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Thelma’s Stories: The Life Experiences of an Overcomer

Thelma’s Stories: The Life Experiences of an Overcomer recounts the many experiences that Mrs. Thelma Coleman Alex faced as she grew up a child of America’s Great Depression. They revisit the pain of being shuffled from house to house at the time, especially as her parents left home to find work to earn a living. As a young girl, she faced challenges of living in grinding poverty as well as experiencing humor, love and compassion even in the midst of frequent troubles. Collectively, the stories invariably give voice to experiences and thoughts of many from a time that is often not remembered by many in American history. Above all, these carefully woven and presented stories reflect God’s provision and protection, which shaped young Thelma Coleman’s life into a resilient, compassionate and educated woman, who loved the Lord with all her heart. As an octogenarian, Mrs. Thelma Coleman Alex, affectionately called Grandma Felma by her grandchildren, sees her three grandchildren – Kwadwo, Livingston and Livia – as the joys of her life, hence she happily dedicated the publication to the three of them

Mrs. Thelma Coleman Alex, a native of Greensburg, Louisiana, was born on February 13, 1932 during the height of America’s Great Depression. She is one of eleven children born to Mrs. Pinkie Pitts Coleman and Mr. Felbert Coleman. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern University in Speech and Drama, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) in Lafayette, Louisiana. On February 14, 1959, then Ms. Thelma Coleman married Rev. Livingston Alex, who together became parents to two daughters: Attorney Joslyn Renee Alex of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, and Professor Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh of Eugene, Oregon. Together, Mrs. Alex and her late husband, Alex, served the parishioners of Bethlehem Baptist Church, which was pastored by Rev. Alex for 39 years until he went to be with the Lord on November 11, 1998. Before then, Mrs. Alex and her husband built and operated a day-care center that, for almost 30 years, served hundreds of children in the St. Martin Parish area; the center also prepared the children for academic successes and good citizenship. Mrs. Thelma Coleman Alex loved to write, entertain family as well as friends, read and travel nationally and internationally. Apart from serving on local and national boards, she worked for almost three decades as a school teacher and librarian in the St. Martin Parish School System. This collection of stories is her first published book.

 $15.00   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-11-4   Ι   Published 2017 |   Pan-African University Press

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Getting Our Universities Back on Track

Getting Our Universities Back on Track is a broad narrative on the state of higher education in Nigeria, undertaken within the context of the author’s experience as Vice Chancellor at Adekunle Ajasin University (AAUA), a pub­lic university in the country, from 2010 to 2015. The process by which the author negotiated the challenges presented by AAUA in those years are care­fully unveiled in a manner that speaks to the emergence of new paradigms for university governance, predicated upon an untrammelled commitment to meritocracy. It is a narrative on the success story of modernization of a public university operating in a particularly difficult policy and politics terrain. It equates a practice manual for university governance in Nigeria, and arguably beyond.

Femi Mimiko, mni, is a Professor of Political Science at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria. He was SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Visiting Scholar, Watson Institute, Brown University, Providence, RI; Korean Foun­dation Visiting Fellow, The Academy of Korean Studies, Seoul; and Senior Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor, United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point, NY. He is a recipient of USMA Army Commander’s Public Service Award, 2004; and author of Globalization: The Politics of Global Economic Relations and International Business. Mimiko was Vice Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria, 2010 to 2015; and member, the Nation­al Institute, Kuru, Nigeria. In 2016, he had a stint as African and African-American Studies Associate, at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

$25.00   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-09-1   Ι   Published 2017, Paperback   |   Pan-African University Press

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Echoes of Great Benin

A renaissance book about Benin, Edo, Echoes of Great Benin invites you into the quaint world of probably the greatest living traditionalists of this part of modern Nigeria, the Edo. As she struggles for relevance in a country much of which she had ruled before the coming of the British, she is as the proverbial butcher of carrion. Her fingers are slimy with decayed flesh and they stink. She cannot use them to scratch her itchy body. Her art treasures, artifacts and much of her history, she lost to the British in 1897. Her famous dry moat, Iya, has decrepit sections of it left. Ibota, the aural source of Benin stories I knew, now belongs in the past. The people of Benin, the Edo, now speak Pidgin English in their homes. Indeed, Benin is gradually effacing her history and etching out a life of anonymity. Please read on for a peep into a bit of her present and a greater look into much of her past!

