The news of the demise of Professor Clement Ayodele Bakare came to us like a terrible nightmare. We wished it was just a dream and not a reality but it was indeed a reality, a painful reality for many of us who were still hoping to see him and learn again from him any time he returns back to Nigeria.
Professor Bakare was our teacher, our father, our leader, and our mentor. He did not only taught many of us but also facilitated employment for us directly or indirectly. He indeed was the father of Speech Pathology and Audiology in Nigeria and also in some African countries. He was the pioneer teacher of Speech Pathology and Audiology in Department of Special Education, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He also established the first Speech Pathology and Audiology Clinic in the same Department where he served as Speech Pathologist and Audiologist and Clinician to many speech disorder and hearing patients and Consultant to many hospitals including the famous University College Hospital, Ibadan. In the same clinic, he also engaged his students in clinical practices, who are now practicing Speech/Language Pathologists / Correctionists and Audiologists all over the world.
Furthermore, many international students who came to study Speech Pathology and Audiology under him at the University of Ibadan went back to their various countries to establish either to establish the course in various academic institutions or set up clinics for rehabilitating patients having hearing or speech disorders. One of them is Professor Mawutor Avoke who established Speech Pathology and Audiology in the University of Education in Winneba, Ghana and eventually became the Vice-Chancellor of that University. Professor Bakare’s influence spread all over the Africa continent.
He was the founding father and Pioneer President of the Nigerian Speech and Hearing Association now Speech Pathologists and Audiologists Association in Nigeria. Through this Association, Professor Bakare brought the twin professions of Speech Pathology Audiology to fore in the country. Today, the professions are duly recognized by the Nigerian government and are affiliated to the Medical Rehabilitation Therapists Board of Nigeria.
Death has robbed us a great son of Africa, the first audiologist in Africa. A great academic, first professor in the Department of Special Education, University of Ibadan, a teacher whose many of his students are now professors all over the world. A mentor and a leader. A colossus and indeed a giant Iroko tree under whose shade many found comforts, knowledge, leadership, mentorship, etc
We are grateful to him for all his love and guidance we enjoyed.
Adieu, our father, our leader, our mentor and our teacher. Though he has gone we will carry on his legacy.
Rest in peace.
Professor Julius Abiola Ademokoya,
Speech Pathologists and Audiologists Association in Nigeria.