By: Covenant Oladele
On Friday, 27 August, 2021, the Indy Hall Alumni Association visited the Hall to commission the newly renovated A Block and C Block reading rooms, and also relate to the present residents of the sexagenarian. The event, which had gained much awareness ahead of time, witnessed a massive turnout of Katangites in to welcome the old students back home.
Mr Waidi Omotola Ifafore, who once served as the Administrator General of the Hall and also chairs the alumni body, appreciated the joint efforts of the alumni body in making the project a success. He noted that the whole process kick-started as an idea about a year ago, and as a body, they decided to work on three projects namely: the renovation of two reading rooms, the installation of a generating set, and providing a befitting gate for the hall, but they started with the renovation of the reading rooms.
The commissioning event, which witnessed the attendance of the Hall Master, Professor Ajayi, the Director, University Advancement Centre, Mr Debo Adeosun, the assistant Hall Warden and the hall porters was a memorable one as the alumni members shared their experiences while living in the hall.
In his welcome address, Professor Ajayi, who serves as the Hall Master and is also a Katangite, commended Mr Ifafore and his team for the efforts in refurbishing the hall. He also noted that Independence Hall is a representative of the nation and that Nigeria would spring forth through the younger generation.
On behalf of Temitope Olaogun, the Administrator-General of the Hall who was absent due to some reasons, Progress Afeniforo, the Secretary of State, showed his heartfelt gratitude to the alumni body on behalf of every member of the hall. He stated that the act didn’t go unnoticed and would as well serve as a motivation to the present Katangites to give back to their alma mater in the coming days.
Notable among others were the memoirs of the experiences the Alumni had while studying in school. And one that stands out were the words of Chief Henry Akinbote. He affirmed that Independence Hall is the only living hall and was well known for the spirit of generosity among her members. He also said that Katangites have a vantage position in life, hereby affirming the popular Katanga chant, “Atigba talaye ti dáyé, ko ṣọmọ Indy to sori burúkú”.
The reading rooms of the two blocks were commissioned and Katangites were made to recite a pledge to the commitment of the legacy of the great Hall. The pledge:
“I pledge myself to remember that at all times and all places, I shall think, behave and conduct myself as a great ambassador of Katanga Republic. So help me God. Amen”.
The event came to an end with the recitation of the hall anthem.