THE YEARS 1963-69:
The Institute of African Studies of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, came at a time “when the concept of African Studies as a means of consolidating the independence and building up the cultural identity of the new states of Africa was very much in vogue” (Afigbo, 1971:89). The idea for a graduate Institute of African Studies in the University of Nigeria was channeled towards research and was designed as a rallying point for “all men of colour who can trace their descent to the African continent no matter in what part of the world they now find their habitation”. (Afigbo, 1971:89). The establishment of the Hansberry College of African Studies in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, was approved in September 1962 by the Governing Council of the University of Nigeria as a graduate Institution. The College was opened on September 23, 1963 with a four-day Seminar at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka campus, with the title, “The Emergence of African Political Thought.” This Seminar was attended by eminent scholars and authorities on African studies from many places in Nigeria and overseas. The keynote address was delivered by Professor William Leo Hansberry, an eminent Afro-American Historian and Africanist, whose name the college bears and who was designated its Director. The Hansberry College was renamed Hansberry Institute of African Studies in 1964. Prof. William Leo Hansberry had taught Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, two students who later became first indigenous Presidents of their countries, Nigeria and Ghana, respectively.
As W.L. Hansberry, the Director, was not resident (but visiting Nsukka once in a while from the United States), his deputy, Professor Edward Wilmot Blyden III, an orator, Professor of Political Science and grandson of the famous Blyden, was made the acting director but later became the substantive director in 1964. (Onyeneke, 1984). Professor Blyden was a former Head of Department of Political Science in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
In the active part of this phase, before the outbreak of the civil war, the major activities included the following:
1. Preparation of annotated Bibliography of Africana
2. Preparation of Anthologies of Readings in Africana
3. Acquisition of oral, written, pictorial and cartographic sources for the study of the government, society, history and religion of Nigeria
4. Research into Biographies of eminent Nigerians
5. Research into rise and growth of political ideas
6. Research into History of Nigerian Journalism
7. Establishment of a museum of antiquities
Prof. W.L. Hansberry (non-resident Director) 1963-64
When Prof. Hansberry was the Director, the Institute organized lectures and symposia on various aspects of African history and culture. This was natural since Prof. Hansberry was an Afro-American scholar of the history and culture of black peoples. The Institute also embarked on the first three aspects of the first phase. These were one, preparation of annotated Bibliography of Africana, two, preparation of Anthologies of Readings in Africana, and, three, acquisition of oral, written, pictorial and cartographic sources for the study of the government, society, history and religion of Nigeria.
Happenings in this first phase also included the empowering of the Institute of African Studies in 1963 to be a school for post-graduate research for the degree of Masters. It was to prepare and present candidates for post-graduate degrees in African Studies, on its own right. This programme was expanded by the Senate of the University on April 12, 1967 beyond Masters Degree by research to include Masters Degree by course work. The Institute followed this up by developing and advertising its post-graduate coursework programme. The Senate confirmation of its approval for the full teaching programme was given on July 21, 1970, after the Nigerian Civil War. In the 1970/71 session, failure to implement the programme was due to the poor state of equipment of the various departments of the University (e.g. history, geography etc) which were to be intimately involved in the programme. Again, rehabilitation after the civil war had not gone far enough.
Prof. Edward Wilmot Blyden III (Political Scientist) (Director) 1963-64
After another unsuccessful bid in 1973/74 when the Institute had gone to the extent of admitting some candidates for their postgraduate programme, this programme was frozen. (Ukwu, 1986). During the Nigerian crisis of 1966, the Institute experienced improved staff position because of the influx of scholars of eastern Nigerian origin from other universities into the University of Nigeria.
Prof. SN Nwabara (Historian) acting Director (October 1966-71) substantive ( 1972-81)
The Institute was motivated to embark on a number of projects which would “help to realize the ideals of its founders” (Afigbo, 1971:89). In 1967, as part of the preparatory process, the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eni Njoku, set up the first executive committee of the Institute “whose creation brought to an end what virtually had been the era of ‘one man show’ in the history of the Institute” (Afigbo, 1971:89). Part of its duties was to advise the Director in the planning and execution of the research and teaching programmes of the Institute, and in the staff recruitment, development and conditions of service. Members were Dr. S.N. Nwabara (Chairman and acting Director of the IAS); Mr. E.B. Ndem (Sociology/Anthropology); Dr. D.D. Hartle (History/ Archeology); Dr. Kalu Ezera (Political Science); Dr. J.C. Ene (Natural History); Prof. J.C. Anene (History) and Mr. B.O. Nwabueze (Faculty of Law).
Also, during that period, the Institute started building up an ethnographic museum. There were also plans for the establishment of the Center for Creative Writing in the Institute which was to be staffed initially by Mr. (now Prof.) Chinua Achebe (already world-famed by then) and Mr. Christopher Okigbo, then a young poet of distinction. (Afigbo, 1971:89).
The Committee which became the first Advisory Board had hardly begun moves on the proposed M.A. teaching programme, on a new Institute Journal and on an ethnographic museum when the civil war broke out. (Onyeneke, 1984).
It is important to mention here that the great energy behind the founding of the Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Professor William Leo Hansberry, died while visiting relatives in Chicago. Prof. Hansberry died at Billings Hospital of a cerebral hemorrhage on November 3, 1965.
The war ended in 1970. Every plan and intention pre-war was lost. Afigbo (1971:90) narrates:
By the time the war ended not only the schemes projected for implementation in the 1967/68 session were abandoned, but the progress which had been made in the collection of rare documents and materials for research, as in assembling highly valued pieces of ancient art and material culture were frustrated. Much ground had been lost, the administrative records of the Institute destroyed, and some of the scholars perished. Among the irreparable losses in men were Professor J.C. Anene, who died from natural causes; the gifted poet, Christopher Okigbo, who died in action; the political scientist Professor Kalu Ezera…and the sociologist Mr. E.B. Ndem, who was out of the country at the time hostilities came to an end and who has yet not been able to rejoin the staff of the University. The Institute had to begin again from the scratch.
The ethnographic materials (relics and artifacts), books and documents collected pre-war had been lost and dispersed, thus, this was essentially a reconstruction phase. The Executive Committee was reconstituted in 1970, with the place of the missing members being taken by the new appointees, comprised the following: Dr. S.N. Nwabara (Chairman), Professor EO Awa, Dr. JC Ene, Dr. CC Ifemesia, Professor ANA Modebe, Mr. BO Nwabueze and Mr. Elochukwu Amucheazi as Secretary. There was also Prof. G.O. Onuaguluchi (Medicine) and Dr. GEK Ofomata (Geography). It had the task of rehabilitation by reviving the projects already approved for the Institute and re-defining its objectives. These objectives were redefined as (i) recovering the past of the peoples of Africa, (ii) dealing with the current social problems and (iii) encouraging and projecting their living art and culture.
A set of activities were then developed and they subsequently became the regular ones for the Institute:
(i) the organization of (a.) public lectures (given by outstanding scholars of the University or by visiting scholars. A celebrated scholar, Prof. Chinua Achebe, became a senior research fellow of the Institute from 1970 to 1973. Until 2009, his office space was preserved in the Institute to memorialize him. The space also served as storeroom for editions of Okike, a literary journal he founded. Dr. C.C. Okereaffia and Mr. T.U. Nwala were also deployed from the General Studies around November 1971 to the Institute as Research Fellow in Language and Junior Research Fellow in Philosophy respectively), (b.) staff seminars (where academic staff of the University discussed their projected research schemes) and (c.) workshops (for teamwork on the study of different aspects of African culture, history and social problems),
(ii) organization of individual research programmes of the research fellows of the Institute with research focus on the Igbo, the Efik/Ibibio, the Ijaw and the peoples of Ogoja,
(iii) development of an ethnographic museum to hold artifacts, archeological pieces and remnants of the civil war showing the ways of life of the people. Part of this museum is a modern art gallery. This gallery has since hosted a succession of significant exhibitions,
(iv) establishment of a research library which, today, holds documents, bibliographies, books and rare publications and the assembling of oral and written sources for African studies.
(v) Issuance of Institute journals through the Institute’s Publication Unit,
(vi) a photographic unit, and,
(vii) experiments in the performing arts.
THE YEARS: 1970-1976
Amongst the main achievements of the Institute during the commando session or rehabilitation term (as March to June 1970 was popularly called in Nsukka) was the recruitment of more research staff into the Institute. In addition to the acting director, Dr. SN Nwabara and Mrs. K. Okonjo (research fellow in sociology) who were there before the war, the Institute acquired the services of Mr. Chinua Achebe (senior research fellow in literature), Miss Felicia Ifeoma Ekejiuba (research fellow in social anthropology), Mr. Meki Nzewi (research fellow in music & drama), Mr. JN Oriji (junior research fellow in history). (Afigbo, 1971:90).
For the experiments in performing arts, two musical dramas set in Nigerian culture were presented by the Institute to enthusiastic audiences across Nigeria. The dramas were “A Drop of Honey” and “The Lost Finger” both by Meki Nzewi. “A Drop of Honey” was an award winning entry in the 1971 African Arts Competition organized by the African Center, University of California. Los Angeles. In 1973, the Institute organized, for the first time, a Cultural Arts Festival entitled “Igeri”. It was aimed at showcasing creativity and talent in dance-dramas of the past and present in Nigeria. The folk myth of life and death, and life in death was the theme. The Igeri burial music-dance-drama from Arochukwu was chosen. It is not clear whether the four-day drama and seminar were held as was planned.
At the end of the 1970/71 session, Dr. S.N. Nwabara left for the United States to help set up a programme of African studies. Dr. A.E. Afigbo was asked to act as director from July 1, 1971. The acting Director began to move the Institute from the stage of “projections” to that of “implementation” (Afigbo, 1971:91).
In the area of research, the Institute began to concentrate on the peoples and cultures of south-eastern Nigeria. As at that time, documentation of the ways of life of this region had not kept pace with those of the rest of Nigeria, and the University of Nigeria had the only facility in the area. (Ukwu, 1986:282).
The photographic Unit:
This Unit later became the Technical Services and Cinematographic Unit in the 1980’s. It produced black and white photographs manned by one Mr. Nwankwo on Salary Level 5. He served in the Institute from about 1970 to about 1978. A skilled still photographer, Mr, Nwankwo used the studio space of the Unit for photographic laboratory work. The active period of use of this studio as a photo laboratory was from 1971 (after the Nigerian Civil War) to about 1978. Water was available at this time through pipes to the studio. The still photographer had a neat way of registering snapshots or films using a yellow file and jumbo cards such that films can be easily traced and developed and photographs can be easily located and handed over to their owners. A pile of about 400 copies of these yellow files are still available and are packed away in a file cabinet as at the moment. Because of the departure of Mr. Nwankwo to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1978 for a more serious and lucrative photographic engagement, the studio was abandoned. (Unaegbu, 2011). But before his departure, some items of equipment have been attracted to the studio, however obsolete. Among these items were a Bolex 16mm cine camera, which, was jammed badly and required overseas attention to make it operable. Aside from the cine camera, three twin lens, reflex, still cameras (very old), and photographic laboratory equipment were acquired.
For the venture on journals, the Institute’s Publication Unit began Ikoro, formerly Ikorok (so named from July 1971-March 1972, ending with Vol. 1, No.3. The first name was an Ibibio version of the Igbo Ikolo or Ikoro. It suggested by Mr. Udosen of Fine Arts). The Ikolo is a huge talking drum made from the trunk of an iroko tree used in spreading “serious information as well as for celebration on ritual occasions”. (Afigbo, 1971:91). The Ikoro bulletin was designed to publicize the work of the Institute and the researches going on within the University or elsewhere in Nigeria and beyond in the area of African studies. It appeared first as Ikorok in July 1971 and began to appear two times a year in January and July from the mid 1980’s. It was first edited by Miss Felicia Ifeoma. Ekejiuba. At the same time, approval was given for the Institute to publish a journal titled Ikenga. Dr. (later Prof.) A.E. Afigbo served as its first editor. Other editorial board members included Dr. Edet A. Udo (associate-editor), Dr. S.N. Nwabara, Professor E.O. Awa, Professor J.C. Ene, Dr. C. Ogwurike, Dr. D.I. Nwoga, Professor B.N. Okigbo, Rev. E.C. Ilogu, Mr. S.C. Nwoye, Mr. V.C. Amaefulah (art-adviser) and Mr. J.N. Oriji (acting secretary).
Ikenga is a personal god of achievement whose physical representation, a figure with ram horns, symbolizes the strength of the right arm with which a man achieves greatness. The cultural artifact is common amongst the northern Igbo people; but it is by no means exclusively preserved there. The journal, Ikenga, was designed to showcase articles in all areas of African studies.
