Mathew Oluwaseun Ayodele

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Ayodele MathewMathew Oluwaseun Ayodele
University Of Ibadan, Postgraduate College, Department Of History

My name is Mathew Oluwaseun Ayodele from Nigeria, and I am a Nigerian. I have a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Ibadan, and I am rounding off my master’s degree in history degree at the same institution. I have a track record of publishing my research which demonstrates an ability to maintain a balance between mining data from sources and communicating those findings to a wider audience. It also indicates a clear sense of scholarly purpose. Over the past two years, as a research assistant for scholars in Nigeria and the United States of America, I have completed a significant body of research in Nigerian archives. My research interests cuts across the intersection of colonial and postcolonial African history and other subfields like gender history, medical history, political history and development history. What is more, I have participated in a number of international conferences, and at a point co-presented a paper on ‘Romanticism and Underdevelopment in Africa’. Presently, I am a participant in the Global History Lab program, Princeton University and University of Ibadan, Department of History.


Gender and Sports in Nigeria, 1950-1996

Sports history has remained a scarcely explored area for African historians. Several scholars have discussed issues around women and migration, women and gender role, women and politics etc. However, slight cognizance has been given to the role of women in sports in tandem with its contribution to development. The concept of sports has been dimensionally viewed by various scholars and limited around the male gender in Africa, Nigeria. Consequently, women sports has been downplayed and undermined with trifling attention compared to male sports. Some women have been stereotyped along the line of gender roles, thus, denied opportunity in sporting activities, and some sports have been masculinised in denial of the female strength and ability. The patriarchal nature of the colonial state further enhanced the categorization of female sports participation based on gender roles, thereby, labelling some type of sports as strength sports. However, postcolonialism became a mechanism for bridging the gender gap in sports participation in Nigeria, this would later affect the participation of women in previously named strength sports. The study used a historical approach and utilized primary sources like newspapers from Nigeria National Archives, and the secondary sources were based on published and unpublished works. The paper made a comparative examination of gender in African pre-colonial societies and the later western conceptualization of gender. The study reconstructed the underlying factors for the emergence of women participation in sports in a colonial society characterized by patriarchal domination. Also, it analysed the achievements of females’ participation in sports in post-colonial Nigeria, and how they bridged the gender gap in sports by participating in strength sports. The study highlighted several challenges and socio-medical misconceptions that affected female participation in sports within the period of study. The 1996 Olympic Games has been used a case study for the discourse on the achievement of Nigerian women participation in sports and the effect on the gender gap in Nigeria.

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