Catherine Obianuju Acholonu, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prof. (Mrs) Catherine Obianuju Acholonu is a Nigerian writer, researcher and former lecturer on African Cultural and Gender Studies. She is the former Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Arts and Culture, and foundation member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)
Catherine Acholonu was born in Orlu to the family of Chief Lazarus Olumba. She attended secondary schools in Orlu before becoming the first African woman to gain a master’s degree (1977) and a Ph.D. (1987) from the University of Düsseldorf, Germany. She taught at Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri, commencing 1978.
Acholonu is the author of over 16 books, many of which are used in secondary schools and universities in Nigeria, and in African Studies Departments in USA and Europe. Her works and projects have enjoyed the collaboration and the support of United States Information Service (USIS), the British Council, the Rockefeller Foundation and in 1989 she was invited to tour educational institutions in USA, lecturing on her works under the United States International Visitor’s Program. In 1990 Catherine Acholonu was honored with the Fulbright Scholar in Residency award by the US government, during which she lectured at four colleges of the Westchester Consortium for International studies, NY, USA.
Part of her work has taken her into the wider sphere of sustainable development. In 1986 she was the only Nigerian, and one of only two Africans, to participate in the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on “Women, Population and Sustainable Development: the Road to Rio, Cairo and Beijing”, which was organized jointly by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Division for the Advancement of Women, and the Division for Sustainable Development. This took place in the Dominican Republic, and focused on the mainstreaming of gender into the Plans of Action of the UN world conferences of Rio, Beijing and Cairo. Prof Acholonu holds several awards from home and abroad.
From 1999 to 2002, she was the Special Adviser on Arts and Culture to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a post she resigned from to seek election, along with a number of other writers who felt their inclusion in Nigerian politics would for the good. However, she lost the contest for the Orlu senatorial district seat of Imo State, and drew attention to irregularities and rigging.
She was recently appointed African Renaissance Ambassador by the African Renaissance Conference with head quarters in the Republic of Benin, and Nigeria’s sole representative at the global Forum of Arts and Culture for the Implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNFAC). She is listed in the International Who’s Who of World Leadership, USA; the African Women Writers’ Who’s Who; the Top 500 Women in Nigeria; Who’s Who in Nigeria; and the International Authors and Writers Who’s Who, published in Cambridge, UK.
Acholonu is the Director of the Catherine Acholonu Research Center, Abuja (CARC). The center, based in Abuja, is pioneering research into Africa’s pre-history, stone inscriptions, cave art, and linguistic analyses of ancient symbols and communication mediums from the continent. Her work makes a persuasive case for the re-evaluation and revision of world history to recognize the contributions of the ancestors of indigenous Africans.
Her most significant books are 1. Motherism The Afrocentric Alternative to Feminism; 2. The Igbo Roots of Olaudah Equiano; 3. The Earth Unchained; 4. The Gram Code of African Adam; 5. They Lived Before Adam. 6. The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam. Her books have won the International Book Awards in USA, and They Lived Before Adam was celebrated at the 2009 Harlem Book Fair, New York, as the most groundbreaking publication in the year 2009. It was aired on USA-based C-Span Book TV in the months of August and September 2009.