Mokuolu Adebayo

Mokuolu Adebayo; Nigerian professor of Chemistry and celebrated educationist. Adebayo Mokuolu was born in the famous Owu quarters of Abeokuta, Ogun state, into Olusomi family. The same family produced President Obasanjo.

Mokuolu attended Bishop Oluwole Memorial School, Agege, Lagos, for his primary education. On completion, he applied as a carpentry apprentice at Cappa & D’alberto, the company that built the prestigious Kingsway Stores, Lagos. He learnt carpentry because his father, a carpenter, wanted him to become a carpenter as well. Shortly after starting his apprenticeship, he made an outstanding piece of furniture which made the European in charge to promote him to the level of a supervisor. With that promotion he effectively leap-frogged many of his bosses, including his father. Mokuolu remained in this position at such an early age until Kingsway Stores was completed and opened in 1949 by the then British Governor of Nigeria.

In the early 1950s, Mokuolu left Cappa& D’Alberto to commence a new life as a trader, moving merchandise across the Niger through rail in early. His industry yielded quick rewards. By the time he was 18, he had become wealthy, owning one of the status symbols of the time-a Raleigh Bicycle. Despite his success in business, Mokuolu was desperate to continue his education which had been distrupted by his stint in carpentry and trading.



Mokuolu accepted the Federal Government of Nigeria overseas scholarship and proceeded to the University of Glasgow, UK, for his post graduate studies. He returned to Nigeria in 1966.



In 1951, he wrote the entrance examination into Abeokuta Grammar School. His performance in the examination made Rev. Ransome Kuti, then principal of the school, to place him in form two instead of form one, where he should have started. Mokoulu paid three years in advance for his tuition from his own savings. He completed his secondary education in 1955 with Division One grade in the Cambridge School. Certificate.

Mokuolu gained admission into the Nigeria College of Arts, Science and Technology, Ibadan for Advanced Level studies. His performance at the secondary school leaving certificate earned him a scholarship from the government of the defunct Western Region. Mokuolu was admitted to read Chemistry, Physics, Pure and Applied Mathematics. In 1958. he secured an admission to study for a degree in Chemistry at the prestigious University College Ibadan. While at Ibadan, he earned the college scholarship and graduated in 1962 with a second class honours (Upper Division).

Mokuolu was granted exemption from the master’s programme and completed the PhD programme in three years specializing in X-ray crystallography and synthesis of Amino-phosphine complexes of inorganic compounds. His achievement was regarded as a remarkable academic feat.

Mokuolu began teaching Chemistry and dental materials in the Dentistry Department of the College of Medicine, Idi – Araba in 1966. In 1967, he established the Lagos College of Science and Commerce, Surulere. In 1972, he established “Adebayo Mokuolu Comprehensive High School at Anthony Village, later known as Anthony Village School. Again, in 1985, he established Doctor Mokuolu Institute of Advanced Studies and in 1987, the Adebayo Mokuolu College, Ogba where high rate of success in
West African Examination Council exams were recorded.

Mokuolu was honoured with the Ojogbon Iwe of Lagos and Bamowe of Egbaland chieftaincy titles. His contributions to education in Nigeria have also been recognized[i].
[i] ThisDay December 13, 2004

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer