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|Abioseh Davidson Nicol|
September 14, 1924|
Freetown, Sierra Leone
|Died||September 20, 1994
Cambridge, United Kingdom
|Profession||diplomat, writer, poet|
Davidson Sylvester Hector Willoughby Nicol or Abioseh Nicol (14 September 1924 – 20 September 1994) was a Sierra Leonean academic, diplomat, physician, writer and poet. He has been considered as one of Sierra Leone’s most educated citizens of recent times, as he was able to secure degrees in the arts, science and commercial disciplines.
Nicol was born as Davidson Sylvester Hector Willoughby Nicol in 1924 in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. His family belonged to the Creole minority who were an educated and elite ex-slave community. He attended primary school in Nigeria and, in 1946, graduated with first class honours from Christ's College, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. He earned his Ph.D. in 1958 and then proceeded to study for a medical degree at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London's medical school. Following the completion of his studies, Nicol lectured at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.
Beginning in 1960, Nicol was the first native principal of the prestigious Fourah Bay College in Freetown (left in 1966) as well as a member of the Public Service Commission (left in 1968). Nicol continued his administrative career at the university level in Sierra Leone as first the chairman (1964–1969) then as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sierra Leone (1966–1969).
Nicol left academia in 1969 to become the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, which he served as until 1971. In that year, Nicol became the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, which ended in 1972. In 1972, Nicol became the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations under Austrian Kurt Waldheim, which he served as until 1982. While serving as Under-Secretary General, Nicol also served as head of UNITAR.
Return to academia and retirement
He maintained a home for many years in Thornton Road, Cambridge, England, frequently visiting Christ's College of which he had been made a distinguished Honorary Fellow, meanwhile serving from 1987 until retiring in 1991 as a visiting professor of International Studies at the University of California (1987–1988) and University of South Carolina (1990–1991). Nicol retired in 1991 at the age of 67 to Cambridge, where he died three years later at the age of 70.
Beginning in 1965 with "Two African Tales", Nicol was a published author of short stories, poetry, music, academic literature and a biography of Africanus Horton, an early Sierra Leonean author and one of the founders of African Nationalism. His last piece of published work was "Creative Women" in 1982.
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