Emevwo A. Biakolo

Pioneer Dean
Emevwo Anselm Biakolo was born in 1957 in Urhiephron, near Warri, in the Delta State of Nigeria. He attended primary and secondary schools in the area, finishing in 1973 before proceeding to the University of Ibadan in 1974, to study literature, philosophy and classics as a Federal scholar. He also wrote his first collection of poetry at this period. After graduation in 1978 and undergoing compulsory national service, he went back to the Delta State to teach for three years at Government College Ughelli and Unity School Agbarho, at which time he met and married his wife, Margaret, in 1980. He returned to the University of Ibadan for graduate studies in 1982, focusing his attention on folklore and narrative studies. He completed the M.A. in 1984, graduating at the top of his class. He was immediately appointed lecturer at the Department of English, University of Ibadan. For his doctoral work he turned his attention to culture and communication, exploring the social and psychological consequences of transition from oral to written forms in expressive culture. He was awarded the doctorate in 1988. His research work has been principally in this area of study. While continuing to conduct research, to teach and to write poetry, he joined the editorial board of The Guardian and began to write a weekly column which commanded very wide following in Nigeria. Besides social and political questions, he was especially concerned with family issues in his writing.  A fearless writer, he was active in the democratic struggle against military dictatorship in Nigeria, not only through journalism but in the Academic Staff Union of Universities. This eventually led to his leaving Nigeria. He went to Botswana, Southern Africa, where he was to remain with his family for 12 years of exile. He also travelled widely  at this time. He taught folklore and literature at the University of Botswana and continued his research and publications in these areas. He produced some of his most seminal academic work in communication, philosophy and cultural theory at this period. At the same time, he served in several administrative capacities in the university as well as in the larger Botswana society, including stints as head of department, member of the Reference Group for the establishment of the Department of Media Studies, Botswana national chairman for the UNESCO culture of peace. He has been a training consultant in business and academic institutions in media and communication. From 1998 to 2007 he was Director of Publications and Media of Black Accents Communications. He left Botswana in 2007, after a study time at IESE, Barcelona, to take up an appointment as the Director of the Centre for Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos. When the centre became a school in 2008, he was appointed the first dean of the School of Media and Communication.   Emevwo Biakolo is also co-founder, with his wife, of the non-governmental organization, Natural Family Counseling and Education Network. At present his academic teaching areas include media and communication ethics, media and society, and communication theory. In addition, he has conducted training for many international and local firms and agencies in Botswana, South Africa, South Africa and Nigeria, including UNICEF, USAID, Coca-cola, Chevron, Shell, PPPRA, Federal Inland Revenue Service. His publications include Ravages and Solaces (1994), Strides of the Night (1995, 2000), Botswana’s National Heritage and the Culture of Peace (2002); Meaning of Marriage (2010); Logic, Tradition and Knowledge in Africa (in press).  He has co-edited Botswana Poetry in English (2004),  and The Discourse of HIV/AIDs in Africa (2003).