Afigbo (1971:90) explains:
It is not committed to any political views, but is dedicated to encourage the application of the highest scholarship to the investigation of the achievements and setbacks of the blackman down the ages, as well as to the study of his contemporary problems and dilemmas.
The first issue appeared in September 1971.
The Publications Unit also produced a book under what was described as the Institute’s Occasional Publications consisting generally of proceedings of workshops, seminars, public lectures and results of researches of the Institute’s research fellows which was published by the Institute itself. These included the published public lectures of John Hunwick, the proceedings of the conference on Indigenous Laws called African Indigenous Laws edited by Drs. T.O. Elias and S. N. Nwabara in 1975. (Ukwu, 1986:283).The book ran through 376 pages and was launched on November 29, 1975 at Enugu Campus of the University by Mr. M. O. Balonwu, the then Chief Justice of the East Central State. (Ubah, 1976).
Also, Mr. Chinua Achebe, senior research fellow in literature, began to publish Okike, a new journal of creative writing, which, by 1971, had already recorded notable success.
The Institute Research Library:
Prof. S.N. Nwabara, one of the Directors of the Institute, once said in his foreword to a Library classified list book by Eleanor Mangold, “First and foremost, the Research Library is a collection of materials for reference by research workers”. (Nwabara, 1973).
After the war, recovery of books and documents began again from scratch (no book) to 800 collections. Many were gifts donated by individuals and organizations and the Institute’s own purchases, even though buying was severely restricted.
Mr. (now Prof.) Chinua Achebe
Senior Research Fellow, IAS (1970-73)
The recovery was facilitated by three factors:
1. The keen interest of the University authority in the work of rehabilitation.
2. The generous gifts by friends of the Institute, particularly the programme of East African Studies, Syracuse University, New York, that made available from its holdings all the books and documents on East African countries, and,
3. The voluntary services of Mrs. Eleanor Mangold as the Institute’s honorary acting librarian (from August 1972 to April 1973). She authored Classified List 1. Some 470 titles were assembled together with 400 other publications comprising IAS publications, seminar and research papers, and a foundation collection of government document materials. The book was compiled both as a temporary substitute for a cataloguing guide and as a record of titles. (Nwabara, 1973).
The library became a place of study where researchers worked with the materials they might wish close at hand and unhindered by the movement and bustle of a larger and less intimate library. As a specialist library, it is meant to supplement the collections held at the Africana Division of the main library of the University. According to Prof. S.N. Nwabara, the library became “the vat from which history itself will be distilled in 50, 100, 500 years’ time.” How prophetic were his words as this present book was distilled from the “vat” (Nwabara, 1973).
Public lectures of the Institute during this phase included, Oral Literature delivered by Prof. Robert G. Armstrong (Director, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, March 1971), The Study of African Politics by Mr. Ukpabi Asika (Administrator of the East Central State of Nigeria, May 1972), Igbo Ukwu Excavations by Prof. Thurstan Shaw (Department of Archeology, University of Ibadan, February 1972), The Role of Literacy in West African Moslem Society in the Pre-colonial Period by Prof. John Hunwick (University of Legon, Ghana, March 1972), The Development of Islamic Scholarship in its West African Environment by Prof. John Hunwick (March 1972).
Workshops and Seminars:
Workshops organized by the Institute during this phase (1970-75) included a. Igbo Language and Literature (1971); b. Nsukka: The Problems of Change and Continuity (1972); c. Peoples of South-Eastern Nigeria (1972); d. African Indigenous Laws (1974); e. Dependency and Underdevelopment in Western Africa (1974). The seminars/workshops were designed to garner data on specific areas in order to prepare the way for the launching of the “full-blown programme of the Institute”, especially its focus on the peoples of Southeastern Nigeria. Efforts were made to assess very closely the research works which had already been concluded about the people of Southeastern Nigeria, map out important areas to embark upon and decide on methodologies.
To Afigbo (1971:92):
This is necessary as a way of high-lighting the immensity of the problems which will remain to be tackled in the study of these peoples, avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort and questioning some of the cozy positions which some of us are already tending to assume with regard to the past and current problems of this area. It would also help to effect economy by ensuring that the little money and manpower available are not spent on issues which have long ceased to be problems.
By January 1975, one John Onyishi stated that the Institute museum collection had “grown from the initial hundred pieces to… over four hundred specimens of antiquities”. Serially numbered, there are some 404 art/ cultural objects physically lodged in the museum. These resource materials had very scanty information for accession. (Uche-Okeke, 1984). Exhibitions at the Institute’s museum and art gallery during this period included, Drawings and Paintings by Prof. Uche Okeke (December 1972), Two Thousand Years of Chinese Paintings by UNESCO (February 1974), Deep Etchings, Lino Cuts, Bronzed Lino Reliefs and Paintings by Bruce Omobrakpeya (April 1974), Graphics by Dr. Nick Wilkinson (April 1974), Leo Frobenius 1938 by Institute of Foreign Cultural Relations/ Frobenius Institute, Odunke Art Exhibition by Uzo Ndubisi (November 1974), National Role in Modern Mass Communication- Sculptures, drawings, prints and poems by U. Uko Akpaide (November 1974), AFAAS’s Week Exhibition by Association of Fine and Applied Arts (March 1975), Dyed Fabric, Wall hangings, Burnt-Scorched Wooden Wall, Plaques exhibition by Ego Okeke, El Anatsui, Uche Okeke and Onyebuchi Okadigwe (May 1975), Sessional Examination Exhibition by Department of Fine and Applied Arts, UNN (June 1975), Jigida Paintings by Bons Nwabiani (June 1975). (Ukwu, 1986).
A Dictionary of Igbo Proverbs Project:
This was begun in the Institute of African Studies at about 1973, championed by D.I. Nwoga. For a proper understanding of the workings of the Igbo mind, a study of Igbo proverbs is crucial. Additionally, proverbs represent major imaginative activities which are literary in their impact. It is not surprising therefore, that most Igbo writers, whether writing in Igbo or English, have incorporated proverbs from the oral traditions into their works. Moreover, future generations of Igbo people and people interested in Igbo need some permanent record of these units of Igbo imagination and wisdom. Though the project was initiated in the early 70’s, and preliminary collections were made with the aid of students of English Department and a research grant of N2000 from the Imo State Cultural Division of the Ministry of Information, Youth and Culture, Owerri, it had not been possible to pay adequate attention towards implementing a major part of the project. (Nwoga, 1984).
As at 1971, the Institute had just ten scholars who were also working on very important projects. They included:
Dr. S.N. Nwabara (Director) (Research Project: A Century of British Contact with the Igbo, 1860-1960), Afigbo (Senior Research Fellow in History) (A history of Nsukka), Chinua Achebe (Senior Research Fellow, Literature) (African Revolutionary literature from Olaudah Equiano to the present day) (Igbo Verse and Drama), Edet A. Udo (Senior Research Fellow in History) (The Efik-Ibibio in the pre-colonial period), C.O. Okoreaffia (Senior Research Fellow, History) (Igbo language Studies), Miss Felicia Ifeoma Ekejiuba (Research Fellow, Social Anthropology) (The Area of South eastern Nigeria), Elochukwu Amucheazi (research fellow, political science) (Political dynamics in Eastern Nigeria with Emphasis on the pressure groups, Particularly on the role of the church in the politics of Eastern Nigeria), Mrs. Kamene Okonjo (research fellow, sociology) (The role of women in social change), Meki Nzewi (research fellow, Music and Drama) (Synthesis of music, dance and drama in contemporary Nigerian theatre), and, John N. Oriji (junior research fellow, History) (A history of Ngwa people). In 1975, the Institute was blessed with another notable researcher in Law, Barrister JC Aghaji.
The Institute remarkably had early contacts and encouragements from the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan and the Department of Archeology of the same University; the Historical Society of Ghana; the Scandinavian Institute of African Studies; the Deutsches Institut für Afrika-Forschung, Hamburg; the Institut National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales, université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle ; the Federal Department of Antiquities, Lagos, the Summer Institute of Linguistics (British School), Surrey; the Centre of African Studies, University of Warsaw (Poland), and the Makerere Institute of Social Research, Kampala (Afigbo, 1971:92).
THE YEARS 1976-85
As more universities and more states were created, the Institute’s programmes came to specialize on the Igbo people and their neighbours. The long tenure of Prof. S.N. Nwabara, from 1966 to 1981, saw to the stability in the projects of the institute. He had the task of putting the Institute on a solid footing after the civil war. Through sheer hard work and the cooperation of the Institute Research staff, he was able to leave a strong stamp on some of the programmes handled. In 1981, a fresh policy for all institutes of the University was developed by the Senate. The new policy was meant to attach research staff to the Institute for limited periods of time and for specific work project and also to avoid prolonged tenure for even a director. That same year, a new director was appointed, Prof. Donatus I. Nwoga.
Administrative Unit: Mr. Johnson Osonwa Anya Okwara from Ohafia was the Administrative Officer and Secretary to the Institute from 1982 to 1989. He may have been the first Administrative Officer of the Institute of African Studies after the war. He served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute in the 1983/84 session and in other capacities.
Ethnography Unit: The Igbo Salvage Ethnography Project (SEP):
A new line of research called the Igbo Salvage Ethnography Project (SEP) was kicked off by the new director. It was undertaken from 1982. Its aim was to build up a large collection of primary information on the Igbo way of life, covering all the parts of Igboland, which will be available for future scholarly work on the Igbo people. Recorded information would be both audio and visual, and should include assorted events in the current life of the people and interviews on traditional events and the historical past as far as these can be recounted. Special areas of information sought were guided by the present lines of interest of scholars of the University. Sixty-one undergraduates of this University from the different disciplines of study (Arts, Science, Social Science Education, Agriculture etc.) were selected as Field Research Assistants in a manner that represented all the Igbo speaking local government areas in what were then Anambra, Imo, Bendel and Rivers States of Nigeria. They were employed by the Institute to collect required data during their long vacation of two months (July to September) in 1982. (Onyeneke, 1984) (Nzei, 1984:52). Again, in the 1983 long vacation, sixty-seven students were also employed just like the year before and an additional six students were hired to work on a specific project for Dr. Anazodo. Also, some students continued some special research after the long vacations. (Nzei, 1984, 52). Research fellows and other scholars of African Studies helped in the processes towards making this project a successful one. In fact, a research committee was established by Prof. Donatus Nwoga in which members of the Institute contributed wonderful ideas and worked assiduously to make a success of the ethnographic project. (Aniakor, 2011:82).
A Dictionary of Igbo Proverbs Continues:
In an attempt to kick off the Dictionary of Igbo Proverbs project (see Second Phase) alongside gathering general information on Igbo life, the then Director, Professor Donatus Nwoga, instructed and equipped the seventy-three students with exercise books and cassette tapes. In exercise books, they were required to jot down any proverbs that they heard or that they generated in private interview. They were then to seek and write down the explanations of proverbs collected from a number of informants, as well as note down the contexts in which the proverbs could be used. On cassette tapes, and with portable cassette recorders, they were to record discussions in which proverbs were likely to be used, like settlement of cases, marriage ceremonies, village drinking parties etc. they were also to record discussions of proverbs with elders. Essentially, the Director wanted them to produce records of the actual language of proverb usage and discussion from the primary carriers of Igbo Tradition. This is necessary since, quite often, because of failures of translation by people not conscious of the implications of the original language and its world value, the meanings of Igbo concepts are arbitrarily altered. Training courses were given to the students by academic staff who required data collected in their fields of research interest. Courses on use of recording equipment were also given by the then Cinematographer and Research Fellow, Raymond Wright. At the end of the 1983 vacation exercise (July to September), the Institute garnered about 2000 proverbs turned in the exercise books of the student field research assistants. (Nwoga, 1984). This was aside from the data bank of recordings on magnetic tapes for the larger Igbo Salvage Ethnographic Project which garnered primary data on Igbo life covering diverse fields of interest, including religion, philosophy, social life, literary and productive arts, history, science, medicine, technology etc. The data bank was held in a special section. (Ukwu, 1986:284). Some of the more enterprising students were also able to get photographs and antiquities which included various symbols of ikenga, okike, otuleka, okwa chi, masks etc. (Nzei, 1984:52). By 1986, cataloguing of these data had begun. This was to show the type of information held, the tape where each is held, and the place from which it was collected, in order to be available for study through a well compiled index.
