General T Y Danjuma, the multiple identity Nigerian billionaire, has done it again in noble generosity. He has doled out the hefty sum of nearly a million and half US dollars to the College of Medicine at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s first and oldest university.
It is said to be the largest of such donations by any single person. The money will go into the construction of a block in the College of Medicine.
It can be said that there are hardly any major university in Nigeria which has not enjoyed his culture of generous and cheerful giving without attachments to it.
He is not seeking any political office. His type of businesses do not involve land grabbing. Hence the conclusion that he must be about noble generosity as opposed to subversive generosity.
The question, however, is whether the donations have any grid that tie them together. In the absence of such a grid, it can fall prey to a destructive language game.
The second question is whether the donations have taken the place of a university with a TY Danjuma touch in Nigeria before anything happens to him.
Many notable Nigerians have a legacy preserving crisis. It is debatable if anything superior to a university with the TY touch exists, with particular reference to winning the frame game in terms of what values TY fought for and symbolises.
It is one thing for followers of any legend to say these are what he stood for but another thing for such followers to remain on top of the narrative or guarantee the hegemony of their narrative since every narrative is at war with itself.
As such, a university which is inherently a permanent frame battleground will be the best guarantee in the politics of narrativisation of a phenomenal personality such as TY.
But it will not be one of these typical universities. It has to be an awesome setting, not necessarily in terms of massive or grand buildings but in terms of what makes a university to be a university.
Your guess is as good as mine in terms of those things that makes a university to be in the category of world class.