Remembering Pius Adebola Adesanmi, two years on

It’s two years ago that the Canada-based Nigerian scholar and public intellectual Pius Adebola Adesanmi was killed in an air crash aged 47. He was one of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi that crashed shortly after take-off on 10 March 2019. He was en route Nairobi as a participant at the ECOSOCC Meeting organised by the African Union.

From 2002 to 2005, Adesanmi was Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. In 2006, he joined Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada, as a Professor of literature and African studies. He was the director of the university’s Institute of African Studies until his death.
The writer, literary critic, satirist and columnist was the author of Naija No Dey Carry Last, a 2015 collection of satirical essays.

An intellectual giant and original thinker, Adesanmi was a tireless commentator on Nigerian and African issues and was renowned for his biting critique laced with humour. For many years, Adesanmi was a regular columnist for Premium Times and Sahara Reporters.

Adesanmi was once asked how he would like to be remembered, here’s his answer: “Here lies Pius Adesanmi who tried as much as he could to put his talent in the service of humanity and flew away home one bright morning when his work was over.” [21 August, 2013]

May his soul rest in peace.

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