Professor Kenneth Onwuka Dike was a scholar in both education and history. Referred to as the “Pioneer Historian” and is recognized for “playing the main role in producing a generation of African historians who could understand their own history without affected by Eurocentric views.
A native of Awka in Anambra state, Dr. Kenneth Dike has referred to as ‘The Father of West African Historiography’
He Was the first Nigerian Professor of History, the first indigenous Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, and the first Professor of African history at Harvard.
He created the National Archives of Nigeria, headed a reformation of the Nigerian history curriculum, and founded the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ibadan in 1962.
He is still remembered as the founder of the Ibadan School of History which reconstructed precolonial African history with the help of oral and written sources. Historians who worked with him in Ibadan published numerous essays and books on precolonial African History which are still studied today.
During the Civil War, He became one of the main ambassadors of Biafra. Dike pleaded for the international recognition of Biafra in capitals such as Washington or Paris. After the war in 1970, He took up an academic position at Harvard until 1980. He became the Chair of the Committee of African Studies (1971-1973) and the first Mellon Professor of African Studies (1973-1980).
He died on the 26th of October 1983.