Sebastian Okechukwu Mezu
|Sebastian Okechukwu Mezu|
|Chairman, Imo State Nigerian Peoples Party|
June 1978 – 1979
|Chairman, Imo Newspapers|
|Born||April 30, 1941
Emekuku, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
|Political party||Congress for Progressive Change|
|Spouse(s)||Dr. Rose Mezu|
Dr. Sebastian Okechukwu Mezu was born on April 30, 1941 in Ezeogba, Emekuku, Owerri, Imo State. He received a B.A. in French (1964) with minors in German and Philosophy from Georgetown University. He obtained an LL.B. in 1966 from La Salle Extension University, Chicago, and an M.A. (1966), Ph.D (1967) in Romance Languages from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland.
Early political career
In the 1970s, he founded the Imo State branch of the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) and as Secretary of the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) he installed and helped to elect the greatest Governor Imo State has ever had, Governor Samuel Onunaka Sam Mbakwe and other notable names to office. Following the success of the NPP at the polls, he became the Chairman of the Golden Breweries Limited (1979–1980) and rehabilitated and revitalized the brewery during a $50 million expansion of the premier brewery in Nigeria; and as chairman of The Imo State Newspapers Ltd where he raised the daily circulation of the Nigerian Statesman from 50,000 to 150,000.
He is also a renowned writer, scholar, philanthropist, and publisher, establishing Black Academy Press|, Inc, (1969) one of the very first black owned academic publishing Companies that set the tone for Africana studies in the Sixties in America. It remains one of the longest standing historic black publishing companies today.
Campaign Director, Party Secretary and principal architect of Nigerian Peoples Party, that won a landslide victory (over 80%) in the Imo State Legislative, Gubernatorial and Presidential Elections in Nigeria in 1979.
When the Biafran war broke out in 1967, due to the recognition of his valuable contributions and genuine patriotism and vibrant activism as a young scholar in the United States, where he had voluntarily translated volumes of documents for his country into French and other languages. Dr. S. O Mezu was appointed Biafran| Government Special Representative and Ambassador Abidjan, Ivory Coasat the age of 27 by Colonel C. Odumegwu Ojukwu and was charged with affairs in Francophone and Anglophone West Africa.
He was the co-founder and Deputy Director, Biafra Historical Research Center, Paris, July 1967 – July 1968 then Biafra's semi-official diplomatic mission to France and Europe. Biafran delegate and French expert to various peace delegations to Ivory Coast (President Félix Houphouët-Boigny), Senegal, (President Leopold Sedar Senghor), Gabon (President Albert Bernard Bongo), etc. Biafran delegate and French expert to various peace conferences in Niamey, Niger Republic (President Hamani Diori, 1968) and in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia (Emperor Haile Selassie, 1968).
The Philosophy of Pan-Africanism, S. Okechukwu Mezu. ed., Washington, D.C., Georgetown University Press, 1965, 142p.
The Tropical Dawn, poems, Baltimore, Maryland, 1966; Buffalo, Black Academy Press, Inc., 1970, 60 p.
Leopold S'edar Senghor et la d'efense et illustration de la civilisation noire, S. Okechukwu Mezu. Paris, Marcel Didier, 1968, 232 p.
Black Leaders of the Centuries, S. Okechukwu Mezu, & Ram Desai, eds. Buffalo, Black Academy Press, Inc., 1970, 302 P.
Behind the Rising Sun, a novel about the Biafran war. S. Okechukwu Mezu. London, William Heinemann, Ltd., 1971, 242p; paper edition (African Writers Series, No. 113) London, Heinemann Educational Books, Ltd., 1972.
Modern Black Literature, S. Okechukwu Mezu. ed. Buffalo, Black Academy Press, Inc., 1971
The Literary Works of Senghor, S. Okechukwu Mezu. London Heinemann Educational Books, Ltd.,- 1972, 121 p.
Igbo Market Literature, S. Okechukwu Mezu. compiler. 5 vols., Buffalo, Black Academy Press, Inc., 1972, 4000 p.
The Meaning of Africa to Afro-Americans: A Comparative Study Of Race & Racism, S. Okechukwu Mezu. ed. Buffalo, Black Academy Press, Inc., 1972, 175 p.
Umu Ejima (The Twins), S. Okechukwu Mezu. An Igbo adaptation of the Latin play, Menaechmi by Plautus. Owerri, Black Academy Press, 1975, 60p.
Leopold Sedar Senghor, by S. Okechukwu Mezu. London: Heinemann, 1973.
Ken Saro-Wiwa: the life and times, S. Okechukwu Mezu. ed. Baltimore, Black Academy Press, Inc. 1996