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REVIEW: Musikilu Mojeed’s The Letterman: The Art Of Letter Writing And The Heart Of Gratitude (1)



REVIEW: Musikilu Mojeed's The Letterman From Presidents To Soldiers To Nations (2)
Prof. Toyin Falola

By Toyin Falola
The process, methodology, and documentation of life writing will forever flourish across all ages and eras. Nowadays, content creation, documentation through social media platforms, and recording of our daily lives through reality TV shows have rapidly increased. The thirst and longing to know more about people’s lives and how we keep tabs on their everyday life through blogs, photographs, tweets, and Instagram and Facebook posts remain fascinating. In the past, posting letters and sending postcards were more popular for keeping a record of one’s life. However, this is not to dismiss or raise one above the other but to demonstrate that both traditional and digital modes are valid forms of autoethnography, with biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies having produced some very fascinating writings in various languages.

The Letterman, written by Musikilu Mojeed, brings back the thrill of reading letters through the character of a complex man Aremu Okikiola Matthew Olusegun Obasanjo, a General, President, and Chief. The collation of Obasanjo’s letters exchanged with notable people over the years has enabled Mojeed to significantly contribute to the field of Life Writing in our National Archives and helped to reveal the tensions and intentions of major political players in Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.

Reading the last two sentences of the Preface of The Letterman—“It is left for you, the readers, to say if my efforts make some sense or otherwise. Whatever your verdict, I am grateful.”—forms the foundation of my thoughts and allows me to debunk the widespread belief that the epistolary work of art is outdated, especially in how the book has pushed the boundaries of service, national unity, nationhood, personhood, citizenship, and patriotism. By seeking objective criticism from the start of the book, Mojeed has successfully nudged the readers to dive into the journey of a complex character in Nigeria’s history by reading different letters to different people in different capacities.

READ ALSO: Soyinka, Pyrates Confraternity And The God Factor

Upon reading the book’s array of letters, I considered whether to adopt letter writing as a form of communication in this swift digital age. I also thought that, perhaps, there should be an annual or lifetime award for the best letter writer in the country. At that moment, I stopped fawning over the content and style of President Obasanjo’s letters to acknowledge the contributions of the journalist, lawyer, and one-time minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Tony Momoh. His consistent letters to stakeholders in the country about the economic and political spheres were later compiled as a book titled Letters to my Countrymen. In as much as Momoh’s letters were more of a service work, Obasanjo’s letters in terms of approach, message, diction, audience, tone, and mood significantly differ from the former. Also, Mojeed notes the ease and natural indulgence of Obasanjo’s love for letter writing, which he catalogues at the Presidential Library at Abeokuta. Through the letters, readers can walk on a journey into Obasanjo’s life and dive into his psychology and phenomenology.

Surprisingly, there are only a few attempts to write Obasanjo’s biography and walk through the complex mind of this enigma. Therefore, The Letterman is unique. Mojeed has consciously and unconsciously crafted a fascinating window for the public to see the famous one-time military Head of State and later a democratically-elected President of Nigeria, and in so doing, allowing the readers and, by extension, the public to funnel through the character and traits of the so-called complex man. This has excitingly opened new ways to see and study the man in many remarkable points.

Mojeed has aroused a new interest in the art of letter writing, which is so dear to Obasanjo, and the current men in service and governance can adopt this method of communication to reach a larger audience. Throughout the book, readers can decipher that letters can reveal a whole lot about the individual’s personality, and the deep and personal connection of the art of letter writing brings the element of believability to a whole new level. I believe Mojeed must have motivated other writers and biographers to take the initiative to invest in the portraiture of notable people in government administration, which makes it surprising that there is no visible attempt to publish a biography on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. I hope Mojeed’s The Letterman will be the catalyst for documenting the enigma.

While reviewing this book, the overall plan is to survey the author and his ingenious art based on the series of letters compiled in the book, which are as complex in content and style as the writer’s character traits. Mojeed notes that these letters, by the subject, date back to Obasanjo’s life as a young adult—he even wrote to his mother on two different dates in February 1952. Based on this information and the organization of the various letters in The Letterman, readers are assured that the book will be a pleasing read and an adventurous one on the life of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the Elder statesman, thereby opening a web on his life and experiences.

