By Ridwanullahi Odofin
In every university setting, there are always some key actors whose sterling contributions through strategic leadership style and relentless passion, lift the mood and overall performance of the university. One of such actors is the Dean, Student Affairs, Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Professor Moshood Mahmud Jimba, who has recorded unprecedented achievements since he came on board on April 1, 2020. Professor Jimba has continued to justify the confidence reposed in him by the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Mustapha Akanbi SAN, who appointed him into office.
One fine attribute that stands the erudite scholar out is his humility. For those, who, for one reason or another, worked with him, it is a testimony of a man who is kind, humane, and humble to a fault. In fact, one does not need a soothsayer to tell about his kindness and humility, a close association with him would do. Another quality of his is self-discipline, a multi-layered attribute that manifests in his fidelity to time and aversion to lateness.
For those who are yet to be familiar with Professor Jimba’s trajectory, he was born in 1963, to a Muslim family in the city of Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State. In 1975, at the age of 12, he was admitted to Azhar Institute, Ogidi, Ilorin, where he spent six years. At the age of 18, he went to Egypt to complete his secondary education, spending two years at the Institute of Foreign Students (Ma’had Al-Bu’uth Al-Islamiyyah) Cairo, a branch of Al-Azhar secondary school reserved for non-Egyptian Al-Azhar students. In 1983, he enrolled for his B.A. Arabic at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, in the Faculty of Arabic Language and graduated in 1987. He obtained his Master’s degree in Arabic from the University of Ilorin in 1995, before capping it with a PhD in Arabic in the same university in 2006.
In his lofty pursuit for excellence, he began lecturing with Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies, Ilorin, in 1992, where he taught Arabic Language and Literature for 13 years and rose to become Chief Lecturer, having headed the Department of Arabic Language and served as Dean of School of Languages, School of Mass Communication and Director of Student Affairs at various times. He proceeded to Kogi State University in 2005 as a senior lecturer and also worked as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Ilorin, University of Ado-Ekiti and Nasarawa State University respectively.
The admirable scholar joined the service of Kwara State University, Malete, in 2012, and was appointed as Director, Centre for Ilorin Manuscripts and Culture. By dint of hard work, he was promoted from Associate Professor to a full Professor in 2016. The feat, among others, attests to his appetite and insatiable quest to explore all avenues, to get all he needed to bring his dream into fruition as long as his exploit would be of immense help to society.
He has served the university in different capacities, including the Head, Department of French, Portuguese and Arabic Language and Literature; Head, Department of Religions and Foreign Languages; Head, Arabic Unit, Department of Linguistics, African and European Languages; Member, University Senate; Member, Senate Business Committee; Chairman, Dress Code Committee; and Coordinator, PPP Hostels, among several other positions. He specialises in the Arabic Language, Arabic Literary Criticisms and Arabic-English-Yoruba translation. After his glistening career and having served in different capacities, Professor Jimba is currently the Dean, Student Affairs of the university.
As a world-class academic, Prof. Jimba has served as External Examiner to different universities, including the University of Ilorin and Bayero University Kano. Aside from being an administrator, Jimba has a penchant for writing, both in English and Arabic Language and he greatly demonstrated his flair in several publications where he served. Editor, Faculty of Humanities Journal, KWASU; Editor, Akbar Al-Jamia, a publication of Arabic Unit, KWASU; Editor, At- Turath, The Newsletter of CIMAC and of course Chairman, Editorial Board of this publication, Deanery Watch.
By the apotheosis of his tireless exertion, Prof. Jimba has six creative works and over 30 academic papers in reputable outlets to his credit. The experience he garnered over the years, he transformed seamlessly across the board into the Vice-Chancellor’s blueprint. He demonstrated this in the areas of leadership, student welfare, capacity building, accountability, and staff discipline among others.
A pointer to this was when the Student Affairs Unit, under his leadership, recently honoured four outstanding porters of the university hostels, for their performance. He also trained 170 porters, serving in 32 hostels on and off-campus, on how to follow best practices in the discharge of their duties.
While also establishing a good rapport with the Vice-Chancellor, the university has forged partnerships with private investors on an Intra Campus Shuttle, taking off in January 2022. The regulated transportation model will ensure the safety of both students and staff on campus as there will be periodic sight and drug tests for concerned drivers.
Undoubtedly, It is safe to say that the Student Affairs Unit, in collaboration with the university management, is on course for continuous reengineering of the system through Academic Growth, Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Studies, Staff Promotion, Intra Campus Transportation, Community Development, and Infrastructural Development among others.
With many intellectuals in the university and Professor Jimba at the helm of Student Affairs, the Vice-Chancellor is leading KWASU in the right direction of a 21st-century university. He combines vision with resilience to raise the banner of KWASU to loftier heights.