Boniface Obichere, a UCLA scholar of African history who taught in primary schools in Nigeria before receiving his doctorate, died March 14 of cancer. Professor Obichere, 64, is survived by a wife and son. Two memorial services for Professor Obichere are scheduled on Friday, March 21. For UCLA faculty and students, a service will be held at 10:30 a.m. at St. Timothy's Roman Catholic Church, Pico Boulevard and Beverly Glen. An evening memorial will be held at 7:00 p.m. at St. Cecilia's Church, Normandy and 43rd Street. During the spring quarter the History Department and the African Studies Center will host an on-campus memorial service. A specialist in the study of West Africa, Professor Obichere worked for many years as a primary school teacher in Nigeria before receiving his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Minnesota. He received a D. Phil. from Oxford in 1967, and has taught and conducted research at UCLA ever since. Professor Obichere was named an acting assistant professor in 1967, and was appointed associate professor in 1969. He was promoted to full professor in 1973. Professor Obichere served as director of the UCLA African Studies Center from 1972 to 1978. Professor Obichere's research interests included African military history, African political leadership, and the history of colonial and independent Africa. The recipient of many awards and honors for his research and professional service, in 1991 Professor Obichere was presented the Liberian Studies Association Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the field of African studies. He was editor and founder of the Journal of African Studies. Professor Obichere was especially well known in West Africa through his representation on different United Nations' and international boards concerned with African culture and history. Professor Obichere was popular with generations of UCLA undergraduates for an engaging lecture style that brought his own experiences growing up in West Africa to life in the classroom. His particular strengths as a graduate instructor were his intellectual grounding in the historiography of colonialism in Africa, his familiarity with both anglophone and francophone West Africa, and his indigenous perspective on the African past.
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