I will not be overreaching by stating that The Letterman is more about understanding the subject’s psychology. Just like the glass prism experiment in Physics, I am going to trace the path of the rays of light by viewing the different colours and how they travel differently, and, as a result, view these letters revolving around different subjects and covered in 25 chapters. The 130 unpublished letters in the 462-page book will be viewed through a prism to understand the man with a coat of many colours. Thus, I will combine the elements of the timing of the letters, the range of people he wrote them to, the structure, and the historical importance of these letters as accurately assembled by Mojeed in the book.

Like every successful individual has been termed complex, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has had his fair share of criticisms from society, but with these letters, Mojeed has opened up the traits of the subject as a patriot, hero, and realist, including his flaws and shortcomings. Deluging with images written from different emotions, I will review this book by focusing on the letters Obasanjo wrote during the military regime and letters to former presidents and citizens. The focus will be on each letter’s tone, diction, purpose, and efficacy at the time they were written. This complicates the subject’s character and the lens through which the populace views him on his legacies on nationhood and Nigerian unity.

Drawing insights from the Foreword of the book, written by the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the art of letter writing is deeply embedded and stitched into the fabric of Obasanjo’s experiences and times. The readers get an idea that the letters are strictly straight to the point, unbiased, and critical to the various addressees, with the subject’s emotions brewing as we read the letters. Following this, we sense that the subject is a patriotic and passionate man with a strong-willed personality who pushes his thoughts to the letter regardless of the individual he is addressing.

Chapter One and Chapter Two of The Letterman unmask and slightly give the readers a tip of the iceberg on what to expect. The author opens up with a series of famous letters written to President Goodluck Jonathan, Ibikunle Amosun, Ayo Fayose, Bola Tinubu, and even the subject’s daughter, Iyabo Obasanjo. In doing so, the author whets our appetite for what is to come and reminds the readers about how highly critical and openly truthful Obasanjo is. The second chapter demonstrates the psyche and history of Obasanjo’s letters over his years in public service for about 50 years, which helps to corroborate this and solidify the idea that letter writing is natural to him.

Mojeed notes that Obasanjo “wrote diligently to his predecessors, contemporaries and successors in the various offices he held since 1969.” Tracing this historical catalogue, Mojeed notes that the art of letter writing is a family thing as it is ingrained in his DNA. Mojeed is observant enough to come across and read a letter to Obasanjo’s mother; however, he does not have duplicates for his family. Mojeed notes that after reading several letters by Obasanjo, he understood that Obasanjo’s life is tough, especially for a man who places his personality and image on the line by constantly speaking his mind and standing by it. Nevertheless, Mojeed still notes the flaws as Obasanjo admits his mistakes and that he has offended top personalities through his letters.

The highlight of the second chapter, which I find fascinating and phenomenal, is Mojeed’s attempt to break down Obasanjo’s persona into such categories as outspokenness, patriotism, record keeping, transparency, appreciation, and kindness. These character traits are assembled based on the series of letters that Mojeed read, and I see them as an embodiment of the communitarian spirit and the ability to see oneself in others, which the idea of service to humanity and strengthening bonds are all about and what Obasanjo seeks to achieve with his various letters. In one of his letters to General Adeyinka, he espouses these compliments and traits the author accords him in Item 3, which reads thus: “I have honour and respect for myself and I would rather be dead than sell my self-respect and honour or soil my name for a pot of porridge. I will not like to be used for self-building-up or for showing false self importance.” This paragraph is fascinating partly due to his language and effective choice of words to state his unbiased nature. Also, one of his letters, dated August 4, 1970, written as a newly appointed GOC to replace Adekunle in 1970, shows how transparent Obasanjo is: “I want to express to you my reactions to the great disappointment that I experienced from you during my last trip to Port Harcourt. It so touched me that I had to mention it to Olu Aboderin, who in turn explained to me that it was not a deliberate act.”

