Tai Solarin


This book is about the life and times of a Nigerian education icon, Tai Solarin, written from the perspective of a very close student who was trained by him. Tai was unusual and deserves to be celebrated because he dedicated his entire life to the service of humanity, starting by building a unique Nigerian secondary school from scratch with his British wife without any significant financial investment but robust physical energy, Spartan self-discipline, and a meteoric vision. This was in 1956. This school allowed religious freedom and full development of the human spirit; motivated the students to become the best they could be and taught physical and vocational education. The students worked with the non-teaching staff to build classrooms, cook, and process food; grow and harvest crops; manage 24-hr water and electricity supply; bake bread, raise pigs, poultry and goats for domestic consumption.

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Dr Dele Babalola was born in December 1961, in Maiduguri, northern Nigeria. He received his post primary education at Mayflower School, Ikenne, western Nigeria (September 1973 – June1978) and medical education at the University of Ife, Nigeria (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria). After a stint of medical internship at Ife University Teaching Hospitals Complex, National Youth Service at the Medical Centre, Ajaokuta Steel Company, and a short period of private practice at Midway Hospital, Ile-Ife, he became the physiciain -in -charge of Okene Clinic/Hospital, Lagos (1992-1995). From late 1995 he transferred his medical services overseas. He first worked in Kingston Public Hospital/Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Jamaica (March 1996-Feb 1997). Next in tow was his appointment as a Registrar GP at the Psychiatric
Hospital, Barbados (April 1997 –April 1999). After this, he was engaged as a Clinical Medical Officer of Health at Black Rock Polyclinic, Barbados (April 1999- April 2002). By July 2000 he established his own private GP practice and named it First Foundation Clinic Inc. Dr. Babalola is a natural writer, a talent he cultivated and nourished while in Mayflower where he had written a few dramas for the stage, prose and numerous articles for the school’s Mayflower Times and Winslow magazines. He was appointed into several leadership roles while in Mayflower – senior prefect, medical officer, President Young Farmers’ Club, Editor-in –Chief of
Mayflower Times. In the university, he edited Winslow the 30th and The Ex-May, the journal of old students of Mayflower in higher institutions of learning nation- wide. In 1984, he was the President of NASEM (National Association of Student Ex-Mays), President of Mayflower Old Students’ Association (Unife Chapter) and President, Ife University Medical Students’ Association. In 2000, he was elected General- Secretary of Caribbean-African Association of Barbados and in 2005 he was elected to the Executive Council of Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners. He has several publications to his credit The Drinkard’s Song (a poem in pidgin English published in Okike, 1976, and Donatus Nwoga’s anthology of poems, Rhythm of Creation), Tai and Sheila (1981), The Pull of Blood (1998, 2006), Oga Tasere (2004), My Walk with God (2006) and Your Personal Health Guide (2006). Dele has been actively involved with Ex-Mays Global Charity/Global Ex-Mays Alumni Association since 2005. He is presently the Editor-in-Chief of Ex-Mays Global Magazine (4 editions produced to date) and Global Vice-President for Oceania and Asia. He resides in Perth, Western Australia and is a consultant GP and a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of Medical Practitioners and Royal Australia College of General Practitioners. He is married to Jumoke, a registered nurse trained at Murdoch University, Australia. The marriage is blessed with five lovely children – 3 girls (Oyin, Ola and Ebun) and two boys (David and Joshua).


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