TheBlackList Pub

For All Points-Of-The-View.

Francis Abiola Irele, who died in Boston on July 2 at the age of 81, was undoubtedly the foremost prophet of the concept of Negritude to which he devoted his entire intellectual career for over five decades. I first met him as an undergraduate while studying German at the University of Ibadan in 1985 when he was head of the Department of Modern Languages and a professor of French. At the time, with the social distance typical of such relationships, he struck me as aloof, absent-minded and remote. Later in my academic career, I would meet “Prof” in diverse American cities during annual African Studies Association (ASA) conferences. Seeing him wandering around on his own, we would sit down to a coffee and talk about various issues relating to Nigeria, Africa, and the world. I still remember his magisterial M.K.O. Abiola lecture on “African Studies as Discipline and Vocation” during the ASA meeting in Indianapolis in November 2014.

After Irele’s death, tributes flooded in from around the world. Harvard-based Nigerian scholar, Biodun Jeyifo, described him as “indisputably the world’s greatest scholar of Negritude;” Kenya’s Princeton-based Simon Gikandi called him “a walking archive,” before noting that “More than any other scholar of his generation, Irele brought a forceful intellect, a cosmopolitan outlook, and authoritative voice to the study of African literature;” eminent Nigerian poet, Niyi Osundare, described Irele as “a man and scholar constantly re-inventing himself and his ideas, an ageless humanist with an astounding combination of youthful energy and the seasoned wisdom that comes with age;” Nigerian academic, Remi Raji, praised Irele as “the original olohum iyo (salt-tongued artiste), and teacher of teachers;” while American academic, Kenneth Harrow, eulogised him as “a major voice for African studies, a generous humanist, an insightful scholar…an iroko tree in our forest of scholars.”

Abiola Irele was born on May 22, 1936 into a colonial Nigeria still under British rule for the first 24 years of his life: an experience that shaped his writing in its fierce Pan-Africanism. Though born in Ora in Edo State, he moved to Enugu at the age of six (after his father, who worked as a civil servant in the Post and Telegraph Department, was transferred there) where he learned to speak Igbo. He would return to Lagos to live with his father, attending Catholic schools St. Patrick’s, St. Mathias, and St. Gregory’s in accordance with the family faith. He was exposed to folk tales and oral poetry even before entering the University of Ibadan in 1957, where he was a contemporary of J.P. Clark, Florence Nwapa, and Christopher Okigbo. Irele was not just a scholar in Ibadan, his appearance in the opera, “The Magic Flute” and his singing of librettos with a golden voice in the university’s Trenchard Hall, are fondly remembered by his contemporaries.CONTINUE READING

Views: 30


Donations Accepted

Get on TheBlackList with
the following networks:

Facebook Page Twitter Ning foursquare StumbleUpon Digg Blogger pinterest

 

Discussion Forum

October 2, 2017 Declared Thurgood Marshall Day

Started by TheBlackList-Publisher Sep 28. 0 Replies

Major U.S. Cities and States to Observe 50th Anniversary of Trailblazing Marshall's…Continue

Brother Bankie Foster Bankie's Burial and Memorial Ceremony

Started by KWASI Akyeampong Sep 24. 0 Replies

Mrs Rita Adzo Augustina  Bankie, the wife of the late  Brother Bankie  Foster Bankie, family and friends hereby announce the Burial and…Continue

Hetty "The Professorial" Fox, On the Octogenarian Occasion of her Eightieth Birthday – September 13, 2017

Started by TBL_Promoter Sep 13. 0 Replies

HETTY: THE PROFESSORIAL FOX(On the Octogenarian Occasion of her Eightieth…Continue

Major General Harry W. Brooks Jr., Dies at Age 89 Indiana's First African-American General and Sixth in the Nation

Started by TheBlackList-Publisher Sep 1. 0 Replies

Family announcement of the death of Major General Harry W. Brooks, Jr., USA (Ret), arrangements and biographical information on General Brooks. …Continue

E2E Podcast pays homage to and acknowledge the accomplishments and contribution of Artist/Activist Nana Camille Yarbrough

Started by TBL_Promoter Aug 22. 0 Replies

Nana Camille Yarbrough is an award-winning artist, author, and activist. With a career that spans over sixty years, Nana Camille has…Continue

Farewell, Elder Bankie F. Bankie, our Pan-African compass

Started by KWASI Akyeampong. Last reply by SendMeYourNews Aug 24. 5 Replies

Dear Friends,Very sadly our friend and colleague, Mr. Bankie F. Bankie, has passed on. It is taking some time to piece together all the rather patchy information on the circumstances surrounding his demise. I have been in touch with his wife,…Continue

© 2017   Created by KWASI Akyeampong.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Offline

Live Video

= = http://theblacklist.net/