Emeritus Professor Ola Oloidi, is dead

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Ola Oloidi, a professor emeritus in the department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), is dead.

Mr Oloidi, who specialised in art history and art criticism, died on Monday, the dean, Faculty of Arts in UNN, Boniface Mbah said.

“It’s a great loss to the entire university,” said Mr Mbah, a professor of Linguistics. Professor Oloidi was said to have contributed immensely to the development of art history in Nigeria.

Mr Oloidi studied at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, where he had his art diploma in 1969 and later went to Howard University, Washington D.C, United States, where he had his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts degrees in 1973 and 1974 respectively, according to his profile on the UNN website.

He joined UNN as a lecturer in 1976, rose to the rank of a professor in the university in 1996, and retired in 2012.

“He (Mr Oloidi) has solely supervised and produced 30 Ph.D. and 32 M.A. students in Art History,” the university said on its website.

“Before Professor Ola Oloidi became an Acting Head of Department in 1992, and in fact, since the end of the Civil War in Nigeria, our department had been running a 5-year B.A. programme, making it the only art institution in Nigeria that made art students spend 5 years for a B.A. programme.

“Professor Ola Oloidi noted that many students, for this reason, sought admission into other institutions. He also observed that the departmental standard was not really higher than those of other universities with 4-year programmes, while, in fact, the standard seemed to be getting lower. He set up a special curriculum committee that eventually, in 1993, reverted the departmental programme to 4 years with Senate approval,” the university said.

People who were taught by the late professor described him as very friendly and easy-going.

“What a sad loss. The happiest lecturer I ever met. Always happy and willing to make everyone around him Happy. May his gentle soul rest in peace,” a Twitter user, @JukkyObeleze, said on the micro-blogging site.

Another artist and a Professor of Art and Art history at the University of Lagos, Peju Olowu Layiwola on her Facebook page said, “Farewell to a great man, a dear friend and a teacher of teachers, Prof Ola Oloidi. Your life has touched so many. You stood in as an academic mentor when my teachers, Irein Wangboje and Cornelius Adepegba bowed out early in my career, Your sense of humour was unmatched. yet you were such a committed, serious and hardworking scholar. May you find peace in the bossom of the Almighty…”


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