Monthly Archives: May 2017

Prince Adedoyin

First African QUB graduate

Prince Adegboyega Folaranmi Adedoyin was born in 1922, the son of the akarigbo [king] of Ijebu Remo in Southern Nigeria.

He came to study medicine in Belfast in 1942 on advice from his brother ‘Zik’ who was studying in London. Soon after arriving in Northern Ireland (by boat), he became involved in local sports. This came about almost inadvertently, after he was invited to join in by the coach of a University team he was watching play.

He immediately revealed talent. In a first mention in the Irish Times (14 May 1946), the journalist mentioned that “Adedoyin, a tall West African, has both the build and style of an athlete, and shows great promise, particularly as regards high jump”.

A week later (22 May) the same newspaper noted: “When Adedoyin first appeared it seemed to be his intention to go boating at Islanbridge. For he wore immaculate white flannel trousers, a check-coat, and a hat. He strolled about, taking the sun, for no little time, while C. Fitzgerald (…) repeatedly tried to jump the bar”.

Adedoyin won many competitions and broke several records. Among others, in 1945 he broke the high jump record at Queen’s University; in 1946 he broke the record at the Universities Athletics Union’s championship (with 6ft 1 inch); and in 1947 he won the AAA Championships with a clearance of 1.93 meters.

In 1948, he attended the Olympic games where he did not win a place on the podium but produced the best results for the whole British team. Overall his best jumps 7.35 metres in the long jump (1947) and 1.969 meters in the high jump (1949).

After graduating in 1949, Adedoyin married Hannah Hotoba-During, a Sierra-Leonian who had grown up in Belfast, and together they moved to Liverpool for work purposes. Soon after, they moved to Sierra Leone and then to Nigeria. Prince Adedoyin passed away on 31 January 2014 in Nigeria.

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Prof. Harold W. Rodgers

With no prior connection to Africa, Professor Harold W. Rodgers developed a keen and personal connection with the continent after moving to Queen’s University.

Born in India, Harold Rodger was the first Englishman to hold the chair in Surgery at Queen’s which he took up in 1947. In 1950 and 1951 he did a tour of West Africa for the Colonial Office and the Nuffield Foundation, from which he built personal links to Africa.

After 1950 Professor Rodgers maintained a keen interest in African affairs and looked after the African students at Queen’s University, no least the future Professor Akin O. Adesola (Queen’s first African Honoris Causa in 1989).

After his retirement in 1974, Prof. Rodger took up a post at the University of Ife, Nigeria, for three years – four years before Adesola became the Vice-Chancellor of the same institution.

Workshop “Africa in Ireland / Ireland in Africa”

11 May 2017, Trinity College, Dublin

Ireland in Africa2017

 1.     Africans in Ireland      

 09.30.   Bill Hart (Ulster University):   ‘American sources for a black presence in nineteenth-century Ireland’

 09.50. Eric Morier-Genoud (Queen’s University Belfast):  ‘Cosmopolitan Belfast? Africans and Africa at Queen’s University, 1941-1971’

10.10.  Abel Ugba (University of East London):  ‘Identity, belonging and media use by Irish Africans’

2.  African Studies in Ireland [A]

11.15.  Laura Brown (Maynooth University): ‘“They were a greasy, downtrodden lot”: Egypt and the perception of Egyptians in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 1899-1956’

11.35.  Roger Boulter:  ‘Target Pretoria – Dieter Gerhardt and the Soviet penetration of the South African Defence Force’

11.55. Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses (Maynooth University),  ‘From metropolitan revolution to colonial exodus:  The fall of Portuguese Angola, 1974-5’

3.  African Studies in Ireland [B]

13.45.   Michelle D’Arcy (Trinity College Dublin): ‘The historical antecedents and contemporary political impact of devolution in Kenya’

14.05. Padraig Carmody (Trinity College Dublin):The geopolitics and economics of BRICS resource and market access in Southern Africa’

4. The Irish and Africa: Connections and reflections

14.45.  David Dickson (Trinity College Dublin): ‘The missionary motorist: Thomas Gavan Duffy’s Africa crossing, 1927-8’

15.05. Ailish Veale (Trinity College Dublin): ‘Irish Catholic medical missionaries in the development era’

15.25.  Kevin O’Sullivan (NUI Galway): ‘Lessons from Biafra’

15.40.  Tom Lodge (University of Limerick): The Irish Anti-Apartheid movement’

5. Keynote paper

16.30.   Donal McCracken (University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban):  ‘The retreat down Africa. The Irish in Africa – Colonial running dogs or harbingers of change?’