Prof. Donatus I. Nwoga (English) Director (1981-84)
During the 1983/84 session, vigorous activity was set in motion under the supervision of the then Institute’s NYSC staff, Mr. A. A. Nzei, for the co-ordination and transcription of the taped material. A transcribing machine was bought and students were hired mainly from the University, and they were engaged in transcription of the recorded tapes even up to January 1985. (Onyeneke, 1985:9). Areas covered included Igbo worldview, Igbo Ethnomedicine, Igbo Music, Rain making, Igbo divination, folktales, masquerades and festivals, mythology, proverbs, politics etc. The Institute acquired about 3000 taped cassettes for this Igbo Salvage Ethnography Project.
Mrs. N.E.O. Uche-Okeke was the curator of the Museum from about August 1977 up until 1986. The museum, during this phase of the Institute’s growth, was a treasure house and an invaluable visual library. Its artifacts served as educational tools to disseminate the unique contributions of African culture through well documented and publicized exhibitions. The absence of trained personnel and the difficulty in obtaining basic technical and conservation facilities since August 1977 made the Curator’s duties difficult.
There was the sorting out of the museum’s permanent art collections. There were pottery, metal (tools, weapons, instruments, currency, staff of office), wood (Nkwu, Agwu, Ikenga, Masks, titular paraphernalia utensils, musical instruments), stone, bones and ivories (jewellery, horns), textiles (Aji, Akwa Mmili, and Akwete) and architecture (Obu, Mbari). These items were documented and preserved. And exhibitions continued just like in the second phase of the Institute’s growth up until a grand exhibition called the Ikenga’ 83 exhibition from July to November 1983. Exhibitions in 1976 included, Academic Star Launching and Exhibition by Daily Star Group of Papers (January), Nsukka Works 1972-1975; drawings paintings by Dr. Nich Wilkinson (February), First Steps by Tayo Adenaike and Gbubemi Amanoritsewor (February and March), Nigerian Contemporary Arts by Staff of Fine and Applied Arts Department (March), Ceramics by Benjo Igwilo (May) and Graphics Design (Paul Chapman and George Adams).
From July to November 1983, the Institute of African Studies mounted an exhibition of the Ikenga, a cult and art object of the Igbo. It was fully sponsored by the University. Help was obtained from the National Commission for Museums and Monuments Lagos, Odinani Community Museum Nri, Mbari Art Center (Eke Nguru Mbaise), Obu ofonri Museum Enugwu-Ukwu, Asele Institute (Nimo), Ikenga group from Aguleri, University Library, CUDIMAC and the Faculty of Arts (Fine and Applied Arts, Archeology, Drama, Linguistics and Nigerian Languages) etc. The Institute museum was able to document and display numerous and varied Ikenga icons for view by the members of the University community and interested public. The opening ceremony was officiated by Igwe Osita Agwuna III of Enugwu-Ukwu (founder of Obu Ofonri Museum, Enugwu-Ukwu) and the then Vice Chancellor (Prof. Frank Nwachukwu Ndili) with the committee of deans.
The Reconstructed Obu Shrine in the Institute Museum
Traditional chiefs including Chief Nwamba of Eha-Alumona were present. The NTA Enugu, Ikenga Age grade from Aguleri, Ikorodu Dance Group from Nsukka, Mmonwu Asaa Masquerade troupe from Aguata and the general University public lent grace and splendour to the occasion. The museum was given a long-desired face-lift for the occasion. The Exhibition was designed to flow visually. The introductory panel contained blow-up photographs of Ikenga with general notes and inset map of Igboland to familiarize the viewer with the theme of the exhibition and whet his appetite for yet more comprehensive information lodged in the icons in the gallery and the Obu shrine. A typical Obu shrine was set up to bring home vividly the various functional aspects of the Ikenga and its place in traditional Igbo ritual existence. The sequence and visual flow went on to general Igbo art. Artifacts, particularly in wood, were exhibited to illustrate Igbo basic design principles and art types. It was seen that wood-sculpture is an art-form of the Igbo men-folk and pottery that of the Igbo female-folk. The exhibition plan then moved from general to detailed fanfare on Ikenga showing its iconography, beliefs illustrating the presence of the notion of the strength of the right hand, and showing Ikenga among other ethnic peoples of Nigeria such as the Igala, Edo, Urohboh and Ijaw.
The exhibition concluded with a section to show the influence of Ikenga art form on contemporary designs in Igboland. This exhibition attracted several hundreds of visitors from outside and inside the University. The Museum visitors Book recorded almost one thousand (1, 000) signatures for the period of the Ikenga’ 83 Exhibition compared to only 318 signatures of visitors to the Museum from January 1981 to May 1983. a detailed inventory of the museum’s permanent collections was achieved in part through documented expositions such as Ikenga ’83 and a seminar on Ikenga and Igbo Life and Thought. (Uche-Okeke, 1984).
Cinema Unit (audio-visual studio):
When the Institute was about to embark upon the Igbo Salvage Ethnography Project, it became obvious that there was a need for supplying video services for recording events, and for creating a visual documentation of Igbo traditions, culture and history. It is germane to note that in 1978, a still photographer, Mr. Nwankwo, left the Institute for another engagement, thus the Photo Unit was under lock and key for four years until 1982. Through the excellent contacts of the then Curator of the Institute museum, Mrs. N.E.O. Uche-Okeke, Mr. Raymond Wright, an African-American, was summoned from abroad and employed on contract basis. With the arrival of Mr. Wright, who was made a Research Fellow I and Cinematographer (placed on Salary Level 13), and because of renewed efforts on cinematographic activities by the then Director of the Institute, Prof. D.I. Nwoga, who took over from Prof. Nwabara in 1981, the photo studio was reopened in October 1982. There was an emphasis on film coverage and editing. The cinema unit was to provide the facilities for visual research to be conducted in the field, as well as supply the IAS audio visual library, which aside from films and video tapes produced within the IAS, would house collected visual material of relevant nature from other sources. Again, this desire to establish a cinema unit came from a realization on the part of the Director, Prof. D. I. Nwoga, that visual and audio research was becoming increasingly important in documenting African, and consequently, Igbo culture. Upon moving into the Photo Unit that would serve as the basic studio work area, it was discovered from equipment found, that a cinema unit had been the intention of Prof. S.N. Nwabara, the former director. The Bolex 16mm cine camera that was found, however, was jammed badly, and required overseas attention to make it operable. Aside from the cine camera, three twin lens, reflex, still cameras (very old), and photographic laboratory equipment were found. It was decided that because of the equipment on hand, that the studio space should have water restored to it, so that it would not only serve as a film editing room, but also a revived photographic laboratory. To provide a room with long enough “throw” from viewing 16mm films it was necessary to remove a partition that separated the space and install an air-conditioner for comfort (the room was sealed off from light). Earlier in 1982, cinematography equipment had been selected from price lists provided by a London supplier. An order for the first group of equipment was placed in August 1982. This order included the 16mm crystal sync. Sound camera; lenses; the crystal sync., Nagra tape recorder; and accessories, such as fluid head tripod, super-directional microphones, lighting, etc. This order formed the basic production equipment. A second order was placed in March 1983. This order was for the six plate, automatic, horizontal, editing console, capable of simultaneously editing one picture and two tracks of sound. Other editing accessories, and accessories to upgrade the existing 16mm camera, were ordered (the 16mm camera was taken overseas in August 1983 for repair). This last order formed the basic post- production equipment. With these items of equipment, Mr. Wright and, sometimes, hired students and junior staff, were able to perform duties that have become useful to researchers today. Mr. Lucky Okpara, then a junior staff (but as at 2010 when he retired, a Principal Technical Supervisor) assisted Mr. Wright in the video coverage activities. After a while, Mr. Okpara was sent on technical training to Jos, Plateau State. The Studio encountered the beginner’s difficulties such as lack of foreign exchange to ensure the Institute’s overseas suppliers their payment for cinema equipment ordered. An attempt to bring the equipment and pay for the repair of the IAS existing equipment failed in September 1983. Equally frustrating was acquiring equipment within the country 16mm equipment was virtually non-existent, and portable video cameras and video tape recorders (VTR’s) were very expensive. Then, the small lightweight, portable equipment was very much in demand by novice video users. Another major problem had been to get genuine cooperation from the U.N.N. Works Department. To get simple projects accomplished such as installing an air-conditioner or removing a partition was a long and arduous task, and oftentimes, in the end, outside help was solicited. Nevertheless, activities in this studio from that October 1982, include the photographic documentation of the IAS Museum collection. After camera repairs, Mr. Wright began to photograph each item in the museum collection, which he thought would serve a two- fold purpose. As there was no visual record of the complete museum collection, he felt that in the event of theft, the Institute could offer the authorities more than just a written description of the item, by providing a photocopy of the photograph along with all other pertinent information, (i.e. size, distinguishing color marking). This was also invaluable information for insurance claims. A color print attached to an information sheet can be vitally important in gathering information on museum artifacts, since the items themselves, cannot be taken to the filed for research. This would aid the IAS museum in augmenting and cross checking its own data. Before camera failure, and the first research advance was expanded, approximately one hundred and seventy- two items had been photographed. Many of the sculptural items have been photographed from two views. By Mr. Wright’s estimation, about two thirds of the collection has been photographed. There was also the Photographic research for “Ikenga 1983 Exhibition. In preparation for the IAS exhibition of Ikenga, Mr. Wright traveled to Nri several times to photograph the Odinani museums collection of Ikenga, and photograph actual ancestor shrines with Ikenga in situ. The archeology department’s collection of Ikenga was also photographed and the upgrading of their documentation has been achieved through cross-checking of the photographs through field research. The result of this work has been design of the Obu in the exhibition; many enlarged photographs displayed in the exhibition, and illustrated notes on the Ikenga and iru mmuo (Igbo ancestral altar). In the Cinema studio also, video tape editing was a primary feature. With the loan of a portable video tape recorder (VTR), Mr. Wright and his assistants succeeded in editing two video tapes, of two hours each from the opening ceremonies of “Ikenga 1983 into one video tape of one and a half hour. This electronic editing was done using the most rudimentary equipment, and the audio dub and insert capabilities of the IAS JVC VTR. Using the same on- loan portable VTR and IAS’ video camera, Mr. Wright was able to video tape the Ikenga exhibition itself with particular emphasis on the ancestor altar. He was also able to video tape the rare wall paintings by women, located inside the Odinani museum, in addition to the same type of paintings on the walls of an Alusi temple by the name of “Iyiagi”, in Agbadana, Nri. The tape included a brief narrative description by Mazi Benjamin Akuune Ewuocha of Obeagu, Nri. He was an Ozo priest and Mr. Wright’s major informant. During 1983, a full proposal including a budget for the 16mm film production of “Sigwe Bansi is Dead” for the sub-Department of Drama was executed. The proposal involved some months of research, and journeys to Enugu and Lagos. The filming was to be sponsored by the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: in keeping with a promise the President personally made to the University of Nigeria in 1982. The film was never made. Using the IAS’ dual audio cassette decks and equalizer, Mr. Wright produced thirty-five re-mastered four track, cassettes, as part of the IAS’ permanent collection of audio tapes for the Research Library.
Mr. Raymond Wright, Cinematographer and Research Fellow I in his office after an ethnographic filming.
He also tested the high speed, two track cassette duplication system by completing two hundred and thirty-five two track dubbings. (Wright, 1984). Regular services until 1986 included, duplication of research tapes, duplication of Ethnographic salvage tapes, enhancement and duplication of research tapes, and, video taping/editing. Unfortunately, Mr. Wright’s contract expired in 1985. He sought to renew it but was informed by the Personnel Services Department that a new individual had been trained for the job. The new individual happened to be Mr. Lucky Okpara. He took over from Mr. Wright in 1986 during the tenure of Prof. Uche Okeke as Director of the Institute. And then, inventory of the items of equipment was done. With the departure of the Curator in 1986, Mr. Okpara handled both the Cinematographic Unit and the Museum! Of course, the enormity of the dual responsibilities was telling on one individual. The studio was very sterile during this period. Hence, the studio was seldom opened. Mr. Okpara concentrated his attention on the Museum.