Following the trend of the letters and the author’s categorization, it is significant to understand how gratitude and respect are portrayed. There is no gainsaying the fact that Obasanjo’s deep and intimate belief in God was majorly shaped by his times in prison. To put this into perspective, after he was released from prison, he wrote and published two books: This Animal Called Man and Women of Virtue: Stories of Outstanding Women in the Bible. These books affirmed his faith and showed that the letters he wrote while in prison were kinder in tone. Obasanjo wrote to family, friends, staff and associates, and according to Mojeed, the jail letters give us a view into “Obasanjo’s roles as a parent, boss, church lay person and friend, despite the prison experience.”


In his long letter under the chapter “Letters from Jail,” Obasanjo wrote about the African Leadership Forum, the economy, and family. The tone of the letter seems sombre and empathetic and shows how the subject was seeing to the need of others despite being in confinement. The letter’s last paragraph shows a different Obasanjo: “The plans made so far for everything should carry us through my first year of imprisonment. My greatest handicap is that I don’t know what Ayo has received and what he has done with them. For instance, I want to know if he received my letter to my bank manager in New York for Ramana’s salary. Has he also received the parcel of mosquito coil and diabinese? Let him tell me.” Notably, the diction of the letter exudes everyday language in the way it infuses pidgin and jokes, compared to the more critical and serious tone of other letters that I will review later.

Other letters in the chapter reveal that Obasanjo wrote kind and thoughtful letters to birthday celebrants among his friends and associates. For instance, in a letter dated March 3, 1998, he commended Tunji Kolapo, who later became a High Commissioner, and Onaolapo Soleye, ex-minister of finance. Chapter 15, however, contradicts the calmness and respect shown in the previous one. It showcases the explosive letter written to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Plateau State, in which Obasanjo, in a burst of anger at a question about how he addressed the issues of the killings of Christians and Muslims in Plateau State, retorted “CAN my foot!” The harsh tone of his letters to the religious body seems controversial during his presidency, after the memorable thanksgiving organized for him at his swearing-in ceremony in May 1999. However, we cannot deny Obasanjo’s ability to respect religious bodies and the value systems of goodness that he commands and inspires.

The former president’s ideas of self-respect, gratitude, and love are well-espoused in his love letters to international celebrities: Serena Williams and Austin “Jay Jay” Okocha. The letters to these superstars allow the readers to see the compassionate, father-figure, and national leadership side of Obasanjo. The letter to Serena Williams shows Obasanjo’s respect and admiration for exemplary youth who are blazing the trail in their fields of endeavour. He writes in the opening lines of the letter thus: “The people of Nigeria have followed your progress in the game of tennis. You have brought joy to millions, especially in this country, not only by your achievements on the tennis court, but also by your exemplary good conduct on and off the court.”

In the same vein, Obasanjo’s letter to Jay-Jay Okocha, which he wrote to admonish him and persuade him not to retire from the national team, is filled with empathy, gratitude, love, and respect for the Nigerian Super Eagle’s attacking midfielder. The line in the letter to Okocha: “Together, we must re-possess Nigeria’s winning soccer dominance in Africa and beyond”, shows Obasanjo’s passion for Nigeria and his desire for the nation to succeed. As a leader, Obasanjo wrote this letter to Okocha on the latter’s birthday, which exudes intimacy and a personal relationship. The diction and tone of the letter portray class, and words such as greatest, consistent, morale, winning, rebuilding, colleague, dominance, repossess, and meaningful all point to Obasanjo’s personal and national interest, which is enlightening and a sign of patriotism at its finest. It is remarkable that after this compassionate letter, Jay Jay Okocha returned and played for the Super Eagles for a few more years. Some letters did produce positive effects!

Falola is a Nigerian historian and professor of African Studies. He is currently the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.


