Prof. Olayiwola Olurode was born on the 2nd of November 1952 at Iwo in Osun State. He received his Secondary School education at Baptist High school, Iwo between 1968 and 1975. In 1976, he proceeded to the University of Lagos, Akoka, from where he bagged his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. He was the best student in his class.
On the completion of his first degree, Prof. Olurode enrolled in the same University for a Masters degree in the same field emerging as the best graduating Student. In his quest to attain academic heights, he proceeded to the University of Sussex in Great Britain where he got a Doctoral Degree (D.Phil.) in Philosophy in 1984. On completion of his studies, he returned to Nigeria to continue his career as an academic at the University of Lagos.
In 1986, Prof. Olurode once again returned to the lecture halls, this time for a degree in Law at the University of Lagos. He graduated in 1990 with an LL.B. and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1991upon his successful completion of the Law School Programme bagging a BL Degree. He joined the University of Lagos as a Graduate Assistant in 1980 and moved up to the positions of Lecturer II in 1985 and Lecturer I in 1987 respectively. In 1990, Prof Olurode was promoted to the position of senior Lecturer and in the year 2000, he was appointed a professor of Sociology specializing in political sociology, gender and social inequality.
A born teacher and an astute Lecturer, Professor Lai Olurode taught many and varied courses at both Undergraduate and Graduate levels. He taught among other courses, Introduction to Sociology, Women in Society, Population Studies, Rural Sociology, Inter-Group Relations, Nigeria People and culture, political sociology, Nigeria Heritage, Social Changes in Africa and Social Inequality. Others are Theories of Gender Relations, Advanced Courses in Gender Studies and Theories of Development.
Prof. Olayiwola Olurode has carried out research on numerous socio-political issues. Some of them include: Democratization Process in Africa, Social Changes and Perception of Gender Roles in Nigeria, Peoples Vision of Development in Nigeria, Youth’s Vision of Sustainable Human Development in Nigeria and the Military & Nigeria’s Democratization process. He has written and edited books on Nigeria’s 1983 general elections, the 1999 general elections, and in other allied departments. Prof. Olurode has authored and co-authored many books, and publications. He has also delivered so many papers at different fora, workshops and seminars both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.
He enjoys professional membership of the following bodies: Nigerian Sociological and Anthropological Association, Social Science Council of Nigeria, African Association of Political Science, Nigeria Bar Association etc.
A winner of the Commonwealth Scholarship in 1981-1984, the Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in 2007, Prof. Olurode in 1994, won the Distinguished Leadership Award of the America Biographical Institute. He has consulted for the World Bank, the Ford Foundation and CODESRIA.
Lai Olurode is as social critic and has written several articles in newspapers apart from being a face and voice in Television and radio discussions on socio-political issues that border on Nigeria’s development. Prof. Lai Olurode was in 2003, a Visiting Professor to the University of California, Irvine in the United States of America.
He is happily married with 3 children.