There were many research projects and workshops from 1975 to 1985. The workshops included The State of Igbo Studies: Towards Establishing the Roots of Igbo Civilization (June 8-10, 1982) (with topics from mostly arts and social sciences departments) and Ikenga in Igbo Life and Thought (November 22-23, 1983) (with papers from Prof. A.E. Afigbo (Review of Ikenga Scholarship), Dr. C. Aniakor (An Artistic Approach to the Ikenga Symbol), Mrs. Ego Uche-Okeke (Ikenga and the Female Archetype) etc. Research projects completed included those by Achebe Chinua (African Revolutionary Literature from Olaudu Eqiano to the present day/ Igbo Verse and Drama), Afigbo, A.E. (A History of Nsukka), Amucheazi, E. (The Political Dynamics of Eastern Nigeria with emphasis on pressure groups particularly on the Role of the Church in the Politics of Eastern States), Chukwukere, I. (i. Igbo Beliefs and Rituals associated with Chi, ii. Changing Patterns of Authority and Leadership in Uzoagba Village Group), Nwala, T.U. (Oracles: Their place in the traditional cosmological order of the Igbo), Uba, C.N. (Otanzu-Otanchara Society and Culture: A case study of Igbo Cultural History), a team project to understudy the Owerri-Orlu Zone etc. Research grants were approved by the Institute for research by scholars of the University from different disciplines. The total grants approved by the Institute to support these projects amounted to N32, 707, ranging from the sum of N800 to N10, 000 for a single project. This was in the 1981/82 academic year. In 1978, the Institute had Professor VC Uchendu of Anthropology as a Visiting Professor. Also, in 1982, Dr Nnabuenyi Ugonna of English came in as a Visiting Research Fellow. That same year also, Rev. Dr. A. Onyeneke of Sociology came into the Institute as a Visiting Research Fellow II.
20th Anniversary of the Institute:
Aside Ikenga ’83, which was part of the activities to mark this anniversary, Prof. Edward Wilmot Blyden III, grandson of the famous pan-negro patriot, E.W. Blyden, and a founding father of the Institute returned as a visiting Professor from October to December 1983. The Institute sponsored a series of lectures given by him. He gave lectures on the following topics: Building a University: Challenge and Triumph (November 17, 1983); Africana at Nsukka Revisited (November 21, 1983) and Towards ‘1984’: Crisis in the Search for an African Personality (December 1, 1983).
Occasional publications during this phase included Institute Monograph Series; Studies in Igbo Civilization; Foundation of Igbo Culture/ Civilization; Nigeria in the 1980s; Igboland in Transition 1900-1950 (by Dr. C. N. Ubah); Traditional Igbo Medicine (by Dr. M. M. Iwu); and Ikenga in Igbo Life and Thought. Ikoro was last published in January 1977 (Vol IV, No. 1) under the editorship of Dr. C.N. Ubah. Seven years later, it was published in July 1984 under the editorship of Rev. Dr. A. Onyeneke. This edition was probably stimulated by the twentieth anniversary of the Institute. An impressive history of the Institute from 1963 to 1983 was successfully completed by Dr. Onyeneke and published as part of this Ikoro edition. Ikoro continued until it was stopped in July 1985.
Prof. Uche Okeke (Fine/ Applied Arts) Director (1984-86)
THE YEARS 1986-2005
This period appears the most sterile in the history of the Institute, mainly due to the unavailability of funds and fund raising reaches to implement the great ideas of each passing director. Each director sometimes used their private funds to run the affairs of the Institute. Nevertheless, seminars and workshops were carried out occasionally and publications were made.
The Aniakor Administration Begins:
Prof. Chike Aniakor became the Director of the Institute after Prof. Uche Okeke. In the 2011 Conference of the Institute of African Studies, Prof. Chike Aniakor revealed some aspects of his achievements in office as Director. He said:
Under my tenure as Director of the Institute, we organized jointly with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, an International Conference on EthnoMedicine. Traditional medicine men and healers were invited, including pharmacologists and other research scholars. In the end, resolutions in the form of a communiqué opened a new mine of information on African pharmacopaea. It was also suggested whether it was possible to nurture an ecological garden of African herbal plants. …. During my tenure, we also addressed the female side of indigenous knowledge by hosting a joint international conference with Faculty of Arts, under the Deanship of Prof. Oluikpe, on Igbo women in history. (Aniakor, 2011:83).
In June 1992, vol 7, Nos 1 and 2 of the Ikoro was published after a seven year lull from 1985. It was edited by Dr. A.I. Okpoko. And its publication was possible from donations by Prof. M.A. Onwuejeogwu (Sociology/ Anthropology, University of Benin, N500) and Prof. A.E. Afigbo, then outgoing Director of the Institute (N700). From this publication, some of the events of this phase of the growth of the Institute were gleaned for this book.
Prof. C.C. Aniakor (Fine/ Applied Arts) Director (1986-88)
There were series of annual seminars on Igbo Life and Culture jointly organized by the Faculty of Arts and the Institute of African Studies from 1986. They began from a book project on The Hero in Igbo Life and Culture initiated by Prof. D.I. Nwoga, then Dean of the Faculty of Arts. In 1985, a group of scholars drawn mainly from the Faculty of Arts had met a number of times in the residence of Prof. Nwoga to discuss the project. They included Prof. Nwoga himself, Prof. Iheanacho Egonu, Mr. Obiora Udechukwu, Dr. J.N. Oriji, Dr. Emeka Nwabueze, Dr. Obi Maduakor, Ezi-Nwanyi Patricia Nwoga, Dr. Chimalum Nwankwo, Dr. Nnadozie Inyama, and Chukwuma Azuonye. Participants in the seminar series were drawn not only from the University of Nigeria but from other universities in the country, notably Ibadan, Lagos, Imo State, Port-Harcourt, and Calabar. It then became necessary to establish a network of communication links with all the potential participants.
A circular letter describing the project was dispatched. Ideas and people were gathered and before long the first seminar was held from May 15 to 17, 1986 with a keynote address by Prof. D. I. Nwoga on “Heroes and Charlatans”. It was successful due to the enthusiasm and commitment of the participants. In general, the papers presented affirmed the existence, universality and antiquity of the phenomenon of the hero in traditional Igbo life and culture and the persistence of the heroic image in Igbo oral literature. The second seminar was held from December 1 to 5, 1987.
It was on the image and position of women in Igbo society as agreed in the first seminar. During the second seminar, 50 out of the 55 papers gotten were presented. The Director of the Institute, Dr. Chike Aniakor, was quick in responding to an invitation by the Faculty of Arts to be involved in the running of the series. It was successfully held. Owing to unforeseen organizational problems at the Institute of African Studies, it was not possible to hold the third seminar in 1988 although the the theme, “The Igbo Worldview”, had been agreed upon at the plenary session of the second seminar. On account of this lapse, the Faculty of Arts seriously considered reclaiming the seminar series. The impasse was however saved, first, by the persistent pressure of the then Dean of Arts, Prof. (Mrs.) Edith Ihekweazu, on the new Director of the Institute of African Studies, Dr. S. A. Ekwelie, to take some decisive measures to reinstate the seminar series, and secondly, by the appointment of Prof. A. E. Afigbo as Director of the Institute. He was quick to realize the value of the series, set up a new organizing committee which after a series of meetings was able to attract a generous grant of N6, 000 from the Vice Chancellor to stage the third seminar.
Prof. S.A. Ekwelie (Mass Communication) Director (1988-89)
The opening ceremony, on Monday, December 4, 1989, featured an address by the Director of the Institute, Prof. A. E. Afigbo; a welcome address by the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Chimere Ikoku, represented by Professor J. N. C. Maduewesi, Dean of the Post Graduate School; an address by the Imo State Commissioner for Information and Culture read by Dr. J. N. Amankulor, and a vote of thanks by the Dean of Arts, Prof. (Mrs.) Edith Ihekweazu, the highlight of the occasion was a keynote address on “The Igbo World View” by Prof. Chinua Achebe in which he enthralled the audience by involving them in the performance of an Igbo folk ballad. The response to the call for papers was so tremendous that for the first time in the series, several parallel sessions had to be organized during the two working days of the seminar, Monday, 4th December and Tuesday, 5th December. (Azuonye, 1992:12).
One feature of Prof. A. E. Afigbo’s return to the Institute was the revival of the fortnightly seminars which he had introduced in the first place in 1972. A major aim of the series was to offer scholars in Nigeria and those visiting the opportunity to test the results of their research during an in-house discussion where they can benefit from friendly but informed criticism before venturing out into the wider and often unfriendly intellectual community. Many papers were discussed in this series. A seminar on Igbo Women in Socio-Economic Change ran from April 3rd to April 6th 1990. The proceedings would be published many years later in 2009 during the tenure of Prof. Emeka Otagburuagu as Director of the Institute. There was also another seminar on the decades of Igbo Ukwu held from 9th to 10th of January 1991.
The seminar explored some of the controversies generated by Prof. Thurstan Shaw’s work in Igbo Ukwu, especially in the areas of dating and the interpretation of the finds and, second, to give broad indications as to the direction in which archeological, historical and cultural studies in the region should move to improve knowledge. Twelve papers from seasoned scholars were presented.
There was yet another seminar of the Institute of African Studies in honour of Prof. Adiele Eberechukwu Afigbo (OON, FHSN). It was titled, “The Big Drum for an Academic Warrior!”. The seminar was held from the 17th to the 19th of September 1992. During the seminar, three of Prof. Afigbo’s books were launched.
(a) Groundworks of Igbo History
(2) Images of Igboland, and,
(3) Igbo Women in Socio-Economic Development.
These books were reviewed by Prof. A.O. Anya. There were three Chief Launchers for the three books. They were Dr. Pius Okigbo for Groundworks. Chief Nlemigbo (Ochiriozua of Mbaeri) for Images, and Lolo Enwerem for Igbo Women. Outgoing Director of the Institute, Prof. A.E. Afigbo, gave a valedictory lecture titled, “Of Men, Women and History”.
Prof. Adiele E. Afigbo, Director (1989-92)
There were renditions by the Oluimo (Imo State Choir) and there was music and dance by the Omenimo Dance Troupe in the George Marion Johnson Quadrangle. This seminar was done to appreciate the contributions of Prof. Afigbo to history in Nigeria, especially of the same breath as the pioneers of history in Nigeria such as Dike, Anene, Ajayi, Aderibigbe, Ayandele etc.
Prof. I.T.K. Egonu, Director (1992-96)
General: During the tenure of Prof. I.T.K. Egonu (1992-96), a seminar on Igbo Kingship Institution was held. It explored the unethical mode of installing many kings in Igboland in modern times. During this tenure too, the Cinema Unit was closed. As previously narrated, Mr. Okpara handled both the Cinematographic Unit and the Museum. And of course, the enormity of the dual responsibilities was telling on one individual. The studio was very sterile during this period. Hence, the studio was closed.
Prof. O.U. Kalu (Religion) Director, 1996-98
Mr. Okpara concentrated his attention on the Museum. Therefore, from 1986 to the undefined date during the Egonu tenure (1994-96), the studio was not given full attention. The dark period of the studio began when it was finally shut from use. During this tenure too, a wall mural was painted by Krydz Ikwuemezi of Fine and Applied Arts Department.
Prof. O.O. Enekwe (Theatre Arts/ Film Studies), Director (1998- 2004)
The Egonu administration was able to shoulder many responsibilities without adequate funding. Repair works on the collapsing ceiling of the Institute were carried out as at this time and a signboard was put up in the Hansberry Building to indicate that it was indeed the Institute of African Studies.
The next ten years from 1996 to 2006 were the darkest in the history of the Institute. And “darkest” here means that what progress achieved during this period were not very accessible to the writers of this book.
Nevertheless, the Enekwe administration must have organized some seminars, including in-house seminars and a programme titled, “Onodu Ndigbo Nime Nigeria Obu Ihe ha Mere Onwe Ha?” (The Condition of the Igbo in Nigeria, is it self-inflicted?). It was done in November 2001.
Participants at the programme titled, “Onodu Ndigbo Nime Nigeria Obu Ihe ha Mere Onwe Ha?” (The Condition of the Igbo in Nigeria, is it self-inflicted?).
The publication of Ikenga and Ikoro were put on hold in the last ten years of this phase. This is mainly because of lack of funds and not at all because of the lack of ingenuity of the then staff of the institute. This is not to say that other staff of other climes of the Institute did not face similar circumstances, only that they were lucky enough to brave them.
Prof. Aloy Ohaegbu, Director (2004-06)
During the Ohaegbu administration, there were about three staff members in the Institute. They included Messrs. Alex Nzei who came into the Institute as a NYSC ethnographer in 1983 after graduating from the University, C. Njokuocha and Lucky Okpara. The then Director, Prof. Aloy Ohaegbu, wrote requests for more staff and even shortlisted possible candidates and had the shortlist sent to the Department of Personnel Services of the University, but there was no response. The Museum was, by this time, almost abandoned and unkempt. The circumstance divested the lone staff, Lucky Okpara, of daily job routine as there were no visitors to the Museum. Nevertheless, Prof. Aloy Ohaegbu was able to purchase chairs for the seminar room of the Institute. He also bought a marker board for the room and tiled it. The lone generator which the Institute still uses as we write was bought during his administration. (Ohaegbu, 2012).