Solomon Omorodion Uwaifo was born in 1932 in Benin City capital of Edo State. He has lived in Lagos most of his life. An Eisenhower Fellow in 1969, Omo Uwaifo as he prefers to be known in literary circles, is an electrical engineer, a poet, a playwright and a prize winning novelist. His second novel Fattening House was joint winner of the LNG Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2004. His first poetry collection, Litany, was long-listed for the LNG Nigeria Prize for Poetry in 2006. He is the author of several books including Electric Power Distribution Planning and Development, Hanon Publishers, Lagos, 1994, 1998 and 2010.

$15.00   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-12-1   Ι   Published 2017, Paperback   |   Pan-African University Press

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Nigerian Political Modernity and Postcolonial Predicaments

Grounded in the ideas of modernity and progress, this book dwells on the difficulties and challenges of transforming Nigeria. It offers an extensive conversation on political modernity, including a foundation laid as far back as the nineteenth century; the implementation of a number of policies and practices in the first half of the twentieth century; and the trajectories of change after the country’s independence. Arguing that the burdens of the past cannot be divorced from the challenges of the present, Toyin Falola also links the troubled present to an unpredictable future.

Toyin Falola is Past President, African Studies Association; Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South at the Library of Congress; and the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Chair of Modern Africa, Benue State University. He teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.

$25.00   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-07-7   Ι   Published 2016, Paperback*   |   Pan-African University Press

*Hardback copy coming soon.

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Related Publication: Yoruba Studies Review, Vol. 1, No. 1

Introducing the first volume of the Yoruba Studies Review.

The Yoruba Studies Review is a refereed biannual journal dedicated to the study of the experience of the Yoruba peoples and their descendants globally. The journal covers all aspects of the Yoruba transnational, national, and regional presence, both in their West Africa’s homeland and in diasporic spaces, past and present. The journal embraces all disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and the basic /applied sciences in as much as the focus is on the Yoruba affairs and the intersections with other communities and practices worldwide. The journal will foster and encourage interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches dealing with a wide range of theoretical and applied topics including, but not limited to: cultural production, identities, religion, arts and aesthetics, history, language, knowledge system, philosophy, gender, media, popular culture, education and pedagogy, politics, business, economic issues, social policy, migration, geography and landscape, environment, health, technology, and sustainability.

The first volume contains the following:

Essays
Religion and the Future of Nigeria: Lessons from the Yorùbá Case, by J. D. Y. Peel
The Interface Between the Written and the Oral in Ifá Corpus, by Ọmó.tádé Adégbindin
A Comparative Study of Olódùmarè, the Yorùbá Supreme Being and the Judeo-Christian God, by S.é.gun Ògúngbèmí
The Glocalization of Yorùbá Ọmọlúwàbí Ideology, by Adémó.lá Dasylva
Is Modernity Single and Universal?: Ò.làjú and the Multilateral Modernity, by Adéshínà Afọláyan
The Migration Patterns and Identity of the Okun-Yorùbá People of Central Nigeria, by Ilésanmí Àkánmídù Paul
Women and the Age-Group System among the Ìjè.bú of Southwestern Nigeria, by Catherine Olútóyìn Williams and Níyì Ògúnkò.yà
Literature and History: A Study of Nigerian Indigenous Historical Novels, by Lérè Adéyẹmí

Special Profile — délé jé.gé.dé.: Art and Life
The Masquerade in the Marketplace: délé jé.gé.dé.’s Introspections and Reflections In Colors and Lines, by Tóyìn Fálọlá
Ìké.ré.-Èkìtì in Art and Cultural Narratives, by délé jé.gé.dé.
Rare Objects and the Rhapsodic World of Yorùbá Elite Art Collectors: Preliminary Notes, by Adérónké. Adés.ọlá Adésànyà

Review Essay
A Voice Sweeter than Salt: Tóyìn Fálọlá and the Construction of Subaltern Narrative Space, by Ben Weiss

Please visit Yoruba Studies Review or email yorubastudies@gmail.com to receive a copy.

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Treasury of Childhood Memories

“Childhood is the lost Eden that all adults recall with nostalgia, and in this collection of 13 scintillating stories, one of the finest living writers in the Yoruba language, Akinwumi Isola, plunges back into the archives of memory, and recreates for us some of the delightful episodes of that nirvana of his youth.

“Told with his customary poetic skill and wit, his unmatched gift of the gab, his command of the opulent rhetorical resources of the Yorùbá language, the episodes sparkle like precious stones, telling of a time of innocence and of a world that, sadly, can no longer be retrieved.

