On this day in 1951, a Nigerian writer, researcher and former lecturer on African Cultural and Gender Studies who served as the former Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to PresidentOlusegun Obasanjo on Arts and Culture, and foundation member of theAssociation of Nigerian Authors, Catherine Obianuju Acholonu was born in Orlu in Imo State, South-Eastern Nigeria.
She attended secondary schools in Orlu before becoming the first African woman to gain a master’s degree in 1977 and a PhD in 1987 from theUniversity of Düsseldorf, Germany.
Acholonu was the author of over 16 books, many of which are used in secondary schools and universities in Nigeria, and in African Studies Departments in USA and Europe.
In 1990 Catherine Acholonu was honoured with the Fulbright Scholarin Residency award by the US government, during which she lectured at four colleges of the Westchester Consortium for International studies, New York, USA.
Part of her work took her into the wider sphere ofsustainable development.
Acholonu was the Director of the Catherine Acholonu Research Center, Abuja, which she co-founded.
Acholonu died on 18 March 2014 at the age of 62 from a year-long renal failure.