THE YEARS 2006-2012
In 2006, a new Director was appointed. He was Prof. Joseph Emeka Otagburuagu. He immediately held a meeting with the available staff of the Institute. Some of the problems the staff talked about included among others, lack of sufficient staff to man the highly specialized areas of the Institute, poor funding, lack of adequate facilities, and, failure to implement the postgraduate programmes of the Institute as approved by the University Senate and Council in 1967.
The new Director set to work and, among other things, between May and October 2008, the Institute had organized a cultural seminar aimed at promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of the African, especially of South-Eastern Nigeria. The seminar was titled, Living With Our Heritage. The University community graced this occasion and the Vice Chancellor of the University, ably represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. F.I. Idike, noted with glee that the seminar had come at a time when the need for repositioning African culture was germane, since “African conventional morality and spirit of common sensitivity are deeply rooted in the culture”. The Institute decided that this seminar would be organized annually to maintain the desire to promote African culture. It is unfortunate that, up to this moment, no other has been held. Two months later in July 2008, the University Community was astounded with yet another activity of the Institute, which was the First International Conference on Governance in Africa in the 21st Century. This conference attracted the United States Embassy and state governors in the country. The foremost professor of History, Prof. A. E. Afigbo was the chairman of the occasion. Among other dignitaries at the occasion was the former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife. Presenting a paper at the occasion, the eminent Professor of Political Science, Prof. Obasi Igwe, noted that governance in Africa was mostly weaned on the altar of negligence of the common masses.
Echoing the move of a former Director, Prof. Adiele Afigbo, the Institute embarked on two types of seminars in order to boost the general research activities in it. These were the House Seminars and the Fortnightly Seminars. The House Seminars was done indoors. Any interested member of staff of the Institute was involved in this venture. The Fortnightly seminars were for visiting scholars on issues of academic and contemporary interests. Scholars were assigned themes or would contrive individual themes to present at the expense of the Institute.
University Secondary School students performing at the New Arts Theatre during the Living With Our Heritage Programme.
On December 11 2008, the Institute organized a forum titled, “Worthy Sons and Daughters of Igbo Land Forum” in which a great philanthropist, Mr. Sam Onyishi, was also made a fellow of the Institute. In concluding his lecture titled, “God, Vision, Values and Management Excellence: Exploring the Peace Mass Business Model in Nigeria”, Mr. Sam Onyishi promised the Institute a donation of 100 million Naira, and with tears of joy, he established his scholarship foundation in the Institute. He began a general renovation of the Institute around January 2009. The foundation now domiciled in the Institute known as, and called Samuel Maduka Onyishi African Entrepreneurship Foundation (SAMOAEF) has an endowment of a hundred million Naira (N1,000,000) for scholarship awards to Nigerians and the rest of the world. The SAMOAEF is a non-profit and philanthropic organization which is part of the Public-Private Partnership initiatives of the University of Nigeria and The Peace Group of Companies (Nig.) for educational development in the 21st century.
The primary objective of the Foundation, among others, is youth empowerment and capacity building through the medium of education. The Foundation believes that the major way to promote peace and development in the society is to give every person access to sound education. On May 13, 2009, the Foundation was inaugurated with its focus on reduction of unemployment, promotion of research, support of staff exchanges and linkages, giving of scholarship to deserving scholars and promote African entrepreneurship, it also pursued the creation and promotion of Igbo and African intellectual tradition. It awarded five overseas postgraduate scholarships to young Nigerians to study different courses in China. Some of these awardees have completed their Masters Degrees and one of them is now pursuing Doctorate Degree, two are into business and two are staff members of the University. One of them, Mr. Chinedu Asadu, who studied Chinese Language, has been employed by the University of Nigeria to teach Chinese Language studies in Nigeria. Almost 2000 applications were received by May 2010. 647 candidates met the stipulated requirements. The target areas of the scheme are as follows: Nsukka Cultural Zone, Other LGAs of Enugu State, Other Igbo States/ Communities, Other States of Nigeria; and, Africa and the world in general. Ten candidates were chosen from the target areas and 81 young men and women were awarded scholarships immediately. The SAMOAEF has continued to award scholarships annually to deserving Nigerian students even as we write.
Former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife (standing), during the first International Conference of the Institute of African Studies in 2008
The Institute also organized a successful New Millennium Good Governance Project forum of December 18, 2008, in which the former chairman of Nsukka local government area, Honourable Dan I. Ugwuja, was made a fellow of the Institute. This project was launched on December 18, 2008 as part of the town and gown programmes of the Institute. The objectives were to monitor those in governance for purposes of evaluation and promotion of good governance ethics. The inspiration for this project came from the leadership model of the Nebo Administration and the communiqué which the participants to the Institute’s International Conference on Governance in Africa in the 21st Century released. The project was situated in the Institute under the supervision of the Vice Chancellor. The Institute believes that a lot could be done through good governance to improve the lot of the masses in Africa. The project was flagged off with public lecture by the Chairman of Nsukka Local Government on the theme: Governance at the Grassroots.
On April 30, 2009, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, the External Affairs Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria presented the second lecture of the Good Governance Project on Our Challenge, Our Capacity: Nigeria and the New World Order. During the event, Chief Ojo Maduekwe promised to endow a chair with the sum of N30 Million in African Studies with his friends and to set up a Unit for International Studies and Diplomacy in the Institute. A follow up action had since been initiated for the recovery of these pledges.
There was also a memorial seminar for Prof. Adiele Afigbo, former Director of the Institute, who died on March 9th 2009, shortly after visiting the Institute in July 2008 during its International Conference in which he served as Chairman. His enormous contributions to the success of the Institute remain as clear as the existence of the sky in its history.
With the new vision, dynamic innovation, willing spirit coupled with the excellent desire to leave an exemplary legacy worthy of emulation, the then Director introduced a number of productive reforms, innovations and measures to restructure the Institute. Staffs were occasionally gingered to meet up with the requirements in new technology and innovation of this century. They were asked to be focused and determined to work harder as the work in the Institute was considerable and required total dedication and a willing spirit to serve.
Again, the publication and documentation Unit of the Institute published a new book titled Governance in Africa in the 21st Century in Africa. This journal was the book of proceedings from the First International conference of the Institute in July 2008. It focused on governance problems in Africa. Its management was also highly specialized. The Board of Advisers included the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Prof. C. O. Nebo, the Governor of Enugu State, Barr. Sullivan Chime, and many others. The Editor-in-Chief of the Governance in Africa in the 21st Century was the Director of the Institute of African Studies, Prof. E. J. Otagburuagu.
The Institute of African Studies also issued two books with the following titles, New Brides, More Hopes: Igbo Women in Socio-economic Change (edited by Prof. E.J. Otagburuagu and Prof. Adiele Afigbo) and Mass Creativity and African Development (Edited by Prof. E.J. Otagburuagu).
The two journals – Ikoro and Ikenga—were last published in 1975 and 1992 respectively. But between mid 2006 and October 2008, the Institute published two volumes of Ikoro and two volumes of Ikenga (Ikenga International Journal of African Studies, Vol. 9 No. 1&2 of 2007). The journals were registered with the National Library and International Standard numbers assigned to them. Also between 2006 and 2008, the following were produced by members of Staff of the Institute and are available for exhibition and sale to the public: The Igbo and their Nri Neighbors, by Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe (2007), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of African Studies; 21st Century Igbo-Hausa-Yoruba, Tiv/ English Primer, by Alexander O.E. Animalu (Adjunct Research Professor), Emeka Otagburuagu (Director, Institute of African Studies) et al. (2008); A Darkling Plain (Novel), by Chris Agbedo (Senior Research Fellow, IAS) (2007) and Readings in African Studies, edited by A.E. Afigbo (Former Director, IAS) and E.J. Otagburuagu (Director, IAS).
The Institute also published two News Bulletins which somehow were a hybrid between the original vision of the Ikoro (which was to give light to activities of the Institute to the general public) and of a newspaper (which is to enlighten the public on news events around them). The first was edited by C. Njokuocha, with Ben Jones, Lucky Okpara, M. Omeje and E. Ezeanwu as co-editors. It was published on September 30, 2006 with a focus on the policy position and dreams of the Institute. The second edition was published on December 30, 2008. It was edited by Jeff Unaegbu, with Maureen Onyejegbu, Chinyere Ndubuisi and Awa Emmanuel Ogbu as co-editors. It brought in the concept of an editorial and a mission statement of the Bulletin. Its mission was to “give visibility to the works of the Institute and also other activities sponsored by it, to foster the preservation and maintenance of our cultural heritage, and, to inform its publics” News about the July 2008 conference and miscellany were covered.
Post graduate studies:
In 2006, new curricula were developed for Post Graduate Diploma, Masters and PhD programmes in African Studies. Senior academic staff members from affiliate Departments were very helpful in this regard. Each Department contributed significantly in the development of the curricula. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. C.O. Nebo, approved on behalf of the Senate that the post-graduate programmes of the Institute which the University Senate had approved since 1964, 1967, 1970 be immediately resuscitated. Consequent on this, the Dean of the School of Post-graduate Studies advertised the Post-graduate programmes of the Institute. The new curricula were ratified and approved by the School of Post-graduate Studies. Six students were offered admission in the 2009/2010 and 2010/11 session. Four of them were in master’s degree programme (including Jeff Unaegbu, Senior Cinematographer and Head of the Cinema Unit, and Susan Orajaka, a research fellow), one in PhD (Mrs. Adaozo Orjiekwe, former Secretary to the Institute), and one for the post-graduate diploma programme (Mr. Emmanuel Ogbu, Senior Ethnographer of the Institute). The pioneer lecturers for Masters in African Studies were Prof. Agha AU Agha (IAS 507: African Religion and Philosophy), Prof. Inno Uzoma Nwadike (IAS 511: African Languages and Literature), Prof. Pat Uche Okpoko (IAS 504: African Ethnosciences), Dr. Peter-Jazzy Ezeh (IAS 509: African Political and Social Systems and IAS 513: Advanced Social Institutions), Dr. LC Ekechukwu (IAS 510: Principles of Museology and Cinematography), Dr. Tony Nwankwo Nwaezeigwe (IAS 502: African History and Environmental Studies), Dr. Sam Chukwu (IAS 513: African Music and Dance), Dr. Uche Nwaozuzu (IAS 513B: Masking Tradition in Africa), Dr. Nkiru Christiana Ohia (IAS 503: Gender and Role Dynamics in African Societies) and Mr. Jude Tochukwu Omenma (IAS 501: Principles and Methods of Research in African Studies).
Prof. Emeka Otagburuagu (English), Director, (2006-10)
There had been a few members of staff who were in the Institute when Prof. Otagburuagu arrived as Director. They included Mr. Alex Nzei (Senior Research Fellow), M. Omeje (Research Librarian), Mr. Lucky Okpara (Senior Technical Supervisor), EAK Ukpai (Senior Executive Officer/ Acting Secretary to the Director), Mrs. Pauline Nwigbo (Assistant Chief Typist), Mr. S.U. Nwodo (Assistant Chief Typist), Mr. Obetta, H. Ayogu (Chief Messenger) and J. Ogbonna (Head Messenger).
The Director attracted the services of Dr. Ike Achebe (Chinua Achebe’s son) as Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Ben Jones, an anthropologist, to serve also as Visiting Senior Research Fellow, and, R.C. Njokuocha as Research Fellow II. There was also Dr. V.C. Onu. Much afterwards, Ambassador Joseph Ayalogu became an adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the Institute. He had been Nigeria’s past representative to the United Nations and ambassador to Switzerland. There was an unprecedented influx of staff into the Institute from 2008, courtesy of the Director, Prof. Emeka Otagburuagu and the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. C.O. Nebo.
