Shobanjo, Momoh, Others Applaud Communication Scholar, Ralph Akinfeleye At Book Launch


It was a time of praise galore and commendations as Communication experts, veteran Journalist, media owners, and university dons gathered at the public presentation of a 900-page plus festschrift on one of Africa’s foremost communication scholars, Professor Ralph Afolabi Akinfeleye The publication, Issues in the fourth and fifth realms, an encyclopedia on mass communication and its various adjuncts, was presented to the public last Thursday, January 27, 2022, at the University of Lagos main auditorium. 

The programme was to celebrate the erudite scholar, teacher, and administrator, as well as mark the professor’s retirement from the University of Lagos after about four decades of active service.

Divided into seven parts with a section devoted to Tributes, the sections covered in the book are Media Law and Ethics, Media Social Responsibility, and Press/Media and Politics.
Special guests present at the event include Advertising guru, Biodun Shobanjo; chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabire-Erewa; veteran Journalist, Ray Ekpu; president, University of Lagos, UNILAG Alumni, and CEO Channels TV, John Momoh; 11th Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University, Prof Ramatu Bellow; Public Relations expert, Bisi Olatilo, among others.

The event, which was chaired by Professor Are Afe Babalola, of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, also had Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, All Progressives Congress Presidential aspirant for the 2023 election, ably represented by Seye Oladejo, Lagos state APC secretary, as the chief launcher.

Reuben Abati, veteran journalist, and Arise TV presenter reviewed the book. He thanked God that the book was not in memory of the celebrant as most teachers, but was in his honour and recommended it for all mass communications students.

Speaking at the ceremony, Prof Fassy Yusuf, chairman of the organizing committee of the event, said that the 928-page book with over 40 chapters is a compendium of books by Prof Akinfeleye. 

In his speech, Prof. AdepojuTekumaiye, Head of Department, Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos, said that he was most privileged to have been taught by both Prof Akinfeleye and his wife at different times.According to him, the Professor is deserving of all commendation and applause as his achievements were enormous. “You are the teacher of teachers,” he said.

Also speaking, Prof OluwatoyinOgundipe, Vice-Chancellor UNILAG, noted that the author has paid his dues and is deserving of all applause. 

“Prof Akinfeleye was responsible for the establishment of the UNILAG radio and TV, which is the first in any Nigerian universities.“He has been one of the pillars that have nurtured the department and taken it to the global arena,” he added.

In his speech, advertising guru, Biodun Shobanjo of Troyka Holdings projected the erudite Profesor as a complete breed, who was able to marry the “town and gown”; as he pushed for the interaction of theory and practice within the communications industry. He described Prof Akinfeleye as a dedicated, passionate teacher, who had been instrumental in the training of numerous great men and women in the field of mass communication.

Similarly, John Momoh noted that only a man like Prof Akinfeleye could bring the best of all in the journalism industry together in one place “Like he has done today”.

He described the honoree as a teacher, scholar, mass communication expert, and a colossus of African journalism, who taught him and his wife.

“Prof Akinfeleye is a rare breed, and he still calls me up to find out how I am doing, he added.

Dabiri-Elewa described him as a good teacher, who inspires hope and ignites a great passion for learning.“He deeply, truly, and genuinely cares about his student and their profession.

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