Carleton University Launches Memorial Fund for Pius Adesanmi

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Pius Adesanmi

As activities continue to hold across the country and beyond in honour of the memory of late Professor Pius Adesanmi, a fund is being established by Carleton University to support students who wish to continue in the path of his life’s work. The Director of its Institute of African Studies, Adesanmi was one of the two Nigerians among the 157 passengers and crew members who died as an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed a few minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa for Nairobi on Sunday morning of March 10.

Announcing its plans for the fund, it said: “Carleton University is devastated by the sudden death of Prof. Pius Adesanmi, director of our Institute of African Studies and a remarkable writer, poet and political commentator who was celebrated for his eloquence and fearlessness in speaking truth to power.

“His award-winning book – You’re Not a Country Africa: A Personal History of the African Present – was groundbreaking. One of the most important minds of the African diaspora, he inspired his Carleton colleagues with his brilliance and cemented his close ties to faculty, staff and students with his kindness, thoughtfulness, enthusiasm and unforgettable laugh.

“To honour his memory a fund is being established which will support students and continue his life’s work.” Hours after the crash, the university had expressed shock, saying: “The Carleton community is shocked and devastated to learn of the death of Prof. Pius Adesanmi, who was among the 18 Canadians killed in today’s crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet at the Addis Ababa airport.”

It also tweeted: “The Carleton community is mourning the loss of Pius Adesanmi, director of the Institute of African Studies, who was among the 18 Canadians killed in today’s Ethiopian Airlines disaster. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

The school also encouraged the public to share their memories of Adesanmi by submitting tributes via the school portal.