John Otim

Mr. Apita and his grand daughter /John Otim

Nikanori Apita used the classroom to shape the minds of generations, weaning them out of racist ideology of Empire that cramped their mental growth. Empire’s ideology was ingrained in the colonial texts it was his duty to teach. Apita decided his task was to subvert the texts.


Ali Mazrui had many followers around the globe but he also had many detractors. His BBC series “The Africans”, watched by millions around the world, won him many admirers in Nigeria, but they also won him enemies who accused him of being nothing more than a propagandist for a religious cause.


The inheritance of the colonial university was the postcolonial state’s most ‘prized possession’, writes John Otim. Fifty years on the colonial mission and principles have disappeared from Africa’s universities: ‘Good’, states Otim, ‘But nothing has been put in its place. In the vacuum, the regime of marks, grades and the final certificate at the end takes centre stage… The university has become big business.’ Otim ends, though, with a quiet assertion: ‘Not all is lost yet on the more


Ugandan-born lecturer John Otim recounts his experience of an attempt to assassinate him at his home on the campus of Nigeria’s Ahmadu Bello University in December.

It was ‘from Ibadan that modern African literature rose’, John Otim writes in this week’s Pambazuka News. ‘There was a buzz, people sat up and took note. They examined the new thing, seeking out signs of deference to Empire, some acknowledgement, some appeal to European authority. Things Fall Apart showed none of that. It was Africa recreating Africa. The college and the city of Ibadan had found its voice’.


The recent death of Senator Edward Kennedy marked the end of the long dynasty of the Kennedys, who were not only prominent in domestic US politics but also on the world stage. In this week's Pambazuka News, John Otim reflects upon the relationship that Africa had with the Kennedys. Arguing that much has changed since the decolonisation process and the subsequent Cold War, and most importantly with Africa’s relationship to the US, Otim writes that Africans will mourn the death of a figure who more

John Otim discusses Okello Oculi’s 1968 work 'Prostitute' – 'a fast-moving early post-colonial piece of writing published by a young Makerere University student' – which he tells Pambazuka News readers makes for impassioned reading.

When I listen to Nigerians talk, the story is the same. Ugandans tell the same story. Ghanaians likewise. What shall africa do? I guess if wambui were she in her native Kenya, not Canada, she would prefer not to write like this: . My school friends are reluctant to as much as evaluate their school experience. Somebody will hear them you see. Worse could happen you know. What shall Africa do?