Education and the Yoruba Muslims of Southwest Nigeria since 1889

On July 11, 2022, our guest Mutiat Titilope Oladejo gave a presentation on “Education and the Yoruba Muslims of Southwest Nigeria since 1889.” Mutiat Titilope Oladejo is lecturer of the Department of History, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Leibniz Moderner Orient, Berlin, Germany. She is a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)  and Council for Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA).

Abstract

Among the Yoruba, Islam was part of everyday life as it reflected in worship, practice, learning system, socio-political and economic activities from the 17th to 19th centuries. However, the civilizing mission of the Christian missionaries and the colonial state changed the demographics and identity of “being educated”. The Islamic nonformal learning system that had existed for centuries were replaced with formal education. The changing dynamics of education featured how Yoruba Muslims responded to deprivation, apathy, accommodation and re-integration. This work emphasizes that Yoruba Muslims engaged formal education as a holistic approach to the adini-duniya nexus. Thus, the practice of religion (adini) and living life (duniya) are considered a whole in the pursuit of education. Significantly, education was accepted as a path to prosperity, but it was constructed to fit to the needs of being a good Muslim. The historical approach is adopted. Biographies of the literati that shaped the intellectual directions of the Muslim communities in southwest Nigeria are analysed to understand what it meant to be “an educated Muslim”. Furthermore, the collective of memory of Muslim groups across Yoruba towns and cities is considered to understand how life is constructed as “being educated” and being good Muslims”. This work is bothered about the way Muslims responded to deprivation of enrolment in formal schools of the colonial and post colonial era. Thus, the privatization of education to create safe spaces was an option. However, gradual growth of Islamic reformist from the 1970s created a new dimension to education as they prefer a push backwhere the adini-duniya nexus is pushed into the secular schooling space.

Three Questions to Dr. Mutiat Titilope Oladejo

Dr Mutiat Titilope Oladejo
Department of history
University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Mutiat Titilope Oladejo is lecturer of the Department of History, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Leibniz Moderner Orient, Berlin, Germany. She is a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)  and Council for Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA).

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