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Toyin Falola, Memories Of Africa: Home And Abroad In The United States



Dele Jegede In Conversation With Prince Yemisi Shyllon
Prof. Toyin Falola

By Olusegun Olopade

Toyin Falola, Memories of Africa: Home and Abroad in the United States (Atlantic Migrations and the African Diaspora) | © March 2023

Book Details

Publisher‏: ‎ University Press of Mississippi (March 24, 2023)

Language‏: ‎ English

Paperback: ‎ 256 pages

ISBN-10: ‎ 1496843487

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1496843487


Memories of Africa: Home and Abroad in the United States suggests a new lens for viewing African Diaspora studies: the experiences of African memoirists who live in the United States. The book shows how African Diaspora memoirs beautifully and grippingly depict the experiences of African migrants over time through political, social, and cultural spheres. In reading African Diaspora memoirs from the transatlantic slave trade period to the present, a reader can understand the complexity of the African migrant legacy and evolution.

Author Toyin Falola argues that memoirs are significant not only in their interpretation of events conveyed by the memoirists but also in demonstrating how interpersonal and human the stories told can be. Memoirs are powerful because they are emotionally captivating and because important themes and events circulate around a particular person (in this case, the memoirist).

Undoubtedly, a memoir is significant because it can teach anyone about a part of the human experience, even if the “facts” are not described without bias. Through this sort of narrative, the reader cannot help but enter into the memoirist’s mind and, therefore, feel more empathy for them. In doing so, the reader can “feel” what the memoirist feels and “see” what the memoirist sees as clearly as is humanly possible. In this way, the historical events and life lessons become tangible and poignantly real to the reader.

Editorial Reviews

Memories of Africa makes a significant contribution to the study of the African Diaspora, African intellectual history, to our understanding of African autobiography, and more importantly to life studies. Falola provides fresh insights that will reinvigorate the field. — Olabode Ibironke, author of Remapping African Literature.

Memories of Africa opens a new dimension to the understanding of the experiences of home, space, and place, and their interactions in African and diaspora studies. — Adetayo Alabi, author of Oral Forms of Nigerian Autobiography and Life Stories.

Toyin Falola is Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He has received over thirty lifetime career awards and sixteen honorary doctorates. He has written extensively on the African Diaspora, including The African Diaspora: Slavery, Modernity, and Globalization.

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12th Toyin Falola Annual International Conference On Africa And The African Diaspora (2023 TOFAC) Set To Hold



Dele Jegede In Conversation With Prince Yemisi Shyllon
Prof. Toyin Falola

Second/ Extended Call for Papers


July 26 – July 28, 2023

Venue: University of Abuja, Main Campus, Giri-Airport Road, Abuja Nigeria

Purposeful leadership and inclusive political and economic institutions have been identified as necessities for Africa and all Africa-related peoples and regions to begin to address past failures, confront present predicaments and chart a credible course for the future. Unfortunately, Africa’s leaders have largely failed to transform the African state and its institutions into agents of development for the benefit of the citizens. Several explanations have been adduced for the observed leadership deficiencies that have become almost permanent narratives of Africa. Such explanations have often included, but not limited to, externalist arguments that point to the legacies of colonial exploitation and its neocolonial challenges, the sustained colonial legacy of economic dependence on foreign powers, as well as contemporary global events that systemically constrain Africa’s opportunities for growth and development. There are also internalist explanations that attribute Africa’s leadership conundrum and institutional failures to successive African leaders’ rapacity and irresponsible choices. Whatever these explanations may be, there is an emerging consensus that real progress cannot happen until Africa addresses its leadership questions and transforms its weak and predatory institutions into inclusive and formidable ones.

The 2023 TOFAC Conference will critically examine Africa’s political leadership and extant institutions vis-à-vis the continent’s history of underdevelopment, present challenges, and future trajectories within the global political economy. Scholars are invited to interrogate the nature and evolution of leadership and institutions in Africa from the pre-colonial era to contemporary times. Institutions in this context are broadly defined to include formal and informal institutions, including the people’s history, traditions, religion, and culture. Arising from this, there are underlying questions. Is it leadership that shapes institutions, or do institutions determine the quality of leaders that emerge? How can African states achieve the leadership and institutional transformation necessary to address the perennial development challenges of the continent? Are there lessons that could be drawn from the experiences of the pre-colonial era to inform contemporary issues of leadership?

