Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Faces of Ethnobiology: Durojaye Adebola Soewu

I am Durojaye Adebola Soewu and I hailed from Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria. My romance with traditional systems started with my paternal grandfather (Late Pa Onanuga Soewu) who was a renowned herbalist during his lifetime. Though I was grandpa's apprentice-grandchild, I didn't have any dream to make anything out of that training. Infact, it was more of a coerced relationship between grandpa and I. My attempt to pursue a degree in medicine landed me in a zoology class in Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye) hence, I made up my mind to obtain the B.Sc in Zoology and forget completely about science. However, an encounter in the final year with a particular course, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation changed the story. I decided to give wildlife conservation a chance. A very interesting coincidence followed when the man who taught that course, Dr Olufemi Sodeinde was assigned to supervise my final year project. After a brief period of trials in some other aspects, he zeroed in on ethnobiology and I fell in with him. Despite that, I wasn't really convinced so when I got to the M.Sc Wildlife Management level, I veered into Environmental biology. I proceeded to the Ph.D class with my mind on marine mammalogy but so many factors came into play and I had to come back to ethnobiology, working on utilisation of wildlife for traditional African medicine. This was with active supports and guidance from Dr Sodeinde (my academic papa and mentor whom am expecting to join me here in Bhutan from his New York base) and Prof Ibukun Ayodele (my Ph.D supervisor and guardian). I must confess that the tutelage I had under my grandpa went a long way in preparing me for fruitful and rewarding interactions with local communities. The successful completion of the Ph.D marked the beginning of a well defined focus on a career that seeks to enhance and promote the essential but delicate balance between peoples' health care delivery needs, cultural exigencies and biodiversity conservation interests. Now I can boldly say I love ethnobiology and would be willing to make a lifetime career out of it. My primary research species are the pangolins.

Presently, I am Senior Lecturer in Wildlife Management, and the acting Head, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Management, College of Agriculture ( Ejigbo Campus ) Osun State University. Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.

No comments:

Post a Comment