Monday 11 March 2019


'Here lies Pius Adesanmi who tried as much as he could to put his talent in the service of humanity and flew away home one bright morning when his work was over'
- Pius Adesanmi, August 21, 2018

'Thinking is really the only debt the public intellectual owes this society, thinking is all I believe I owe Nigeria and Africa'
- Pius Adesami, 2011

'Africa is the forward that the world needs...'
- Pius Adesanmi, TED Talk, 2015

'A great deal of our problem in Nigeria is because our people have been strategically under-educated and dis-educated by the ruling class because of the advantages of using illiteracy'
- Pius Adesanmi, #AkeFest15

'I have drawn this profile, not because I have hope for change. Sadly, I think our people have been psychologically defeated and have come to accept and love these things about Nigeria. They turn on whoever tries to awaken them. Nigeria's irresponsible leaders have us where they want us. I write basically these days for the purposes of archaeology. A thousand years from now, archaeologists would be interested in how some people called Nigerians lived in the 20th and 21st centuries. If they dig and evacuate, I am hoping that fragments of my writing survive to point them to the fact that all of them accepted to live as slaves of the most irresponsible rulers of the era'
- Pius Adesanmi, 'An Archaeology of Nigeria' in the Tribune, March 9, 2019, a day before he died in an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash

Pius Adesanmi, author of 'Niger no dey carry last' etc. quoted Ps. 139:9-10 on his Facebook page in the airport in Ethiopia few hours before he boarded the crashed plane. The jist of the passage is simply that Almighty Father knows everything about us and none of us can escape His presence. Did he have premonition of his death? He even wrote his epitaph, probably not intending to do so, while engaging in social satire.

I am still mourning! Candle in the wind? Adieu Pius Adesanmi (27th February 1972 - 10th March, 2019). Please tell me to wake up from dreamland where I believe Pius would simply walk into my living room in flesh and blood to say news of his demise was just a ruse...But I need to face reality, the cold fact that Pius is gone, at least from this earth life. Although fourteen years younger than I, I was always in awe of his intellectual prowess each time I encountered him. Nigeria, and indeed Africa has lost one of its very best - eloquent, fearless, articulate, speaker of truth to power, accomplished academic, loving husband/father, a strong link between town and gown, generous, respectful, respectable, polished and relentless advocate of the undeniable potential of the black man/woman...PIUS.

Pius lost his life in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight of Sunday 10th March, 2019 with 157 passengers on board from 35 countries! Pius traveled with his Canadian passport (He had dual citizenship: Nigerian and Canadian). This caused the delay in identifying the fact that such a precious Nigerian was on board. He was en route Nairobi as a participant in the ECOSOC meeting  organised by the AU. Until his death, Pius was Professor of Literature and African Studies, Carlton University, Ottawa, Canada. He was also former Fellow, French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) and French Institute of South Africa (IFAS).

A thorough investigation into the cause of the plane crash is the very minimum demanded by citizens the world over. What can I say? He came, he saw, he conquered. It is not how ling you live that matters, but the impact you make while on earth. I extend my condolence to his wife and two daughters at this critical time. I am confident that the family will keep the flag flying and continue from where Pius stopped...abruptly. The best all of us can do to his memory is to constantly reinforce the noble ideals he stood for in his lifetime...

Related Links

*Greek man, Antonis Mavropoulos, who missed Ethiopian Airlines fight by mere minutes shares emotional post
*Passengers killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash came from 25 countries
*The Institute of African Studies at the Carleton University calls for submissions of a Poetry Anthology in honour of Pius Adesanmi
*Pius Adebola Adesanmi: Like a dew on grass by Bamidele Ademola-Olateju
*Tortoise folklore & national leadership: A tribute to Pius Adesanmi
*Finding meaning in Pius Adesanmi's self-prophesied death by Ogaga Ifowodo
*Pius Adesanmi's mother & daughter sue Boeing over Ethiopian airline crash
*Wreaths for a Wayfarer: An Anthology of Poems in Honour of Pius Adesanmi (1972 - 2019), Nduka Otiono &Uchechukwu Umezurike (eds), Co-Publishers; Daraja Press/Narrative Landscapes Press

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