I AM CATHERINE ACHOLONU
Nope. That's not me. It's my mum.
The phenomenal thing about being a thought leader is that you are remembered for starting something which has never been done before; something which makes people stop, reflect and take action. Something which is life-changing and long after you are gone, it still feels like you never left. Prof. Catherine Acholonu, my mother, the prolific author and activist was a thought leader. Fearless and daring, she challenged status quo and pushed beyond gender, cultural and religious barriers, in order to introduce something new.
In her words:
"I always have a way of saying things long before time. Because thinkers are those people who are able to pierce into the future and catch glimpses of light and bring it down"
She was a thought leader in areas which reflected Gender Dynamics, Culture and Tradition, Quantum Leap in Consciousness, the Esoteric, Environmental Degradation, Achaeology, African History and Pre-history, the Sciences, Politics, Philosophy, Humanitarian Work and more. As far back as 1985, she was referred to as the “most versatile Nigerian female writer”. The delight about reading Acholonu’s pieces was that they were often spiced with the unexpected, the shocking, and the controversial. Sadly, a great majority of her works have run out of print and digital versions.
Concerned about the need to safeguard the knowledge and information which Prof. Acholonu bequeathed to humanity, the children of the late writer are working towards revitalizing her legacy and works. You can scroll down to find out more about Catherine and some of her publications.
If you would like to reach out to her children, for nowyou can contact:
Nneka Acholonu Egbuna
Whatsapp: +234 805 581 1185
About Catherine Acholonu:
Professor Acholonu (1951-2014) was a distinguished Nigerian researcher, academic, author, poet, dramatist and a cultural and human rights activist whose works and humanitarian projects touched the lives of many in Nigeria and across the world. An innovative thinker who revolutionised studies in African history, she died in March 2014, following a protracted illness.
Educated in Ihioma Girls Secondary School in Orlu, Imo State, and the University of Dusseldorf in Germany, she was a one-time Fulbright scholar, writer-in-residency at the Bellagio Centre in Italy, a former visiting professor/lecturer on African Cultural and Gender Studies at several universities and colleges in and out of Africa such as in Ghana, Kenya, USA, England and Italy to name a few. She was also a founding member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and a former Special Adviser on Arts and Culture to the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As an upcoming scholar, 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 took place in Dominican Republic, focusing on the mainstreaming of gender into the Plans of Action of the UN world conferences of Rio, Beijing and Cairo.
Catherine Acholonu won several national and international awards. She was listed in the International Who is Who of World Leadership, USA; the African Women Writers, Who's Who of the Top 500 Women in Nigeria; Who’s Who in Nigeria; and the International Authors and Writers Who's Who, published in Cambridge, UK. As a frontline political activist, she also contested for the post of President of Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1992. She was the National Spokesperson of the Movement for Gender Parity, a gender-advocacy group that was in the frontline for the demand for and attainment of the post of the First Woman Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives.
As a leading Nigerian political activist, Prof. Catherine Acholonu was an advocate for women’s rights, human rights and regularly expressed burning opinions in the national media on social issues.
She taught for several years at the Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri (AICE) and published several outstanding works embracing ancient and modern literature that illuminated human history.
Her best-selling works include The Gram Code of African Adam, They Lived Before Adam, Motherism: the Afrocentric Alternative to Feminism, The Igbo Roots of Olaudah Equiano, The Deal and Who is the Head of State, among other scholarly works. She was until her passage at the age of 62, the founder and Director of the Catherine Acholonu Research Centre (CARC) based in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria. She is today recognized as one of the most outstanding gender and cultural scholars from Africa.
Some of Catherine Acholonu’s publications
1. Motherism: The Afrocentric Alternative to Feminism, 1995
2. The Igbo Roots of Olaudah Equiano: An Anthropological Research, 1989
3. The Gram Code of African Adam: Stone Books and Cave Libraries, 2005
4. The Spring’s Last Drop, 1985
5. Into the Heart of Biafra, 1979
6. Nigeria in the Year 1999, 1985
7. The Deal and Who is the Head of State?, 1986
8. Trial of the Beautiful Ones, 1984
9. Africa The new Frontier: Towards a Truly Global Literary Theory for the 21st Century, 2002
10. The Earth Unchained: A Quantum Leap in Consciousness: A Reply to Al Gore, 1995
11. Women in Environmental Development Program: The Saw Dust Stove Pilot Project, 1994
12. Eden in Sumer on the Niger, 2014
13. They Lived Before Adam: Pre-Historic Origins of the Igbo – The Never-Been-Ruled, 2008
14. The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam: Unearthing Heliopolis/Igbo Ukwu – The Celestial City of the Gods of Egypt and India, 2010
For a glimpse into her world, I'd like to share with you Nduka Otiono's piece on her.