We invite proposals for papers, panel presentations, roundtables and artistic works/performances that critically examine these and other related issues on Africa’s leadership and institutions. As in years past, participants will be drawn from around the world. Graduate students are encouraged to attend and present papers. The conference will allow scholars from various disciplines and geographical locations to interact, exchange ideas, and receive feedback. Additionally, selected papers will be published in a series of book volumes. Finally, submitted papers will be assigned to particular panels according to similarities in theme, topic, discipline, or geographical focus. Panel proposals (of 3-5 presenters) are especially encouraged.

We invite submissions that include but areI Inot limited to the following sub-themes and topi Institutions Conceptualized

· The nature and role of formal and informal institutions

· Institutional path dependency

· Institutional change and transformation

· Incentive structures and the choices of agents

· Institutions and Economic Performance

· Policy institutions

· Institutions and enforcement mechanisms

· The state, its institutions and the citizens

· People as institutions

Leadership and Institutions in Pre-colonial Africa

· The nature of leadership in pre-colonial Africa

· The role of chiefs, kings, monarchs and other authority figures

· The interface between culture and leadership in pre- colonial Africa

· The evolution of culture from the pre-colonial era to the present

· The society and the citizen in the pre-colonial era

· Traditional institutions versus contemporary systems

· The position and influence of religion in pre-colonial political institutions

Leadership and Institutions in the Colonial Era

· State formation in Africa

· The nature of colonial institutions

· Interactions of colonial institutions and pre- colonial systems

· Constitutional development in colonial Africa

· Africans input in the development of colonial institutions

· The rise of new elites

· Integration of indigenous leaders in colonial administration

· Dislocations, transformations, and modernity

· Nationalism and new trajectories

Colonial Legacies

· Colonial exploitation and the emergence of predatory state-society relations

· Neocolonialism

· Postcolonial economic models and African dependency

· Western democracy and the conflict of culture

· Foreign institutions and the problem of adaptability

· Rural-urban divide and the challenge of active citizenship

· Education, culture and the leadership question

The Nature of Political Leadership in Postcolonial Africa

· The role of Africa’s independence leaders in setting leadership standards

· Leadership recruitment processes

· The role of culture in determining the type of leaders that emerge

· Religion and leadership

· Foreign interventions in domestic policies

· Education, training and leadership

· L e a d e r s h i p , E t h n i c i t y a n d Separatism/Secessionism

· Democracy and accountability

· Citizenship, expectations, and civic engagements

· The role of civil society in holding leaders accountable

· The role of the media in African politics

· Class and the political economy of leadership recruitment

· Africa’s Big Men

· Patriarchy, gender and the leadership question

Institutions in Postcolonial Africa

· The nature of political and economic institutions

· Evolution of institutions in postcolonial Africa

· Colonialism and the legacies of exploitation and expropriation

· Military intervention and role in the development and growth of institutions

· Examination of critical institutions of the state – public service, the Police Force, etc.

· Constitution development in postcolonial Africa

· Property rights institutions

· Anti-corruption crusades and institutional reforms

· Law enforcement and the judiciary

· Economic systems, financial institutions and systems

· Election institution, concept, process, outcomes, and consequences

· Law enforcement and anti- corruption institutions

· Institutions and informal politics and spaces

· The future of traditional institutions in Africa

The Cold War and Africa’s Postcolonial Leadership

· Africa’s decolonization and the Cold War

· The impact of the Cold War on Africa’s independence leaders

· The nature of foreign interventions during the Cold War

· The Cold War and the emergence of violent political culture

· International legitimacy versus domestic popularity for African leaders

· The Cold War and Africa’s political institutions

· Post-Cold War transformations of African leadership

Multilateral Institutions in Africa

· The role of the World Bank and IMF in Africa’s economic systems

· Public debt and the choices of African leaders

· Foreign interests and interventions in leadership selection

· Economic development ideologies versus local realities

· The futility of universal recipes in economic policies

· Foreign aid and leaders’ responsibilities

· Conditionalities and citizens’ welfare

· The future of development assistance to Africa

· The effect of foreign aid on institutions

· The influence and contribution of ECOWAS, A U , a n d o t h e r  r e g i o n a l / c o n t i n e n t a l oragnizations

