Pius Adesanmi

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Pius Adésanmí
Pius Adebola Adesanmi

27 February 1972
Died10 March 2019 (aged 47)
Alma materTitcombe College, Egbe, University of Ilorin, University of Ibadan, University of British Columbia
OccupationProfessor, writer, columnist, literary critic, satirist
ChildrenOluwatise, Oluwadamilare

Pius Adebola Adesanmi (27 February 1972[1] – 10 March 2019) was a Nigerian-born Canadian professor, writer, literary critic, satirist, and columnist. He was the author of Naija No Dey Carry Last, a 2015 collection of satirical essays. Adesanmi died on 10 March 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after take-off.

Biography and career[edit]

Adesanmi was born in Isanlu, in Yagba East Local Government area of Kogi State, Nigeria.[2] He earned a Bachelor of Arts in French language from the University of Ilorin in 1992, a Master's degree in French from the University of Ibadan in 1998, and a PhD in French Studies from the University of British Columbia, Canada, in 2002.[3]

Adesanmi was a Fellow of the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) from 1993 to 1997, and of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) in 1998 and 2000.[4]

From 2002 to 2005, he was Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. In 2006, he joined Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada, as a Professor of literature and African studies.[5] He was the director of the university's Institute of African Studies until his death.[6]

For many years, Adesanmi was a regular columnist for Premium Times and Sahara Reporters. His writings were often satiric, focusing on the absurd in the Nigerian social and political system. His targets often included politicians, pastors, and other relevant public figures. In September 2015, his scathing column on the decision of the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, to take an underage wife generated substantial conversation on the matter,[7] and even got the response of the Emir who responded to Adesanmi by name.[8]

In 2015, he gave a TED talk titled "Africa is the forward that the world needs to face".[9]

Adesanmi died on 10 March 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed shortly after take-off.[10][11] He was on his way to an African Union conference.[6]


  • The Wayfarer and Other Poems (Oracle Books, Lagos; 2001)
  • You're Not a Country, Africa (Penguin Books; 2011)
  • Naija No Dey Carry Last (Parrésia Publishers; 2015)[12][13]


In 2001, Adesanmi's first book, The Wayfarer and Other Poems, won the Association of Nigerian Authors' Poetry Prize.[14]

In 2010, his book You're not a Country, Africa (Penguin Books, 2011), a collection of essays, won the inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing in the nonfiction category.[15][16][17]

In 2017, Adesanmi was a recipient of Canada Bureau of International Education Leadership Award.[18][19][20]


  1. ^ "Pius Adesanmi: Nigerian image is a burden" (interview), EverythinLiterature, 1 July 2007.
  2. ^ "Professor Pius Adesanmi; Award-Winning Writer, Activist and Academician". Konnect Africa. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  3. ^ https://youtube.com/watch?v=ofrxl7zDh_Q
  4. ^ Ibrahim, Abubakar Adam (7 October 2012). "Pius Adesanmi for ANA 2012 convention". Daily Trust.
  5. ^ "Naija No Dey Carry Last by Pius Adesanmi". the Magunga Bookstore. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Ethiopian Airlines: Who are the victims?". BBC News. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  7. ^ Adesanmi, Pius (27 September 2015). "SLS: What Will Not Stick, What Will Stick". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  8. ^ "At last Sanusi speaks on marriage to teenager "The lady gave her free consent" | The Light News". thelightnews.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  9. ^ TEDx Talks (2 February 2015), Africa is the forward that the world needs to face | Pius Adesanmi | TEDxEuston, retrieved 20 February 2018
  10. ^ "BREAKING: Pius Adesanmi, Nigerian scholar, feared dead in plane crash". TheCable. 10 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Ottawa professor dies in Ethiopian Airlines crash". CBC News. 10 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  12. ^ ""Naija No Dey Carry Last": Nuggets from Pius Adesanmi's Satirical Masterclass, By Premium Times Books and Parrésia – Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Book Review | Pius Adesanmi's Nigeria No Dey Carry Last | by Echezonachukwu Nduka". Brittle Paper. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  14. ^ "African Writing; Profiles of 50 African Writers". www.african-writing.com. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  15. ^ "The Winners of the Penguin Prizes for African Writing". 6 September 2010.
  16. ^ siteadmin (5 September 2010). "Pius Adesanmi, SaharaReporters Weekly Columnist, Wins Penguin Prize for African Writing | Sahara Reporters". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Nigerian, Zambian win 2010 Penguin African Writing Prize". Africa Book Club. 5 September 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Premium Times columnist Pius Adesanmi wins prestigious Canadian award – Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Premium Times columnist, Pius Adesanmi, honoured in Canada (PHOTOS) – Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  20. ^ siteadmin (23 November 2017). "Professor Pius Adesanmi Honored By Canadian Bureau For International Education in Halifax, Canada | Sahara Reporters". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 26 December 2017.

External links[edit]