She is an amiable lecturer of Literature, a pioneer student of the defunct Bendel State University who studied English and Literary Studies and had a master’s degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos and a second master’s degree in Literature from the same university. Welcome to the world of Dr. Ofure Aito, whose academic performance in school was awesome. “Yes, awesome indeed because I was the second best graduating student in 1996,” she recalled. She had two master’s degrees before opting for a Ph. D. Did you ask if that made her Ph. D easy and fun, having had two master’s degrees first? “No, it wasn’t easy! In fact, when I started, it was no fun at all.
I wanted to call it quits several times. Some of my friends that started with me dropped out on their own because it was not something a woman would want to do. It’s not very favourable to women, unless you are determined, really dogged and committed,” she recalled Life after having a doctorate degree had been centered on academics. “After my Ph. D, I have been writing books, doing a lot of research and lecturing because that is what my passion is; teaching Literature! Aside from that, I’m a role model to women, especially young girls.
Everywhere I go, I always want to pick up a young girl, an aspiring future lady or woman to go with me, and probably see what I’m doing and maybe, it would inspire her,” she asserted. Dr Aito pointed out that education would go a long way in empowering the girl-child. “Education of the girl-child is very important because that would help to empower her and help to convince her that her education would not end up in the kitchen. I’m saying this because at times, some of my students do come to me and say ‘don’t you think we are wasting our time studying because we would still end up in the kitchen and later become baby factories’. That’s when I sit them down and counsel them. Some of the questions they ask are touchy, very emotional, but I spend time talking and encouraging them.
“What actually helps me to advise and encourage them is the kind of upbringing I had. In my family, when I was growing up, my parents didn’t give my brothers preferential treatments. If you are a mother and you are doing that please, desist from doing that. In my family, we were treated alike; there were no house chores strictly for females. Some of us (girls) would wash our parents’ cars. As early as the 70s and 80s, I would wash my father’s car, my brothers would wash plates.
At times, they would pound yam in the kitchen or use stone to grind pepper and my mum would insist those chores were properly done. There was no disparity, no gender segregation in my house. I’m so grateful I learnt from that and today, I’m using what I learnt to touch lives,” she giggled. This university Don hammers so much on the importance of education. That it is very important to be educated, even if you are not going to use your certificate to work.
There is nothing wrong in knowing your right and claiming it or knowing how to claim it. Don’t be discouraged over the fact that some people who didn’t go to school are millionaires today. It is one thing to be a millionaire without education and another thing to be one with education. How would you feel if you have all the millions and people don’t reckon with you? How would you feel if you have all the millions and you can’t sit and dine with kings and queens? There is a big difference! Education liberates your mind and set the body in emotion,” she said. Little wonder, some married women who want to further their education and their spouses become a stumbling block are always aggrieved. “Yes, you don’t blame them for being aggrieved. These days, women are realizing the importance of education. Unlike before when most married women were satisfied with just living a docile lifestyle and depended solely on their husbands. But I’m so happy that the contemporary women, I call them the first modernist women, have woken up to the call for self expression.
Now, they take the bull by the horn and they are no longer subservient. They are more determined about who they are. But you see, the challenges of being married and wanting to further your education is always heavy. So, one thing a woman who wants to do that has to do is to weigh it. Put it on the scale and decide where the advantage is more. I won’t say leave your marriage in order to express yourself. Neither would I say let yourself be buried in your marriage. But weigh your options.
Which one is better for you? Which one do you enjoy most? That is the most important thing because I enjoy being a doctor; I will give anything to keep it. And I have given up so much to get to where I am. I have given up social life, I have given up marriage proposals to be where I am because I weigh my options and I found out that this was what I wanted and I have never regretted it. It has opened so many doors. There is no embassy I go to and the doors are not opened. At least in my time, I have sat one-on-one with two ambassadors of nations, I’ve had conferences with them. I have been a guest of a president in America. I have given a talk to American citizens in the university.
I have benefited from American scholarship. I have traveled, I’m having fun, so I’m not looking back,” she enthused. Guess what keeps this amazon busy? “One of the things I now do a lot is attending international conferences and presenting issues, papers and arguments on national identity, sovereignty and the power of literature in reconciling the differences in every society and individual. And promoting co-existence and tolerance,” she said.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner
2015 National Mirror. Powered By Zero-One