Anthropologist Dr. Blessing Nonye Onyima discusses the effects of colonialism and climate change on Nigeria’s cultural heritage, from the changing migration patterns  of Fulani nomads to the looting of African antiquities.

Link to transcript

Sources and References (in order of appearance)

Onyima, Blessing Nonye (2016). “Nigerian cultural heritage: preservation, challenges, and prospects.” OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies, vol. 12.**

Sustainable Development Goals (UNDP Africa) 

Benin Expedition of 1897 (Wikipedia)

The Kingdom of Benin (National Geographic)

African Marvels: the Walls of Benin (This is Africa)

Is It Time To Repatriate Africa’s Looted Art? (Foreign Policy) 

Digital Benin: a milestone on the long, slow journey to restitution (The Art Newspaper)

British Museum to return Benin bronzes to Africa (CNN)

Colonial art in UK museums is similar to Nazi-looted works, says charity boss (The Guardian [UK])

Harmattan (Wikipedia)

Nigeria, World’s 6th Largest Oil Producer, Now World’s Largest Petrol Importer (The African Exponent)

Nigeria (US Energy Information Administration)

Onyima, Blessing Nonye & Victor Chidubem Iwuoha (2015). New Dimensions to Pastoralists–Farmers Conflicts and Sustainable Agricultural Development in Agadama and Uwheru Communities, Niger Delta.”  African Security, 8:3, 166-184. **

Forced Sedentism or Sedentarization (Wikipedia)

The Industrial Revolution kick-started global warming much earlier than we realised (The Conversation)

Tea Tuesdays: How Tea + Sugar Reshaped the British Empire

The Nigerian Civil War (also known as the Biafran War) (Wikipedia)

The Republic of Biafra (Wikipedia)

Re-introduction of history and matters arising (The Guardian [Nigeria])

Age distribution of population in Nigeria ( 

Note: Sources marked by ** are writings by the episode’s guests.

Behind the Mic

Nicole Ferraiolo

Nicole Kang Ferraiolo

Show Host

Nicole Kang Ferraiolo is CLIR’s director of global strategic initiatives. She was previously a program officer for CLIR’s regranting and fellowship programs. Prior to that, Nicole worked at Columbia University where she oversaw several projects including an interdisciplinary research program on global governance that focused in turn on nuclear proliferation, pandemics, religious conflict, and climate change. 

Blessing Nonye Onyima

Blessing Nonye Onyima


Blessing Nonye Onyima is a cultural anthropologist and medical anthropologist with a focus on culture, health, gender, conflict and environmental studies. She holds a PhD from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is a seasoned ethnographer and qualitative researcher at the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria. Her major ethnographic immersion was among the cattle nomads in southwestern Nigeria. Currently, she is a co-principal investigator in trans-disciplinary research of the Leading Integrated Research Agenda for Africa (LIRA 2030), titled “Enhancing Urban Wetlands and Rivers Ecosystem Health in South Africa and Nigeria.” She has publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and is currently searching for postdoctoral opportunities.

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