University of Ibadan Notable Alumni

The University of Ibadan is reputed to be the oldest university. However, for this institution, age isn’t just a number, UI as it is popularly called as produced thousands of notable alumni. And in this post, we’ve highlighted some of these alumni.

first university in nigeria
University of Ibadan
  1. John Omoniyi

John Omoniyi received his first degree at the university of Ibadan before proceeding to the United Kingdom to study at the University of London and the University of Birmingham.


Omoniyi would later return to the University of Ibadan to take up a faculty position. He served in acting capacity as the First Head of Department and Dean of the Faculty of Education at the then Jos Campus of the University of Ibadan in 1974-76.

  1. James Meredith

James Meredith was a popular Civil Rights Movement Activist. He was first African-American student admitted to the largely segregated University of Mississipi. His civil right activities at the institution led to him leaving to come spend some time at the University of Ibadan to complete his studies. But he was eventually able to complete his studies at the University of Mississipi

Meredith was famous for promoting the massive Marches Against Fear in 1966. Initially, his intention was to walk all the distance alone, but he was attacked by a white man which drew support from people, many of which joined him on his way. The march was the most spectacular in the state.

  1. Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka was the first African and Nigerian to receive the Nobel Laureate which he received in 1987. He received his first University degree at the University of Ibadan before proceeding to the United Kingdom for further studies.

Wole Soyinka was heavily involved in the Royal Court Theater work in London. He was also involved in theaters in Nigeria. Over the years, Professor Soyinka has taught at several notable Universities like Harvard, Oxford, and Yale.


  1. Ken Saro-Wiwa

Ken Saro-Wiwa was quite popular for his fights against the exploitation of the Niger Delta people. He was a writer, television producer and environmental activist. He was a member of the Ogoni people.

He was the spokesperson and later president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP).

Saro-Wiwa was a staunch critic of the government. Although, his campaigns were non-violent, he was arrested and tried by the Military Government in 1995 which eventually led to his death.

  1. Chinua Achebe

If you’ve read, Things Fall Apart, then you certainly know Chinua Achebe. He was the writer of the award winning novel which was later adapted into a movie.

Achebe initially won a scholarship to study Medicine at the University of Ibadan but he changed his major to literature when he discovered his love for literature.

On graduation, Achebe began working for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service. It was during this period he wrote Things Fall Apart and other popular novels like No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987).

  1. Abimbola Rosemary Odukoya

Popularly called Bimbo Odukoya, Abimbola Odukoya was a notable evangelist particularly in the Nigerian Pentecostal circle.

She was particularly known for books and sermons on marriage and dating. During her lifetime, her ministry was very instrumental in turning around the lives of many married couples and young people.

Unfortunately, she lost her life during an air disaster in 2005.

  1. Iya Abubakar

Another notable alumnus of the University of Ibadan, Iya Abubakar became a Professor at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) at the age of 28. He would later work at the Central Bank of Nigeria as a director before returning to ABU to become the Vice Chancellor of the University.

Iya Abubakar was also the Minister of Defence and Internal Affair. He became a Senator of the Adamawa North in 1999 and he served till 2007.

  1. Kole Omotosho

His full names are Bankole Omotosho. He is a Nigerian writer and he’s known for his popular works of fiction, some of which include Fela’s choice, the Edifice, the Combat and To borrow a wandering leaf.

Up until in 2010, he was known in South Africa as the Yebo Gogo Man due to his appearance in Vodacom adverts.

Omotosho studied at the University of Ibadan before proceeding to University of Edinburgh for further education.

He was lecturer at the University of Ibadan between 1972 and 1976. He was also a patron of the Etisalat Prize Literature between 2013 and 2016.

  1. Christopher Okigbo

He was poet, teacher and writer. But his life was cut short during the civil war.

  1. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello

Iyabo Obasanjo is the daughter of the former two-time President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo. She was the Ogun State Commissioner for Health and a Nigerian Senator between 2007 and 2011. She was also the Chairman of the Senates Health Committee.

She studied at the University of Ibadan before proceeding to the United States of America for further studies.

  1. Grace Alele-Williams

Grace Alele-Williams was the first Nigerian woman to become the vice Chancellor of a Nigerian University. She was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin.

Prior to taking up this position, she was also appointed a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Ibadan in 1976. She was also the first Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate degree.

Other notable alumni from U.I include:

  1. Abiola Irele
  2. Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
  3. Adiele Afigbo, renown historian
  4. Akinyinka Omigbodun
  5. Alexander Animalu, Emeritus Professor, former Director National Mathematical Centre, Abuja
  6. Amadi Ikwechegh
  7. Christopher Okigbo
  8. Chukwuemeka Ike, writer
  9. Claude Ake, Professor of Political Economy, international scholar and social crusader
  10. Eddie Mbadiwe, Member of the House of Representative
  11. Elechi Amadi
  12. Emeka Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary-General
  13. Epaphras Denga Ndaitwah
  14. Farida Mzamber Waziri
  15. Femi Osofisan, writer
  16. Gamaliel Onosode
  17. Isidore Okpewho
  18. P. Clark
  19. Jacob Ade Ajayi
  20. Kayode Are, former National Security Adviser and former Director General of the State Security Service
  21. Kayode Fayemi, former Governor of Ekiti State, Min of Solid Minerals
  22. Kole Omotosho
  23. Ladipo Ayodeji Banjo
  24. Martin I. Uhomoibhi
  25. Michael Omolewa, former President of UNESCO General Conference and Ambassador of Nigeria to UNESCO
  26. Niyi Osundare
  27. Olufunmilayo Olopade
  28. Sadique Abubakar, Nigeria Chief of Air Staff
  29. Segun Toyin Dawodu, a physician, attorney, academic, and entrepreneur who established the first websiteon socio-political issues of Nigeria.
  30. Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice
  31. Sophie Oluwole, noted philosopher Zakariyau Oseni
  32. Stephen Adebanji Akintoye
  33. William Kumuyi, founder and General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry

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