In Praise of Greatness: Nimi Wariboko and Africa’s Leading Public Intellectuals

Nimi Wariboko is featured in a new book on Africa’s leading public intellectuals and living legends. The book, In Praise of Greatness, by the famous historian Professor Toyin Falola of the University of Texas chronicles the life and scholarship of Africans who have made substantive contributions to knowledge. Wariboko is cited as one of Africa’s intellectual pioneers.

The back cover explains: In Praise of Greatness, employing poems and prose, pays homage to those African scholars, artists, and public intellectuals who have been exemplary in developing significant ideas and institutional legacies with far-reaching political, social, and cultural impact. Here are remarkable lives of dedicated service that have transformed society, extended the frontiers of knowledge, preserved values, and offered unique perspectives that replace universalism with pluriversalism. In twenty-two chapters that deploy dynamic poetics, distinct cultural tools, and rich traditions, the book presents multiple global-local biographies of preeminent scholars, living legends, and intellectual giants of Africa and its diaspora. Through individual stories, cumulative analyses demonstrate the existence and elaboration of an ontological and epistemic infrastructure that embodies the powerful paradigms that are essential to attaining progress, promoting ethical scholarship, and presenting distinguished Africans to the outside world. The book argues for the maintenance of strong academic traditions and new social thinking beyond patriarchy, as well as more serious attention to poetic and artistic creativity in surviving, navigating, and transforming the varying forces of modernity and globalization with meticulous and sustained attention to local needs and contexts. In Praise of Greatness advances the agenda of nation building by showcasing the formidable works and enduring genius of prominent individuals who have discovered pathways to optimal outcomes for themselves and others through myriad heroic efforts and honorable relationships of generosity and trust.  In Praise of Greatness seeks to inspire intellectual productivity in an emergent generation of scholars; to provide a unique lens for interpreting the past and present; and to promote a collective narrative around African development.

Nimi Wariboko is the Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics at the Boston University School of Theology and a Faculty Associate of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission.

Wariboko Living Legend


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