On Sunday morning, the news of Ethiopian Airlines Airbus 737 MAX 8 crash in Addis Ababa struck the world and two Nigerians were confirmed to be on board.
One of them is Professor Pius Adesanmi. Pius Adesanmi according to his tweet 12 days before his death was looking forward to 2019 being the year of drip drip drip good news in his life but tragedy struck and left his family (wife and two daughters) mourning.
Right here on this post we outline 10 things you should know about the late Professor Pius Adesanmi.
1. Pius Adesanmi was born in Isanlu, in Yagba East Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria.
2. He took a BA (First Class Honours) from the University of Ilorin in 1992, then a Masters in French from the University of Ibadan in 1998, and a PhD in French Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2002.
3. From 2002 to 2005 he was Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, USA.
4. Adesanmi joined Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada in 2006 as a Professor of Literature and African studies. He was previously a Fellow of the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) from 1993 to 1997, as well as of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) in 1998 and 2000.
5. Late Prof. Adesanmi, a poet and essayist was a public intellectual without peer. He was active on social media where he flagellated the Nigerian ruling class with well thought out interventions, amassing a huge following in the process.
6. For many years, Adesanmi maintained a regular column for Premium Times and Sahara Reporters. His writings were often satirical, focusing on the absurd in the Nigerian social and political space. His targets often included politicians, pastors, and other relevant public figures. He spoke truth without fear or favour.
7. In September 2015, his scathing piece on the decision of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, to take an underaged wife generated substantial conversation and even elicited a response from the Emir, who responded to Adesanmi by name.
8. An award winning author, he was a highly sought after speaker and facilitator whose expertise and breadth of knowledge was a delight to all who had the pleasure of hearing him speak.
9. In 2015, he gave a TED talk titled “Africa Is The Forward That The World Needs To Face.” His talk at the televised The Platform programme, held in Lagos, was a national sensation.
10. His awards include a 2017 Canada Bureau of International Education Leadership Award; Penguin Prize for African Writing in the Non-Fiction category for his book ‘You’re Not a Country, Africa’; and the Association of Nigerian Authors’ Poetry prize for his poetry collection, ‘The Wayfarer and Other Poems.’