· Commonwealth, UN, and other international organizations on African politics

Information Technology and Social Media

· Social media and citizens’ demand for leadership accountability

· Dissemination of government programs

· Social media and government transparency

· Information technology and the election process

· Leadership recruitment, retention and removal

· Citizenship participation in the governance process

· Public engagements and institutional change


· Education and citizenship rights

· The relationship between education, industry and bureaucracy

· State involvement in education

· Quality and availability of basic and compulsory leadership education

· History, leadership and the African state

· The role of the media in institutions building

Creativity and Performance of Leadership/Institutional deficits

· Creative governance

· Leadership Accountability

· Models of institutional checks and balances

· Governance peer review mechanism

Each individual proposal must include: 1) title of the work and an abstract of 200 words, 2) the name of the presenter (with the surname underlined). 3) mailing address, 4) number phone, 5) email, 6) institutional affiliation, and 7) three to five keywords that best characterize the themes and topics relevant to your submission. Participants are encouraged to abide by these guidelines.

Proposals for panels (3-5 presenters) must include: 1) title of the panel and a collective summary of 250 words on the panel’s theme, including the title of each individual work 2) a 200-word abstract for the presentation of each speaker 3) mailing address 4) phone number 5) email and 6) institutional affiliation of each presenter. Panels with four presenters or less may be completed with other relevant presentations.

Proposals will further be accepted till July 10, 2023 and should be sent to uof

A mandatory non-refundable registration fee of $100 dollars for scholars (or the Nigerian equivalents in Naira) and $50 for graduate students (or the Nigerian equivalents in Naira ) must be paid immediately upon the acceptance of the abstract. This conference fee includes a conference bag, admission to the panels, workshops, special events, and transportation to and from the hotel and conference events.

Confirmed key Note and Lead Speakers at Plenaries/Members of LOC:

1.-Key Note Speaker -Professor Eghosa Oseghae-Director, Nigerian Institute for international Affairs, Lagos

2. First Lead Paper Presenter -Professor Jibrin Ibrahim-Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD),Abuja 3.Second Lead Paper Presenter -Professor Uchenna Okeja-Rhodes University,South Africa

4. Professor Lawrence Ogbo Ugwuanyi-Department of Philosophy, University of Abuja-Member, Organising Committee

5. Professor Philip Akpen-Department of History, University of Abuja- Member, Organising Committee 6.Dr.Umar Kari-Department of Sociology, University of Abuja- Member, Organising Committee

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Kenyatta University Holds Toyin Falola At 70 Conference



Kenyatta University Holds Toyin Falola At 70 Conference

The Department of History, Archeology and Political Science of the Kenyatta University is set to hold a Toyin Falola at 70 Conference.

The conference with the theme “Post-Colonial Africa: Historical and Contemporary Realities” is scheduled to take place between May 10 and 12, 2023 at the Kenyatta University.

Modern African economic, socio-cultural, and political realities have been considerably influenced and defined by colonialism. Colonialism created the foundation of the post-colonial. Since the start of the post-colonial and (especially) the post-cold war era, there has been increased academic interest in colonialism– both in the classic and the neo-colonial forms. There have also been considerable academic and non-academic efforts at decoloniality and decolonizing Africa. These efforts have led to studying and documenting African pre-colonial history, literature, and cultural intricacies to achieve self-determination and re-establish the African identity. It is, therefore, necessary and logically consistent with the above to study Africa’s past in relation to its present. Essentially, it is important that aside from examining the print of colonial pedagogy, methods, and philosophies, Africa is studied in the light of its actions, attempts at self-governance, and realities defined by its stakeholders.

