Nigerian scholar named Rhodes Professor at Oxford University

Oxford University has announced the appointment of a U.S.-based Nigerian, Wale Adebanwi, to the prestigious Rhodes Professorship in Race Relations in the School of African and Interdisciplinary Area Studies.

The appointment was recently announced in the university gazette.

Mr. Adebanwi who is currently a professor at the University of California, Davis, United States, will also be a Fellow of the St. Anthony’s College, Oxford effective July 1.

Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second oldest university in continuous operation. The university has produced 28 Nobel laureates, 27 British Prime Ministers and many foreign heads of state.

The Rhodes Professorship in Race Relations is named for Cecil Rhodes, British businessman, mining magnate and politician in South Africa who served as Prime Minister of Cape Colony from 1890-1896. The professorship was established by the Rhodesian Selection Trust Mining Company in 1954 at Oxford.

Mr. Adebanwi is the first black scholar to be appointed to the endowed Chair since it was created more than 60 years ago. He was preceded by three distinguished scholars.

The new Rhodes Professor was a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar at Cambridge University. He holds two PhDs, one in political science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and the other in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, UK.

In September 2014, alongside three other former Gates Scholars, his “amazing success” since graduating from Cambridge was acknowledged by the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, who funded his scholarship at Cambridge more than a decade ago. Gates’s acknowledgement of Mr. Adebanwi was part of the video message he sent to a gathering of current and former Gate Scholars at Cambridge University during the Gates Cambridge Biennial 2016.

Mr. Adebanwi has published widely in the areas of nationalism and ethnic Studies, media and communication, corruption and politics, democracy and democratization, cultural politics, spatial politics, urban studies, and social theory and social thought. In his most recent book Nation as Grand Narrative: The Nigerian Press and the Politics of Meaning, published in 2016, Mr. Adebanwi focuses his multi-disciplinary scholarship on salient issues in Nigeria’s troubled history, examining how debates in the newspaper press shaped the narratives as well as the configuration of power. His influential book, Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo and Corporate Agency was published by Cambridge University in 2014. His 2012 book Authority Stealing: Anti-corruption War and Democratic Politics in Post-Military Nigeria was selected as one of the three “Best Books on Africa in 2013” by the journal, Foreign Affairs.

The newly appointed Rhodes Professor is the editor or co-editor of 10 books. He has served as co-editor of Journal of Contemporary African Studies and is currently co-editor of Africa: Journal of the International African Institute. Adebanwi, who was formerly a lecturer in political science at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, is a visiting professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. He has held visiting fellowships at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, and the Centre for African Studies in Leiden, The Netherlands, and a Rockefeller fellowship for Academic Writing Residency at its Bellagio Centre, Italy. In 2005, he was a co-winner of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Research grant.

Previously, Mr. Adebanwi served as reporter, writer and columnist for various publications in Nigeria, among them Nigerian Tribune, The Punch and TheNEWS.


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  • 678

    Congratulation, Mr Adebanwi. You’re a man to be proud of anytime, any day, and anywhere. More grease to your elbow. May your sunshine shining on top of the Hills and Mountains worldwide not set prematurely. Amen.

  • PolyGon2013

    Congratulations!!! We already knew the tribe in Nigeria that won’t like this. Thank you, Dr. Adenanwi man for making Nigeria proud.

    • Höly Wähala

      Professor of Race Relations and Obafraud Awoloshi is hardly an intellectually challenging tenure to bestow on anyone, of course Awolowo was the evil inventor of tribalism in Nigeria, appointing his dirty Yoro acolyte into a meaningless chair is something only a pig like you would think is some big deal… Go to proper university and see what a tenured chair looks like. Yoros can have all the bigoted positions there are in the world, no tribe will contest that with you pigs. Mtchwww… nonsense!

      • Julius

        There you go , Na Yoruba people made the appointment and give am the chair..abi. An Ibo man/woman would have rejected the appointment/offer . Na so ooo.

