Simon Ademola Ajayi is a professor of History at the prestigious History department, premier university, Ibadan. Ajayi is a blessing to humanity. My path crossed his about 23 years ago when I was in U I for my M A degree. S A Ajayi looks and acts like an Ogbomoso person and I actually mistook him for my towns man until he told me that he is not from Ogbomoso. However, being in Ghana for many years and related with Ogbomoso people nearly turned into one. Not only that, he is Baptist and frequent the prestigious Nigerian Baptist Theological seminary, Ogbomoso and Nigerian Baptist Convention where he acts as a consultant in History to both organizations.
As a matter of fact, he is the official Historian to the Baptist Convention the role previously played by another erudite Historian, professor J A Atanda of blessed memory. S A Ajayi is from Igosun, a town near Offa, kwara State. He had his early education in Ghana and has to relocate to Nigeria consequent on General Bussia quit order policy in 1969 which actually led to relocation of million Nigerians, expecially Ogbomoso people back home. Ajayi is a product of the Ibadan school of History and privileged to have received his education under the feet of the juggernauts like JF Ade Ajayi, Tekena Tamuno, Omoniyi Adewoye, J A Akinola among others. He completed his PhD in the department with his doctoral thesis which has made him official Nigeria Baptist Historian, ‘ the origin and growth of Baptist mission work in Yorubaland, 1850 – 2000’. Aside he has published in reputable journals and chapters in books both nationally and internationally.
Formerly of the university of Abuja, he has been visiting lecturer to the university of Gambia 2002-2003, visiting professor of History, at Kennesaw state University, Georgia USA 2006, visiting scholar, department of History, university of Cape Coast, Ghana 2008-2009. He was also chair of the department of History, university of Ibadan 2003-2006. He has served as vice president, Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN), 2005-2010. Currently,he is the national vice president of the American studies Association of Nigeria ( ASAN). What actually stands Ademola Ajayi out is not his intimidating academic attainment but his character. Ajayi is a mentor to many students who have had grace to pass under his tutelage. He is thorough breed ibadan school of History scholar and about the only one safeguarding the rich heritage of the prestigious school in the school today. If the culture of the school has not been destroyed wholly due to inflitration of other scholars from outside Ibadan into the History department who were aliens to Ibadan school ideology , it is Ademola Ajayi that has saved the day. He is a chip of the old block. He is gentle, kind, and always ready to assist others. He is not a scholar who bullied students and think one should know all. I will forever be grateful to him for painstakingly read my MA thesis” Ogbomoso Confederacy in the 19th century and for his mentorship. He also joyfully wrote the foreword to my historical work on Ogbomoso Geo political zone History “Issues in Ogbomoso History” within a short notice in 2017. Ajayi is happily married to his heartrob and his pillar of support mama Grace Iyabo Bimpe nee Oguntunde and the marriage is blessed. Please join him to wish this exemplary scholar a happy and prosperous birthday. Long life and prosperity, sir.