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Obituary: Boniface Obichere


a UCLA scholar of African History


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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