Professor teaches class carrying baby - and becomes internet star
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A university professor in Ivory Coast created quite a stir when he taught a lesson while carrying the baby of one of his students tied on his back with a traditional wrapper. When photos of the professor and baby were shared online, many social media users applauded his heartwarming action. The professor, who was rather surprised by the widespread reaction, told France 24 why he offered to calm his student’s crying baby.
These three photos turned Honoré Kahi, a professor at Alassane Ouattara University in Bouaké, into an internet celebrity in Ivory Coast.
"I’m surprised by the huge reaction!"FRANCE 24 contacted Professor Kahi, who is trained as an IT engineer. On Sunday morning, when the photos were taken, he was teaching a class about entrepreneurship.
It happens quite regularly that the young women in my classes bring their children to campus. But on that particular day, this particular student’s baby just wouldn’t stop crying. The mother had to get up and leave class three different times to try to calm him down, but it was in vain. After about half an hour, I told her that this class was very important for her future and that she needed to concentrate. So, I offered to help.
I tied the baby on my back and he calmed down immediately. I move about quite a bit when I teach and I think the constant movement soothed him. It even rocked him to sleep!
I was able to finish up the last 40 minutes of class without any problem. My student said she was really touched by my gesture and also surprised at my offer to help because, usually, professors keep a certain distance from their students.
To be honest, I am quite surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response to my gesture, because I just acted spontaneously! The students took photos because they found it entertaining. In the collective imagination, we really associate the idea of carrying a baby on your back with the image of an African “mama”. It’s very rare to see a man, especially a professor, do that.
I have since gotten phone calls from people all across the Ivory Coast and as far away as Mali and France, who all told me how happy they were to see the photos. I honestly think that what a professor does to create a real bond with his students is just as important as the content of his classes.
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