Baroness Valerie Amos CH will formally welcome His Imperial Majesty Oba Adéyeyè Enitan Ògúnwùsì (Òjàjà II), the Ọọ̀ni’rìsà of Ilé-Ifẹ̀, to SOAS University of London on 16 March, 2017.
His Imperial Majesty became the Ọọ̀ni’rìsà of Ilé- Ifẹ̀, the Àrólé Odùduwà and Spiritual Father of all Yorùbá people across the world in December 2015. Also Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, His Imperial Majesty the Ọọ̀ni of Ifẹ̀ will discuss with Baroness Amos opportunities for partnerships with SOAS, the University of Nigeria Nsukka and other universities in Nigeria.
In his role as Chancellor, His Imperial Majesty the Ọọ̀ni of Ifẹ̀ is seeking to develop higher education in Nigeria. He is particularly interested in SOAS’s rich history on the study of Africa and the current programmes and research taking place on the continent and specifically Nigeria.
Baroness Amos said: “SOAS has a long history in research and teaching in African studies. We look forward to welcoming His Imperial Majesty to SOAS and having the opportunity to discuss the potential for collaborations between SOAS and the University of Nigeria Nsukka.”
His Imperial Majesty will also receive a tour of the Brunei Gallery at 4pm, which is currently exhibiting Embroidered Tales and Woven Dreams, a collection of traditionally embroidered textiles found along the Silk Road. The visit to SOAS will form part of His Imperial Majesty’s Commonwealth tour this month.
His Imperial Majesty Oba Adéyeyè Enitan Ògúnwùsì (Òjàjà II) will be accompanied by a large party of officials. After the formation of the Department of African Languages and Cultures, SOAS introduced ‘Africa’ to its name in 1938. Early scholars include Alice Werner who taught Swahili and Bantu languages and Professor Roland Oliver who played a pivotal role in establishing African history as a distinct field of scholarship.
SOAS is now home to the world-leading Centre for African Studies (CAS) and hosts the Royal African Society (RAS) with an active programme of research and teaching, and public lectures, seminars, events and conferences.
Upcoming major SOAS events with CAS and RAS include the Africa Development Forum on energy in Africa (18 March); a special lecture at Fort Hare university in South Africa (29 March); a conference in Egypt on the Role of African States in supporting arbitration (3 April); a major conference on the legacies of the Nigeria-Biafra war (21 April); and an inaugural SOAS Africa Conference (20-21 July) to mark SOAS’s centenary.
SOAS will also be hosting a special centenary celebration event in Lagos on 27 April, with Nobel Prize winner, Wole Soyinka, attending. Students from Nigeria as well as those with Nigerian heritage make up an important part of the SOAS student body, including England International Rugby player, Maro Itoje, who is in his third year as an undergraduate at SOAS.