About thirty new graduates got employment into the Institute, including three Ethnographers (Amajo Onyemuwa Nnorom, Awa Ogbu Emmanuel, Michael-Aliga Chiamaka Precious), a new curator (Mrs. Maureen Onyejegbu Nwando), a new Cinematographer (Jephthah Elochukwu Unaegbu), an ICT System Analyst II ( Tivde Tertsegha), a camera operator for the Cine Unit (Chukwudi Onuigbo, an undergraduate then) and many Higher Executive Officers and Unit assistants (Tochukwu Nwadike, Carol Odoh, Kingsley Ifoh etc). The Institute also employed a considerable research force. A new senior Research Fellow (Nwaezeigwe Nwankwo Tony) was employed. He was formerly of the Department of History, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Other Research Fellows were also employed. They included, Omenma Tochukwu Jude, Iwundu Ifeanyi Emmanuel, Aniago Magnus Aniago, Ohia Nkiru Christiana, Ibenekwu Ikpechukwuka Eugene, Okagu George Ogbonna, Ogbonne Ijeoma Pauline and Ezeigbo Joy Chisara. Unfortunately, one of the new staff members died of illness. He was Mr. Onyechi, a Higher Executive Officer.
In line with the desire of the Institute of African Studies to salvage the gradual loss of information encoded in electronic form by early ethnographers of the Institute, the Administrative Unit of the Institute embarked on the transcription of information recorded in cassettes during the Salvage Ethnographic Project of the 1980’s. Because of the sheer large quantity of information, the listing of the materials encoded in the cassettes alone took about four weeks to finalize. Part of the information salvaged were folk tales retold by old men in their own idiolects. There were also folk songs and detailing of marriage and burial ceremonies in different lands in the south-eastern parts of Nigeria.
Transcription of Ethnographic tapes by administrative staff
Technical Services and Cinematographic Unit:
We have seen that the dark period of the Cine studio began when it was shut around 1996. It was opened again on February 14, 2007, and only then for inventory purposes. A new lease of life for the Cinema Unit began in May 15, 2008 when a new Cinematographer, Jephthah Elochukwu Unaegbu (Jeff Unaegbu), was employed. It was renamed the Technical Services and Cinematographic Unit. But tough days were ahead. Upon arrival into the Cine studio, he discovered that it had become the Augean stables. It was dusty, dank and cobwebbed and items of equipment had become obsolete. The new Cinematographer undertook an inventory and began to dust and wash. Within a week of his arrival, precisely on the 21st of May 2008, a cultural show titled, Living with our Heritage, was powered by the Institute. It was a modification of an idea he presented to the then Director, Prof. E.J. Otagburuagu. The original idea was to premiere, in the New Arts Theatre, a cultural movie directed by the Cinematographer for Prof E.J. Otagburuagu privately before he was employed. The title of the movie was Udaram.
Left to right: Jeff Unaegbu (Senior Cinematographer) and Samuel Ogbonna (Cinematographer) busy at work during an Institute’s programme
The idea was modified to include cultural dances, folk songs by Dr. F.N. Ibemesi, folk music by Tivde Tertsegha (who was later employed by the Institute on the 23rd of December 2008), folk drama and presentations by departments of Music and Theatre Arts and the University Staff School and University Secondary School. During the show at the theater, the Cinematographer had to use his private laptop (A Toshiba product) to project the movie onto an old screen from the studio. A modern projector was obtained from a private hirer. The laptop power pack got burnt for lack of a stabilizer to stabilize the electric current generated in the theatre. After the show therefore, there was need for a studio computer system and other up-to-date items to make the studio worth calling a cinematographer’s den.
An urgent proposal was drawn, requesting for the take-off items of equipment necessary for a modest cinematographic studio in the 21st century. Among other things, there was the need for a projector (preferably Sony) and a 73’ by 73’ screen onto which films would be projected for cine view. Both would cost N280, 000. Aside from serving as visual communication aid for the Institute, the projector and screen would be hired out to the University community at the cost of N2000 every day. There was and still is the potential of getting an average of N10, 000 every week in that internal revenue generating process. There was the need also for a Dell computer system with configuration of 200 Giga Byte Hard Disk Drive, Pentium 4 speed, 1 Giga Byte Random Access Memory, Digital Video Disk and Compact Disk SUPER ALL WRITE, 3.4 Giga Hertz, with Flat Screen 15’ Keyboard and mouse. This would inevitably accompany the projector and would also be used for video editing of movies.
It was then sold for N100, 000. Movies could be edited for commercial video men after capturing is done. This would be another attempt at internal revenue generating process. There was the need for a Video Capture Card (Lightwave) (N20, 000). This is used to capture video from any camcorder after recording into a computer system as editable data. There was also the need for a videotape-to-CD Video conversion set (N100, 000). It would generate N1000 per conversion and could attract N30, 000 every fortnight into the Institute. A digital camera of very high resolution was also needed. A DVD/CD mass burner or DVD/CD duplicator machine was very juicy and therefore needed. It could generate N40, 000 in an hour of duplication! And there was also the need for a pianoforte for the production of movie sound track and as first step into implementing the new employee’s contemplation of a complete music section in the studio.
After many difficulties as detailed in an in-house unpublished history manuscript of the Cinematographic Unit, a new projector was gotten. Other items of equipment are yet to be bought due to lack of funds. Despite the difficulties, the Unit which presently has two Cinematographers (After Jeff Unaegbu, Samuel Ogbonna was also employed in April 2009) and a Camera Operator (Chukwudi Onuigbo) had produced many important video clips and documentaries using private items of equipment. They included Living in our Heritage and Zik of Africa directed by the Head Cinematographer, Mr. Unaegbu. An audio-visual library were these products would be stored and made available for research is being planned by the Unit.
The Institute began to inject ICT into its activities with the arrival of the System Analyst II, Tivde Tertsegha, who began to upload information about the Institute on the University website and also to create a database of soft copy of information regarding the Institute. Also there were e-learning programmes and partnerships with international universities in America. Contacts were made with organizations such as IARD to mount e-learning programmes on conflict resolution and peace mediation. A memorandum of understanding for a multi-lingual Igbo driven dictionary project with soft-copy software presented by Prof Emeritus Alex Animalu of Physics and an adjunct professor of the Institute, is before the University Administration for consideration and approval. This project has also produced some primers authored by Prof. Animalu.
The Library was revamped and a new catalogue was championed by Justice Ihedire Nwamuoh, a Higher Executive Officer, employed on December 23, 2008 after concluding his one-year compulsory NYSC programme in the Institute Library under Mr. Joseph Irobi as Librarian. New books were brought into the Library and increased registrations for use of its facilities were begun by both senior students and scholars in various fields. The Higher Executive Officer underwent a training course in the main Library of the University and then became suitable as an Institute’s library staff.
Tivde, Tertsegha, System Analyst II
The Museum was headed by Mrs. Maureen Onyejegbu. She began an increased effort to publicize the existence of the Museum to the University Community and organize exhibitions shortly after she was employed in 2008. She approached the then Director of the Institute in July 2008 for permission to advertise the museum on LION FM, a radio station of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The objective was to invite the University Community and the entire Nsukka community to come to the museum for sight seeing, recreational activities, educational activities, research purposes, detailed information on the displayed artifacts, books and souvenirs on display. The curator in her interview in Lion FM explained to the public the need to promote the Igbo culture. She explained further that the museum had a fundamental challenge to the society especially to children. Apart from teaching them numeracy and literacy, they would be taught how to see and understand what they looked at. She urged the public not to carry on in the old ways of life or try to mystify the past; this is because what people find quaint and unattractive may not be so in reality. She said museums are for everybody. It is there for entertainment, research and education. The knowledge and appreciation of cultural artifacts, their roles in the society in the past and their uses even prepare one for a better tomorrow.
Nwamuoh, Justice Ihedire, B.Sc (Hons) (Nig)
Higher Executive Officer/ Ethnographer.
There was also an annual excursion organized by the Curator in which tertiary and secondary school students, primary school pupils and the general public where invited to the Museum in order to acquire cultural education and to be entertained as part of the then yuletide celebrations.
In the Museum also, there were yearly lectures for students of the departments of Library Science and Archeology & Tourism. Practical guide was empowered by the Museum to help students to appreciate the importance of cultural education as they proceed in their courses of work.
It is pertinent to note that the Institute museum had an alliance with the Archeology Museum in which visitors to the University Museum where redirected to the Institute Museum because of a major reconstruction work being carried out in the University Museum. Inventory of the Museum artifacts was also done in the year 2008. The Museum store was in disarray but it was reorganized during this period also.
During an exhibition to mark the 48th Founder’s Day of the University in October 2008, the Museum section of the Institute brought out cultural artifacts that were very valuable to the admiration of the public. This team was led by the Curator, Mrs. Maureen Onyejegbu and Mr. Lucky Okpara, the Technical Officer. The Cinematographic Unit displayed the two new astounding movie documentaries of the Institute, Living With Our Heritage and Zik of Africa.
In 2008 also, the Institute opened an Exhibition Center to display the products of the Institute. The center is located at the ground floor of the Institute building. This move was aimed at making available for public assessment the products from the Institute. Books, journals, movies and other art works were among the items that were displayed in the center. That year also, a University Professor in the United States of America, Prof. Oriji, donated twenty boxes of books to the Institute of African Studies through the office of the then Vice Chancellor. The then Vice Chancellor, Prof. C.O. Nebo sent a letter of appreciation to the Professor thanking him for the kind gesture. The purpose of these books was to support the reengineering efforts of the Institute.
The Institute boasts of a number of research fellows who are presently moving ahead in the areas of presenting papers in conferences and embarking on Institute research activities.
Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe, PhD,
Senior Research Fellow, IAS (as umpire during an IAS programme).
Dr. Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe explored “The Ethno-Historical Background to Igbo Entrepreneurial Spirit”. The research was completed and documented as an impressive twenty-paged article for the book, African Entrepreneurship in the New Millennium edited by E.J. Otagburuagu in 2009. Dr. Nwaezeigwe also expertly handled “The Igbo Identity Problem and the Nigerian Democratic Order: The Culture and Religious Bankruptcy Questions”. It was published as part of the proceedings of the 2008 International Conference of the Institute held from July 2nd to 3rd under the book title, Governance in Africa in the 21st Century edited by Prof. Otagburuagu. He had a formidable book out in 2007 arising from the basis of his Masters Dissertation in his bas department, History. The book was titled, The Igbo and Their Nri Neighbours: A Study in the Politics of Igbo Culture and Origins. It authoritatively provided hard-to-dispute evidences of the Igala origins of the Nri people, generating far-reaching implications that translate to whether the Nri had any basis for their claim of being primogenital in Igboland and if they could preside over any kolanut breaking ritual in a general gathering of Igbo people. Examples of uncertainty and disputes amongst the Nri as demonstrated by their kings are amply described and reported by the author. Even the tenuous cord placed between Nri and Igbo-Ukwu was decisively severed for want of synchrony of the carbon 14-dated age of the Igbo-Ukwu archeological findings with the reported period of migration of Eri. The 340-paged book revealed a thorough-going researcher, who is at once fearless as he is meticulous, giving the impression of carefully picking broken pieces of utensils in his hurry, if any. The book was published by Snaap Press, Enugu (Nwaezeigwe, 2007). Today, it is sending academic ripples around the entire Igbo world. A core-traditionalist, Dr. Nwaezeigwe doubles as the traditional prime minister or Odogwu of Ibusa in Delta State of Nigeria. The Igbo and Their Nri Neighbours is his fourth book.
Ambassador Joseph Ayalogu went into an extensive research with Jeff Unaegbu which resulted in the article “The Nigerian Youth in the Diaspora: A Partner in National Development: Challenges, Opportunities and Options”. The thirty-eight-paged article was published in the book, The Youth and National Development in Nigeria edited by Jeff Unaegbu, Prof. EJ Otagburuagu and Dr. Nkiru Ohia in 2010. Talks of a book growing from the work were held.
Dr. Ani Casmir focused on “Talent, Entrepreneurship: Challenges of Developing a Working Framework for Good Governance in Africa”. It was published in African Entrepreneurship in the New Millennium.
From Left: Amb. Ben Amobi and Amb. Charles Cocodia with former Ambassador to Switzerland, Amb. Joseph Ayalogu (Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of the IAS) at the induction course for new ambassadorial appointees in Abuja, April 2011.
JT Omenma researched on “Essentials of Entrepreneurship in a Developing Economy: A Case of Informal Trade in Africa”. It was published in African Entrepreneurship in the New Millennium. He also submitted an article titled “Youth and Sports in Nigeria” for the book, The Youth and National Development in Nigeria. Along with Prof. Otagburuagu, Mr. JT Omenma researched the “Social Contract Thesis and the Dialectic of Good Governance in 21st Century Africa”. It was published in Governance in Africa in the 21st Century edited by Prof. Otagburuagu. JT Omenma’s “Insider VS Outsider Relations: The Political Economy Analysis of Osu/Ohu System among Ndigbo of South-East Nigeria” appeared in Readings in African Studies edited by Prof. Otagburuagu, Prof. AE Afigbo & JT Omenma.
