Every other Monday, Africa Knows brings you conversations with African(ist) scholars and thinkers who talk about their own work, the decolonisation of the academy, and the knowledge revolution taking shape all over the African continent. We are a collaborative platform, with co-hosts calling in from different locations - go to africa-knows.captivate.fm for more details. Nigeria is our first port of call, but we aim to expand our reach over time. Interested in collaboration? Contact us at [email protected]. Music: Wholesome by Kevin MacLeod https://bit.ly/3sscIwc
Abraham Dogo on phytomedicine and academic life under COVID
26:56Abraham Dogo is a Professor of Veterinary Parasitology, Entomology and Public Health at the University of Jos, Nigeria. In this final episode of the season, he talks with Henry about phytomedicine, his directorship at the Africa Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development, and his work as a clergyman - all in the unusual times of COVID-19. They also touch on the potential of COVID-tea and other herbal solutions to the coronavirus, the positive impact of lockdowns on innovation in the church, ASUU's never-ending strikes, anti-snake-venom vaccines, and the central role of church care groups in Nigeria.
Aliyu Isa Aliyu on being successful in Nigerian academia
27:39Gaddafi meets Aliyu Isa Aliyu, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at Federal University Dutse, Nigeria, and Senior Research Associate at Sun-Yatsen University in China. Dr Aliyu speaks about his work and academic career, including his recipe for a successful PhD, the high quality of Nigerian undergraduate math courses, the role of complex mathematics in fixing hospital queueing, lie symmetry analysis, the need for a total overhaul of Nigerian basic education, GPS software that can help you locate your cars and loved ones, and even the potential of politics to give back to society.
Ibrahim Bello Kano on the romance and politics of academia
58:27Gaddafi talks to Ibrahim Bello Kano ("IBK"), Professor of English Studies at Bayero University Kano and vocal critic and public intellectual. They talk about the romance of academia but also its (sometimes ugly) political economy, and also touch upon: the growing historical ignorance of students; the importance of the literary analysis of nonfiction writing; the place of non-African sources in a decolonised curriculum; why staying in university housing makes academics subservient; the threat of intellectual ghettoisation; the central place instability should have in our social analyses; and the challenges of Nigerianisation versus universalist thought.
Barira Mohammed on grappling with Africa's peculiarity
28:51Henry talks with Barira Mohammed, a historian and Director of Research at Plateau State University in Bokkos, central Nigeria. Henry and Dr. Mohammed touch on the impact of COVID on teaching and research in Nigeria, the importance of being a polyglot, Nigeria's school of historical championed by Prof. Bala Usman, the responsibility of African scholars to come together and assert themselves, the need for reform in African academic journals, and the complex position of South Africa in the Global South.
Yusuf Adamu on how writing can change the world and why Hausa books sell better than English ones
1:05:03Gaddafi speaks to Yusuf M. Adamu: member of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, Social Science Academy of Nigeria Laureate, poet, novelist, critic, blogger and photographer, and a professor of medical geography at the Bayero University Kano. They discuss Prof. Adamu's work on maternal health and other academic matters, but also engage with his work as a poet and author - both in English and Hausa. They raise questions about what Nigerian youth should be taught, who gets to set the intellectual agenda in Nigerian academia, how writing can change the world, why gender equity is important, and how important female readership is to northern Nigerian literature.
Joseph Lengman on decoloniality, peace spoilers and other challenges to peacebuilding in Nigeria
58:30Henry meets Joseph Lengman, an academic and practitioner of peacebuilding and conflict resolution, who is the Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA) in central Nigeria. They talk about the synergies between academia and practice in peacebuilding, but also about the challenges posed by, among others, peace spoilers, Western epistemic domination, the limited commitment to research in Nigerian universities, and COVID. The conversation also touches on the need for decolonisation and reinventing Nigerian unity, as well as the various security threats facing the country at the moment.
Ismael Bala on the marginal voices in African literature and academia
30:18Gaddafi talks with Dr. Ismael Bala, a poet, writer, translator and scholar from northern Nigeria, who recently published the poetry collection Line of Sight (2020). Born and educated to the university level in Kano, Bala did his post-graduate studies at Oxford, and is a Fellow of the International Writing Programme of the University of Iowa. The discussion touches on African literature and poetry, the striking success of Hausa romance novels, decolonisation, the problems of Nigerian academia, feminism, the struggle (and joy) of creative writing, and the deceptions of Nigerian unity.
Rabia Salihu Sa'id on being a physicist in Nigeria
38:31Gaddafi meets with Prof. Rabia Sa'id, professor of physics at Bayero University Kano, in northern Nigeria. Prof. Sa'id tells us about her career as a physicist; her mentoring of young students and scholars; her NGO work to promote the position of women in northern Nigeria; the practical implications of North-South inequality in global academia; and even the best ways of raising your daughters (and sons).
Jimam Lar on informal security providers and Hegel's dialectic in African scholarship
47:47Henry talks with Dr. Jimam Lar, researcher on peace and security and Lecturer in History at the University of Jos in Nigeria. They delve into academic life under COVID; the complexities of security provision in contemporary Africa; plausible similarities between Nigerian vigilantes and Batman; the need for African scholars to study Hegel, and to contribute theses and syntheses as well as antitheses; the political and institutional problems of Nigerian academia; and the relationship between 'Western' knowledge and African scholarship.
Abdulganiyu Rufai on tech-preneurship for development and the Nigerian oligarchy
57:48Gaddafi meets Abdulganiyu Rufai Yakubu, a tech-preneur and civic technology activist as well as PhD researcher at Bayero University Kano in northern Nigeria. They talk about the importance of entrepreneurship and technology for development; the Nigerian diaspora in the Middle East; Nigeria's youth; the oligarchy in Nigeria's political economy, especially around land ownership; the history of colonisation of (northern) Nigeria; traditional institutions in modern politics; and the importance of adapting religion to local circumstances and needs.