Jet Stanley Madu
A Research Fellow and Doctoral student of the Department of History at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University, USA, Colin Boss has called for more study on African culture that would go beyond the realm of tradition.
He made this call during his four-week academic exchange programme at Kola Daisi University, Ibadan (KDU-I). It was his view that more studies on African culture would help appreciate its deep influence on politics, religion, health and medical histories that had hitherto been taken for granted.
In the course of his study, Boss revealed that his focus is on West African intellectual history, indigenous medicine and healing culture. He probed the role of textuality and orality in healing cultures.
Also, he carried out enquiry into the interaction between bio-medicine and social perspectives to health issues at the indigenous level, towards unravelling West Africans’ attitudinal dispositions to science, medicine and diseases.
While giving further insight into his study, Boss disclosed that he delved into African history as a motivation for the shame he felt for his ignorance about African history against the reality of some indigenous African practices like Ifa divination which he rated to be enjoying wider acceptance, to the extent of becoming transatlantic phenomena.
One thing that, ‘’motivated my research was the shame I felt in knowing so little about African history and Africa’s many and diverse cultures. It was disturbing to me when I first studied African history; how this had never been presented to me before even though, I had learnt so much about the history of everywhere else”.
Boss who could not hide his admiration of the richness of the African culture summed his observation that many of the cultures were shrouded in much mystery, especially those of the Yoruba extraction.
He however, advocated that “those traditions deserve respect and admiration from around the world.
At a special luncheon organized in honour of the scholar, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kolade Ayorinde, remarked that the researcher’s presence at KDU-I is an indication that the institution has shored up its bar of acceptance and international acclaim by hosting the first Research Fellow from the USA.
The VC appreciated Boss for his choice of Kola Daisi University for his research. He expressed the hope that the research findings will strengthen the understanding, profile and prestige of the African culture and also be pivotal to human development across shores, irrespective of cultural back-ground.
The exercise was part of the academic requirements for his doctoral programme.
Also, Prof. Ayorinde appreciated the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Management and Social Sciences, Dr. Rasheed Olaniyi for facilitating the academic exchange programme. He called for further collaborations with notable academic institutions, globally.