
The Federal Government and all state governments should consider educating the Nigerian masses as the most worthy calling of governance. Educating the masses is far beyond what the few privileged ones will learn within the four walls of our already remiss classrooms. It is more of what they will glean from a functional library system which can best be described as a public university. The public library is the citadel of learning for all peoples. This is what obtains in developed climes. I have  spoken much of this in my article titled “Journey to the Largest Library in the World and the Need for a Library-Conscious Nigerian Society”. Needless to reiterate, click to read and see where we should be heading as a country. But the call to modernize our libraries and turn them to community hubs, city centres or village squares is herein resounded. In a poster accepted for presentation in the AfLIA conference of May 2017 in Yaounde, Cameroun, I recommended how, a good public library serving as community hubs can fast-track personal and national development. I propounded there those things the modern library should do to fulfill that purpose. And as agreed to by other scholars and practiced abroad, the library should offer the following services: see poster

Having said that, without the support of everyone: government, communities, cities, philanthropist, librarians and the people, there is no way these can be achieved. I made recommendation for what everybody can do in the article titled "Nigeria: Concerning Library Culture or is it Reading Culture? Part2" which also can be clicked and read to safe writing space. However, in the light of distinguished Senator  Gbenga Ashafa’s heroic motion on the floor of the Senate, I wish to reiterate a key point here. The point is on the role of the National Assembly. Apart from the investigation the senator’s motion has birthed, the current momentum should be geared towards enacting the Library Fund Acts. This Act will provide for the establishment of Library Development Fund with fiscal empowerment like TETFund to fund library projects across Nigeria. All library types especially public libraries should be able to access this fund. The fund should also create special competitive grants for individuals, NGO, communities to compete for in order to implement innovative library projects. I can always shed more light on this. This practice is obtainable in serious-minded reading nations.

Dear Senator, that is the next step, beyond building a national headquarters of a library, which is just a building. You can always count on librarians to work with you in this matter dear library hero. God bless us all.  


Adegbilero-Iwari Idowu
The call to apply for the 12th EIFL PUBLIC LIBRARY INNOVATION AWARD is open.
Public and community libraries in developing and transition countries that use digital technology (ICT) to improve lives with special focus on achieving any of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are encouraged to apply.
Prize of the Award: cash USD1,500 and kind.
Application closes January 11, 2018.
More information here

Monday, November 6, 2017

This Unnecessary "War" Against YouTube by Academics

Adegbilero-Iwari, Idowu
As a library and information science (LIS) professional, I felt so embarrassed last Friday emerging from an academic parley, staff training sort of , where some of the scholars (mid-old) condemned the contents of YouTube tagging it as "nonacademic", can not be used to teach students, or should not be recommended to students. This tongue-lash was a response to a lecturer (vibrant) who narrated how he used YouTube to teach his classes. I felt like this is a huge step backward to the early days when Google itself was discountenanced in academic arena. Even, without thanks to Google Scholar, the story has changed. Everybody wants to look for his missing bedspread on Google.

To safe your useful time, suffice it to say that, YouTube is the real deal even for academic learning! YouTube is described to offer wide range of user-generated and corporate media videos. Its content includes "video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos" (Wikipedia).
There is hardly anything in the world today you can not learn on YouTube. From artisans to artists, well-meaning professors to renowned universities, just anybody or any body, have YouTube channels through which they perform, teach and share vital information.  Just like any information source, it behoves the user to verify facts where doubts arise. But to say the least, YouTube is a great learning media, fantastic aid to teaching and a complete platform to master just anything that appeals to You (YouAnkara, YouFashion, YouLecture, YouSongs, YouWorship,... YouAnything).
For instance, Stanford University, one of top 5 universities in the world, has near 700,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OpenCourseWare has over 1.3 million subscribers; while Yale University's channel is subscribed to by near 100,000, its online learning platform, YaleCourses has over 500,000 subscribers which is in close relation to Harvard University's. These are the universities that rank highest at any time by any ranking system. So, it is extremely strange and absolutely unnecessary to hurl such reprimand on the academic capability of an iconic Web creation. Whereas I seek not to defend the self-defending YouTube, because it will be a baseless effort, the learners of this generation know where their information lay and the rich sources like YouTube to explore in order to get them.
My admonition to those of us in the LIS profession is that we should focus on information literacy and/or digital literacy to prevent being unwittingly awakened to unnecessarily bickering on whether the Web and its search engines (Google, YouTube, etc.) have taken the place of libraries or not.

1. American Library Association 
2. Wkikpedia
3. YouTube