May 2020 - Lateef Aremu OLALEKAN
Interview of the Fellow of the month
May 2020 - Lateef Aremu Olalekan (PhD candidate at the Department of political science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
"I am a junior researcher myself, so my advice to myself and my fellow early PhDs is to keep going, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. The end always justifies the struggle."
Being part of the IFRA fellowship…
Describe yourself briefly
I am Lateef AREMU, a PhD candidate at the Department of political science, University of Ibadan.
Since when are you a fellow of IFRA-Nigeria?
I have been a fellow of IFRA- Nigeria, for 4 years. I have been a fellow since 2016
How have you benefited from IFRA-Nigeria?
I have benefited a whole lot from IFRA- Nigeria from training to referrals, support letters, mentoring and whole lots, but the biggest so far has to be the methodological training in Nandi Hills in Kenya. The Kenya training exposed me to new methods in research especially in data gathering and literature mining (I stopped running from mapping and transcription since I returned from Kenya). The methods learnt at the training have been very useful in my work, most importantly in the area of observation and participation (it’s been very helpful), and yes, I met a Kenyan girl.
Have you contributed to IFRA in any way?
I have been a part of some projects with IFRA- Nigeria, for example I was one of the research assistants at the Masterclass on public space in Ibadan, and I have also worked as a research assistant to some visiting fellows of IFRA-Nigeria, the most recent being Miss Tamara Vilarins from Paris who worked on Electricity generation and distribution in Ibadan.
A bit more about yourself….
What are your main research interests?
My research interests are in street gangs, urban violence and identity politics.
What research project are you currently working on?
Currently working on street gangs and politics of youth identity in Ibadan metropolis. Fellowship with guys in the hoods and on the street has been exciting and dangerous at the same time (you can’t say when the rival gangs can choose to show up), but that is one of the major challenges one faces when your research demands participatory observation. The upside is that you meet new people and you learn new things about young people every day. Something like you get to see things you didn’t know were there.
What is the main advice you will give to a junior researcher?
I am a junior researcher myself, so my advice to myself and my fellow early PhDs is to keep going, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. The end always justifies the struggle.
Where do you see yourself in the future? What’s your plans for next?
Well, get the PhD, a job and whatever good that is coming (I have a wife already!)
Anything else you’d like to share with us…
It’s been an exciting for years with IFRA-Nigeria, and I look forward to the coming years with much enthusiasm.