A specialist theriogenologist and lecturer in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Prof Oluwatoyin Ajala, talks to TEMITOPE ADETUNJI about his work with the family.
If you are a professor the height of academic work. Was this your childhood dream whenever the goal came to you?
What I remember as an Ekiti girl growing up in the city of Oyo was that I always wanted to be the best in all my endeavors and God has always been faithful in raising my small efforts. My parents always taught me to put my best interests first and to please God in everything I did. This has been my idea since my elementary school, Federal Government Girls College, Owinni, Oyo, Oyo State. At the time at FGGC, it was a common practice for well-known women to be invited to give lectures to encourage our young minds. One of the women who made a mark in my life at the time was Prof Bolanle Awe. I was so impressed by his speech and conduct that at the time, I decided to become a professor in my chosen field, and by God’s grace, I became a professor of theriogenology in 2016. glory to God Almighty.
What kind of family background do you come from and how did your family background and upbringing influence your choice of career? What kind of experience shaped your friendship?
I come from a very low institution. My parents were teachers. To this day, they are the stupid and disciplined parents who excel. This really had an impact on my upbringing but did not detract from my career choice. My parents can’t stand the nonsense; so they look for anything that might interfere with my education.
I was struggling to gain an acceptance in Medical and Surgery education when the Bible verse came to mind: “He who is keeping his livestock is wise”. So, instead of wasting years writing UTME (Unified Matriculation Examination) several times in an effort to study traditional medicine, which was much needed at the time, it seemed to me that I could not study Veterinary Medicine, it was the way I switched to Veterinary Medicine. . I’m happy about it today.
The father was very interested in the education of his children. He would write letters to us while we were studying and expect us to reply. He could not stop there; he would prepare our literature and send it to us. This greatly improved my writing skills. During the holidays, he would force us to read the newspapers and check the meanings of unfamiliar words in the dictionary, while also giving us articles to write. He took the time to correct the situation and had us rewrite it. My parents used to visit the school on Visiting Day, and when we were not dressed properly, or when we were not dressed, my father would scold hell and send us back to the hostel to do what we needed, before giving us anything he could carry. we are from home.
My parents used to take us to several places to learn new things and as a girl-child, no to frivolity and unnecessary (allowed) communication. He always celebrates our success. All of this shaped my childhood and moral character as a girl and as a woman. The most glorious thing that happened to me was knowing Jesus Christ as a child; this gave purpose and direction to my life.
How long have you been teaching, what do you like most about your job and what is your biggest reward as a teacher?
I have been teaching for the past 29 years and my greatest joy and reward is seeing or hearing my former students talk about my impact on their lives, that they are making progress in their careers. I also find joy in training young women.
Is there a career decision you have made that you can always look back on?
Yes. One job decision I made was to sacrifice some family privileges. For me, family comes first; work is nothing but family. How can it help me if my family is not doing well and my career is improving? Such self-sacrifice could affect our work, the number of pages published, and so on, but it is well worth it.
Did you choose certain people as mentors while you were building your career?
Yes. I had people I respected very much in my work. Notable among them was Prof. M.O. Akusu (of blessed memory). He really encouraged me when I had my master’s degree and in the middle of my PhD degree. research. Her words of encouragement and support really helped me in my work.
Are there times you can describe as high and low in your career as a professor?
Life is full of ups and downs, but with God we can overcome the times of descent. My peer times were when my manuscripts were accepted and published in journals. Another notable moment was when I had the opportunity to present my work published at a conference on theriogenology in the USA and the work was applauded, that such high-tech research could be done in Nigeria despite all the controversy. The rejection of my manuscripts or suggestions was always a low point for me. Another low point was when I was denied a promotion with a few excuses, and the biggest moment was when my professional promotion was announced after years of waiting.
What made you decide on your specialty in theriogenology?
Theriogenology is a specialized field of Veterinary Medicine that deals with animal reproduction. It includes animal obstetrics and gynecology, andrology and assisted reproductive technology. I found something very interesting and comfortable for me during my graduation days. I advise young people to choose a career that they love and succeed in.
Did you find anything you did while studying, researching and teaching the theology that you found most amazing and impressive, and that you want the public to know about?
I have reported how to contaminate epithelial cells extracted from the vagina in bitches to regulate the estrous cycle, which is used in clinical theriogenology. I also reported a follow-up to treatment