Michael A. Ajayi
Department of Human Kinetics & Health Education
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Ajayi , M.A is a Professor of Sport Psychology and Leisure Studies at the University of Ibadan. He is the current Head of Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education in the Institution . He bagged his( PhD) in 1992 and started his University teaching career in 1996 as a Lecturer grade one and was promoted to the rank of a Professor in October, 2006. He has supervised more than fifty Master of Education projects and twenty-five doctoral theses. Professor Ajayi and one of his students; Dr. AFA Fatokun (late) won the prestigious 2007 Canadian (African) Sport research with the cutting- edge research on Sport Emotional Intelligence. As an erudite scholar, Professor Ajayi has attended several international conferences where he presented refereed papers. Many of these papers have been published in credible academic outlets. He belongs to many professional associations within and outside Nigeria. He has also served as a visiting Professor to the Department of Physical Education, Sport and Recreation, University of Botswana in Gaborone, Federal Republic of Botswana, for a period of two years. Professor Ajayi is the Editor-In -Chief of some journals and also serves as External Examiners/ Moderators to several universities in Nigeria. In addition, he has assisted in the assessment of many professorial candidates . He has over sixty publications to his credit. He is married to Bunmi Ajayi (PhD) who teaches Early Childhood Education at Obafemi Awolowo University ,Ile-Ife in Osun State. Nigeria They are blessed with children.
Africanized or Europeanized Play: Resolving the Emerging Conflict in Nigerian Early
British colonies in Africa took identical picture of British education. Anglo-phone nations like Nigeria invariably imbibed foreign educational ideologies. Hence, at the introduction of formal school system, Physical Education Curriculum was tagged “Physical Training’ which did not complement growth and development of school children. Introduction of western education is linked to modern leisure activities. Africa nations in particular experienced endangered traditional leisure activities enjoyed before the advent of European education. Gradually, technological advancement made children’s play to metamophorsize into sophisticated westernized game such as the use of toy gun, toy arrow, shooting exercises, dangerous children leisure pursuit, watching of blue films, introduction to gambling on computer to mention a few. This has established a gap in children cultural leisure adventure thereby crippling the rich- African child’s
psycho social stimulation practices derived from the indigenous play. It also has a strong link with the development of abnormal behavior among children. It must be emphasized that prior the advent of the Europeans, African children enjoyed indigenous play starting from toddlerhood. The traditional assistive wooden device in form of “walker” aids toddler’s psycho-motor movement. The moon light games and plays such as ‘Bookoo –bookoo’, ‘Kini nleje’, ‘Boju-boju’ and some other ones come on regular basis. These have significant physical, intellectual, social, psychological and health values for the African child. This paper therefore adopts a reversal theoretical approach to examine the conflict created and proffer immediate solution to preserving the indigenous African play at the early years.