Dr. Nkiru Christiana Ohia focused on women, gender and role dynamics in Africa, especially in Southeastern Nigeria. Her published research works are unyielding in this focus. Her work with ABC Ezeibe and EJ Otagburuagu was published as “Igbo Women in Contemporary Entrepreneurship”. It appeared in African Entrepreneurship in the New Millennium. Her work with Ikpe Ibenekwu titled “The Youth and Societal Systems” was published in The Youth and National Development in Nigeria edited by Jeff Unaegbu, Prof. Otagburuagu and herself.
Orajaka Susan Nwakaego researched on the role of oja (flute) as an instrument of governance amongst the Igbo. The completed work was published in Governance at the Grassroots (edited by E.J. Otagburuagu, I.E. Ibenekwu and E. Iwundu) in 2010.
Ikpe Ibenekwu worked with A.O. Onyishi to write an article on “Work Ethic and Local Government Administration in a Democratic Setting”. Ikpe Ibenekwu also co-authored an article with Okagu George O. It was titled, “Traditional Rulers and grassroots Governance in Nigeria: Challenges and Expectations”. The two papers were published in Governance at the Grassroots.
Ohia, Nkiru Christiana, PhD,
Research Fellow II.
Okagu George, EJ Otagburuagu and Ikpe Ibenekwu completed the work, “The Role of Politics in Entrepreneurship in Nigeria”. The work appeared in African Entrepreneurship in the New Millennium.
Dr. Emmanuel Iwundu and Dr. Magnus Aniagor explored the “Hindrances to Effective Communication and Governance in the Local Government System”. They took as case study, Enugu and Imo States of Nigeria. They also researched on “Taxation and Governance in Nigeria”. The completed papers were published in Governance at the Grassroots.
Mrs. Joy Ezeigbo unraveled “The Effect of Religion on Governance at the Grassroots” for Governance at the Grassroots.
From 2008 when he was employed to 2010, Jeff Unaegbu authored eight books. They include Ode on Lagos (This Lagos Na wa). Nsukka: Pitmak Publishers (2010, 92 pages); Freedom in Our Bones: The History of the Students’ Union Government, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (1960-2004), Onitsha: Blue Publishers (2008, 512 Pages); ALEXANDER O.E. ANIMALU: A Biography of the Distinguished Professor of Physics. Abuja: Ucheakonam Foundation (Nig.) Ltd (2008, 133 Pages) (coauthored with Akpojotor, G.E); Origins of the NYSC. Nsukka: Global Publishers. (2009, 90 Pages); The Secret Principles of Female Powers. Nsukka: Global Publishers (2009, 100 pages) (coauthored with Ibuot, E.); Nelson Mandela and Barrack Obama African World Challenge: Arts and Science in the Reconstruction of the Consciousness of Africans in the 21st Century, A Dialogue of Western and African Worldviews. Abuja: Ucheakonam Foundation (Nig.) Ltd (2009, 101 pages) (coauthored with Professor Animalu, AOE, Professor Umezinwa, W. and Professor Achufusi, G); The Youth and National Development in Nigeria. Enugu: Benak Ventures. (2010, 167 pages): an anthology of articles contributed by research fellows of the Institute and edited by Jeff Unaegbu (with the then Director of the Institute, Prof. E.J. Otagburuagu and Dr. N.C. Ohia as co-editors. Mr. Unaegbu contributed four chapters to the book) and This Mosquito in Your Net. Nsukka: Global Publishers. (2010, 77 pages). He also published two articles, each co-authored with Prof. Alex Animalu. They are “ICT as Language for Governance in Africa in the 21st Century” (published in Governance in Africa in the 21st Century edited by Prof. Otagburuagu) and “The Resolution of Two Worldviews: Values for a New African Leadership” (published in Perspectives on Leadership in Africa edited by Egodi Uchendu, Pat Uche Okpoko and Edlyne Anugwom (2010).
In January 2010, Mr. Unaegbu initiated an idea about a History of the University of Nigeria (from 1985 to 2010). He made efforts to graft the project into the activities of the Institute. It was inspired by the first history of the University from 1960 to 1985 edited by Prof. Emmanuel Obiechina, Prof. John Umeh and Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike. Involving the experiences of Professor Emeritus Alexander Animalu, Professor Emeka Otagburuagu (then Director of the Institute) and Professor Sam Onuigbo (who later became the Director of the Institute), the project was commenced. Professor Emeka Otagburuagu suggested that the scope of the project should be widened to cover the entire period of existence of the University from 1960 to 2010. After a while of waiting for funds from the University Administration, and assured of the backing of his seniors, Mr. Unaegbu committed his personal funds to the task of retrieving information from all the departments, faculties, schools, centers, unions and institutes in the University, personally handing letters to many departments in Enugu and Nsukka campuses in 2010. Unfortunately, only very few departments willingly submitted their information. Incidentally, in early 2011, the publications committee of a national committee on the 50th anniversary of the University wrote to the Institute of African Studies requesting staff of the institute working on the project to merge with it so as to prevent duplication of efforts for a history of the University of Nigeria. This was because the committee discovered that the Institute was already working on the vision through letters sent to departments when it began its own work later on. Consequently, Mr. Unaegbu wrote a long letter detailing the origins of the vision and submitted every document to the committee through his Director in the Institute of African Studies. He also handed over the draft (about 400 pages already) in hard and soft copies. Then, he immediately began to develop another book from a previously submitted article for the University history titled “The History of the Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka”. This former article has become the history book in your hands….
Opening prayer before an Institute in-house meeting. IAS Secretary, Adaozo Orjiekwe (extreme left beside Tivde Tertsegha, System Analyst II) and IAS Director, Prof. Otagburuagu (extreme right)
In what was regarded as the first of its kind in the history of the University of Nigeria, the Nebo Administration doled out awards to deserving staff of the University. He gave out these awards at the Princess Alexandria Auditorium during the 48th Founders’ Day. Amongst those so honoured was the Director of the Institute, Prof. E.J. Otagburuagu. Speaking at the occasion, the former Vice Chancellor expressed delight at the performance of the awardees, who worked tirelessly to see that the University of Nigeria became the Harvard University of Africa. He implored other staff to re-dedicate themselves to the task of uplifting the University.
The Onuigbo Administration (2010-2012, 2012- )
In August 2010, a new Director was appointed. He was Prof. Sam Onuigbo, a former Head of the department of English. Beginning with a religious stance of prayers for success of the activities of the Institute, the new Director began moves to consolidate the gains of the former administration. Though a new administration, it was able to execute a number of lectures and conferences within a short period.
The Administration organized a public lecture on December 17, 2010 at the Seminar Room of the Institute in which Prof. Catherine Acholonu, Country Ambassador UNCCD Forum of Arts and Culture and Director, Catherine Acholonu Research Center, presented one of her books and gave a lecture on it. The book was titled, The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam.
A cross-section of participants during the Catherine Acholonu Lecture in December, 2010
The lecture attracted some eminent scholars including Prof. Damian Opata, former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Prof. Edwin Okafor, dean of the Faculty of Arts. The lecturer dwelt on the beginnings of world civilizations as being traceable to an Igbo origin, including a profound proposition that the Igbos lived before the homo sapiens, Adam. Of course, an explosive question-and-answer session came after the lecture. The video clip of the lecture was captured by the Cinema Unit and uploaded into Mr. Unaegbu’s Channel in Youtube, an internet-based visual library. The video was titled, The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam. It is still attracting hundreds of viewers and scathing comments.
There was an end-of-year party, probably for the first time in the Institute, championed by the Welfare Committee which was created naturally by the influx of employees into the Institute. Its first chairman was Mr. J.T. Omenma, later, Dr. Ohia succeeded him.
Another public lecture on the relevance of retaining the dying Igbo language was organized by the Institute. It was delivered by Prof. Pita Ejiofor, former Vice Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, in early 2011. It attracted minimal audience because of low publicity.
The Institute also organized a very successful 7-day African Education and ICT Conference with the theme, Oche Ndi Igbo Bunyere Asusu Igbo. It was in collaboration with the IT & C Networks Ltd (Distributors of MSI Laptops), Traditional Council of the Federation of Social Science Students Association of the University of Nigeria (FOSSA) and Golden Heart Foundation, Lagos. It was held from the 17th of May 2011 to the 24th of May 2011 using the Princess Alexandria Auditorium and seven Faculty Halls at the Nsukka Campus of the University. There were sub themes dwelling on life after school, developing a good business plan, web applications, hardware/circuit board fabrication technologies, solar energy technology, computer networking and administration, application software design and development III, website design, maintenance and development and work while in school concept. This conference attracted a special guest of honour, Chief Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who donated some fund to the Institute. Other dignitaries who graced the conference included Chief Sam Ogbonna Onyeisi (Chairman, Board of Hotel Presidential Enugu). Mr. Sam Onyishi (CEO, Peace Mass Transit), Hon. Dr. Pat Asadu (Member, House of Representative, Nsukka Igbo Eze Federal Constituency), Hon. Barr. Tony Ugwu (Chairman, Nsukka Local Government Area), Prof. Pita Ejiofor (former Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University), Mr. Etele Obinna (Chief Executive Officer, With-Worth Group), Dr. Chidi Okpaluba (CEO CEFARRD in proxy through a female representative) and Pastor Edafiogho Dennis O.C. (ICT Resource person for the University of Nigeria). The success of this conference was largely due to the excellent contact network of a student, who doubled as the Igwe of FOSSA, HRH Nsoffor Chinedu (founder of the Work While in School Foundation). Staffs of the Institute were on ground to ensure that the activities of the conference came to a successful ending.
The Institute coordinated a second International Conference. It was a 3-day International Conference on Indigenous Knowledge and Global Challenges in Africa: The Challenges in the 21st Century. It was held from the 8th to 10th of June 2011 at the Princess Alexandria Auditorium. The Conference focused on the rapidly disappearing strategies for the enhancement of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) of the African people. It was seen that such a phenomenon was due to the rapidly changing natural environments and the transformations in the areas of economy, politics and culture of the people. The implication was that as the people became less dependent on themselves in solving their problems, the government was saddled with more responsibilities. There were sub themes such as ethno-physics, African history, Village politics, African woman, Crime control etc.
The conference attracted scholars from far and near including the famous Prof. Chinweizu, author of The West and the Rest of Us and a pan-African scholar, Professor Chike Aniakor, former director of the Institute and Prof. Segla Dafon Aime from the University of P
Prof. Sam Onuigbo (English), Director (2010- 2012, 2012- )
The 2nd Samuel Maduka Onyishi African Entrepreneurship Foundation (SAMOAEF) International Award Ceremony was held in December 2011. A hundred recipients of the 100 Million Naira endowment were selected from more than 2000 contestants to receive scholarships from Mr. Sam Onyishi in the presence of their guardians/ parents and notable personalities such as Chief Joe Asogwa (a great advocate for the struggle for Adada State). Other notables included the Honorable Commissioner for Education in Enugu State, Hon. Dr. Simeone Otuanya; the Anglican Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Bishop Kenneth Agbo and the Mayor of Nsukka, Barr. Tony Ugwu.
In his remarks, the director of the Institute, Prof. Sam Onuigbo, said that the selection of the less privileged for the awards was not because of any superior intellectual prowess but a special favour from God. During a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor before the programme commenced proper, Mr. Sam Onyishi supported the building of a world-class Institute of African Studies in the University of Nigeria with 50 million Naira. He gave the cheque to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barth. Okolo. The Vice Chancellor expressed delight and urged that more people follow suit. In his speech during the occasion, Mr. Sam Onyishi urged everyone to do just like he did, even with as little as they had and not until they had so much. They can improve situations by their good words. He also said that this attitude would then be the chain reaction for making the society better. Mr. Sam Onyishi asserted that God is real and partnership with God works.
In August 2012, Prof. Sam Onuigbo was reappointed as the Director of the Institute of African Studies. This reappointment was in recognition of his commendable achievements during his first tenure. Immediately after this reappointment, Prof. Sam Onuigbo began initial plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Institute of African Studies. The Institute had been formally opened on September 23, 1963, coming after the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan which was opened in July 1962. It was agreed, at this initial stage of planning for the ceremonies, that this book containing the history of the Institute would be launched during the celebrations.
Aside from the many research works completed by the research fellows during the Otagburuagu administration which have been mentioned, quite some considerable literature was also produced during the first tenure of Professor Sam Onuigbo as Director of the Institute. Here are just a minute few.