“Here therefore is a narration that is more than a fitting paean to friends that are no more, to a cohesive rural community that time has swallowed, to an ethos of communal living and sharing that modernity has erased. As we follow the adventures of these rumbustious young boys, relishing their triumphs and failures, sharing their pains and laughter, we come to recognize ourselves as we too once were, and we come to a better understanding now of the weaknesses and the strengths of our societies. So compelling indeed is Isola’s evocative skill that these youthful escapades turn on to a mirror of the dreams and the longings that have brought us to where we are today, the flaws that undid us, and the virtues that strengthened us and might still redeem us.

“We cannot thank Pamela Olúbùnmi Smith enough for her wonderful courage and her brilliant work of translation, in bringing these stories to readers in the English-speaking world.”

-Femi Osofisan, Emeritus Professor, University of Ibadan, Department of Theatre Arts, Distinguished Professor of Theatre, Kwara State University School of Visual and Performing Arts, Ilorin.

Pamela J. Olubunmi Smith is Professor of English, Humanities and Women’s Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her English translations include: Akinwumi Isola’s Efunsetan Aniwura, Iyalode Ibadan & Olu OmO Tinuubu: Two Historical Plays (2006) and Adebayo Faleti’s Omo Olokun Esin (The Freedom Fight, 2010) from Yoruba.

$25.00   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-06-0   Ι   Published 2016   |   Pan-African University Press

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Africa: Development Challenges and Possibilities

Africa: Development Challenges and Possibilities examines the positive achievements that are being experienced on the continent. In examining Africa’s development paradoxes, one can point to any number of examples illustrating challenges facing the people on the continent. However, there are now many examples of real progress on the ground such as: increase in life expectancy; decreasing infant mortality rates and death rates; and increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and GDP per capita. The book examines the impact of Islam and Christianity in Africa; population growth, environment and the challenge to food production; the impact of the African diaspora; and the role of the African Union in Africa’s development.

Amadu Jacky Kaba is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Seton Hall University. Prior to returning to Seton Hall University in 2005, he worked with the late renowned political scientist, Professor Ali A. Mazrui (Post-Doctoral Fellowship), teaching and conducting research in the Social Sciences both at Binghamton University, State University of New York, and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, from July 2002 to June 30, 2005. He is the author over 70 scholarly publications, including over 50 full-length peer reviewed scholarly journal articles and four books. He earned all of his degrees from Seton Hall University: B.A. in Political Science in 1997; Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) in 1998; and Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy in May 2002.

$25.00   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-05-3   Ι   Published 2016   |   Pan-African University Press

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Contemporary Nigeria: Transitional Agencies of Change

The essays in this volume provide a framework for understanding contemporary Nigeria’s pains and gains. Nigeria remains a country in transition, characterized by many challenges and positive changes. This book captures its dysfunctional elements as well as its success stories as the continent’s most populous nation, generously endowed with both natural resources and human capital. The various views in this book reflect the twists and turns in Nigeria’s post-colonial experience.

Professor Sati U. Fwatshak is a professor in the Department of History and International Studies, University of Jos, Nigeria. His research publications and interests span African social and economic history including the History of African entrepreneurship, African development, African politics, African conflicts, and Islam in Africa. His major publication entitled African Entrepreneurship in Jos, Central Nigeria, 1902–1985 was published in 2011.

$25.00   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-03-9   Ι   Published 2016   |   Pan-African University Press

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A Matter of Sharing: My Memoir

A Matter of Sharing is a memoir of Ghana-born A.B. Assensoh, who has lived, studied, and worked in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, and Liberia, where he served in editorial capacities. From Sweden, where he studied at the University of Stockholm and also served as Editor of African Features Service in Scandinavia, he moved to the United States in the mid-1970s, first to serve as a Scholar-in-Residence at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania as well as University of Pennsylvania, and he has lived there ever since. His memoir serves as his recollections of events that bring happiness, mixed feelings and, sometimes, sorrow. Apart from sharing anecdotes of some of the events in West Africa of London, this is the first time that he has committed many of the details.

A.B. Assensoh is an African journalist and historian, a Professor Emeritus of Indiana University, and Courtesy Professor Emeritus of the University of Oregon. He has published widely, including African Political Leadership: Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah, and Julius K. Nyerere, and three co-authored books, Malcolm: A Biography; Malcolm X & Africa; and African Military History & Politics, 1900–Present.

