Ibadan-born former dean of the faculty of arts, Prof. Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, will be installed today as a Mogaji.
Remi Raji, as he is widely known, will be confirmed as the family head (Mogaji) of Adegboro Compound of Idi Arere this morning at the Popoyemoja palace of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji.
Remember the popular Yoruba adage ‘Eni ti o le se bi alaaru l’Oyingbo, ko le se bi Adegboro l’Oja Oba.” (Someone who cannot be hardworking in Oyingbo market, cannot be famous like Adegboro from Oja Oba.) Read Adegboro’s story here.
A Salzburg Fellow and visiting professor and writer to a number of institutions, among them Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, the Universities of California at Riversideand Irvine, University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Cambridge University, UK, Raji has had scholarly essays published in journals including Research in African Literaturesand African Literature Today. He has read his poems widely in Africa, Europe and America. In 2005, he served as the Guest Writer to the City of Stockholm, Sweden.
His volumes of poetry include Webs of Remembrance(2001), Shuttlesongs America: A poetic guided tour(2003), Lovesong for My Wasteland(2005), Gather My Blood Rivers of Song(2009) and Sea of My Mind(2013). Raji’s works have been translated into French, German, Catalan, Swedish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Croatianand Hungarian. He has been an Alexander von Humboldt Scholar to Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
Remi Raji was elected as the Publicity Secretary of the Oyo State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors(ANA) in 1989. His second elective position was as Vice-Chair of the ANA in 1997. He became the substantive Chairman of the ANA from 1998 to 2000, at the election of Dr. Wale Okediran to the national executive committee of the ANA. Raji served as the Year 2000 Editor of the ANA Review, the official journal of the association.
On 3 December 2011, during the 30th-anniversary celebration of the founding of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Remi Raji was elected as the ANA’s 11th President.
Raji was the National Coordinator of the resuscitated Nigerian PEN Centre in 1999 before he was elected as the Secretary of the Centre, a position he held till February 2010.
During this period, Raji facilitated international workshops and strategic meetings of African PEN Centres within Africa and in Europe. He was unanimously elected as the first Coordinating Secretary of PAN, the Congress of PEN African Centres, at a special meeting of the group on 22 November 2003 in Mexico City.
At his university, University of Ibadan, the Professor of English and African Literatures and Creative Writing has served in many administrative capacities which culminated in his appointment as the Head of the Department of English in 2011. Over a year after that substantive position, he was elected as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts.