1 week ago
It was in Arusha, Tanzania. The affable Nigerian scholar, Dr Cyril Obi, a man who has made a successful career at running international research centres focused on Africa, warned us, “Do not allow yourselves to be appointed departmental heads or chairs of departments.” He looked down at his coffee mug, lifted it up to his mouth, and just before he took the final swig, looked up again and with a tone of finality, announced, “If you do, you risk being appointed to academic oblivion.” The year was 2014. It was barely 11 months after I had completed my doctorate studies. In my mind, I had all these lofty ideas about developing and sustaining a research profile. I also had plans to turn my doctorate into a book and proceed onto a fresh search for a new research project on local media history. I am convinced the area is in desperate need of research.