Remembering Professor John Conteh-Morgan (Issue 17, West Africa Review)
West Africa Review has just published issue 17, “Remembering Professor John Conteh-Morgan.”
This issue is dedicated to our late friend, colleague, and brother, Professor John Conteh-Morgan, one of the founding Editorial Board members of West Africa Review. Even though Professor John Conteh-Morgan passed away in March 2008, our dedication of this issue is an effort to keep his legacy alive, and to celebrate his immense intellectual achievements in the field. He was an Iroko of knowledge. A true pioneer and a champion of all things good. We will sorely miss him.
This Issue 17 of West Africa Review (WAR) is dedicated to our late friend, colleague, and brother, Professor John-Conteh Morgan, a founding Editorial Board member of this journal. While it is important to mourn his departure, it is equally important to celebrate his life and wealth of accomplishment in a citadel of knowledge production, known for rarely remembering, or fully appreciating the labor and work ethics of migrants that the citadel’s ideology devalues. Today, is not a day of battle with the citadel. Rather, it is a day of celebration and appreciation of one who plied his trade in the pastures of knowledge, striving for global understanding through teaching, learning, and caring.
Historicizing Nigeria's Crisis of Existential Legitimacy
This article undertakes a historical exploration of Nigeria's familiar failure to evolve a national spirit that commands the allegiance of its disparate, multiple ethno-national constituencies. Critically reading Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Communities” thesis, it demonstrates how Nigerian anti-colonial nationalism failed to forge a sense of national cohesion, saddling a postcolonial Nigerian state with an existential crisis that continues to undermine the country to produce crisis, mediocrity, corruption, and separatist agitations. It argues that while anti-colonial nationalist activities started and progressed through the networks created by colonialism, these activities, when narrowed down and assessed on the basis of their concern with creating a sense of a single Nigerian nationality, fail to measure up to the theory of elaborated in Imagined Communities. Finally, the article offers a polemical reflection on how Nigeria can forge a new national consciousness founded on renegotiation and “the logic of functional legitimacy.”
In Pursuit of the "Golden Fleece": African Students and Higher Education in the United States, 1925-1959
Olanipekun Oladotun Laosebikan
This article addresses the historical contributions of African students to higher education in the United States from 1925-1959. During this period, African students in the United States actively pursued, what Nnamdi Azikiwe, the great African nationalist and former student himself termed, the “golden fleece.” It represented the promise of American higher education as a panacea to African ills, particularly colonialism. The tendency has been to view African studentship in the United States during this period as a one-sided relationship, with African students as the primary benefactors of this relationship. As illustrated in this study, such a perspective ignores the significant contributions of African students to shaping higher education in the United States. I utilize the narratives of prominent African students, such as Nnamdi Azikiwe, Kwame Nkrumah and Kingsley Ozuomba Mbadiwe among others, to highlight two key areas of African student contributions to higher education in the United States; scholarship and activism.
Les Relations Entre le Temporel et le Spirituel au Nord-Cameroun: La Problématique de la Sécurité du Clergé Catholique, 1946 à 1994
Gabriel Deussom Noubissie
L’assassinat de Monseigneur Yves Plumey est un évènement sans précédent dans l’histoire du Cameroun qui soulève, au-delà de son caractère tragique, la question relative à la sécurité du clergé catholique dans ce pays particulièrement dans sa partie Nord. Cet article retrace la chronologie des rapports heurtés entre les pouvoirs temporel et spirituel avant et après l’ère coloniale au Cameroun. Les différentes administrations qui se sont succédées au Cameroun ont chacune abordé la question de la sécurité du clergé catholique sous plusieurs angles. Cependant, cela s’est toujours fait d’une manière informelle. Aucun texte législatif n’a abordé et régi les aspects de la sécurité du clergé. Au contraire, de la colonisation à nos jours la sécurité du personnel ecclésiastique a toujours été tributaire des caprices du régime politique en place.
Relationship Between Temporal and Spiritual Power in Northern Cameroon: The Problem of Catholic Clergy’s Security, 1946 to 1994
Gabriel Deussom Noubissie
The assassination of Bishop Yves Plumey was an unprecedented event that raised the issue of the security of the Catholic clergy in northern Cameroon. The article traces the historical basis of this problem through successive political regimes from the colonial period to the postindependent era. Although the security issue existed during different political periods, it never became a matter of legislation. Consequently, the safety of church personnel depended on the goodwill of the government.
Memories of Exile and Negotiations of New Spaces in Segun Afolabi's A Life Elsewhere
Studies on African migrant fiction are mostly fixated on two phenomena: refugees and the clandestine flows of migrants the diaspora. This article focuses on a critically neglected Nigerian migrant writer, Segun Afolabi, whose collection of stories, A Life Elsewhere, foregrounds complex emotion and meaning. Afolabi’s stories are marked by a profound sense of hybridity, very much in the migrant tradition. They dwell on issues of displacement, migrancy and diaspora; they explore the internal lives of migrants, the painful negotiation of relationships, and the navigation of life’s uncertainties. Carefully crafted, the range of stories is impressive, convincingly set in Africa, North America, Europe, Asia and the Far East, they address topical issues of exile.
Book Review: Osagie, Iyunolu, ed. Theater in Sierra Leone: Five Popular Plays
Theresah P. Ennin
Iyunolu Osagie’s collection features five Sierra Leonean dramatists, including the renowned Raymond Caleb Ayodele-Charley, John Kolosa Kargbo and Tonie French. The plays address a number of issues from colonial arrogance, corruption and exploitation; betrayal; patriotism and resistance; to oppression; tradition versus change and the condition of the African woman.The dramatists for the collection are of the same generation, with a few years separating them; consequently, some common themes run through their works. The significance of the collection lies in its capacity to expand our knowledge of theatre in Sierra Leone in particular and West Africa in general.
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