READ ALSO: Toyin Falola Donates Over 500 Books To Kaduna State University Library

A considerable effort has been directed at researching, documenting, and analyzing Post-colonial Africa across different fields of the Arts and the Humanities. Through such efforts concepts such as neo-colonialism, political hegemony, economic instability, societal disillusionment, administrative lapses among others that touch on the African post-colonial condition have been explored by several researchers and academicians. However, the very basis of the evolution of knowledge and the foundation of the academic world is the consistent evaluation of knowledge, theories, and philosophies. As much as there has been enhanced scholarship around the aforementioned issues, there are still thematically important aspects of Post-Colonial Africa that are relatively unexplored or under-explored. New concepts, skepticism, and relatively new subject matters have developed with the continent’s evolution – particularly concerning socio-culture, administration, globalization, conflicts, diplomacy, and ideological paradigms. For instance, it may be important to define the extent to which pre-colonial Africa influences the post-colonial realities of its nation-states, regions, and Sub-regions, as it applies across respective fields.

Other relevant aspects of the post-colonial African reality like identity dynamics and minority politics, institutions and sub-institutions in Africa, diaspora dynamic, administrative evolution in Africa, Post-colonial gender dynamics in Africa, intercultural realities of distinct nation-states in Africa, cultural awareness, and preservation in Africa, decolonial legal education and practice, ideological politics in post-colonial African, among others. The COVID-19 pandemic presented new dynamics to interpret and understand the place of post-colonial Africa in the world in light of global power politics and diplomatic spate over the causes of COVID-19, vaccine politics, and international travel restrictions. COVID-19 highlighted the need to rethink post-colonial Africa’s readiness to respond to global challenges independently.

The Department of History, Archeology and Political Studies through the Research and Innovation Committee (DRIC) plans to host a conference that is directed at answering the conceptual questions that underline some key aspects of post-colonial Africa – as defined by the necessary contextual factors and underlining theories. The conference is expected to feature different themes and introduce concepts, arguments, and theories that are well-adjusted to current African realities.

The department also wishes to use the occasion to celebrate the 70-year life journey of Professor Toyin Falola, a world renowned Distinguished Professor of History and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Falola has dedicated his entire academic life, with over 150 titles under his name, reflecting on the African condition both in historical and contemporary terms. In March 2022, the Department hosted Professor Falola, who gave thought provoking lectures on “Decolonization of Africa Studies”. As a department, we are keen to use the conference to continue enriching our conversations around this and related themes, enhance our scholarly connections and collaborations, establish new research and publication partnerships as well as strengthen existing ones.


The conference sub-themes will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Decoloniality, and decolonization, as it intertwines with post-colonial studies
  • Internationalization in the African region – key factors for consideration should include Pan-Africanism as examined through the lens of its basis, the status quo, and possible ways forward.
  • Post-colonial economy and the role of the nation-state in establishing independent regional control
  • Resource control as it affects neo-colonialistic affiliations and European hegemonic influence in Post-colonial Africa
  • Liberal ideological predispositions and the socio-philosophical future of the African Nation states – with considerations to the influence of the youth demography
  • Developmental politics in Post-colonial Africa
  • Gender dynamics and politics in Post-colonial Africa
  • Post-colonial Literature and the future of the arts in Africa
  • Migration, conflicts, and peace actions in post-colonial Africa
  • Regional collaboration and diplomatic politics in Post-Colonial Africa

The conference is expected to attract participation from academicians, researchers, experts and practitioners in the area of African history and other related humanities and social science disciplines. These shall be drawn from mainly Kenyan and other African institutions as well as from outside the Africa continent. The conference will allow for a blended mode where some participants will be present on-site at Kenyatta university while others will present online.

READ ALSO: Where Did All The Money Go?

Prospective participants are encouraged to send abstracts of between 250 and 500 words, including their full contact details (title, name, address, email address and telephone number) as well as their institutional affiliation by 30th February, 2023 to:

Final Output
Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 5th March 2023 and asked to prepare full papers to be presented during the conference. The official language of the conference will be English. Papers presented at the conference will be peer reviewed and published in an edited volume.

Important Dates

27th January, 2023: Call for Papers/Abstracts
30th February, 2023: Deadline for Receipt of Abstracts
5th March 2023: Notification of Acceptance of Abstracts/Papers
15th April 2023: Deadline for receipt of Full papers
20th April, 2023: Registration begins
1st May, 2023: End of Registration
10th to 12 May 2023: Conference Dates

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