Prof. A .O. Afigbo (NNOM)

Adiele Eberechukwu Afigbo (22 November 1937 – 9 March 2009) was a Nigerian historian known for the history and historiography of Africa, more particularly Igbo history and the history of Southeastern Nigeria. Themes emphasised include pre-colonial and colonial history, inter-group relations, the Aro and the slave trade, the art and science of history in Africa, and nation-building.

 

Afigbo took up his career as a historian in the 1950s with the celebrated Ibadan School of History, which for about three decades was the most prominent school of history in Africa. He become a prominent member of that school, which devoted its time to demonstrating the need for African history and historiography as specific genres of the world history. In pursuing the mission of this school through teaching and scholarly work, Afigbo produced works that established reconstructionist history, of African historical methodologies, and links between history and statecraft. He gave rein to eclecticism of sources and methods, using as the occasion demands and warrants elements from myth, oral sources, from archaeology, linguistics, material artefacts and written sources. In the last analysis he defined a historian as a clinical student of human experience who seeks to tell the story as it is and to explain it.