Prof. Fasanmade Retires: A Father Leaves the University
By: Deji Yesufu
On the 3rd of July 2023, this Monday, Prof. Adesoji A. Fasanmade will be seventy years old. On this day, also, our good old professor and father will be retiring from the University of Ibadan. Prof. Fasanmade is worth celebrating while he is alive and those of us who have benefitted greatly from his large heartedness will be at the University of Ibadan to celebrate with him and his family. I write this piece in honor of this good man: I have met very few people in life who one could almost never hear anything negative about – though I am sure there are a few people who may have their reservations about Prof. Fasanmade, but I suspect that even these people will find it generally hard to speak negatively about him in public. I eulogize very few people; Prof. Fasanmade deserve praise and respect, and on this occasion of his birthday and retirement, one must give it.
I got to know Prof. Fasanmade less than a decade ago. My family and I began to attend the Chapel of the Resurrection, University of Ibadan, in March 2014, and the figure of this elderly gentleman, in ushering robes, pacing across the length and breadth of the Chapel every Sunday, is not one you can avoid noticing. Soon enough my dear wife began to work at the Department of Physiology, working directly under Prof’s unit, and there I got to know him a lot better. Prof is a gentleman to the core: simple, godly, patient, willing to offer help and advice, generous, etc. While I stand in danger of praising a mere mortal, I think it is good we say these things while these people are alive, lest such tributes are lost to the back of an obituary leaflet – Prof. Fasanmade deserves to be praised while he is alive! In May 2018, I had published my book titled Victor Banjo, and there stood a challenge right before me: how do I sell 1,000 copies of this book which I had printed, make profit, and return the money I borrowed to print the books? I shared these concerns with Prof, and he was so helpful with advice – this is besides the generous sum he gave me for the complimentary copy I gave to him.
On the 6th of April 2020, Prof’s son, Emmanuel Olusegun, died. He was only 23 years old. No one should lose a child and even more, Prof. Fasanmade should not lose a child. But it pleased God to send this hard providence the way of his family and Prof. Fasanmade handled his grief with deep trust in the Almighty God, who gives and could take away whenever he pleases. I had the good fortune of making acquaintance with Emmanuel a few months before his death – charming young man. God knows best. The death of his son weighed heavily on Prof, and I suspect that it might have even occasioned those times when he spoke to friends about retiring early from the University. But Prof. hung on. Prof. Fasanmade committed himself to his work as a Physician at the University College Hospital, and as a lecturer at the Department of Physiology, UI, because his love for his students far outweighed his desire to enter an early retirement. So that today, I am sure, Prof is just too happy to return home, give himself to reading, continue to work as an Usher at the Chapel, and enjoy the presence of his wife and children. While those of us, whom he has been a blessing to, will occasionally pay him visits – of course.
Happy Birthday to a father, a physician, a man of God, a teacher of teachers, a doctor of doctors, and a professor of professors. Happy Birthday Prof. Fasanmade. May the Lord grant you a deserving retirement. May Jesus Christ strengthen you to continue to serve in the local church. May he give you the ability to continue to provide knowledge from the wealth of your experience as a medical doctor to the young ones coming after you. May God give you health, prosperity, and peace of mind. May he bless your children and prosper their way. May he grant that you and mummy spend many more years together in health and peace. This is again wishing you a happy birthday and a blissful retirement.