Pius Adesanmi (died 10 March 2019) was a Nigerian-born Canadian professor, writer, literary critic, satirist, and columnist. He is the author of Naija No Dey Carry Last, a collection of satirical essays. Adesanmi died on 10 March 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after take-off.
Biography and career
Adesanmi was born in Isanlu, in Yagba East Local Government area of Kogi State, Nigeria.He had a BA (first class honours) from the University of Ilorin in 1992, a Masters in French from the University of Ibadan in 1998, and a PhD in French Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2002.
From 2002 to 2005, he was Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. In 2006, he joined Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada as a Professor of literature and African studies. He has also been a Fellow of the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) from 1993 to 1997, as well as of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) in 1998 and 2000.
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, and even got the response of the Emir who responded to Adesanmi by name.
In 2015, he gave a TED talk titled "Africa is the forward that the world needs to face".
Adesanmi died on 10 March 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after take-off. The plane was flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.
- 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)
In 2001, Adesanmi's first book, The Wayfarer and Other Poems, won the Association of Nigerian Authors' Poetry Prize.
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.
In 2017, Adesanmi was a recipient of Canada Bureau of International Education Leadership Award.