Farewell Balarabe Maikaba, A Reservoir Of Communication Research

Late Professor Balarabe Maikaba

By Bilyaminu Gambo Abubakar, Bayero University, Kano

When I received the report of the demise of Prof Balarabe Maikaba, a reservoir of Communication Research, my mood altered instantly. I started to sweat as my entire body was shaking. Is it true? If it’s, then what caused his sudden death? When and where did he die? Who will teach Communication Research Methods’ in an enjoyable way as Maikaba did?

What is really happening in Kano? My answer to the questions was Inna lilLahi wa Inna Ilaihir Raji’un! Ya Allah forgive him.

Balarabe Maikaba was the first professor to teach me in my life after I gained admission through Direct Entry to study Mass Communication at Bayero University, Kano. I can vividly recall his first class with us on the topic: Documentation – How to cite references and bibliographies. Looking at the bulkiness of the topic, the hardworking professor used about three separate lecture schedules explaining everything in detail.

His prayer was, ‘’I wish I have enough time to teach you this’’. I respect Prof. because of this sentence. It shows that he cares about his students and always willing to contribute his knowledge. Prof. specialized in giving advice and sharing his experience as well as having fun with his students.

In our last class on the topic ‘Internal and External Validity of Research’, Professor Maikaba made his opinion known on two key issues.

Firstly, he lamented the Almajiri system in the country, wondering how on Earth one could give birth to a child and throw him on the street expecting others to take care of him. According to him it’s wrong to give birth to a child that you cannot take care of. He said that the action of parents of Almajirai has no position in Islam.

Secondly, Prof. kicked against the unbundling of Mass Communication by the National Universities Commission (NUC). Initially, I thought I was the only one opposed to the move. He hinted that though unbundling would aid specialization, it limits opportunities also. According to him, a graduate of Mass Communication can be employed in Broadcast, Print, Public Relations, Advertising, and every aspect of communication. But now that the department is unbundled, if you study broadcast, you can only work in Radio or Television. The same thing applies to Print, Advertising, Public Relations, among others.

We pray Allah {S.W.T} to reward you with Ni’ima in your grave, pardon you on the day of Judgement and grant you Jannatul Firdaus.

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