Prof. Wale Adebanwi

Born in Nigeria, Wale Adebanwi studied Mass Communication (BA) at the University of Lagos in 1992. He frequently wrote short stories and contributed articles which were published in national newspapers and magazines, even having his own column in a newspaper while an undergraduate. After graduating, he worked for two newspapers, first Punch and then Nigerian Tribune of which he was the Editor in Chief.

Prof. Adebanwi came to Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge scholar in 2003, beginning with an MPhil degree and then a PhD in Social Anthropology. Shortly after completing his studies, he was offered a position as assistant professor at the University of Califronia-Davis in the US. That same year, he published a book, Trials and Triumph: the Story of The News about Nigeria’s leading news magazine, and their part in the pro-democracy struggles of the 1990s. This was followed by “Authority Stealing: Anti-Corruption War and Democratic Politics in Post-Military Nigeria”, published in 2013 which was selected as one of the three ‘Best Books on Africa in 2013’ by Foreign Affairs magazine. It was recommended by Chinua Achebe, who said it would make the reader cringe "at the extent of debauchery that has enveloped Africa's most populous state" (Gates Cambridge, 2016).

Prof. Adebanwi also published the first academic book on one of Africa’s most powerful and progressive elites, the Yoruba elite titled “Yoruba elites and ethnic politics in Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo and corporate agency”.  The book, which is based on his PhD thesis and is dedicated to Dr Benson, investigates the dynamics and challenges of ethnicity and elite politics in Nigeria, Africa's largest democracy.

Prof. Adebanwi was recently appointed Rhodes Professor of Race Relations at Oxford University and will be joining the African Studies Centre in July 2017. As co-editor of the journal Africa, outgoing co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Visiting Professor at Rhodes University in South Africa and with close ties to the Nigerian academy, Prof. Adebanwi is a global leader in the African Studies community (SIAS, 2017).

For more information, please refer to the following resources
Gates Cambridge, 2016:
School of Interdisciplinary Area Sciences, 2017:


  • Justice Atanda Fatayi-Williams
  • Hector Archibald Josephs (1871-1936)

Features coming soon.