$25.00   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-04-6   Ι   Published 2016   |   Pan-African University Press

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The Humanities in Africa: Knowledge Production, Universities, and the Transformation of Society

The Humanities in Africa addresses issues relevant to the humanities in the African academy, including its methodologies and epistemologies. The nine essays in the volume offer reflections on the role of the various disciplines, the activities of scholars, and the mission of the universities. One of the fundamental arguments in the book is that the diversity of our experience must be manifested in the diversity of our conversation. It addresses the challenges facing the humanities and suggests changes with far-reaching outcomes.

Professor Toyin Falola, Past President of the African Studies Association, occupies the Frances and Jacob Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin. A celebrated scholar of global stature, he has written widely on knowledge systems and the state of higher education in Africa.

$32.00   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-02-2   Ι   Published 2016   |   Pan-African University Press

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Fate of Our Mothers: The Collected Memories of an African Village Boy

Fate of Our Mothers is the first in the series of the author’s narrative of the assorted experiences that exemplify the first twenty years of his life. From rustic village life as a five year old boy, to the young adult person slated for the job of an untrained teacher in the city, the eclectic events in the author’s life bring to life the untold stories of rural living, featuring the cultural conflicts endemic in a patriarchal system where while men may rule, the women are the active prime movers in the order of things. The story or compendium of stories take the reader through a life that epitomizes the paradoxical interface among joy, peace, as well as tragedies and pains; successes and gains, as well as failures and losses; protection and comfort, as well as dangerous exposure and vulnerability. The story does not follow the orthodoxy of systematic chronicling that often characterizes traditional memoirs. Rather, the author verbally addresses his own four children, who were born and raised in America, a sporadic reflection of his childhood upbringing in a far away village of Oke-Awo, Aba Iresi in southwestern Nigeria. He describes the rustic simplicity of Yoruba village life, the beauty of living under the roof and compound of a caring father, two relentlessly hardworking mothers, ten siblings, many relatives, and a countless number of extended family members and non-relatives. In all, Fate of Our Mothers whispers into our collective conscience that the survival of the Yoruba universe is anchored in the fate of its women.

Michael Oladejo Afoláyan, PhD, is the founder and lead consultant for M & P Educational Consulting International, which is based in Springfield, Illinois, USA. Prior to this position, Michael served in various leadership positions over the more than three decades of his American sojourn, including having served as assistant director for academic affairs for the State of Illinois’ Board of Higher Education, and a professor of education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He studied and has held appointments at Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Yale University. His background in education, linguistics, language of education, stylistics, and the critical discourse of culture, society, and learning has often echoed in his academic works. Happily married to his wife of 33 years, Dr. Precious O. Afoláyan, Michael is blessed with four children.

$40.99   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-00-8   Ι   Published 2015   Ι  379 pages |  Pan-African University Press

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On Wings of Light: Reflections on Cybernetics, Africa & the Wider World

As our world battles on from a Darkened past and an equally Dark present, a steady beam of Light persists. It is eternal and within the core Spirit of humankind. It has long sought full release; opening wide the flood-gates of Actuation, Inclusion and Life Engagement. On Wings of Light declares this time has already arrived. Sharply accelerating transfigurative effects, it contends, are due to the advent of Cybernetics; the combined operation of Electronics and Communications in our modern world. Cybernetics not only brings Great Light to illuminate age-old Corridors of Darkness; it points mankind in the direction of a bright and promising Horizon Future. In the unfolding of this future, it maintains that Africa, with its vast lands, folk, resources, root Ethic of Light and increasing prominence, will play the determining role. Exploring relevant concepts, thoughts and perceptions; this work reflects on their meaning, significance and stimulus to practical research and activity.

Professor Michael Vickers taught Political Science at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) Nigeria; taught and conducted research at universities in America, Canada, and the United Kingdom; is the recipient of the Distinguished Academic Award  (2012) from the Toyin Falola Annual International Conference on Africa and the African Diaspora, (Lagos). He authored (with Ken Post) of Structure and Conflict in Nigeria, 1960-65 (London & Madison, 1973), Ethnicity and Sub-Nationalism in Nigeria (Oxford, 2000), Odes of Forest and Town, (Sussex, 2002), Phantom Trail—Discovering Ancient America, (New York, 2005), A Nation Betrayed—Nigeria and the 1957 Minorities Commission (Trenton, NJ,  2010), Phantom Ship (Trenton, NJ, 2013), and Looking Back from the Future (Forthcoming). He holds a doctorate in Political Science and West African Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK. He is Emeritus Director of Parliamentary and Public Affairs, The Hillfield Agency (UK).

$35.99   Ι   ISBN: 978-1-943533-01-5   Ι   Published 2015   |   Pan-African University Press