      • don Corleone

        Sadistic prick, wish I could put a slug through your messed up brain

  • Screw-em II

    How can anyone top this unbelievable achievement?…folks, eat your hearts out!!! . . See how the Boboh carry book sef…lol

  • GG

    This is a proud achievement for a great Nigerian. Not an easy feat.
    Congrats to this great man of honour and more power to Nigeria in the international intellectual community

  • Julius

    Congratulations !!

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    $1 = N514 @ Today January 10, 2017…this is the economic reality as opposed to $1 = N169 @ May 29th 2015. This hyper-inflation is unprecedented and it is professionally and morally criminal for a News medium to focus on trivialities of no economic importance and significance to the Nigerian situation. It is time News media stopped this misplaced orgy of sheer irresponsible reporting.

  • What PT would not say

    WANT to now why Buhari sacked the Officer and reversed a law about tenure of Pastors? Read what PT will not publish below:

    “The government has been showing increasing interest in church affairs. Unfortunately, for us in RCCG, it might not be very helpful,” Adeboye said….Speaking further, Adeboye disclosed that other fresh laws had been enacted by the government to ruffle the feathers of the church in the country, with a particularly targeted at the RCCG…

    “Now there are fresh laws. We have a rough idea of what the law is about…“Some people believe that RCCG is becoming too influential and we’re going to be more influential. When you get home, tell members to join a political party…

    “Join a party and become a card-carrying member of any party. Just join any party. We shall decide issues right from the ward level….“If you are not active at ward level, you’ll do what they plan and say at the top. Enrol in any party of your choice and have a card…When holding meetings at ward level to choose delegates, be there.”

    “One Muslim in Ibadan said years ago that he didn’t know what’s wrong with Christians; that we help them to occupy political positions and refused to capitalise on our population. That’s going to change from now,” Adeboye stated. – Pointblanknes

  • thusspokez

    Mr. Adebanwi is the first black Africa scholar to be appointed

    AFRICAN not black. Why must Africans continue to adopt negative terms given to them by racist colonialist?

    Human beings are more that the colour of their skin. Does one’s colour have origin, history, traidtion, culture, religion, music. arts, language, philosophy, etc? — Indeed all the things that we associate with human identity.

    Since black is none of the above, insisting on calling yourself black amounts to denying yourself an identity.

    • It’s better he goes to Indonesia like the proper igbo-biafra man and smuggle in drugs, nonsense rhodes-scholar title.

      • thusspokez

        Piss Off! And don’t respond to my comment if you a nincompoop — posters whom I have no time for.

        • Unpatriotic worthless tribe from hell, this is Nigeria forum go back to ‘igbobiafra’s’ forum nobody would come calling no-tribe consider you anything but worthless parayas.

  • thusspokez

    The Rhodes Professorship in Race Relations is named for Cecil Rhodes, British businessman, mining magnate and politician in South Africa who served as Prime Minister of Cape Colony from 1890-1896. The professorship was established by the Rhodesian Selection Trust Mining Company in 1954 at Oxford.

    This man is a føøl to accept the Rhodes Professorship. I can now see why he needed another PhD after one from the University of Ibadan.

    Has Mr. Adebanwi heard of the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ campaign, i.e., on-going campaign spearheaded by African students at Oxford University last year to bring down the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, due to Rhodes’ terriblle racist and exploitation of Africa?

    Mr. Adebanwi’s appointment is, no doubt, political — the hiring of what Americans call a “house nigger” to silence critics of Oxford University and its governing body who despite the protest, overwhelming voted to keep the statue. Cecil Rhodes exploitation and racism against Africans in his days can be likened to Adolph Hitler’s own racism towards Jews and Russians albeit on different scales.

  • What would Nigeria do without igbo-biafra?

    ‘Wale Adebanwi’ anothwer igbo-biafra giving the nation a bad names all over the world, what would Nigeria do without this smuggler, kidnaper, hawker, 419, neighbors from hell, ‘enemies within’?

  • Sir, you have definitely made Nigeria very proud.

    Awolowo is looking down smiling!

    PMB, said that man is my kin folk!