Dr. Nkiru Ohia completed work on an article titled “Achieving Gender Equity for African Women: Deficiencies of Formal Western Education”. It was published in the Journal of International Gender Studies (JIGS) edited by Professor EC Okeke and published in June 2011. Dr. Ohia also wrote “Folklores: An Ingenious Educational Tool for Inculcating Social and Moral Values in Igbo Society” which was published in Volume 12, No. 1 of the Ikenga International Journal of African Studies edited by Prof. Sam Onuigbo & JT Omenma (September 2011).
I.E. Ibenekwu successfully completed research on “Political and Religious Crises: Implication for Good Governance in Nigeria (1999-2010)”. It was published in the Ikenga International Journal of African Studies, volume 14, No. 1, edited by Prof. Onuigbo and Dr. Nkiru Ohia in 2012. Ibenekwu, Ikpechukwuka E. also wrote a twenty-two paged article titled “Igbo Traditional Political System and the Crisis of Governance in Nigeria” which was published in Ikoro Journal of Institute of African Studies (Volume 9, No. 1&2) edited by Prof. Sam Onuigbo and JT Omenma (September 2012).
George Okagu researched on “Indigenous Knowledge System on Traditional Textile Weaving Technology among the People of Aku in Igbo-Etiti LGA of Enugu State”. It was published in Volume 12, Number 2 of Ikenga edited by Prof. Sam Onuigbo and JT Omenma (May 2012).
JT Omenma concluded a non-institute sponsored research on workers in Nigeria and had his findings published as a book by LAP Lambert Academic Publishing AG & Co KG (Germany). The book was out to the public on April 12, 2011. The 104-paged paperback book was titled, Wage, Productivity, and Living Conditions of Workers in Nigeria. This book investigated factors that influenced the frequency of strikes among junior staff of universities, picking closely what constituted a poor wage in a developing economy such as Nigeria. These factors, seen as the wage statistics, included the gross monthly earnings plus fringe benefits of university workers, the real market prices of the major stable foods consumed by Nigerians and the cost of household utilities. (Omenma, 2011). With Ijeoma P. Ogbonne, JT Omenma also co-authored “Indidenous Peoples and Access to Land in Africa: The Shonga People of Kwara State, Nigeria”. It was published in Ikenga International Journal of African Studies (Volume 12, No 1) edited by Prof. Sam Onuigbo and JT Omenma (September 2011).
Ezeigbo Joy C. & Allison Charles S. completed research on “Motherhood and the Challenges of Child Upbringing in the Contemporary African Society”. It was published in Ikoro Journal of Institute of African Studies (Volume 9, No. 1&2).
Dr. Iwundu I.E. & Iwundu N.E. wrote a twenty-four paged “The Impact of Modern Technologies on Moonlight Story/ Folktales in Luwe Nneiri Community, Isiala-Mbano Local Government Area, Imo State, Nigeria”. With Ukwoma Scholastica and Iwundu N.E., Dr. Iwundu I.E. wrote “Management and Preservation of Indigenous Health Knowledge: The Study of Traditional Bone Setting in Owerre Ezeorba Community in Nsukka”. Both papers appeared in Ikoro Journal of Institute of African Studies (Volume 9, No. 1&2).
Dr. Magnus Aniagor had his “Igbo Language and the Expression of Indigenous Knowledge: Where are we?” published in Ikoro Journal of Institute of African Studies (Volume 9, No. 1&2).
Ogbonne, Ijeoma Pauline wrote a twenty-one paged “The Implication of Intellectual Property Rights on Indigenous Knowledge: A Study of Herbal Drugs”. It appeared in Ikoro Journal of Institute of African Studies (Volume 9, No. 1&2).
Orajaka, S.N. (Ego) researched on “Vocal Music-Voice A Good Instrument for Teaching and Entertaining In Igbo Land-Nigeria”. It appeared in Ikoro Journal of Institute of African Studies (Volume 9, No. 1&2).
On June 5th 2012, an IAS research team went on a survey of the Okpowo iron smelting works in preparation for a full scale research. The team comprised of Prof. Sam Onuigbo, Dr. Tony Nwaezeigwe (an IAS Senior Research Fellow), Emma Okocha (an author), Dr. Magnus Aniagor (IAS Research fellow), Chukwudi Onuigbo (the IAS Cine Unit Cameraman) and Mrs. Josephine Prest, a seasoned journalist. It was gathered, at this early stage, that iron smelting was a traditional profession of the Okpowo people in Ezeagu local government of Enugu State of Nigeria. Valentine Etude, the Okpowo Youth Secretary, served as the guide. It was gathered that Okpowo of five villages are a very religious people traditionally. There are hallowed deities which served as protectors of the people. Amongst them is the ayiliobara, a great rock that changes hues of colours as one approaches it. When a red hue is observed, one must stop and worship without moving further. Trespassers encountered danger when they continued towards it. There is the akputakpu, which directly served as the patent protector of the iron smelting sites. It is represented by a morass of ores and stones beside an Ukporodu tree, generally used in Okpowo in sheltering a shrine. The god is enamored of dog sacrifices. In the past, before the coming of the British colonists, the Okpowo smelters, who were assured of the patent protection of akputakpu, gathered iron ore and live stones from Mbaneto and then piled them in great enclosed clay vats which were fired by the inyi agba oku wood. The inyi wood does not easily turn to ash after being ignited, and, a witch is said to confess when forced to handle an inyi wood. In smelting sites, the inyi burned at great heat, and soon enough, the iron in the ore melted and poured out through a tubular opening called utu. The liquid metal was then poured into moulds to create different implements such as cutlasses and the famous ona or iron money that was U-shaped. This ona made Okpowo very popular such that even today, money can be colloquially referred in Igbo language as “okpowo”. People brought domestic animals and cash crops in exchange for ona. And ona was used as bride price in Okpowo in the past. The ona was replaced by the British Pound upon the advent of colonialism. Okpowo smelters and blacksmiths took the profession of iron smelting to other places such as Agulu and Awka. To some extent, the Awka blacksmith tradition may have relied on Okpowo for iron.
The IAS research team discovered that the iron smelting sites had ores that were about to be converted to gravels for use by people who were intend on building houses near the sites. It was also discovered that, because of the scarcity of land space, Okpowo people clustered together, especially with a nearness to streams. They built enchanted fences around their homesteads for protection. And this knack for security made them good guides and guardians of certain other Igbo clans in pre-contact times. The IAS team promised to find ways of preserving the sites as heritage of the Nigerian cultures. The group left with a determination to come again for full scale research (Onuigbo et al, 2012. On-going Project).
Journey to University of Ghana: In extreme left is Prof. Sam Onuigbo (IAS Director), Second from right is Dr. Peter Jazzy Ezeh.
Also in 2012, Prof. Sam Onuigbo (the Director of the IAS) and Dr. Peter Jazzy Ezeh (an expert anthropologist who is also a respectable scholar of African Studies) etc visited the University of Ghana, Legon in a bid to seek ways of collaborating with its Institute of African Studies etc for future synergy.
The Institute initiated a five-year development plan in 2010 ending in 2014 which includes a reorientation of administrative staff, restructuring of the Institute, postgraduate programmes, field works, lecture series and conferences, dictionary formation, electronic encyclopaedia on African Culture and Tradition, visual library development, internal revenue generation, library development and website creation. We look forward to the eventual success of this plan, even now that a new ultramodern building is being planned within the Nsukka campus for the IAS.
Furthermore, the Institute of African Studies are expecting more applications for admission into its graduate programmes by qualified individuals in the general public. It is hoped that after training and establishing core scholars in African Studies, serious projects honed by ethnographic skills and mostly sociological and cultural anthropological research methodologies, would form the normal routine of future staff of the Institute. Large-scale survey of select places would then commence. Different aspects of a chosen geographical area would be intensely researched on. Such aspects would include the history (archeology and origins) of the place, its geology, climate and vegetation, relief, drainage and landforms, soils and soil erosion, early peopling and cultural diversity, population, settlement patterns and problems of social change, rural change, urban life and urban development, traditional socio-political system, language and dialects, architecture, art and culture, religious system, musical culture, drama, folklore, proverbs, agriculture (flora and fauna), trade, transport, map, ethnomedicine, tourist resources and so much more would be deeply researched upon by a team of reliable research fellows. When such aspects of many places have been so researched, a complete concordance of a wide geographical area would then have been established. For now, the Institute is gradually honing its research fellows towards such concrete field surveys and subtly relying less on secondary verifications and documentary evidences and their attendant parallax errors which many scholars have habitually fallen into today for probably status and stomach.
It is also the desire of the authors to have the Institute collaborate with other Institutes and Centres of African Studies for the pursuit of common goals such as a concerted effort to preserve the cultures of Africa and to refine the indigenous knowledge of Africa in the face of present tastes and challenges.
Finally, the authors are desirous to have a global Convention of Directors of Institutes of African Studies, scholars in African Studies and observers and collaborators from African Union for the pursuit of the above and other goals, including, if possible, the restoration of moved cultural artifacts from Africa and the building of a strong African cultural identity that would be beneficial socially, politically and otherwise.
Young at heart: L-R: Michael-Aliga Chiamaka Precious (Ethnographer), Tivde Tertsegha System Analyst II) and Enemma, Obiageli Beatrice (Higher Executive Officer) in November 2010.
Afigbo, A.E. (1971). “The Institute of African Studies” Africa Spectrum. Germany: Institute of African Affairs, GIGA, Hamburg. Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 89-92.
Aniakor, C. (2011). “Global Changes in Africa and Indigenous Knowledge: Towards its Interrogation and Contestations” in Sam Onuigbo (ed.) Indigenous Knowledge and Global Changes in Africa: History, Concepts and Logic. Enugu: Timex Publishers.
Azuonye, C. (1992). “The First Three Annual Seminars on Igbo Life and Culture: Report on the Proceedings”, Ikoro, June, Vol VII, No 2.
Institute of African Studies Okpowo Video (2012). A Property of the Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Investment in Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Lagos.
Nwabara, S.N. (1973). “Foreword” in Mangold Eleanor’s IAS Research Library: Classified List 1. Unpublished Manuscript, UNN.
Nwaezeigwe, N.T. (2007). The Igbo and their Nri Neighbors: The Politics of Igbo Culture and Origins. Enugu: Snaap Press Ltd.
Nwoga, D.I. (1984). “A Dictionary of Igbo Proverbs” Ikoro, July, Vol V, Nos 1 & 2, P. 28.
Nzei, A.A. (1984). “Salvage Ethnography Project Report” Ikoro, July, Vol V, Nos 1 & 2, P.52.
Ohaegbu, A. (2012). “My Administration”, being an interview granted to Jeff Unaegbu at the interviewee’s office in Block A, Faculty of Arts Complex, UNN on April 17.
Omenma, J.T. (2011). Wage, Productivity, and Living Conditions of Workers in Nigeria. Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing AG & Co KG.
Onuigbo, S. et al. (2012). The Okpowo Smelting Tradition (working title). On-going Project of the Institute of African Studies, UNN.
Onyeneke, A. (1984). “Twenty Years of the Institute 1963-1983” Ikoro, July, Vol V, Nos 1 & 2, P.5, 7, 10.
Onyeneke, A. (1985). “The Ethnography Unit” Ikoro, January, Vol VI, Nos 1, P.9.
Trevor-Roper, H.R. (1964). Rise of Christian Europe. London: Thames and Hudson.
Ubah, C.N. “Notes and News” Ikoro, January, Vol 3, No 1, P. 8.
Uche-Okeke, N.E.O. (1984). “Institute Research Museum 1981-1984” Ikoro, July, Vol V, Nos 1 & 2, P.21, 44.
Ukwu, I. U. (1986). “The Institutes and General Studies” in Emmanuel Obiechina et al. (eds.) UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, 1960 -85: AN EXPERIMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION. Nsukka: University of Nigeria Press Ltd.
Unaegbu, J.E. (2011). “A New Cinematographic Unit” in Jeff Unaegbu (ed.) The History of the Cinematographic and Technical Services Unit of the Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka 1970-2010. Unpublished Manuscript, UNN.
Wright, R. (1984). “Establishment of the Cinematography Unit” Ikoro, July, Vol V, Nos 1 & 2, P. 36.
List of key officers
1. Director: Prof Emeka Nwabueze
2. Secretary of the Institute: Mrs Blessing Mgbemene
3. Research Unit: Dr Iwundu Emmanuel
4. Documentation &Publication: Mr Omenma Tobechukwu
5. Cinematographic Unit: Mr Unaegbu Jeff
6. Ethnographic Unit: Mr Amajo Onyemuwa
7. Museum Unit: Mrs Maureen Onyejegbu
8. Library Unit: Onuigbo Chukwudi