Year in Program: 3
Fields: African History
Advisor: Professor Walter Hawthorne
Committee: Professor Walter Hawthorne, Professor Jamie Monson, Professor Pero Dagbovie, and Professor Glenn Chambers
Research Languages: Igbo and English Languages
Educational Background: B.A. (Ibadan); B.A. (Nigeria)
Ozibo Ozibo Ekele is a PhD student of African History in the Department of History, Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, Michigan, United States. My research interests cut across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries African economic and environmental history, as well as the Atlantic World. Specifically, my doctoral dissertation is titled, “Abakaliki Rice: Gendered Labor, Diet Transformation and the Making of Identity in Southeastern Nigeria, 1942-Present.” My core advisor is Professor Walter Hawthorne; in addition, other members of my Graduate Dissertation Committee include Professor Jamie Monson, Professor Pero Dagbovie and Professor Glenn Chambers.
Before moving to the United States in August 2019, I worked as an Investigative Political Reporter with an Abuja-based, leading Nigerian newspaper, Daily Trust, where I covered the Nigerian Parliament (National Assembly). In 2016, I graduated with a B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in History from Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan, becoming the first person to so graduate from the Ibadan School History since the foundation of the university in 1948. For breaking a 69-year-old academic jinx, I was bestowed with twelve academic prizes, including the distinguished “University Scholar Award,” which entitled me to an M.A. scholarship at the University of Ibadan.
I also hold a B.A. in Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. As an interdisciplinary scholar, I aspire to become a public intellectual: a professor of African History and African Studies who is committed to research, scholarship and training of Africanist scholars. I am highly proficient in Igbo and English languages.